– Intellectual Property Code (consolidated version as of December 23, 2018).
– Law No. 95-4 of January 3, 1995, Supplementing the Intellectual Property Code and Relating to the Collective Management of the Reproduction Right by Reprography.

Membership in International Conventions

– Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works.
– Universal Copyright Convention.
– Phonograms Convention.
– Rome Convention for the Protection of Performers, Producers of Phonograms and Broadcasting Organizations.
– WTO's TRIPS Agreement, since January 1, 1995.
– WIPO Copyright Treaty, since March 14, 2010.
– WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty, since March 14, 2010.


Registration is not required for owners of an original work. Copyright protection is automatic and free from the moment a work is created. Fillings can, however, be made before collective management organizations to provide proof of the date of creation.

Duration: a distinction is made between the author's moral rights and economic rights. Moral rights are everlasting whereas economic rights last during the lifetime of the author, plus 70 years after his death. In the audiovisual and musical fields, legal licenses can be granted in return for a fair remuneration.

Contracts: contracts assigning copyright must be in written form and strictly delimited (time, space, extent of the field of operation, destination). These transfers can only apply to economic rights, moral rights being inalienable. Such contracts cannot cover future creations. A remuneration of the artist, in principle proportional to the revenue from the sale or exploitation, must be stipulated. The assignee of the copyright is subject to an obligation of exploitation, or else the contract may be terminated. There are also important formalities regarding other contracts, and specific articles of the Intellectual Property Code are dedicated to them.


Authority name: Office of Literacy and Artistic Property, Ministry of Culture and Francophone Affairs.  Internet address: www.culture.gouv.fr/Thematiques/Propriete-litteraire-et-artistique  

Collective Management Organizations: SACD (www.sacd.fr), SACEM (www.sacem.fr).