How do moral rights differ from economic rights?

Economic and moral rights are two fundamental aspects of copyright law that provide protection to creators of original works. Economic rights primarily focus on the financial aspects of copyright, while moral rights are related to the personal and ethical aspects of a creator’s work.

Economic rights in copyright

Economic rights, also known as economic exploitation rights, refer to the exclusive rights granted to the copyright holder. These rights include the ability to authorize or prohibit various activities related to the copyrighted work, such as reproduction, distribution, exportation, importation, rental, lending, public performance, communication to the public, and adaptation. Economic rights are essential for creators as they ensure that they have control over how their work is used and can financially benefit from it. These rights can be freely transferred or licensed to others, allowing creators to monetize their creations.

Moral rights under copyright

Moral rights, also known as moral or personal rights, are connected to the creator’s relationship with their work on a personal and ethical level. Moral rights are more concerned with the integrity and ownership of the work, reflecting the “indestructible creational bond” between the creator and their creation. It’s important to note that moral rights are usually associated with individual authors and cannot be transferred or waived in some jurisdictions. They remain with the author even if they have assigned or licensed their economic rights to others. The significance and scope of moral rights can vary from one country to another, depending on cultural conceptions of authorship, copyright protection laws, and the type of creation involved. In some countries, moral rights are considered inalienable and perpetual, ensuring that creators’ personal and ethical interests are protected even after their work is published or disseminated​.

Economic and moral rights under copyright

In conclusion, while economic rights provide creators with financial control over their works, moral rights protect the personal and ethical interests of creators, ensuring the integrity and reputation of their creations. These two aspects of copyright law work together to strike a balance between economic interests and the ethical considerations of creators.


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