Droit de la culture

Direction du livre et de la lecture

Lending Right : Main Issues

1/ Four primary objectives

To implement the right of authors to receive legitimate remuneration for the lending out of their works in libraries, in compliance with the European Directive of Novembre 1992,

To combine the role of libraries and the idea of the greatest possible public access to reading by ensuring that users do not bear the cost of lending rights, and by making sure that authors do not refuse to lend out their books,

To link the lending right to larger issues of balance in the book chain, and in particular, to the idea of improving authors' financial status (remuneration for book loans, supplementary pension schemes) as well as the economic status of bookstores (reinforcing the French Law of 1981 on book prices, through a ceiling on discounts given to municipalities and libraries),

To consolidate or renew the partnership between libraries and bookstores in order to support greater diversity in book supply and enrich local cultural life.

2/ Main Measures

The bill guarantees authors remuneration for the lending out of their works and guarantees libraries the "right to lend" (legal licence / elimination of the exclusive right)

For this, two sources of financing are set up :

Remuneration for a book loan : authors and publishers receive remuneration calculated on the basis of the number of copies of their works bought by libraries.
This remuneration is distributed equally between authors and publishers :

3/ Calendar of Implementation

The law enters into force on August 1, 2003. As of this date, a ceiling is set on discounts, and the contribution paid by suppliers is implemented, with the exception of contracts ongoing or already signed (cf. infra).

In the first year of implementation, rates are set at intermediary levels: ceiling of discounts is set at 12 %; supplier contributions at 3 % of the public price of a book before taxes.

On August 1, 2004, rates are set at their definitive levels: ceiling of discounts at 9%; supplier contributions at 6% of the public book price before taxes.

4/ Information Retrieval

The main source of information for the management of lending rights is the bill of sale. This bill is sent by the book supplier to the rights management body (by computerized data exchange, Internet, fax or post), and must provide information on supplier identity, the collective body managing the library, titles of books sold, and number of copies.

To confirm this information sent by suppliers, the collective body managing a library also sends information (by computerized data exchange, Internet, fax or post) to the rights management body, in simplified form (providing library and supplier identity, bill number). In the initial stages, this collective body must also specify whether the library regularly lends out books or no.

5/ Subsidy for Libraries

The Centre national du livre (National Centre for Books) plans, as of 2004, to boost its subsidies to libraries for book acquisition. This provision, designed to help collective bodies maintain their acquisition capabilities, will be proportional to the increase voted upon by these bodies, will be added to library budgets, and must be devoted to the purchase of high quality books.

To receive these subsidies, libraries must fulfill the usual criteria of the Centre national du livre for financial assistance: qualified staff, appropriate working hours, a budget for book acquisition of at least 2 € per inhabitant.

6/ For More Information

For specific questions: droitdepret.dll@culture.gouv.fr
For information on the library subsidy: www.centrenationaldulivre.fr

Annex 1

Who finances the lending right ?

The lending right is financed by the State and all collective bodies who manage libraries lending books out to the public.
A first source of financing thus depends on the number of members of such libraries, and is managed by the state.
A second source depends on the purchase of books by libraries lending books to the public. It is managed by the collective bodies who run libraries: town and city councils, associations, works councils, trade unions, public establishments, and the State, because of lending libraries managed by it.

The State: A Flat-rate Contribution
Collective Bodies: Proportional Contribution to Purchases

Annex 2

Who pays out the lending right ?

The part of the lending right depending on the number of members of libraries lending to the public is paid by the State.
The part of the lending right depending on the purchase of books for lending purposes is paid by book suppliers.

The State and its Flat-rate Contribution
Suppliers and the Contribution of Collective Bodies

Annex 3

Who manages the lending right ?

As in the case of reproduction and copying rights, the law requires compulsory collective management of the lending right. Authors and rights' holders must delegate one or several companies to collect and redistribute rights. The law cannot impose the monopoly of a single company but sets down criteria on the basis of which the Ministry of Culture delivers accreditation. Amounts are paid out to this or these companies by the State and by suppliers of books to libraries lending books out to the public.

Compulsory Collective Management

It is undertaken by one or more bodies of rights management (companies who collect and redistribute lending rights) accredited by the Ministry of Culture.
These companies are formed according to the following criteria defined by law :

The companies involved must collect and redistribute amounts due under the lending rights scheme.

Annex 4

Who receives remuneration under the lending rights system ?

All amounts received by the lending rights management body are divided into two parts :
one to be paid out directly to rights' holders, authors and publishers;
the other to be paid to the organisation designated to manage a supplementary pension scheme for writers and translators.

Authors and Publishers (remuneration for book loans)
Authors (supplementary pension scheme)

For more information, go to : www.droitdepret.culture.gouv.fr (in french)