Skip to main content

Copyright and Permissions: Moral Rights

Welcome! This guide provides information and resources on copyright law in Lebanon and internationally. The guide emphasizes on how copyright law relates to academic activities such as research, teaching, and publishing.

Moral rights have a long history in international copyright law. Article 6bis of the leading international copyright treaty, the Berne Convention, states:

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.

It means that the author/creator has the:

RIGHT OF PATERNITY

The right of paternity refers to the author’s right to have their name on a work, to use a pseudonym and to remain anonymous.

RIGHT OF INTEGRITY

This is the right of the author to object to any changes to their work that may harm their reputation as an author. which means that any mutilation, deformation or modification cannot be done without his/her authorization.

Moral and Economic Rights

It is worth mentioning that there are two different copyright traditions –  the common law monistic system and the civil law dualistic system. The monistic system views the moral and economic rights of the copyright owner as one structure, while in dualistic continental system the moral and financial interests are separated. It affects a lot of the copyright doctrine and some legal concepts in those jurisdictions.

Facts about Moral Rights

  • The duration of moral rights varies from country to country. In the U.S., moral rights expire upon the death of the author, in Canada they last 50 years after the author’s death, and in France they are perpetual.
  • Moral rights are generally considered inalienable, meaning they can not be sold or transferred, and are independent of ownership of a particular work, meaning that the author retains their moral rights even if they sell all copyrights to a piece.
  • Moral rights cannot be transferred, but may be waived in some countries