Moral rights
Moral rights

The following IP guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Moral rights
  • The nature of moral rights
  • Right to be identified as author or director
  • Right to object to derogatory treatment of work
  • False attribution of work
  • Right to privacy of certain photographs and films
  • The rights generally

The nature of moral rights

The Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 (CDPA 1988) confers a number of personal rights on authors that are additional to their economic rights. These are known as moral rights. While copyright deals with economic interests, moral rights are about the reputation and integrity of the author that is publicly associated with the work.

Article 6bis(1) of the Bern Convention provides:

'(1) Independently of the author's economic rights, and even after the transfer of the said rights, the author shall have the right to claim authorship of the work and to object to any distortion, mutilation or other modification of, or other derogatory action in relation to, the said work, which would be prejudicial to his honor or reputation.'

CDPA 1988 implements this right into UK law giving:

  1. authors of copyright literary, dramatic, musical or artistic works and the directors of copyright film works the right:

    1. to be identified as author or director (the right of paternity)

    2. to object to derogatory treatment of work (the right of integrity), and

    3. not to have work falsely attributed to them as author or director

  2. persons who have commissioned photographs or a film for private and domestic purposes (and where copyright subsists in the resulting work) the right to privacy of those photographs and films

The rights of integrity and false attribution