Sunday, July 23, 2006

Moral Rights - a primer

In "Moral Rights" from PLI’s Treatise "All About Rights for Visual Artists," Ralph E. Lerner and and Judith Bresler discuss the
Right of Disclosure (Droit de Divulgation)
Right to Withdraw from Publication or to Make Modifications (Droit de Retrait ou de Repentir)
Right of Authorship (Droit à la Paternité) and
Right of Integrity (Droit au Respect de l’Oeuvre)
The authors trace the beginnings of these "Droit Moral" to the philosophy of individualism that accompanied the French Revolution:
However, the central debate over the nature of artists’ rights occurred inGermany near the close of the nineteenth century: an intellectual work hadeither a dualist Doppelrecht—that is, an incorporeal property giving rise topersonal rights of either a patrimonial or a moral nature—or a monist nature,whereby both the personal and the patrimonial rights were inseparable parts of asingle Persönlichkeitsrecht. The debate over those two views was resolved in thefirst half of the twentieth century. The dualist view prevailed in France while the monist view predominated in Germany.
Moral Rights were included in included in Article 6bis of the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works in 1928 which states:
Independently of the author's economic rights, and even after the transfer ofthe said rights, the author shall have the right to claim authorship of the workand to object to any distortion, mutilation or other modification of, or otherderogatory action in relation to, the said work, which would be prejudicial tohis honor or reputation. While the United States became a signatory to that convention in 1988, it still does not completely recognize moral rights as part of copyright law.

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