Lang Law

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Lang Law is the informal name given to French law number 81-766, from 10 August 1981, relating to book prices. The law establishes a fixed price for books sold in France, limiting price discounts on them. The law is named after Jack Lang, the French Minister of Culture at the time.

The Lang Law works as follows:

  • The publisher decides on a price for its book and prints it on the back
  • Booksellers are not allowed to sell a book for a discount of more than 5% below the publisher's price.

The Lang Law was passed under pressure from small booksellers,[citation needed] who feared competition from big stores.

Similar Fixed Book Price Laws exist in other countries, namely Austria, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, The Netherlands, Portugal, and Spain.

In other cases, the book price is kept fixed by an agreement between the publishers and the booksellers. This was the case of the Net Book Agreement in the United Kingdom.

The Lang Law was extended to cover e-books in May 2011.