COPYRIGHT, WORK COPYRIGHTING AND DEPOSIT
Copyrighting one's work
What's a work ?
- The work is the expression of the author's creative activity. Under both French and Community laws, only a natural person (not a company) can be a work author. In order to enjoy protection under the Intellectual Property code, the created work has to be original and perceivable by the senses.
- Form: the work should be expressed in a tangible form liable to be disclosed to the public, namely a screenplay, a movie, a manuscript or a recorded play, a music score, a drawing, a photograph, a Website, a video game, etc. That required form is the reason why ideas as such are not copyrighted, in the absence of any implementation.
* Originality: the work is original when it bears the imprint of its author's personality. It should be the rather new formulation of a personal thought of the author, or of several authors in the event of a joint work. The intellectual and artistic choices which have led to its creation shall therefore not be exclusively dictated by technical and/or regulatory constraints.
Why copyrighting it through a deposit?
A work which complies with both form and originality requirements is copyrighted immediately upon its creation, even though it is unfinished, regardless of its style, form of expression, purpose or merit. Hence, copyrighting an intellectual work is not conditional upon any legal deposit.
By contrast, a voluntary deposit is recommended to every author, before he/she takes any steps towards work disclosure to the public (delivery to persons who are liable to exploit the work, a producer, a publisher, etc. In fact, in the event of an infringement, and more generally of a copyright dispute before a judge, who has sole jurisdiction to assess the facts, the deposit, whether in a physical of electronic form, is useful for the authors to submit a clear and indisputable evidence of the work content and creation date.
Deposit and copyright
Are deposit and registration one and the same thing?
The deposit can demonstrate your work's priority, ownership and content. The deposit implies neither your membership in any of the e-dpo partner societies nor the inclusion of your work in their repertories. On the other hand, if you want to gain royalties resulting from the exploitation of the work you have created and deposited, you can become a member of the relevant collective administration society, considering your geographical location and the repertoire which your work belongs to. Through your membership, you incur the obligation to register your works which come under the repertory of your collective administration society, prior to any exploitation. Your work's registration form is both its "identity card" (title, genre, duration and creation date) and the contract entered into among your co-authors, if any, for sharing your royalties. The registration sheet can be used for the payment of the royalties as generated by your work.
In case of a dispute about the work I have deposited, what should I do?
In the event of forgery issues with your work, it is recommended to solicit a lawyer and gather evidence of your work's priority. The deposit does not enable in any way the e-dpo partner societies to act in your name and institute proceedings on the basis of an infringement or your moral and economic rights. Furthermore, the e-dpo partner societies are not responsible for the deposit content. In contrast, the deposit is a prima facie evidence making it possible to presume your work authorship and certifying the date at which you have deposited it. Within the framework of and before any legal action, you can then commission a bailiff who will gain access to the deposited work, without questioning its priority date. If you can gather ample evidence of an infringement of your work, you can refer to an interim relief judge in order to terminate it pending a judgment on the merits. It is an emergency procedure which can be sought within a short time in order to prevent an imminent damage or put an end to a clearly illicit trouble. Failing that, you have the possibility of bringing an action before a trial judge to have the alleged infringement legally established and obtain redress. If you are summoned to appear before a judge, you can also ak him/her to commission a bailiff so that the latter can gain access to the deposit and certify, as applicable, the priority of your work. Anyway, the courts have sole competence in this matter.
I have deposited my work. Will royalties be paid to me?
The deposit is useful to provide and evidence to the priority, ownership and content of your work. On the other hand, it is not sufficient as such to be paid royalties for the performance and copying of the work you have deposited. To that purpose, unless you have already done it, you can become a member of SACD (France or Belgium), SCAM Belgium, SOFAM or DeAuteurs, depending on the repertoire which your work belong to and your geographical location. The society of which you will have become a member will then be able, through your work registration slip, to collect the royalties as generated by its exploitation and pay them back to you. For France and every other country but Benelux, get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org and, for the Benelux countries, email@example.com
Is my deposit valid abroad?
Work copyrighting is not subject to any formality. The law, indeed, protects the work "by the mere fact that it was created" provided that it is materialized in an original form, i.e. it bears the imprint of its author's personality. These basic principles, which determine the copyright protection, are universal. Hence, a screenplay which was created in France is protected all over the world provided that it is materialized in an original form, irrespective of any formality. This lack of formalism, however, often makes it more difficult to identify the author of a work who then has to prove his/her authorship of the work. The deposit makes it possible to solve that difficulty: it is, indeed, a prima facie evidence to the work's priority, content and ownership, whithout precluding, however, an evidence to the contrary to be submitted. Hence, a deposit which has been made in France is an item of evidence which can be put forward throughout the world. Newertheless, and even though, pursuant to international conventions, the work copyrighting conditions are identical in most countries (work materialized in an original form/no prior formality), it is advisable to make, in addition to the deposit as made in France, a deposit with the Copyright Office in Washington in order to alleviate the legal procedure in case of a dispute in the United States (that single step is then enough, Writer's Guild membership is not required).
E-DPO ADVANTAGES AND GUARANTEES
Legal validity and security of your deposit
Is my deposit secure?
The deposit storage infrastructures are highly secure: the premises are secure and all the data are replicated in real time in a backup server.
e-dpo complies with the provisions of the Loi Informatique et Libertés and is committed to ensure the privacy of those data being handled. Moreover, only a bailiff commissioned either by you or by a court decision may get access to the file contents.
How will my deposit be legal?
Both authentication and integrity of those data being stored in the e-dpo safe are guaranteed through such processes as cryptographic fingerprint, time stamping and traceability.
- Cryptographic footprint is a unique character string resulting from a hash calculation. It guarantees that your deposit has not been changed in any way. For instance, adding a full stop or a comma would be sufficient to break the character string of the file-related footprint.
- Your deposit is time stamped: the deposit date is recorded and is as reliable as a postmark. Your file, the relevant deposit data as well as the cryptographic footprint are electronically sealed; both date and hour thereof are recorded.
- Every such procedure as, for example, the intervention of a bailiff is traced back and recorded in a secured and reliable area.
The very documents pertaining to the deposit (deposit validation e-mail, certificate and invoice) are certified and archived. The traceability logs are archived too.
The whole package gives your deposit an evidential value and provides precedence to the deposited work, as can bee ascertained at any time by a bailiff, where necessary.
Are creation of and access to my account made secure?
All of the exchanges, from your workstation to your personal space in the safe are secure. An https-type asymmetric encryption ensures the authentication, privacy and integrity of the exchanged data.
Your ID is made secure through a system which validates your e-mail address upon the creation of your account. Furthermore, you will get access to your account through an identifier and a password which are only known to you.
Evidence of deposit and bailiff's report
Which documents prove the deposit of my work?
Upon the validation of your deposit, e-dpo will send you an e-mail containing the registration or renewal certrificate. It certifies the deposit of your work or its renewal at a given date and time and specifies, in addition to the deposit number and the associated co-authors, if any, the deposit digital footprint, i.e. a unique character string ensuring that the deposit has not been changed in any way.
Can a bailiff certify my deposit?
When commissioned either by yourself or a co-author, a bailiff, in agreement with all the work authors, or pursuant to a court decision, can gain access to your account to check it. He/she can access it either through firstname.lastname@example.org for every applicationj concerning France and other countries but the Benelux or through email@example.com for the Benelux.
Is the bailiff access to the deposit reliable and secure?
Access is granted to the bailiffthrough a particular profile and a specific USB stick. That access certifies that the bailiff is the single person who may access the content of the deposited file.
The bailiff also can check that your deposit has not been changed at all. That very intervention is traced and historized by e-dpo.
The follow-up of your deposit and the expiry date alerts
Can I view my deposits?
At any time, you can log into your account, view and print the history of your deposits, and download the relevant documents (deposit or renewal certificate, invoice).
Those deposits which have been terminated because of failures to renew them are left in that historical record for one more year.
How is the expiry date of my deposit notified to me?
e-dpo notifies the expiry date of your deposit through an alert e-mail.
A 1st alert is sent to your address as recorded in your account 1 month before the expiry date of your deposit.
A 2nd alert is sent to you on the day of its expiry; you still can renew it within 3 months.
Without any renewal of your own within that time, an ultimate e-mail is then sent to you 3 months after the day of its expiry to notify the deletion of your deposit.
In order to be duly informed, please modify your e-mail address in your account if it has changed since the creation of the account.
Is the expiry date of my subscription notified to me?
e-dpo notifies the imminent expiry of your subscription through an alert e-mail if your subscription is not exhausted
A 1st alert e-mail is sent to you 4 months prior to the expiry, a 2nd e-mail is sent 3 months before the deadline and an ultimate e-mail is sent on the day of the expiry, to notify that your possibly unused deposit(s) is/are lost.
WHO, WHAT AND HOW
e-dpo : who are we ?
Who are the e-dpo's partners?
e-dpo is a service managed by the SACD in cooperation with its partner, the Maison des Auteurs in Brussels, consisting of the SACD Belgium, SOFAM and the deAuteurs Flemish bureau.
Who can be contacted where necessary?
For all queries regarding a deposit either in France or in every other country but the Benelux, please contact SACD France (firstname.lastname@example.org). For a deposit in the Benelux, you can get in touch with the Maison des Auteurs in Brussels (email@example.com).
Who can deposit and which works can be deposited?
Which works and which files are to be deposited?
e-dpo is compatible with every file format, up to a maximum of 150 Mo. The download will however depend on the quality of your network connection. If your file exceeds 150 Mo, you can use a standard compression tool.
That compression will definitely not impair the legal validity of your deposit.
I am a composer, playwright, documentary filmmaker, etc…, can I lmake a deposit?
e-dpo can be used by every author or creator, whether he/she is a member of a society of authors or not. Every work can be deposited with e-dpo, in any repertoire whatsoever (audiovisual sector, theatre, still images, science, literature, music, multimedia, radio, other) and regardless of its development stage (synopsis, screenplay...).
I am a producer. Can I make a deposit on behalf on an author?
A producer is clearly allowed to make a deposit on behalf of one or several authors. When creating the account, just state that you are a society, not an individual.
I have written a work in joint authorship. Can I make a deposit?
You can deposit joint works with e-dpo.
e-dpo can be used for referencing up to 5 co-authors for the deposited work. As such, they are also protected by the deposit.
The depositor has to deliver the deposit-related validation documents (validation e-mail, deposit or renewal certificate, invoice) to all the co-authors.
My work comprises several files. How can I do?
A deposit is one file, which can comprise one or several files, regarless of their format. Zip your file if it exceeds 10 Mo.
In order to ensure the legal validity of your deposit, all these files should be related to the same work.
Is membership of SACD or Maison des Auteurs in Brussels required for making a deposit?
Being a member of one of the partner societies is not necessary for making a deposit with e-dpo, which is opened to every author or creator from any repertoire (audiovisual sector, theatre, still images, science, literature, music, multimedia, radio, other).
If, however, you wish to receive information about their conditions for membership, then please contact SACD (firstname.lastname@example.org) for France or every other country but the Benelux or the Maison des Auteurs in Bruxelles (email@example.com), which acts on hehalf of SACD Belgium, SOFAM and the Flelmish Author Office in the Benelux countries.
What is the deposit procedure?
Do I need any specific equipment?
In order to deposit with e-dpo, you just need a computer and an Internet connection. No specific hardware or software is necessary.
Which are the deposit steps?
Step 1: I create an account
Step 2: I deposit by uploading my file
Step 3: I pay online
Step 4: I receive my deposit certificate and my invoice
When and how is the creation of my account validated ?
After your account has been created, an e-mail is sent to you for validating it. You then have to click on the Internet link as specified in the e-mail.
Without that action for validating your e-mail address as an identifier, you cannot login.
Failing that validation, when you try to log into your e-dpo account, a message will indicate that your account has to be validated to be accessed ; to that purpose, click on the link as received through the e-mail.
This message will also propose to send you again the validation e-mail if ever you hand not received it.
When is my deposit validated?
Your deposit is validated once the paymlent is made. You will then soon receive a validation e-mail containing your deposit or renewal certificate and the related invoice.
How long will the validity of my deposit last?
Your deposit is valid and kept for a renewable 5-year period.
At what hours is e-dpo accessible?
e-dpo is accessible on a 24 hr basis.
I am a co-author of a work which has been deposited by another co-author or a third party, what are my rights?
Can I renew my deposit?
You can seek the renewal of the relevant work from the SACD. Since you don't have any e-dpo account, you can only send that application through a postal mail containing a € 10 chaque payable to the SACD (11 bis rue Ballu, 75009 Paris).
The deposit renewal validation e-mail together with the relevant documents (certificate, invoice) will automatically be sent to the depositor, for his/her attention. Nevertheless, the SACD can provide a copy to you.
Can I get some deposit data changed, e.g. addiing a co-author?
You can have some information in your deposit changed by the SACD, particularly the work class or genre, the addition or deletion of a co-author.
Your application shall be made by e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org ) or by post ( 11 bis rue Ballu, 75009 Paris) with a copy of your ID document and that of each of the co-authors, with their agreement.
Only the deposited work title may not be modified in order to ensure the legal validity of your deposit. Every modification shall be displayed to the depositor when he/she views the history of his/her works.
Can I recover a work which was deposited in my name?
You may ask for the return of the deposit of which you are the author or a co-author during its validity period and till the end of the 3 months after its expiry date.
Note that a return before the expiry date will result in a cancellation of your deposit.
Following that return, e-dpo will delete all information on your deposit.
That request, along with the consents of all the work co-authors, if any, and a copy of your ID card (and of each co-author’s ID card), shall be sent to the SACD either by e-mail or by post (email@example.com, 11 bis rue Ballu, 75009 Paris)
HANDLING MY ACCOUNT AND MY DEPOSITS
I have forgotten my password and my identifier. What should I do?
If ever you forget your password, you may request a new one by logging into e-dpo and clicking on "Forgotten password?" on the home page.
A new password will then be randomly generated in the form of 10 alphanumeric characters and be sent to you by e-mail.
For safety purposes, we advise you to change it as soon as you log in.
If no account exists at the e-mail address mentioned in your application, then the e-mail you will receive will state that your password request is not related to any account.
If ever your forget your identifier, i.e. your e-mail address, then you may send a request to the SACD by mail (firstname.lastname@example.org),together with a copy of your ID document. the SACD will then provide the relevant instructions.
I have made several mistakes in my account access identifiers. What will happen?
After 5 errors when attempting to enter your identifier or password, a safety captcha will be displayed. That safety measure is usual with the Internet and consists in entering a string of characters being provided.
May I change some data in my account?
You can do it yourself, by logging into your account ("changing my personal data") and change such data as your intra-Community VAT number if you have made a mistake when creating your account, your possible new (non-) membership of a society of authors, your administration language, your e-mail address, phone number, postal address, country of residence and password.
Besides, you can submit a written request to the SACD, by e-mail or post together with a copy of your ID document (email@example.com, 11 bis rue Ballu, 75009 Paris), to have other data changed in your account: your status (individual or society, first name and surname or your society if you are a society acting on behalf of an author.
Can I change the administration language?
At any time after creating your account, you can change your administration language among French, English and Dutch by logging into your account ("changing my personal data").
The susequent deposit(s) or renewal(s) made after that change will imply the generation and storage of e-mails and related documents (certificate, invoice) in that new language.
The documents, if any, corresponding to a deposit made before such language change will still be written in the language in which they were generated.
May I delete my account?
In accordance with the CNIL (Commission Nationale Informatique et Libertés) rules, you can apply for the closure of your account at any time. If, however, the latter contains one or several still valid deposits, then such deletion will require the consent of all the possible co-authors of the work as covered by the deposit(s).
That application, together with the consent of all the work co-authors and a copy of each co-author's ID document, is to be sent to the SACD by e-mail or by post (firstname.lastname@example.org, 11 bis rue Ballu, 75009 Paris).
May my account be automatically deleted?
In accordance with the CNIL (Commission Nationale Informatique et Libertés) rules, your account can be automatically deleted in two instances:
- Never any deposit on your account and no log-in to it over the past year
- No longer any active deposit on your account and no log-in to it over the past year
In either case, you will be sent, to the address as provided in your account, an alert e-mail notifying their imminent deletion
- A 1st alert e-mail stating that within one month and without your loggingin, your account will be deleted
- If you have not logged into your account during that time, then a 2nd e-mail will be sent to you on the day of the definitive closure, in order to notify it to you.
How can I renew my deposit?
You can renew your deposit, i.e. extend it for another 5 years, at any time during its validity period, by logging into your account and by a mere click on the "Renewing" button corresponding to the relevant work.
When can I renew my deposit?
Your deposit can be renewed upon its expiry date (and at the latest within 3 months after it). An early renewal may also be made, before the expiry date, at any time during its validity period. Only one early renewal is possible.
How is the expiry date of a deposit notified to me?
e-dpo will notily the imminent expiry of your deposit.
Hence, you will receive 3 e-mails notifying its expiry:
- a 1st alert e-mail will be sent 1 month prior to the expiry date of your deposit and will invite you to renew it if you wish so
- a 2nd e-mail will be sent on the expiry day, notifying that you still have 3 months to renew it
- following these 3 months, if your deposit has not been renewed, then you will receive an e-mail notifying its deletion.
What will happen if I don't renew my deposit?
If your deposit is not renewed within 3 months after its expiry date, then the deposit and the related data and documents (certificate, invoice) will be securely deleted.
The deletion of that deposit will be kept for one more year in the history of your deposits, then its trace will be deleted.
May I recover my deposit
oYou may ask for the return of your deposit during its validity period and till the end of the 3 months after its expiry date.
Note that a return before the expiry date will result in a cancellation of your deposit.
Following that return, e-dpo will delete all information on your deposit.
Your request, along with a copy of your ID card, shall be sent to the SACD either by e-mail or by post (email@example.com, 11 bis rue Ballu, 75009 Paris). If your deposit involves several authors, then you also have to attach their respective consents as well as the copies of their ID documents.
May I change data in my deposit, particularly the title of work?
You can submit a written request to the SACD, either by e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) or by post (SACD, 11 bis rue Ballu, 75009 Paris) together with a copy of your ID document and the IDs of all the work co-authors, if any, to have some deposit data changed: the work class and genre, the addition or deletion of a co-author.
Only shall the deposited work title not be changed, so that the legal validity of your deposit can be guaranteed.
I have modified the content of my deposited work. Should I make the deposit anew?
Yes, you should, because that work is not quite identical to the previously deposited one. Furthermore, e-dpo, in order to guarantee the legal validity and integrity of your deposit, only allows a bailiff to gain access to the content of a deposited file.
Is the payment made secure?
e-dpo relies on the Société Générale's Sogenactif remote payment system, which is the 1st French Internet payment solution, the exchanges of which are made sure by an SSL protocol.
What are the e-dpo rates?
The unit cost per deposit is :
- €20 incl. VAT for 5 years
- €30 incl. VAT for 20 years
- €60 incl. VAT for 50 years
The subscription for three deposits amounts to € 45 incl. VAT.
The unit cost of the renewal per deposit is €10 incl. VAT.
I have not exhausted my subscription upon its expiry date. May I use it for a renewal?
The subscription is restricted to the deposit and is not applicable to the renewal. Nevertheless in order to facilitate an optimized subscription, e-dpo will send you an alert e-mail when its expiry rate is imminent..
In which case can I reclaim the VAT?
You can reclaim VAT by entering your intra-Community VAT number if you are a society registered in a European Union country excl. France (Article 196 in the VAT Directive' 2008/8/CE dated 12 February 2008).
In the event of a data entry error, you can correct your number by logging into your account and modifying your personal data. You are solely responsible for the accuracy of the entered data. In case of a fraud, SCALA shall in no way be held responsible for it.
As regards the depositors from other than EU countries, whether they are individuals or societies, the VAT does not apply (Article 259in the CGI (Geenral Tax Code) or 44 in the VAT Directive).
Which credit cards are accepted for the payment?
You can pay your deposit or renewal b y means of a CB, Visa or MasterCard credit card.
Can I get an invoice?
Your invoice is sent to you by e-mail as soon as your deposit is validated. It can also be viewed in the history of your deposits.