moral right.(usu. pl.) Copyright. The right of an author or artist, based on natural-law principles, to guarantee the integrity of a creation despite any copyright or property-law right of its owner. • Moral rights include rights of (1) attribution (also termed “paternity”): the right to be given credit and to claim credit for a work, and to deny credit if the work is changed; (2) integrity: the right to ensure that the work is not changed without the artist’s consent; (3) publication: the right not to reveal a work before its creator is satisfied with it; and (4) retraction: the right to renounce a work and withdraw it from sale or display. Moral rights are recognized by law in much of Europe, but very little in the United States. Cf. INTEGRITY RIGHT; ATTRIBUTION RIGHT. [Cases: Copyrights and Intellectual Property 101.C.J.S. Copyrights and Intellectual Property §§ 102–104.]

“The recognition of moral rights is founded in the notion that works of art belong to their creators in a way that transcends the sale or transfer of the work to a new owner, because the artist has imbued the work with her personality.” Eric M. Brooks, “Titled” Justice: Site-Specific Art and Moral Rights After U.S. Adherence to the Berne Convention, 77 Cal. L. Rev. 1431, 1434 (1989).

“Moral rights protect an author’s non-pecuniary or non-economic interests. The 1988 [Copyright] Act provides authors and directors with the right to be named when a work is copied or communicated (the right of attribution), the right not to be named as the author of a work which one did not create (the right to object against false attribution), and the right to control the form of the work (the right of integrity).” Lionel Bently & Brad Sherman, Intellectual Property Law 233 (2001).

[Blacks Law 8th]