What are moral rights?

Moral rights are a bundle of personal rights given to creators or subjects of certain types of work, namely literary, dramatic, musical, film or artistic works. Introduced in the United Kingdom by the Copyright, Designs and Patents Acts 1988, they came into effect on 1 August 1989.

They are:
  • the Paternity Right, or the right of an artist to be identified whenever their work is commercially published, exhibited to the public or included in a broadcast or film. This right lasts for as long as copyright in works.
  • the Right of Integrity, or an artist’s right to object to derogatory treatment of their work. This right lasts for as long as copyright in works.
  • False Attribution, or the right not to be identified as the creator of a work created by someone else. This right lasts for the artist’s lifetime plus a further 20 years.
  • the Right of Privacy, or the right of someone who has privately commissioned a photograph or film not to have copies of the work exhibited, broadcast or issued to the public. This right lasts for as long as the resulting photograph or film remains in copyright.

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