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French Copyright Grab: the Machine Creaks into Action

One of the most comprehensive and enlightening article ever written about this topic.

Please check also, by the same author:

– France Guillotines Copyright (phase I / 3)

– The New French Legislation: Further Points (phase 3 / 3)

Action on Authors' Rights

On 27 February the French Republic issued a decree implementing the Loi relative à l'exploitation numérique des livres indisponibles du XXe siècle [Law relating to the exploitation in digital form of unavailable 20th century books] which was passed in March last year. For the earlier history of this law and some analysis see my previous posts France Guillotines Copyright and The New French Legislation: Further Points, including the comments; see also the web pages linked from those posts.

A first list of 60,000 books was issued by the Bibliothèque nationale de France (BnF) on 21 March. The books, which are all in copyright, and which are supposed to be commercially unavailable, will be transferred to collective management on 21 September unless the authors or their estates and/or the original publishers make successful applications to stop this happening.

Once taken into collective management, the intention is for the books, or…

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French Book Theft Targets American Writers Too

Mike Cane’s xBlog

Harlan Ellison, Ursula K. Le Guin Among Award-Winning Writers On French “Copyright Theft” List

Among the authors I found in the registry are Harlan Ellison, Ursula K. Le Guin, Samuel R. Delany, and R.A. Rafferty. You won’t find them by searching for their names in the author field, but the anthology in question shows up in a free text search using their names. Although ReLIRE doesn’t present the catalog details, apparently it does use them to present search results. Here is the catalog listing from the Bibliothèque National de France.

Now that some prominent American names are in the crosshairs, will this news finally get some goddammed traction?

Previously here:

French Government To Steal Books
France’s Writers Sold Down The River
France’s Book Grab: Worse Than Google Books

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Scary changes to French copyright law

Ki Agency

I hadn’t expected to be so political in the early days of this blog, but there’s something drastic going on in France.  Having nobly stood up against the Google Book Settlement, our neighbours across the Channel have ‘done it for themselves’.

Books published before 1 January 2001 and currently out of print can now be digitized and sold, without the consent of the author.  Authors can opt out of this scheme but it looks like a long, difficult process.  Publishers can exploit the e-book rights for 6 months, as I understand it, and then payment will come via a registered collecting society.

A very clear guide to what’s going on can be found here, thanks to Copyright Hero Gill Spraggs:


This is just the latest episode in a drive to make all content available online.  I’m all in favour – as long as it doesn’t trample on authors.  Despite…

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Echoes of ReLIRE in other languages…

The collection of links to blogs, press articles, analysis of the ReLIRE Project is on our “ReLIRE International Survey” in English

We present on this page some links to reviews in other languages.


IN ITALIAN – Italiano

– Cecilia Martini – Tropico del Libro :

“Il collettivo Le Droit du Serf, fra i primi oppositori del programma già quand’era in fase di discussione parlamentare. Il quale collettivo, a maggio di quest’anno, ha presentato contro il decreto un ricorso per abuso di potere presso il Consiglio di Stato, accusandolo di «molteplici violazioni alla legge» incluso quanto stabilito dalla Convenzione di Berna, dall’Organizzazione Mondiale della Proprietà Intellettuale (OMPI), e dalla Convenzione europea dei diritti dell’uomo e delle libertà fondamentali. «I nostri argomenti sono solidi» si legge sul sito del collettivo «cionondimeno la battaglia sarà dura, si protrarrà per mesi ed è impossibile prevederne il risultato. Quel che è certo, come ripetiamo da più di un anno senza essere ascoltati né presi sul serio, è che non ci arrenderemo».” (© Cecilia Martini)

– Antonella De Robbio ( Coordinator for the Law Libraries at the University of Padova in Italy.) : ReLire: il programma francese per la digitalizzazione “di Stato”

– Franco Senia : L’amara vittoria di Guy Debord

– (06/27/2013 – uncredited) – Francia: digitalizzazione dei libri non disponibili in commercio – (basic info, no more)

– Giornale della Libreria

– Raffaella Natale for Key4Biz (23 Febbraio 2012) : La Francia autorizza la digitalizzazione delle opere indisponibili del XX secolo. Monta la protesta degli autori

“Questi ultimi sostengono che il diritto d’autore è inalienabile e la digitalizzazione non può avvenire in modo automatico.”



IN GERMAN – Deutsch


– Stefan Krempl



IN SPANISH – Español





IN  (BRASILIAN) PORTUGUESE – português brasileiro



We are not fluent in these languages and were not fully able to make our mind concerning the contents of the mentioned papers.

They may reflect opinions adverse to our own.

We are, of course, interested in reviews / accounts / reactions to the ReLIRE project in any languages. You are kindly invited to suggest content to us via the comment box.


Research work by : Captain Zaitsev, Psycheinhell and Léa Silhol

updated July 07th – (Brazil, Italia)


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Artist’s measures against ReLIRE – Tools and tricks

2013 :: Agency’s Action for the defense of the Author’s Rights ::

Mission : To provide assistance to the Foreign Artists lost into the French-only ReLIRE platform + to provide information to the Artists about the French “ReLIRE Project”


@ sovan zaitsev



Launched : 23 march 2013

Status : current, alive & kicking

The Nitchevo Agency’s “hotline for foreign artists” is here : Nitchevo website / current Actions



– A step by step guide to the ReLiRE system opt-out :
  • “PARDON MY FRENCH” –  A SURVIVAL GUIDE TO « MADAME GUILLOTINE » FOR NON-FRENCH-FLUENT FOREIGN ARTISTS DUELING THE ReLIRE SYSTEM – (English edit) v. 0.2 – Apr. 15 2013 – by writer and former senior editor Lea Silhol
  •  The FAQ – Some questions & answers about the ReLIRE register, for advanced users.
– Some sound places to go for info (in English) – a collection:

Some good places to go for info (both English and French)

Recommended Protest Actions

Online Tools (elsewhere) :

  •  The ReLIRE Bay – to download the full ripped off «List» of the books requiring an opt out – courtesy of Team AlexandriZ

AUTHORS’ SOCIETIES aware of the ReLIRE problem and currently reacting to it:

We work on this case in coordination / contact with:


Many thanks to them all



This project was conceived out of solidarity. Our support is provided, needless to say, free of charges, and doesn’t require to be affiliated or associated in any way with Nitchevo Agency