Thomas Dalton writes:
>> I understand what the *rhetoric* of moral rights is. But in the
>> absence of law establishing and protecting moral rights, you don't
>> have any.
> There is a world outside the legal profession, Mike. Either learn
> that, or restrict the recipients of your emails to other lawyers. I,
> for one, don't care about your extremely narrow minded views.
I'm sorry, Thomas, but until people learn to use jurisprudential
concepts such as "moral rights" properly, I have a moral obligation to
point out where they are used mistakenly. This is not a question of
"the world outside the legal profession" (and, indeed, if you were a
member of the legal profession -- or a philosopher -- you wouldn't
make the mistake of supposing this). Philosophy of law is accessible
to people who aren't lawyers -- even you. But it's clear that the word
"moral rights" is being thrown around here by people who are only
casually familiar with the concept. When you have actually given some
study to jurisprudential philosophers (see, e.g., H.L.A. Hart and Lon
Fuller) and can offer some more sophisticated philosophical analysis
than you offer here, I will be able to take your pronunciamentos more
Do you understand what the term "term of art" means?
By the way, most members of the legal profession are not students of
the philosophy of law. It is your misfortune that, in me, you have
come across someone who is. I'm not disqualified from pointing out
philosophical mistakes merely because I can hang out a shingle.
> A legal right is recognized by law. A moral right may not be.
This must be your own idiosyncratic application of the term "moral
right." In copyright, "moral rights" refers to inalienable legal
rights that are recognized in law. If you are in a jurisdiction that
does not recognize "moral rights," then you don't have them, by
> Sure, but I'm not in a jurisdiction that indisputably recognizes the
> to attribution.
Okay, so why are you invoking rights that you don't have?
> Barring a license to use my content in that way, sure. Just like a
> director has a basis to demand "the last solo credit card before the
> scene of the picture".
Excuse me? Film directors don't have any legal right to such a
"credit card" (I assume you mean "credit"). They may negotiate for
such a credit through contract, but they don't have it in the absence
of a contract.
>> So you're saying your legal rights are defined by "common sense"?
> To some extent, sure. Not entirely by common sense, of course, but
> rights can't be understood without employing common sense.
They can't be understood without knowledge of the law, either.