Talk:Moral rights

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What about classical music and movies?

I heard that "moral rights" were what prevented artistic works that would normally be in the public domain to be used for commercial purposes in any modification whatsoever. For example, the Mona Lisa is used in advertising in Italy, but, say, "Nude Descending a Staircase" might not be. Early modern musical works are prevented from being cut into passages and used in movies because the descendants of the authors are still around and don't want this done. A counter-example is that Ed Wood got the music for movies free by going to the British Copyright Office and taping the "examples" of the music, similar to a model of a patentable machine. The prevention of this is what I thought "moral rights" were all about. -- 19:52, 9 May 2006 (UTC)

Moral rights exist for the duration of the copyright time, i.e. currently for 70 years after the creator's death, so during this time the creator and his/her descendants may object to what can be perceived as derogatory treatment of the work. In the case of Ed Wood, however, he probably made use of the "quotation right", i.e. the right to quote short passages of text (or music). As long as he didn't start cutting and re-arranging each quote within itself, but just added one to another, if could probably not be regarded as an infringement of the creators' moral rights. But, on the other hand, the UK didn't accept the concept of moral rights until 1988, so it probably wasn't an issue anyway. Thomas Blomberg 20:50, 9 May 2006 (UTC)

Natural rights[edit]

"Moral rights" is also another term for natural rights. RJII 16:04, 18 May 2006 (UTC)

In this context it's a bit different. Perhaps there should be a comment about this in the article. In this context it is meant to apply to the intellectual property concept of "moral rights," or droit de suite.LH 18:11, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
Moral rights as pertaining to intellectual property come from natural law. It is the belief that the author retains a value in the integrity of the work after its completion. This was not invented by any particular statute or international treaty. Moral rights trump the freedom of expression for those countries that recognize both. In the US, the freedom of expression is given a higher order through the doctrine of fair use, whereas moral rights enjoy a higher order in other countries. US Copyright textbooks state that the US does not recognize moral rights and distinguishes them from derivative works. The Berne convention is not a self-executing treaty, and the US Berne Convention Implementation Act excludes the US from the moral rights section. Legis Nuntius (talk) 19:08, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

World Perspective[edit]

I didn't add the template, but I think it's a good idea. This is an international topic, however the only subheading right now is on the U.S. This is somewhat ironic given that the U.S. is the most reticent to implement moral rights regimes. A french perspective in particular would be appreciated, along with any other civil law systems.LH 18:13, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

I can write the UK section, at least for written works, and will try to do so within the next couple of weeks. At the same time, unless anyone expresses strong views, I'll remove the 'courtesy of non-attribution' piece - it doesn't belong here, IMV. Matruman (talk) 15:32, 21 July 2008 (UTC)

The template is no longer US-centric. For the civil law systems, Commie China, Free China (now in Taiwan Area), and Macao all have perpetual moral rights. While editing List of countries' copyright length, Rule of the shorter term, and Official text copyright, I will look for more national and regional rules if I see them while I just added Ghana.--Jusjih (talk) 02:36, 27 September 2008 (UTC)
The table contains more countries than are listed in the following paragraphs, but some of the countries discussed below are not included in the table. It would seem appropriate to at least add those to the table, as well as any additional countries that have moral rights - for example, France and Germany are mentioned in the introduction but are not in the table. I will work on expanding this section over the next couple weeks. Cgriffioen (talk) 19:57, 21 October 2011 (UTC)
Update: I expanded the table to at least include all of the countries listed below, as well as a few others. This table would continue to benefit from expansion.--Cgriffioen (talk) 16:09, 25 October 2011 (UTC)


I was hoping to find some discussion of how this term came about. "Moral rights" is a loaded-sounding phrase, that seems more all-encompassing than the actual definition. Anyone know the derivation of this? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Schnitzi (talkcontribs) 03:52, 9 October 2007 (UTC)

In part, see the discussion above about "moral rights" versus "natural rights." It's my understanding the term is French in origin, but I'm unsure. Does anyone else have additional information?LH (talk) 23:23, 7 December 2007 (UTC)

Droit d'Auteur[edit]

A user deleted the following sentence

Those jurisdictions that include moral rights in their copyright statutes are called droit d'auteur states, which literally means "right of the author".

and gave the comment "I have deleted the reference to droit d'auteur states - it is inaccurate and ignores common law protection of moral rights."

I do not know if this is accurate or not, however the poster should provide some additional explanation. My understanding was that the sentence was saying that some states were termed droit d'auteur states and others were not. The common law protection of some rights that overlap with the rights protected by droit d'auteur states wouldn't make this sentence inaccurate. On the other hand, if the term's used inaccurately here then this is a good reason for removal. In either case, I don't know.

I am not aware of the precise meaning of the term droit d'auteur. I would ask for the reviser to provide some background.LH (talk) 20:53, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

Some online translation sites, like Babelfish for example - translate "droit" and "auteur" to "right" and "author" respectively. At least one site I tried ( translated "droit d'auteur" directly to "copyright" - I think it's safe to say at least that the literal translation to "right" and "author" is correct.. If that helps? PS I was originally going to suggest/request someone put some explanation of "droits moraux" and "droit d'auteur" in the first paragraph. Or is it ok to just assume people will know what it means or can look it up themselves? --UnRheal (talk) 00:54, 13 November 2008 (UTC)

Merge to Authors' rights[edit]

I'd like to suggest that this article be merged into a subection of Authors' rights, to avoid confusion with Natural rights. I've added a disambiguation hatnote but... really, this article is not what I would expect to find if I was searching for "moral rights" simpliciter. -Pfhorrest (talk) 06:00, 23 October 2008 (UTC)

I have to disagree with the merge proposal. I do, however, really appreciate your work on the general series of 'rights' articles on wikipedia. I'd say though that this topic is distinct. Moral rights is a term of art in intellectual property law, and most legal users will immediately understand it as the topic this article addresses. I think that a merger into Authors' rights would be a mistake for the following reason. Moral rights are clearly a subset of authors' rights, but authors' rights is a category and article that covers a wider scope than the legal rights that are discussed in the Moral rights article. I would support a disambiguation--I'm not as familiar with the philosophical use of this term. But moral rights is a distinct concept that finds expression in many countries under different legal structures. It addresses rights of attribution and integrity, to varying degrees, and it is inextricably tied up with legal regimes, notably copyright law. Just as it would be a mistake to combine moral rights together with the copyright law section, it would be a mistake to combine moral rights together with the artists' rights.
All of that said, I gather there's a philosophical connotation to the term that I didn't know about. If that's in fact the case, I think a disambiguation and perhaps an extended explanation would be warranted. I wouldn't know where to start on that though. I look forward to your input.LH (talk) 05:30, 24 October 2008 (UTC)
What do you think of renaming this article "Moral rights (copyright law)" or some such, and having "Moral rights" simpliciter disambiguate between that article and Natural rights? -Pfhorrest (talk) 07:17, 24 October 2008 (UTC)
I think renaming might be a way to go. Is there a usage of moral rights that is opposed to natural rights, or at least in contrast to it? If so, will that one need its own article started? Or does that article exist, only under a different name, or integrated with the natural rights article? LH (talk) 02:07, 25 October 2008 (UTC)
In philosophy "natural rights" and "moral rights" mean roughly the same thing; rights of a purely moral or ethical character independent of any legal statutes (c.f. moral obligations grounded in natural law vs legal obligations grounded in positive law). I gather that the usage in copyright law is a specialized case of that same meaning; an author's moral rights in a work are distinguished from his legal or "economic" rights in a work, yes? (Judging from the first sentence of the second paragraph of Authors' rights). So, no new article need be created, although we might want to add "moral rights" to the "also known as" part of the lede on Natural and legal rights. -Pfhorrest (talk) 22:22, 25 October 2008 (UTC)
I've executed the move that's been discussed. Currently the Moral Rights page is a blank re-direct to this page. It should probably become a disambiguation page, so if anyone who is familiar with the philosophical terminology would like to add in the disambiguation, that would be helpful.LH (talk) 03:37, 13 November 2008 (UTC)


I'd never heard of moral rights until today. I encountered a contractual waiver of them in Section 6 of the "Terms of Use" for [1]. Anyhow, in doing research I ran across an article [2], which seems like a possible addition to the list of "See also"-type links for this page. Would it be worth adding to the list of links? -- (talk) 21:15, 2 December 2008 (UTC)

Typically the WP standard for external links is that they should contain information that would not otherwise be contained in a featured article quality article. This would be stuff that's too detailed for the original article, has copyright issues about why it can't be included, and things that don't otherwise fit into the article, but are relevant. WP:EL. I'd go there for the most formal guidance. LH (talk) 03:06, 3 December 2008 (UTC)

Is there no controversy?[edit]

Surely there must be some scholarship (in law or philosophy) attacking this principle. The article makes it sound like this concept is universally accepted (even the U.S. section only talks about it being "adequately covered by existing law" rather than "this legal theory is nonsensical", and I'm certain some U.S. scholar must have taken the latter view). (talk) 21:28, 25 October 2010 (UTC)

Broken References[edit]

All of the reference links to webpages at in the table are broken, except for the one to Barbados. Mariuskempe (talk) 21:55, 12 January 2011 (UTC)

I fixed most of these (when I could find the correct source) while adding to the table.--Cgriffioen (talk) 16:09, 25 October 2011 (UTC)

Additional Citations[edit]

I've attempted to improve the verifiability of this article by adding additional references, mostly in the overview and the section on moral rights in the US. --Cgriffioen (talk) 16:22, 25 October 2011 (UTC)

Move and disambiguation[edit]

About a year ago this article (the one on the copyright law subject, not the disambiguation page) got moved with no discussion back to Moral rights, from which it had been moved four years earlier following a talk page consensus.

Apparently this talk page never got moved with it, so I originally made these comments at Talk:Moral rights, the talk page for the disambiguation page, which was until a moment ago serving as the talk page for this article.

I thought that move should be undone. Other articles link to moral rights meaning "natural rights" instead, and people following those links shouldn't unexpectedly end up at this article instead. I have undone it now. The talk pages match up once again as well, so this is a copy of my comments at Talk:Moral rights#Move and disambiguation (with modifications to reflect their new location) for the record. --Pfhorrest (talk) 01:49, 2 April 2014 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: Page moved: no objections Ground Zero | t 01:33, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

Moral rights (copyright law)Moral rightsWP:TWODABS page with a clear primary topic. There is only one article that is actually a title match to "Moral rights" and it is this one, which also happens to be the overwhelming usage in Google results for the term (about ten to one, by my quick review of the top few pages of results). "Natural" rights are important, but are generally called "Natural" rights rather than moral rights. Any confusion can be dispelled with a hatnote. bd2412 T 03:44, 20 August 2014 (UTC)

  • Support, for substantially the same reasons set out by the move proponent. TJRC (talk) 18:37, 22 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Support as proposed. Red Slash 17:38, 23 August 2014 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.