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French copyright law has attracted considerable recent attention in the United States. Debate over the nature and scope of legislation permitting U.S. entry into the Berne Union for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works spurred some of this interest: because France was a founding member of that Union, some participants in the Berne adherence process perceived "Berne level" copyright protection to be synonymous with "French" copyright protection. As Congress continues to consider modifications to the U.S. copyright law, particularly in the area of moral rights, France again supplies a leading example. And the on-going litigation in France concerning the attempted broadcast of a colorized version of the late John Huston's film The Asphalt Jungle provides yet another source of publicity about French copyright law.

These and other developments suggest the desirability of a brief review not only of the general outlines of the French law (with appropriate parallels or contrasts to U.S. copyright law), but of some of the recent problems that have emerged. The issues are of general relevance to the publishing community.


Comparative and Foreign Law | Intellectual Property Law | Law