French publishers and authors agree on e-rights

French publishers and authors have finally reached an agreement on electronic rights, France's culture ministry announced this morning (6th March).

The details will be unveiled on 21st March when the agreement will be signed. Initially, a pact was supposed to be finalized in time for the Paris Book Fair in March 2011, but the authors broke off talks just before it opened.

Pierre Sirinelli, a law professor at Paris University 1 has acted as mediator between the French permanent writers council (Conseil Permanent des Ecrivains, CPE), the umbrella organization for 17 authors associations, and the French Publishers Association (Syndicat National de l’Edition, SNE).

The agreement “not only lays down new principles for publishing books in electronic format, but changes in depth several essential provisions for printed books,” the ministry said. It added that it would soon present a draft bill to amend the French intellectual property code in order to take account of the accord.