Recent Decisions and Developments in FRENCH ART LAW (Part 1)


The following contains a selection of recent judicial decisions regarding the consignment of art works which are of practical importance to participants in the French art market. It should be noted that, under Civil law, the consignment of a work is precisely regulated by the Civil Code as a “Contrat de dépôt”. In that context, we note a series of decisions resolving conflicts of ownership and compensation between artists and galleries entrusted to display and sell the works of art. 1. Who is the rightful owner of artworks consigned by an artist to a gallery? (Court of Cassation, 22 March […]

Recent Decisions and Developments in FRENCH ART LAW (Part 2)


French courts have become more restrictive on granting copyright protection. This is the case for photographs of works of arts and zinc plates used to produce lithographs. As a consequence, these works can be freely used or sold on the art market. 1. Lack of protection for photographs that are faithful reproductions of sculptures (Court of Appeal of Paris, 16 January 2013) Facts: A sculptor commissioned photographs of his works for a catalogue/monograph about his works. Subsequently, without obtaining a specific permission/or copyright grant from the photographer, the sculptor used these photographs for other purposes, specifically for exhibition catalogues and sale through […]

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