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2. Moral Rights

This document contains a series of introductions to the rules that apply to most copyright works in the United Kingdom and does not purport to offer legal advice. Some special cases apply and in case of doubt appropriate advice should be taken.

  1. Your moral rights as author (artist, performer, director, photographer or other creator) are legal rights that protect your reputation and the integrity of your work. They also include some provisions regarding privacy. Moral rights are independent of your copyright but will often be included in contracts and are sometimes replaced by codes of practice or trade agreements that have a similar effect.
  2. You have the right to be identified as the author of your work. In the UK this right must be asserted, such as in a statement in a book, in the metadata of a digital image, in a cast list, or in any contracts related to the work. This is often known as your right of paternity. It does not apply to newspapers, magazines, and encyclopaedias or similar works with numerous contributors. It is considered good practice to include author credits however.
  3. You have the right to object to derogatory treatment of your work; meaning changes to the work that could negatively affect your reputation. This is often known as your right of integrity.
  4. You have the right not to be identified as author when you are not actually the author. This is known as false attribution.
  5. If you commission photographs or video for your own personal purposes (such as of your wedding) then you have the right of privacy, so that they can not be exhibited or distributed without your consent. This applies even if you do not own the copyright.
  6. Moral rights do not apply to certain types of works, such as a computer program, and may not apply if you carried out the work during the course of your employment.
  7. You cannot pass your moral rights on to anyone else, even when you license or assign your copyright, except when you die. You can waive them in writing, with or without conditions.
  8. Your moral rights exist for as long as the copyright lasts, although your false attribution right only lasts for 20 years after your death.

HTML Version 1 • © British Copyright Council 2016-2022 • Use permitted without modification and with attribution

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