Evolution of technology, internet has made journalism one of the most “easier professions” and everyone who is not a journalist, but has a smartphone, skills for recording, making good pictures or speeches have the power for sharing what she/ he creates and maybe being famous for a short time.
Nowadays a lot of information is circulated. Information is everywhere. Is in online media, traditional media, posters, walls… and being a journalist sometimes is difficult for being sure which news you need to share from your channel, even if what you publish is not written by you.
One of the biggest problems of the media in Albania is that a lot of online media publish in their space news or video news articles that are not written by them.
One example can be the article of journalist Erblin Vukaj who one year ago made an investigation about the new build of “Air Albania” stadium and noticed that there, for the building of the stadium, where not any correct deal between Albania’s government and the company which won the right for build the stadium. This news was published in every online media in Albania, but some of these online media, as “JETA OSH QEF”, never published the fact that this article was written by Erblin Vukaj.
But how is this problem of copyright resolved in Albanian law?
More than a law it looks that in Albania the right of publishing or not publishing a work of another journalist is in your conscience, moral and the public will be the judge of journalist work.
In Albania the law is more dedicated to “Fake news” than plagiarism. “Plagiarism” corrected by “Albanian Institution of Media” which, based on OSBE and EU conditions for having a healthy Democracy and a Free Media, has created an “Instruction of self-correction” and in this way the law, the articles will be not written by politicians who tried a lot of time for having control on Medi. Plagiarism in Albania is seen by journalists like an information work for which the public is the only responsible actor to evaluate.
The fact that it is part of “self-corrections’ ‘ of Albania Institute of Media doesn’t mean that none have the right to court and to protect its right about the work that the journalist made.
Based in Articles dedicated to Media and Copyright, every person who creates something artistique, or a simple work has the right to protect it and to be protected by Law for every economical or moral damage.
The Article 149 in Albania law said that:
“Every reproduction of one artistic, scientific, musical, literature work, or their use without approval of the author is prohibited by law and everyone who does that will be fined or can be in prison for not more than 2 years.”
The fact that the law is a bit harsh and the Media in our country is doing its “Catharsis” let the public know that the Media will be the only institution which will protect the journalists’ rights without being harsh.
More than a “Law issues” it looks that for our Media plagiarism is an issue of public and the law for Media is not so clear in what it protects or not.
Our law has more a general character and it looks different from Polish law which in Article 14 said:
5. A journalist cannot publish information if a person providing it stipulates it being subject to professional confidentiality.
Sure, this article is connected with the “source” of the news, but it can be called a good start for having a better law which protects human rights, part of which are the rights of journalists, who based in Article 15 has its right for being secret and not saying its name during the publishion, but its work still being protected as its own work. The Polish legal system provides for a number of sanctions in this respect, ranging from civil law sanctions, administrative law sanctions, ending with criminal law sanctions.
In Albanian and Polish Law “plagiarism” is considered not only an issue of Journalism, but also a very important part of Civil law and of the Law about crimes, which decide everything about the adjudication of violence of the law.
Sometimes it looks confused about what the people should understand with “a work or journalist” which must be protected by law. In general, copyright in journalism doesn’t mean that the law will protect only the articles, but also the videos, photos taken by operators or journalists.
To constitute an original work of intellectual property and thus be protectable under the Copyright Law, a journalistic work must therefore contain an element of individuality and personal contribution, in particular with regard to the selection, composition, elaboration and adaptation of its content. The form in which a journalistic work is presented to the public may also classify it under the protective category of a literary, audio-visual or photographic work if said form is a text, video or image.
One of the most interesting causes of Copyright in Journalism is the one case that did end in a court judgement was the case of Daniel Morel versus Agence France. Presse and Getty Images, decided in November 20137 . AFP had taken Morel’s pictures from another Twitter user’s account and distributed them to Getty who in turn distributed them to its clients. AFP argued that this was due to an editorial error as the photographs were found on the account of another Twitter user. The defendants argued that they could use the content as Twitter’s Terms of Service allowed it. The court decided in Morel’s favor, noting that Twitter’s Terms of Service did not allow content use for commercial reasons, and that copyright violation had occurred. Morel was awarded 1.2 million USD in damages. This verdict is a reminder that today’s journalist should not only ask for permission to use an image or video sourced on social media, but also check if the uploader indeed captured the content as well as posted it.
This example shows that even though technology, journalism and everything that is connected with our digital world is in evolution, the rights of the people who produce something, even if they are not journalists, are still the same.
To understand “Copyright Law” in general or in different countries we need before to understand what types of journalist’s work must be protected by law. “Copyright”, “Plagiarism” is not only an issue of Articles for Media but also an issue of Civil Law, which sometimes in countries like Albania and Poland, which don’t really have a strong Democracy, needs to change and to be completed time after time.