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Old 02-29-2012, 01:20 PM   #1
anamardoll
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France: All your books are belong to us

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/02...y_acquisition/

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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.
Important for the authors here who have published in France.
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Old 02-29-2012, 01:28 PM   #2
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I honestly have no words for that.

And I thought the US proposed Orphan Works bill was a kick in the reproductive organs for IP creators. This is a whole new level.

I shall hence forth invoke Godwin's law.

Sounds like something the Nazis would do.
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Old 02-29-2012, 01:31 PM   #3
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I'm interested in knowing how this affects the indies here (including myself, but mine went up in 2012) on Amazon.fr.
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Old 02-29-2012, 01:39 PM   #4
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What a surprise that publishers are the big beneficiaries of this law.
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Old 02-29-2012, 01:44 PM   #5
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I made a post about that subject and that's not really what it seems in the quoted article..

http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=170062
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Old 02-29-2012, 02:36 PM   #6
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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.
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Old 02-29-2012, 02:59 PM   #7
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Like Kali Yuga said, The Register is anything but an unbiased source, but even for them this story has been mangled unusually badly.

Bearing in mind the clarifications above and in vice-versa's thread, I think on the whole it is an excellent idea. I find six months' notice in which you choose to opt out to be reasonable and the benefits to the public at large to my mind by far outweighs the potential downsides.
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Old 02-29-2012, 03:06 PM   #8
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Thank you all for the clarification. I was linked to the article and none of the comments called it out as mis-information, (and I don't speak French!) so I thought it was legit and unbiased.
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Old 02-29-2012, 03:57 PM   #9
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Hey, these things happen. The internets are too large to easily vet everything all the time.
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Old 02-29-2012, 04:03 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anamardoll View Post
Thank you all for the clarification. I was linked to the article and none of the comments called it out as mis-information, (and I don't speak French!) so I thought it was legit and unbiased.
That's the problem with the internet. Telling what is accurate and what isn't. Anyone can post anything online and claim that it's the truth and someone somewhere will believe it.
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Old 02-29-2012, 04:12 PM   #11
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What France is proposing is actually quite interesting, but they're doing it in response to a problem created by long copyright periods; this is solution more of a bandaid than anything.

Last edited by Ninjalawyer; 03-01-2012 at 07:15 AM.
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Old 02-29-2012, 04:14 PM   #12
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What France is proposing is actually quite interesting, but they're doing it in response to a problem created by long copyright periods; this solution more of a bandaid than anything.
I see what you're saying. They should push copyright reform instead of copyright grabs...
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Old 02-29-2012, 04:44 PM   #13
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I see what you're saying. They should push copyright reform instead of copyright grabs...
Yes. An immediate return to lifetime+50 would be a good first step, and could be done immediately.

Getting the Berne Convention re-negotiated will take a lot longer, as that where the lifetime+50 years minimum comes from.

I'd like to see a straight publication+50 years, but I'd settle for the longer of publication+50 years and the lifetime of the author.
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Old 02-29-2012, 05:39 PM   #14
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Phew....

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Originally Posted by pdurrant View Post
Yes. An immediate return to lifetime+50 would be a good first step, and could be done immediately............I'd like to see a straight publication+50 years, but I'd settle for the longer of publication+50 years and the lifetime of the author.
Hear hear......

And.phew.... I got all het up at the initial post, by now I've slowly subsided into a kind of relieved wry smile - remember the old party game where you tell someone a secret, they have to tell it to someone else. they have to.... etc...

End result is often incredibly mangled - this is a bit like that in reverse !
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Old 02-29-2012, 05:52 PM   #15
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I see what you're saying. They should push copyright reform instead of copyright grabs...
Not likely to ever happen unless Disney can get perpetual copyright over everything it produces. After all, that's what's pushed every single copyright extension bill in the US; Mickey Mouse being about to enter the public domain.
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