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Membership questions
Membership for authors

 1) What do you mean by the term “published author” (auteur de l’écrit)? I am a journalist and the author of articles published in magazines; can I join of SOFIA?
Sofia accepts journalists  as associates in respect of books they have written, but not in respect of their articles that have appeared in the press, as SOFIA only distributes remunerations to authors, illustrators, designers, photographers and translators of books that are the subject of publishing contracts.
 
2) I occasionally write texts but more often I am an illustrator; if I join SOFIA will I receive PLR payments for all the books in which I have been involved (including those for which I have not written the text)? / I illustrate first stage children’s books and want to know if SOFIA is relevant to me? / I illustrate graphic novels; can I join SOFIA and receive authors’ rights payments for the books that I have only illustrated?
All authors of books, regardless of the type of work published, may subscribe to SOFIA provided that they have had published at least one book through a publisher and have signed a publication contract. All categories of author are concerned provided the authors hold publishing contracts (and not merely reproduction agreements). Illustrators, photographers and graphic novel authors can all receive rights payments from SOFIA. If you are the author of both the text and images in a book, you may then receive the totality of the share due to the “author”. To repeat, it is the existence of a publishing contract that is the key to payment of your rights.


Membership: self publishing / publication at author's expense

I am a self-published author with a good presence in bookshops. Can I join SOFIA?
No, self published authors cannot join SOFIA as they do not meet the condition of a substantive publishing contract, as no-one, under French law, can enter into a contract with themselves. Nor do authors publishing at their own expense through a publisher meet the condition of a substantive publishing contract. They therefore cannot join SOFIA. However, if they have published other works under a normal publishing contract, they may join SOFIA; they will then only make returns relating to their works that are liable to result in rights payments.


Membership: new publication

1) Must each new publication be declared?
On joining, each author has to make a return listing all his/her published works. This list of works must be updated when new works are published, either in writing or by uploading the form to the internet site: www.la-sofia.org 

2) Must I declare books/articles published by foreign publishers (Switzerland, Canada)? Such books are for the most part distributed in France, including in some lending libraries.
Such works must be declared in the same way.
 
3) How are those who do not live in France affected? Are there any reciprocal agreements, as there are in some countries in respect of photographic rights?
Under an agreement with the UK Public Lending Right agency, SOFIA has for the last two years distributed UK lending rights payments to rights holders of books originally published in France. Other agreements are currently being negotiated. 

4) For books translated into English and marketed in the UK, is there a special form?
Yes: SOFIA prepares a list of works by its members and forwards this to the UK PLR authority.


Membership: fees / confirmation / change of address

1) Am I up to date with my annual subscription?
There is no annual subscription: the membership fee represents the purchase of a share. It currently amounts to €38 and this is a one-off outlay.  
 
2) Confirmation of membership
Membership is confirmed by the SOFIA Board of Management and the new member is notified by post.

3) Change of address
Any change of address must be notified to SOFIA administration by post or email. 

 


Relating to Public Lending Rights (PLR)
General

1) Does one have to join SOFIA to receive lending rights payments? 
Not necessarily, but if you do so, you will receive your share of any remuneration in respect of PLR direct from SOFIA rather than via your publisher or any other joint management company to whom you may have assigned the relevant authority.


2) I belong to several authors’ rights societies; is this an obstacle to the payment of lending rights?
No, because SOFIA is the only society for the collection and distribution of rights (“SPRD”) under an agreement with the Ministry of Culture for the management of PLR. It therefore distributes their share of the remuneration to its members, whether or not they belong to other societies. This situation does not conflict with rights payments made under different arrangements by other joint management organisations. Membership of SOFIA is compatible with membership of other authors’ societies.