Camera-wiki.org:French document in public domain, after 1923

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Anonymous[1] documents published in France between January 1st, 1923 and January 1st, 1938 are in public domain in the following countries (as of 2008):

  • France itself: the copyrights on an anonymous work expire 70 years after its publication;[2]
  • other countries of the European Union: the "shorter term" rule applies to foreign works, and foreign documents which are already in public domain in their home country are not protected in the European Union.[3]

They are not in public domain in the United States, where foreign works which were not already in public domain in their home country as of January 1st, 1996 were subject to copyright restoration, and are protected until 95 years after their date of first publication.[4] Republication of advertising material published in France in that period probably falls under fair use for US legislation, and it is thus accepted in Camera-wiki.


  1. The advertising material published by a company follows the same rules as anonymous documents, unless it is explicitly signed by an individual or some individual later claimed to be the original author.
  2. Code de la Propriété Intellectuelle, article L.123–3.
  3. Council Directive 93/98/EEC of 29 October 1993 harmonizing the term of protection of copyright and certain related rights, art.7.
  4. Copyright Term and the Public Domain in the United States, 1 January 2007, by Peter B. Hirtle.
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