New French Law: Digital Exploitation of 20th Century Unavailable Books

France has implemented a new law on the Digital Exploitation of 20th Century Unavailable Books.

Here's an excerpt from the Library of Congress' summary:

This Law adds a new chapter to the French Intellectual Property Code, comprising articles L.134-1 to L.134-9. Article L. 134-1 provides that an unavailable book is "a book published in France before January 1, 2001, which is commercially unavailable and is not currently published in paper or digital format." (Id.) The Law creates a public database specifically dedicated to unavailable books, accessible at no charge, which will list these titles. . . .

After a book has been registered in the database for six months without any opposition, a collective management society approved by the Ministry of Culture will be authorized to grant a publisher a non-exclusive license for digital exploitation of the book for a period of five years, which will be renewable (art. L.134-3). . . .

In addition, the Law provides an exception for libraries. It states that the collective management society must authorize libraries that are accessible to the public to digitally reproduce at no cost and distribute to their patrons unavailable books, where a holder of the right to reproduce the work in its paper format has not been found within ten years of the first authorization to reproduce, provided that the library does not receive any commercial profit. If the collective management society refuses to grant such a right, it has to state the grounds for that refusal (art. L.134-8). The holder of the right to reproduce the work in its paper format may at any time request that the collective management society withdraw the right granted to a library (id).

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Copyright © 2005-2017 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

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