Anthologies Of Authors In Translation Pulled From ReLIRE

Reaction to the launch of ReLIRE from writers and readers was strong this week, but publishers and the Bibliothèque National de France were rather quiet. François Gèze, director of the publishing house Editions La Découverte and member of the scientific committee established to oversee the ReLIRE registry left a long comment on Lionel Maurel’s blog, which led to a lively debate and prompted a new post, Réponses à François Gèze, membre du conseil scientifique du registre ReLIRE, (Response to François Gèze, member of the scientific committee of the ReLIRE registry, link in French) several days later. Clearly publishers and other actors behind ReLIRE were watching.

Today, by chance I noticed that two of the anthologies containing works of prominent foreign authors in translation had been quietly removed from ReLIRE.

Starting with the book I discovered containing stories by Harlan Ellison and Ursula K. Le Guin, La frontière avenir, here is the page that ReLIRE now displays for this title,


The SFReader found another anthology, Histoires de Mirages, containing among others We Can Remember It For You Wholesale by Philip K. Dick, which was adapted for cinema as the blockbuster film Total Recall. This one also seems to have been removed from ReLIRE,


Update April 14, 2013:I learned from @JN_Squire on Twitter that De Sang et d’encre, including a story by Neil Gaiman has also now been removed from ReLIRE. As publisher editor, Léa Silhol opted out the whole book last week.

Without a statement from the committee behind ReLIRE, it’s hard to know if these works have been removed from the registry because they were errors, or if the authors, translator or publisher concerned has submitted an opt-out. As a commenter pointed out on Lionel Maurel’s blog, the lack of transparency concerning the contents of the registry makes it difficult to know the status of a book on the list, for example whether it has been opposed, confirmed, etc. So it isn’t obvious why these works have now been removed.

A less palatable option exists, perhaps the intent was to cover up the mistakes in the registry. If so, it won’t work. Team AlexandriZ has already published the original list on their site. Lest their credibility be questioned, I made a screen snap a few days ago from my iPhone,


Just in case, I have also made snaps of several other anthologies that have been mentioned in various places but that haven’t yet been removed from the registry.

It would be reassuring if the actors behind ReLIRE would come forward to explain what is going on.

Previously here:
Reactions To Rollout Of France’s Book Digitization Project
Harlan Ellison, Ursula K. Le Guin Among Award-Winning Writers On French “Copyright Theft” List
Legalized Copyright Theft Begins In France: Government Prepares To Dispossess Wrtiers Using Public Funds
Digital Graft And The Citizen’s Library
France Chooses Profit For Publishers Over Authors Rights And Public Libraries

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13 Responses to Anthologies Of Authors In Translation Pulled From ReLIRE

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  2. thesfreader says:

    Oh, yes, 2 pulled, but at least an other one remaining… Zelazny and P.K. Dick inside
    I wonder if I should signal it, and to whom , or leave it be…

  3. Léa Silhol says:

    Just a slight precision: I am not the *publisher* of “De Sang & d’Encre” but the *Editor*. (yes, that’s not the same thing – at all) – The Publisher was Editions Naturellement. I have no idea it they took any action – but several writers (both French & Foreign) included in this book did opt-out following my warning. I don’t know which one of us “succeeded”. :-)
    I will inquire further. Just for the sake of statistics, and in order to be sure that all the stories included are safe and sound.

    Thanks for the quickie on twitter

    • laura says:

      Hi Léa, Thanks for the correction; I’ve updated the text. I’ll be interested in hearing if you find out more about how the book came to be removed from ReLIRE.

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  6. Léa silhol says:

    Comme promis, Laura, les dernières nouvelles du front “foreign rights” – Le mystère “de Sang & d’Encre” résolu, et un peu de… ‘forensics’ – Version en anglais suivra dès que possible :-)

    • laura says:

      Thanks for coming back to leave a note about the notification you received after your anthology was removed from ReLIRE. Your post was interesting, especially the wording of the letter you received, and I hope that English-speaking readers will try Google or Bing Translate until you have the English version ready.

      • A °little bit° more than ‘interesting’, imho. It’s the answer, plainly put. I uploaded the complete version of the blog this morning, after a checkpoint on some points of the “orphan books” Law.
        same URL:
        We are working on the English edit. 1 emergency among hundreds.
        And we continue to warn the artists one by one, and to keep the opt out census updated. You may check the progress’ and send your infos here:
        Help welcome.

      • laura says:

        I agree it is nice to know why these particular works were removed, however that the FAQ on the ReLIRE site has been discreetly modified does nothing to provide any reassurance and only perpetuates the lack of transparency in the process. I notice the FAQ also says that “French translations of text under copyright that was initially published outside France are also normally excluded from this first list” (emphasis and translation are mine). This is similar text to the letter you received and does seem to imply that there may be exceptions or that the policy may change at a future time.

        Therefore until we know:

        1. what will happen to books included by error but not identified as such;
        2. what is the significance of the vague wording in the FAQ and in the letter you received; and
        3. whether or not translations will continue to be considered as “errors” in the future;

        I do not consider the matter closed.

    • Laura.
      Did we read the °same blog°? It appears that we didn’t. For:
      – The blog doesn’t say that “it’s nice” – °all the contrary°, absolutely. And it certainly doesn’t say that the “matter is settled”, °all the contrary°, bis rep.
      – The parts that you are stressing were °already° under heavy emphasis into Léa Silhol’s blog.
      – All the questions that you address were °already° addressed by LS in her blog. It’s, plainly put, the topic of the whole blog.
      – And the “why” of the strange phrasing of both FAQ and e-mail that Léa (not °I°, please) recieved is explained by the update that I mentioned to you in my last post here. No, the
      wording of the 2 pieces that Lea analyzed are °not° the same, by the way, but they complete each other and help to outline the pattern.
      you ask:
      “1. what will happen to books included by error but not identified as such;”
      *** It’s in the FAQ, and in LS’s blog: the writer’s or their friends will have to send an “error” notice though the online platform or these books will be victims of the same fate than the other books that shouldn’t be there.
      “2. what is the significance of the vague wording in the FAQ and in the letter you received;”
      *** It’s in the blog. With the part of the Assembly’s Report explaining this backward move quoted and commented. (?)
      “3. whether or not translations will continue to be considered as “errors” in the future”
      *** LS’ point of view about that is in the blog, and her advice not to fall prey to this false security, and to prefer the “opt out option” to the “error notice”.

      LS is talking about this right now with her partners within the UK and America Author’s Societies, and will certainly publish their conclusions afterward, in the usual places. You’ll check this if you’re still interested by this topic.
      I really think that you missed something in the blog.
      Like… The whole blog? :-)

      Sovan Zaitzev,
      Lit. Agent @ Nitch-Factory (didn’t receive the “famous e-mail, but read and programmed the aforementioned blog)

      • laura says:

        Hello Sovan,

        Thanks for your comment. Yes, we read the same blog and no, I did not miss any of what you mention. Either I did not explain my comment well enough or the context of it was not clear.

        I was answering Léa. When I said the post was interesting, she answered “A °little bit° more than ‘interesting’, imho. It’s the answer, plainly put.”

        I understood “it’s the answer” in Léa’s comment to mean the question is settled, the matter is closed. I was confused that she said this because to me, the matter is not at all closed, for the reasons clearly mentioned in the blog, and which you repeat again here, and which I certainly did not miss when I read it. So I agree with you completely. When I said “it’s nice to know” I meant that I was glad to learn the reason that De Sang et d’Encre was removed from ReLIRE, not that I thought everyone was happy about it.

        Sorry for the confusion.

      • laura says:

        P.S. Sorry, I just realized that the comment in question (“it’s the answer”) was yours and not Léa’s. I hope this doesn’t add to the confusion.

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