Moral rights

Region: Ontario Answer # 322

In addition to the creator’s “economic rights” to licence or sell their copyrights, they also have inherent “moral rights”. Moral rights are meant to safeguard the creator’s reputation and the integrity of their work. Moral rights include:

  • Right to Anonymity: The option to stay anonymous or use a fake name.
  • Right to Integrity: Protection against changes or damage to the work.
  • Right to Association: The right to be acknowledged for their creation.

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 help

For legal advice or assistance, you should contact a lawyer to help you negotiate any agreement that affects your moral rights.

For more information about copyrights, refer to the Canadian Intellectual Property Office.


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