Being an author
Although the expression "multimedia author" is often loosely used to describe creative artists working in areas as diverse as music, art or literature, or to designate authors of original works created using new digital forms of expression, legislative authorities do not recognize the specific status of "multimedia" authors".
Rather, there are authors of different works that can be used on a medium or instrument of expression referred to as multimedia. This explains why no specific legislation covering multimedia works is found in the Intellectual Property Code in French law (Code de la propriété intellectuelle).
An author using a means of expression defined as multimedia (CD-ROM, DVD-ROM, internet services or proprietary network) remains an author, qualifying as such for the proprietary and moral rights recognized generally by the Intellectual Property Code.
Intellectual Property Code - Member societies
Under the terms of laws governing intellectual property :
Art L. 111-1
The author of a work of the mind, by sole virtue of the creative act involved, enjoys exclusive, intangible property rights in and to said work which are enforceable against all third parties.
Said rights comprise intellectual and moral as well as proprietary aspects which are stipulated in Books I and III of the present code.
The existence and conclusion of an agreement contracting the services or work by the author of a work of the mind shall in no way detract from the full enjoyment of the rights recognized under Paragraph 1 above.
Art L. 111-2
A work shall be deemed to have been created, independently of any publication, by the simple fact of its formation, even in an unfinished state, from an original idea by the author.
Art L. 112-2
The following shall be deemed inter alia to constitute works of the mind for the purposes of the present code:
1° Books, brochures and other literary, artistic and scientific writings.
2° Lectures, addresses, sermons, pleadings and other works of a similar nature.
3° Dramatic or dramatico-musical works.
4° Choreographies, circus acts and tricks, and pantomimes, the staging of these being recorded in writing or otherwise.
5° Musical compositions with or without lyrics;
6° Motion picture works and other works consisting in moving sequences of pictures, with or without a soundtrack, referred to collectively as audiovisual works.
7° Works of drawing, painting, architecture, sculpture, engraving or lithography.
8° Graphic and typographic works.
9° Photographic works and others made using techniques similar to photography.
10° Works of applied arts.
11° Illustrations and geographical maps.
12° Plans, sketches and works of visual art used for geography, topography, architecture and the sciences.
13° (Act No. 94-391 of May 10, 1994, Article 1) "Software programs, including the preliminary design material used to create them".
14° Creations by the seasonal clothing and accessories industries. Seasonal clothing and accessories industries shall be deemed to include those industries which, due to the dictates of fashion, frequently change the form of their products including inter alia clothing, furs, lingerie, embroidery, fashion styles, shoes, gloves, leathergoods, creation of highly original fabrics or fabrics specially for the haute couture industry, and products by manufacturers of fashion accessories, footwear and furnishing fabrics.
Art L. 113-1
The status of author belongs, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, to the person or persons under whose name the work is made public.
Art L. 121-1
The author shall have the right to defend the integrity of his name, status as author and work.
Said right is personal in nature.
Said right is indefeasible, inalienable and granted in perpetuity.
Said right shall be transferable upon decease of the author to his/her heirs.
Exercise of said right may be granted to a third party by virtue of testamentary provisions.
Art L. 122-2
Performance consists in the communication of the work to the public by any means whatsoever, including inter alia:
1° By public recital, singing, dramatic performance, public presentation, public screening or transmission in a public place of a broadcast work.
2° By remote broadcasting.
Remote broadcasting shall include broadcasts using any method for telecommunication of sound, images, documents, data or messages of any sort whatsoever.
Transmission of a work to a satellite shall be deemed to constitute a performance.
Art. L. 122-2-1
Performance of a work transmitted via satellite shall be governed by the provisions of the present code when the signal transmitting the work to the satellite originates within French territory.
Art. L. 122-2-2
The provisions of the present code shall also apply to the performance of a work transmitted via satellite where the signal transmitting the work to the satellite originates within the territory of a State which is not a member of the European Union and does not provide a level of copyright protection equivalent to the protection afforded under the present code:
1° When the uplink to the satellite is established from a ground station located within French territory, the rights granted under the present code may than be exercised with the operator of the ground station.
2° When the uplink to the satellite is established from a ground station located within the territory of a Member State of the European Union and the broadcast is carried out at the request, on behalf or under the control of an audiovisual communications enterprise having its principal office located within France, the rights granted under the present code may be exercised against the audiovisual communications enterprise."
Art L. 122-4
Any full or partial performance or reproduction carried out without the consent of the author or his/her assigns or successors-in-title is hereby prohibited. Similarly, the translation, adaptation or transformation, arrangement or reproduction using any art or process whatsoever of the work is also prohibited.
Each and every person contributing to the artistic creation of a work is an author. This is specifically the case of:
storyline inventors, graphic designers and multimedia producers
painters, cartoonists, sculptors, commercial artists and architects
musicians (composers, lyricist), arrangers
authors of dubbing and sub-titling
Different societies of authors exist providing services for these different types of authors. To ensure that your multimedia works are properly protected, you must join one of the societies of authors which are members of SESAM :
ADAGP - SACD - SACEM - SCAM
These different societies have formed a group as one joint society -- SESAM. The role of SESAM is to grant authorization for the use of works covered by member societies, whether they be commissioned works or existing works, on-line or off-line, and to collect and distribute the rights to their authors via the different societies of authors.
In the field of graphic, visual and photographic arts, ADAGP manages the reproduction, exhibition and transfer of rights for all countries for authors who have granted ADAGP the management thereof for the purposes of monitoring, defending and collecting authors' rights.
The repertoire comprises:
works by painters, sculptors, engravers, illustrators, etc.
works by original artists using new technologies (computer-generated images, holograms, etc.).
ADAGP, 11 rue Berryer.
Tel : 01 43 59 09 79
Fax : 01 45 63 44 89
SACD covers the following repertoire::
dramatic and dramatico-musical works, opera, dance, skits and sketches and any television adaptation of these same works.
works of fiction to be adapted as a feature movie or television or radio program: films, telefilms, series, soap operas, cartoons.
all new works of fiction broadcast by the new media: still images (2D/3D), interactive games, multimedia works, digital television, virtual reality and networks.
SACD, 11 bis rue Ballu
Tel : 01 40 23 44 44
Fax : 01 45 26 74 28
SACEM covers the following repertoire:
musical compositions, with or without lyrics
poems and sketches
documentaries on solely musical subjects
excerpts from dramatic and dramatico-musical works of a maximum length of 20 minutes for television and 25 minutes for radio.
dubbing and sub-titling of films
production of audio-visual works relating to SACEM repertoire works; this mainly concerns musical video clips.
SACEM, 225 avenue Charles de Gaulle
92521 Neuilly sur Seine Cedex
Tel : 01 47 15 47 15
Fax : 01 47 15 12 94
SCAM covers the following repertoire:
written works which have been produced for television, radio or film, mainly documentaries
- documentary dramas such as simulations, tests, studies, narratives, portraits, feature reports, comment programs, magazine programs, original videos, corporate films
- documentary style cultural magazine programs on subjects relating to the theater, history, the humanities, visual arts, architecture, films, science, technology, ecology, geography, animal life etc.;
- all types of original audiovisual work made using computer-generated images and graphics of any kind;
multimedia interactive works: CDRoms, DVD, network...
still images: photography, cartoons etc.,
and literary works
SCAM, 5 avenue Velasquez
Tel : 01 56 69 58 58
Fax : 01 56 69 58 59
SDRM manages and collects mechanical rights from national and international producers of sound instruments including musical works (SACEM), dramatic works (SACD) and literary works (SCAM/SCDL).
SDRM, 16 place de la Fontaine aux Lions
Tel : 01 47 15 47 15
Fax : 01 47 15 49 71
The remuneration paid to the author is determined by four factors:
rates established by SESAM, depending on the actual use of a digital support or through an online services,
the actual use made of the work (e.g. number of articles sold, number of connections or times downloaded),
the declaration made when the work is officially deposited stipulating the share due to each of the authors of the work, or the amount to be paid to any rights-holder (e.g. music publisher),
administrative expenses charged by the collective management society.