I'm wondering how French copyright law would apply to a book which was first published in 1952 and whose author died in 1944. I understand that under French copyright law works are protected for 70 years after the author's death, which would mean the work is now not under copyright. However, there is something I've read and I can't determine if it conflicts with the previous statement or is irrelevant:

In the case of posthumous works, the term of the exclusive right shall be that provided for in Article L123-1*. In the case of posthumous works disclosed after the expiry of that term, the term of exclusive rights shall be 25 years from January 1 of the calendar year following that of publication.

*Article L132-1:

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.

Does this mean 70 years + 25 years, or 70 years, of which the additional granted 25 years might run concurrent to?

I'm citing the French copyright laws from here.

1 Answer 1


It means that if a work is first published more than 70 years after the death of the author it has copyright for 25 years after publication but if published before that it has life of author +70 years.


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