The copyright gives the creators the exclusive right to use their work or to authorize third parties to use their work.
An artwork creator has the right to use or to forbid the copy of the work in many forms, included by printing, recording, broadcasting, public performance and enactment, translation or adaptation.
The copyright stimulates human creativity. It gives to the creators – or to their successors in title – property rights that give them financial advantages and usually only end up 50 years after the death of the creator. Thanks to this system, creators benefit from acknowledgment and also from incentives to carry on with their creative work, which contributes to increase access to culture, to knowledge and to the performing arts.
Resale right : lifetime of copyright
The right for the author of an original artwork to receive a percentage of the price obtained on any resale of this work made by art market professionals (auction houses, galleries or any other art dealer).
The lifetime of copyright for a literary or artistic artwork is set at 70 years from:
Artists receive a percentage of their works’ selling price staggering from 4% to 0,25% in five parts of selling price.
However, the total amount of the right cannot go over 12500 euros.
The resale right comes down to the artwork author and, after his death, to his successors in title.
During a three years period after the resale, the beneficiaries of the resale right are entitled to demand from any art market professional any information that may be necessary in order to secure payment of royalties in respect of the resale.
French Intellectual Property Code (Book I – COPYRIGHT).
Nature of Copyright
Art. L. 111-1. The author of a work of the mind shall enjoy in that work, by the mere fact of its creation, an incorporeal intangible property right which shall be enforceable against all persons.
This right shall include attributes of an intellectual and moral nature as well as attributes of a property
nature, as determined by the Books I and III of this Code.
The existence or the conclusion of a contract for hire or of service by the author of an intellectual work shall in no way derogate from the enjoyment of the author’s right recognised in the first paragraph.
Art. L. 111-2. A work shall be deemed to have been created, irrespective of any public disclosure, by the mere fact of realisation of the author’s concept, even if incomplete.
Art. L. 111-3. The incorporeal property right as defined in Article L. 111-1 shall be independent of the ownership of the material object.
The purchase by the acquirer of this object gives none of the rights provided for in this Code, except in the cases provided for in the provisions of the second and third paragraphs of the Article L. 123-4. These rights remain the ones of the author or his successors in title who, however, can’t require the owner of the material object to make this object available to them in order to exercise the aforementioned rights. Nevertheless, in the event of any notorious misuse of the owner preventing the exercise of the right of disclosure, the high court may take any appropriate measures, in accordance with the provisions of the Article L. 121-3.
Art. L. 112-1. The provisions of this Code protect the copyright on every work of the mind, regardless of the kind, the form of expression, the merit or the use.
Art. L. 112-2. Within the meaning of this Code, the following are considered works of the mind:
1° Books, brochures and other literary, artistic and scientific writings;
2° Conferences, short speeches, sermons, defence speeches and other works of the same nature;
3° Dramatic or dramatico-musical works;
4° Choreographic works, circus acts, pantomimes, which implementation has been set down in writing or by other means;
5° Music composition with or without lyrics;
6° Cinematographic work and other works involving animated sequences of images, with or without sound, collectively referred to as audiovisual works;
7° Drawing, painting, architecture, sculpture, engraving and lithography works;
8° Graphic and typographic works;
9° Photographical works and the ones created thanks to techniques similar to photography;
10° Works of applied art;
11° Illustrations, geographical maps;
12° Maps, sketches and plastic publications related to geography, topography, architecture and sciences;
13° Software programs, including their preparatory design material;
14° Creations from the seasonal industries of dress and articles of fashion. The following are deemed to be seasonal industries of dress and articles of fashion for being industries which frequently renew the shape of their products due to fashion requirements, including couture, fur, lingerie, embroidery, fashion, footwear, glove-making, leather goods, the manufacturing of high-novelty fabrics or special fabrics for haute couture, the production of craftsmen and bootmakers and factories of home furniture fabrics.
Holders of copyright
Art. L. 113-1. The quality of author belongs to the one or those under whose name the work is disclosed, unless proven otherwise.
Copyright covers the property part of an author’s right on the works of his mind.
At an international level, it is determined by the Berne Convention which stipulates that in this way the expression of an original work of the mind is protected. The moral rights of the author fall within the scope of copyright. Therefore, it shall apply to artworks, to some designs and to software programs.
Contrary to the patent, the copyright only protects the expression of an idea.
The copyright is as well a right related to the work just by its existence, therefore it is not subject to declaration or disclosure.
The copyright gives the author the exclusive choice of the publication, copy, adaptation and translation terms and conditions of their work for a period. Its fundamental role is to allow the author to earn remuneration proportional to the quality of his work by protecting him from pirating: the unauthorized copy of his works.
Since the early 1980s, copyright experienced a great extension, first towards new forms of artistic expression: photography, performances, design, as well as towards performers (actors, musicians).