Contact us

Modification of the term of protection of copyright in France and European Union

September - 2011


In France, according to Article L.123-1 of the French Intellectual Property Code, “ The author shall enjoy, during his lifetime, the exclusive right to exploit his work in any form whatsoever and to derive monetary profit therefrom. On the death of the author, that right shall subsist for his successors in title during the current calendar year and the 70 years thereafter”.

At the end of this period, the work enters on the public domain. Its use is free, but subject to moral rights of successors.

 However, recently, some amendments have been made to the related rights of copyright, especially concerning the rights of perfomers and phonogram producers.

 Thus, on September 12, 2011, the Council of the European Union approved an amendment of the European Directive 2006/116/EC relating to the term of protection of related rights of copyright.

 Henceforth, in France and in the European Union, the term of protection of rights for perfomers and phonogram producers is 70 years instead of 50 previously.

 In France, this period starts from “the performance for performers” and from “the first fixation of a sequence of sounds for phonogram producers”.

 Lastly, the term of protection of songs and musical compositions written by several authors (lyrics writer and composer for exemple) ends 70 years after the death of the last survivor.

 Member States of the European Union have two years to transpose these amendments in  domestic law. However, this directive should be transposed in French Law in the immediate future according to the French executive authority.

 The Bill of amendment of the Directive 2006/116/CE is available for consultation on the following link:

 http://register.consilium.europa.eu/pdf/en/11/pe00/pe00016.en11.pdf