What is the ReLIRE project?

The ReLIRE catalogue will contain details of all out-of-print books that are subject to copyright and were published in France between 1 January 1901 and 31 December 2000. These books are no longer being bought and sold commercially or published in printed or digital form. The legislation enacted on 1 March 2012 opens the way to the digitisation of these books. Their digital commercial rights (reproduction in digital format and on-line publication) are exercised by SOFIA, an association approved for the collection and distribution of rights (“SPRD”).

You are a publisher of books that are included in the ReLIRE catalogue

How can I find out if one of my books is affected by this arrangement?
Go to  and check whether or not the catalogue includes books you have published in printed or digital form, where you have not surrendered the commercial rights to their authors.

Why should I participate in this project?
• In broad terms, because this is an all-embracing heritage project that enables the digitisation and dissemination of books that are no longer available in printed form; this is in the interest of not only authors, but also publishers and the general public.
• Specifically, so that you can be associated with the rebirth of those of your titles that are no longer available commercially, without having to renegotiate a contract on a case by case basis, and hence to share in the new commercial opportunities offered by the digital publishing of books in which you invested originally.

What are your options in respect of books affected?
Two possibilities:
• You accept that the approved SPRD (SOFIA) can exercise digital rights over the books concerned. Once confirmed that the list of books affected includes only out-of-print works (you have the opportunity, when checking the on-line catalogue, to indicate where books that are available in printed or digital format have been included in error), then you have nothing further to do. To simplify the management of your rights in the future, you can inform SOFIA of the books that concern you by completing the specific form on our website:
If, between now and 21 September 2013, no authors have raised objections, SOFIA will, within the next two months, offer you a commercial licence including details of the digitisation procedure which is planned to proceed in parallel. There is no point in contacting SOFIA too soon to enquire about commercial procedures: SOFIA was approved on 21 March 2013 and its licence committee is currently being constituted.

If you do not want some of your books to be digitised and commercialised under this new arrangement, you can, within six months of the publication of the catalogue, exercise your right to withdraw: to do

this, locate the relevant books in the catalogue on, then click on “Details and actions”.


Here you will be able to inform the BNF of your request for withdrawal, attaching supporting documentation confirming your status as publisher of the book. The BNF will forward this to SOFIA. Once your status as publisher has been confirmed by SOFIA, your request for withdrawal will be formally implemented. You then have a period of two years in which to provide SOFIA with proof of the commercialisation of the book in printed or digital form; such commercialisation can only be undertaken in accordance with the rights you hold under the publishing contract or any other agreement that may be implemented over this period with the author and all rights holders.


Once six months have passed since the publication of the catalogue, you still retain the option, jointly with the author, to inform SOFIA that you no longer want the latter to exercise the digital rights associated with the book and that you undertake to make it available within eighteen months.


What scenarios may arise in respect of licences?


Books in the catalogue that have not been withdrawn or changed in status, will become subject to collective management on 21 September, i.e. six months after publication of the list that occurs annually on 21 March. SOFIA will therefore contact you after 21 September.


Two hypotheses:


If, as the original publisher or the publisher which held the final commercial rights over the book under a contract with the author, you wish to benefit from an exclusive licence for an initial period of ten years, subject to tacit renewal (as provided for by the legislation) you can accept the commercial licence that SOFIA will offer you, subject to certain stated conditions, for all or some of the books that feature on the list that SOFIA will have sent you.


You will have a period of two months to accept or reject this offer in whole or in part.


If you accept it, you must, within three years, provide proof to SOFIA of the digital commercialisation of the titles adopted.
You do not have to sign any digital clause to the publishing contract with authors or rights holders. You will have to pay annually to SOFIA the stipulated percentage of the capital amount stated in the licence, in respect of the various planned uses, based on declarations that you will make. You will have to pay SOFIA the royalties due for the exercise of the rights.


If you do not accept this offer, you or any other publisher, may at a later date ask the collective management society for a non-exclusive commercial licence for a period of 5 years. You will have to pay SOFIA the author’s and publisher’s shares of the remuneration. If, as you have not obtained an exclusive licence, the book is commercialised by other

publishers in digital form, you will receive from SOFIA the publisher’s share of the remuneration.


If you have reinstated the author’s commercial rights, you or any other publisher may ask the collective management society for a non-exclusive five-year licence. The author will then receive the entirety of the remuneration, including both the author and publisher shares.