OCCRP's Position on the proposed Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market

Published: 25 April 2018

Photo by Kaitlyn Baker on UnsplashPhoto by Kaitlyn Baker on Unsplash


As an independent investigative journalism outlet and media development organization, the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) relies heavily on copyright to guarantee correct attribution of our work. This is vital to our journalism and investigative research.

Our reporting requires transparency and regularly citing sources, which means being able to link to and quote published facts as needed.

Moreover, wide, unhindered circulation of and linking to our stories is essential to achieve any meaningful impact on corruption and organized crime.

Any action that might undermine this most basic tenet of the open web risks undermining independent media organizations like OCCRP and its over 40 member centers (many based in the EU), dozens of reporters, editors, researchers, fact-checkers, translators, technologists, and graphic designers.

We are therefore concerned by new neighboring rights stipulated in the Directive's Article 11 ("Protection of press publications concerning digital uses"). By implementing the link tax and a licensing requirements between platforms and media organizations like ours this legislation would severely limit the ability of OCCRP and other independent media organizations to provide accurate and fair reporting, and prevent our stories from reaching the widest possible audience. This would be a serious blow for investigative journalism and present a giant step backward in the fight against misinformation.


Further Reading



Founded in 2006 by Drew Sullivan and Paul Radu, the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) is a non-profit media organization providing an investigative reporting platform for the OCCRP Network. OCCRP now connects 45 non-profit investigative centers in 34 countries, scores of journalists and several major regional news organizations across Europe, Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America.

OCCRP works to turn the tables on corruption and build greater accountability through exposing the abuse of power at the expense of the people. We serve all people whose lives are affected by organized crime and corruption. Our highest aim is for the stories we produce to give citizens and governments the information and tools they need to bring about a fair system in which criminality and injustice are fought with transparency, knowledge, and empowerment.

OCCRP is committed to transnational investigative reporting and promoting technology-based approaches to exposing organized crime and corruption worldwide. With more than 80 cross-border stories reaching more than 200 million readers and viewers annually, OCCRP has quietly become the world’s most prolific investigative reporting organization. Our websites inform more than 6 million readers and viewers monthly, reaching an additional 200 million readers and viewers through legacy media that publish our work.

OCCRP’s first ten years prove that access to the truth—and actionable information—can help bring about the right kind of change.