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Old 01-11-2010, 01:35 PM   #1
ahi
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French Copyright Law Question

How does French copyright law deal with works posthumously published works?

Casanova's "Histoire de ma vie" has had a variety of edited versions published, but the first publication of an unmolested version of what he actually wrote (without it being rewritten by overzealous editors) was only published in 1960.

Would the manuscript text (sans any footnotes and commentary added by the publisher) be under copyright in France or abroad? Casanova died in 1798... so we are at life+212. Does the fact that it was "only" published 50 years ago mean that it is still under copyright worldwide though?

- Ahi

Ps.: I apologize if this is the wrong forum... please move it, if appropriate.
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Old 01-11-2010, 01:57 PM   #2
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i wasn't sure of that myself so i checked wikipedia. i found this information :

Quote:
Œuvres posthumes
L'article L. 123-4 précise également : « Pour les œuvres posthumes, la durée du droit exclusif est celle prévue à l'article L. 123-1. Pour les œuvres posthumes divulguées après l'expiration de cette période, la durée du droit exclusif est de vingt-cinq années à compter du 1er janvier de l'année civile suivant celle de la publication. »
Cela concerne les œuvres littéraires et artistiques (textes, livres, musiques, dessins, peintures...) mais ni les interprétations, ni les films qui sont soumis à un régime spécial.
translation :
Posthumous works
Article L. 123-4 also specifies : "For posthumous works, the length of exclusive copyright is the one indicated in article L. 123-1 [= death + 70 years]. For posthumous works divulged after the expiration of that period, the length of the exclusive copyright is 25 years counting from the 1st of january of the civil year following the year of publication."
This concerns litterary and artistic works (texts, books, music, drawings, paintings...) but neither performances nor films are subject to a special law."

(emphasis mine)

so presumably, if it were first published 50 years ago, it's been in the public domain for the past 24 years.

however, this is french law ; unless i'm mistaken, it wouldn't apply to, for instance, a canadian resident...

also, i'm not a lawyer, so all standard precautions and disclaimers apply.
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Old 01-11-2010, 02:15 PM   #3
ahi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zelda_pinwheel View Post
i wasn't sure of that myself so i checked wikipedia. i found this information :



translation :
Posthumous works
Article L. 123-4 also specifies : "For posthumous works, the length of exclusive copyright is the one indicated in article L. 123-1 [= death + 70 years]. For posthumous works divulged after the expiration of that period, the length of the exclusive copyright is 25 years counting from the 1st of january of the civil year following the year of publication."
This concerns litterary and artistic works (texts, books, music, drawings, paintings...) but neither performances nor films are subject to a special law."

(emphasis mine)

so presumably, if it were first published 50 years ago, it's been in the public domain for the past 24 years.

however, this is french law ; unless i'm mistaken, it wouldn't apply to, for instance, a canadian resident...

also, i'm not a lawyer, so all standard precautions and disclaimers apply.
Thanks, Zelda! That's great!

Unless they separately published and/or copyrighted the French language book in Canada/US/UK as well, there should be no non-French legal considerations.

I'm thinking of scanning in the full text and pushing it Project Gutenberg Europe's way... ;-)

- Ahi
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Old 01-11-2010, 02:16 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ahi View Post
Thanks, Zelda! That's great!

Unless they separately published and/or copyrighted the French language book in Canada/US/UK as well, there should be no non-French legal considerations.

I'm thinking of scanning in the full text and pushing it Project Gutenberg Europe's way... ;-)

- Ahi
i think that is an excellent idea.
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Old 01-11-2010, 02:41 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by zelda_pinwheel View Post
i think that is an excellent idea.
Casanova's memoirs are perfect for presentation in eBook format, by the way... its sheer size (3000+ printed pages, 5000+ 6" size eBook pages) makes it unwieldy for print publication, and one gets the impression that publishers are always holding back material that could and should be included. Hundreds of Casanova's letters and myriad articles and musings of his also survived, after all.

I imagine with all the materials that are available with reasonable ease, a sort of ultimate electronic edition could be raised up to 6000+ pages or even more with any meaningful amount of commentary, and dozens of illustrations from various historical editions in the past.

- Ahi
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Old 01-11-2010, 02:43 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ahi View Post
Casanova's memoirs are perfect for presentation in eBook format, by the way... its sheer size (3000+ printed pages, 5000+ 6" size eBook pages) makes it unwieldy for print publication, and one gets the impression that publishers are always holding back material that could and should be included. Hundreds of Casanova's letters and myriad articles and musings of his also survived, after all.

I imagine with all the materials that are available with reasonable ease, a sort of ultimate electronic edition could be raised up to 6000+ pages or even more with any meaningful amount of commentary, and dozens of illustrations from various historical editions in the past.

- Ahi
crikey ! you're not kidding it's perfect for presentation in ebook format. well i hope you do decide to scan it, but i certainly wish you luck with that project !
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Old 01-12-2010, 05:10 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ahi View Post
Casanova's memoirs are perfect for presentation in eBook format, by the way... its sheer size (3000+ printed pages, 5000+ 6" size eBook pages) makes it unwieldy for print publication, and one gets the impression that publishers are always holding back material that could and should be included. Hundreds of Casanova's letters and myriad articles and musings of his also survived, after all.

I imagine with all the materials that are available with reasonable ease, a sort of ultimate electronic edition could be raised up to 6000+ pages or even more with any meaningful amount of commentary, and dozens of illustrations from various historical editions in the past.
Are you going to create an ebook of the French original? That would be great! As I reported elsewhere, a Spanish translation has been published a couple of months ago, and it has had very good reviews and ratings (it was one of the 10 books of the year in a newspaper, it was the only book getting a 9 in a website), so I'm looking forward to reading it, and best in the original French
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Old 01-12-2010, 02:21 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Jellby View Post
Are you going to create an ebook of the French original? That would be great! As I reported elsewhere, a Spanish translation has been published a couple of months ago, and it has had very good reviews and ratings (it was one of the 10 books of the year in a newspaper, it was the only book getting a 9 in a website), so I'm looking forward to reading it, and best in the original French
That's my intention... albeit don't hold off starting anything else in the meantime. I'm over a $100 in a special library membership (to acquire the 1960 published originals) and 3000+ pages of scanning, OCR, and correcting away from being done. %)

Also started working on cleaning up the adulterated yet still brilliant public domain English translation that I've already made an eBook of, along with footnoting foreign terms and quotations with translations, incorporating some illustrations, et cetera.

- Ahi
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Old 01-14-2010, 03:25 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by ahi View Post
That's my intention... albeit don't hold off starting anything else in the meantime. I'm over a $100 in a special library membership (to acquire the 1960 published originals) and 3000+ pages of scanning, OCR, and correcting away from being done. %)
so, we shouldn't expect to see it before next week at the earliest, then ?

Quote:
Also started working on cleaning up the adulterated yet still brilliant public domain English translation that I've already made an eBook of, along with footnoting foreign terms and quotations with translations, incorporating some illustrations, et cetera.

- Ahi
wonderful ! i'll look forward to that.
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