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message 1: by MrsJoseph *grouchy*, *good karma* (new)

MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 7282 comments Authors who are published in France, Listen up!

f the phrase "digital pirate" conjures up a lone socially challenged male with a large collection of Manga comics and Cory Doctorow ravings, think again. Some of the biggest "pirates" in the world are nation states.

Last week France passed a law that permits the state to seize authors' rights on books published before 2001. Scribes have just six months to opt-out, or lose their moral rights and the ability to determine a price for their work.

It's essentially a Compulsory Purchase Order for intellectual property - the author's work is no longer their own. Ownership is instead transferred to a quango answering to the French Ministry of Culture, which is authorised to make it digitally available. Publishers are the big beneficiaries.

message 2: by MrsJoseph *grouchy*, *good karma* (new)

MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 7282 comments And a rebuttal from a rather intelligent (but contrary) person I know:

Kali Yuga says, "The Register is not exactly an unbiased news source, it's more a "bitter cynical IT guy" website. IIRC Orlowski is kind of a cranky guy as well.

From what I can tell, this is France's solution to the "orphan works" / out-of-print problem. It's not quite as broad a "land grab" as Orlowski suggests, since he somehow forgot to mention the law only applies to out-of-print books, that authors/publishers receive payment, and they can pull their books from the system -- provided they make a digital version available in a reasonable time frame.

Also, in theory this will result in improved access to a large number of out-of-print works and payments for those works going to the authors and/or publishers. That's not exactly a bad thing.

Resolving this problem is going to stomp all over the toes of the people whose works are already out of print. There will be no perfect solution to this problem, because various parties' interests do not align perfectly; and every nation is likely to handle it differently.

message 3: by MrsJoseph *grouchy*, *good karma* (new)

MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 7282 comments An original article from the AFP:

Le Parlement a définitivement adopté, par un vote unanime de l'Assemblée nationale dans la nuit de mercredi à jeudi, une loi "sur la numérisation des livres indisponibles du XXe siècle" permettant d'acheter sur internet des ouvrages introuvables hors des bibliothèques.
Cette loi vise à rendre accessible sous forme numérique l'ensemble de la production littéraire du siècle dernier, dès lors que les oeuvres ne sont plus exploitées commercialement, mais ne sont pas pour autant tombées dans le domaine public, 70 ans après la mort de l'auteur.
Elle prévoit que la Bibliothèque nationale de France (BNF) recense dans une banque de données publique l'ensemble de ces oeuvres dont l'exploitation serait gérée par une Société de perception et de répartition des droits (SRPD) qui assurerait, de façon paritaire, une rémunération aux éditeurs et aux auteurs.
Certains ouvrages de Paul Morand, Jean Rostand ou Philippe Soupault, ceux de nombreux poètes, critiques ou penseurs du XXe siècle ne sont plus accessibles et pourraient retrouver ainsi une seconde jeunesse.
"A travers ce texte ambitieux, nous démontrons que la diffusion des oeuvres sur internet peut se faire sans exception au droit d'auteur et sans pratique de contrefaçon", s'est félicité le ministre de la Culture, Frédéric Mitterrand.
Si la nouvelle loi, proposée à l'origine par le sénateur UMP Jacques Legendre et le député UMP Hervé Gaymard, a fait l'objet d'un consensus au Parlement, tant au Sénat qu'à l'Assemblée, des auteurs craignent d'être floués.
Selon la proposition, les auteurs ou ayants droit devront s'opposer à l'inscription de leur oeuvre sur la base de données, qui serait sans cela automatique. Un automatisme contre lequel s'insurge un collectif dans une pétition à l'adresse des parlementaires, intitulée "Le droit d'auteur doit rester inaliénable".
"L'auteur seul - ou à défaut ses ayants droit - peut décider d'une nouvelle diffusion de son oeuvre. Tout éditeur - numérique ou papier - qui souhaiterait l'exploiter se doit en premier chef de lui proposer un contrat", souligne la pétition.

message 4: by MrsJoseph *grouchy*, *good karma* (new)

MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 7282 comments Now the translation:

Parliament finally adopted by a unanimous vote of the National Assembly on the night of Wednesday to Thursday, a law "on the digitization of the unavailable twentieth century books " to allow online purchasing books that are not available out of libraries.
This law aims to make available in digital form throughout the literary production of the last century, when the works are no longer used commercially, but are not so far fallen into the public domain 70 years after the death of author.
It provides that the National Library of France (BNF) lists in a public database all of these works whose exploitation would be managed by a Society of collection and distribution rights (MPD) which would ensure, with equal representation, compensation to publishers and authors.
Some works of Paul Morand, Jean Rostand and Philippe Soupault, those poets, critics and thinkers of the twentieth century are no longer accessible and could well find a second life.
"Through this ambitious text, we show that the distribution on the Internet can be no exceptions to copyright infringement and without practice", welcomed the Minister of Culture, Frédéric Mitterrand.
If the new law, originally proposed by UMP Senator Jacques Legendre and UMP deputy Herve Gaymard, has been a consensus in Parliament, both the Senate and Assembly, the authors fear to be cheated.
Under the proposal, the authors or assigns shall prevent the registration of their work on the database, which would otherwise be automatic. Automatism which rebelled against a group in a petition at parliamentarians, entitled "Copyright should remain inalienable".
"The author alone - or his successors - may decide on a new distribution of his work. Any editor - digital or paper - that would operate properly in the first place to offer him a contract," said the petition.

message 5: by S.J. (new)

S.J. Lewis (sjlewis) | 469 comments I'd expect that the quantity and quality of work turned out by writers living in France will deteriorate after this, with many authors emigrating if they can. Glad I already don't live in France.

message 6: by Olga (new)

Olga Godim (olgagodim) | 308 comments I'm not exactly conversant on the legalese, but it sounds awfully like what happened during the Russian revolution of 1917. They also took everything that belonged to people and made it, willy-nilly, the state's property. What will happen, when Amazon decides to do the same to every ebook that doesn't sell well? It's one small step only. I hope I'm wrong!

message 7: by MrsJoseph *grouchy*, *good karma* (new)

MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 7282 comments Olga wrote: "I'm not exactly conversant on the legalese, but it sounds awfully like what happened during the Russian revolution of 1917. They also took everything that belonged to people and made it, willy-nill..."

Yeah, I'm not a fan of this. If this is such a serious issue...they should do some copyright reform...not a copyright grab.

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