Le document juridique essentiel qu’est le contrat de cession de droits d’auteur requiert une compréhension approfondie des détails juridiques associés. Cet article vous offre les ressources nécessaires pour appréhender et communiquer efficacement dans ce domaine du droit. Les termes clés seront mis en évidence en gras, avec leur traduction disponible à la fin de l’article.

Copyright law is a fundamental area of law that plays an essential role in supporting creativity and innovation amongst artists, authors and content create creators. The principles that are established through copyright law helps foster an environment within society where the interchange of ideas is encouraged and copyright law helps strike the perfect balance in protecting all relevant parties’ interests.

What is the assignment of a copyright contract?

A copyright assignment contract is an important legal document where the author, known as an assignor transfers some or all of their rights to a third party, who is referred to as an assignee. When an author completes their work which includes both moral and economic rights. Depending on the construct of the contract, some of these rights can be assigned freely or in exchange for payment.

Different types of copyright assignment contracts:

Publishing Contract: The nature of this contract permits the author to assign their reproduction rights to a third party. When the work is completed by the author, it is then published and distributed by the publisher. It contrasts a self-employed contract in which the publisher is compensated for these services.

Representation Contract: This kind of contract allows an individual to represent the author’s work, this form of representation is relatively prevalent in the entertainment industry. 

Audiovisual Production Contract: This contract is formed between the author(s) and a producer for the creation and exploitation of audiovisual creations (movies, music videos, documentaries etc).

What rights do you have over your own work?

Copyright includes both moral and economic rights. 

Moral rights protect the author’s non-economic interests, such as the right to paternity, transparency, integrity, withdrawal, and remorse. These rights are eternal, inalienable, and unalienable, in simple terms these rights are permanent, non-transferable and timeless in nature. Click on the link to see what French law has to say on moral rights on this matter https://www.legifrance.gouv.fr/codes/article_lc/LEGIARTI000006278892

Economic rights include the rights to representation, reproduction, modification, translation, and resale, they safeguard the author’s economic interests. Economic rights unlike moral rights are not permanent in nature and have a fixed timeframe. An economic right usually terminates 70 years after the author’s death. These rights are transferrable and the author may be rewarded for the use of his or her work. To find out more about legislation concerning economic rights check out https://www.legifrance.gouv.fr/codes/article_lc/LEGIARTI000006278904

Mandatory Information to be included in the contract

When a copyright assignment contract is written, it must describe the rights being transferred. It should include the identities of the parties involved, the extents of the rights, the destination, area, duration, pricing and payments. This formality applies even to contracts where there is no payment fee involved, this will be stated in the contract instead. It is important to note that in the event of where an exploitation of an author’s work goes beyond the scope of the contract, it will be deemed that an infringement has occurred. For example, a situation where an author’s book has been copied and distributed without their permission, would constitute as an act of infringement. If a disagreement was to arise, it is expected that the judge will interpret the contract based on the existence or absence of mandatory information. So it is important that when a contract is drafted it includes all necessary information.

French Legislation on mandatory information: https://www.legifrance.gouv.fr/codes/article_lc/LEGIARTI000006278958

Determination of Sale Price: 

It is presumed that in a copyright assignment contract, that the author is usually compensated by the assignee. Typically, this compensation is proportionate to the money generated by the work’s sale or exploitation. There are instances where fixed remuneration is utilised, rather than compensation based on money generated from the exploitation of the author’s work.

Sanctions for non-compliance

In the event where its proven that there has been failure to comply with the contract, sanctions will apply. Sanctions may impose contractual responsibility, whereby the defaulting party may be required to pay damages to the wronged party. Authors also hold the right to sue other parties that use their work without permission.

Are there any provisions for the work of public officials?

Rights deriving from work produced by public officials whilst in employment are immediately transferred to the public organisation that employs them. 

Importance of Copyright Law

Copyright law is essential and copyright assignment contracts are useful for writers and publishers alike, to use when transferring rights to third parties. When engaging in such agreements, it is important to understand the type of contracts, rights, mandatory contract information and other key material.

If you are interested in reading more articles about copyright Law and assignment contracts visit https://entreprendre.service-public.fr/vosdroits/F22667

Copyright assignment: the procedure in 3 minutes (2023) (legalplace.fr)


Traduction des mots surlignés

Timeless – Intemporel

Defaulting – Défaillance

Extent- Extensions

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