Welcome statement for the attention of Françoise Nyssen

03 Jun 2017

The ADAGP and the 130,000 visual art authors that it represents express their warmest congratulations to Françoise Nyssen for her appointment to the role of Culture Minister.

Madam Minister, we welcome the arrival at rue de Valois of someone who, when head of the publishing house Actes Sud, described it as a "home of authors", and herself as a "supporter of books".

As a society of multi-disciplinary authors, every day we also closely support artists in their day-to-day reality throughout France and internationally. Painters, sculptors, photographers, architects, designers, draughtsmen and creators put their trust in us to defend their interests and make their voices heard. They are particularly important because, with 21.4 billion euros in revenue and 313,808 jobs in France, the visual arts represent the top cultural employer (EY 2015 study).

By collecting and distributing artists' royalties, defending authors' rights and supporting the promotion of their works, we protect the creators and artistic vitality of today, an essential factor for social cohesion.

Copyright has never been a hindrance to the dissemination of culture. At a time of multiplying threats, we must defend artists' creative freedom, one of the key tools of which is copyright. As copyright reform is being discussed in the European Parliament, France should take the fight of its artists to the European – and even global – stage.

Among these fundamental issues, we believe four to be of major importance:

-       Ensuring that image search engines and sharing platforms pay the artists whose work they disseminate, throughout Europe;

-       Preventing any new exception to copyright, and specifically a panorama exception, which would deprive authors of their rights as soon as their works enter the public realm;

-       Defending the right to exhibit, which recognises all authors' rights to authorise or refuse the direct representation of their works and to be paid for it. Although this right is recognised by French law, its application levels remain low, despite the repeated attempts of our predecessors to reassert its principles;

-       Reinforcing the place of visual arts in artistic and cultural education, by increasing artists' work in schools and promoting artistic practice.


Despite her weak support for our fight to obtain artists' pay from image search engines, we would also like to hail the work of Audrey Azoulay, who was committed to bringing about the vote on the Freedom of Creation, Architecture and Heritage law in summer 2016.

We remain alert to current copyright battles, but we hope to be able to count on "your cooperation and your goodwill", values close to your heart, in supporting the defence of copyright, the fight against piracy and the quest for better distribution of value for the benefit of creators.

Although freedom and creation go hand-in-hand, they have been weakened by the current context. It is our duty, both to artists and to future generations, to protect these two values and make them shine out around the world.