Area of Law: Intellectual Property
Answer Number: 322
Moral rightsRegion: Ontario Answer Number: 322
Even though authors or creators may license or sell their copyrights, they still have certain rights called ‘moral rights.’ Because an author’s work affects his or her reputation, no other person is allowed to change or distort the work in a way that is harmful to the author’s honour or reputation. This rule even applies to people who have purchased the copyright. Also, in most situations where it is possible, the author’s name must be used with the work.
Authors and creators cannot transfer or sell their moral rights, except when ownership is transferred to an heir when the author dies. However, moral rights can be waived. This means that although you have moral rights with respect to your work, you can agree not to enforce those rights. If you sell your copyright, you will probably be asked to sign a contract which contains a waiver clause. This will allow the new copyright owner to deal with and change the work without requiring your consent.
For more information about copyrights, refer to the Canadian Intellectual Property Office.
For legal assistance with your copyright and any agreement or contract that affects your moral rights, or other intellectual property matters, contact our preferred lawyers and see who’s right for you:
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