Jussi-Ville Heiskanen wrote:
Ray Saintonge wrote:
The only reason that "moral rights" is
an issue is its inclusion in the
statutes of various countries. It mostly stems from an inflated
Napoleonic view of the Rights of Man that was meant to replace the
divine rights of kings. Common law countries have been loath to embark
in this direction. Moral rights are mentioned in the US law, but only
as a toothless tiger.
I would actually be interested to get the background for
this interpretation of how moral rights came to happen
as a legal idea. If there are such references.
I couldn't find the reference that I recalled from a couple of years
ago, but I did find some reference to the idea at
section "Some philosophy".
There are profound differences at a very deep level between the rights
of authors in civil law countries and the right to copy in common law
countries. In common law countries copyright has been primarily an
economic right instead of a personal right. It used to be that
copyright disputes were framed between two publishers or between
publisher and author. To the extent that the law was a balance between
interests it was the interests of publishers and authors that were being
balanced. That the using public could have interests was unthinkable
because these users flew below the radar of cost effectiveness. If it
was not economical for a person to infringe copyrights in the first
place, how could it be worthwhile to lobby politicians to have these
rights for the general using public. Today we have a third party whose
interests were never considered in the balance.
Particularly as the legal reasons in at least Finnish
manuals for laymen who have to deal with moral rights
seem to focus on the utility moral rights have in terms of
protecting the artisans reputation as being good at his
I don't know anything about the history of Finnish jurisprudence, but
that statement seems to draw on the French model. Canada has provisions
for moral rights, but the person claiming that his reputation has been
damaged would have the burden of proving that as well as proving the
amount of damages. If one made a claim for $1,000,000 in damages he
shouldn't expect that it will be granted just because he says so.
I have great difficulty understanding how the
"right to examine"
could be traced to some grandiose "Rights of Man" basis,
since the argument presented for this particular moral right is
clearly grounded on protecting the artisan/artists ability
to examine their earlier work, to remind them self and
refresh their memory on methods they had employed on those
works, and thus enable them to not lose skills and methods
they had mastered in earlier days.
I seem to be misunderstanding something about your stated "right to
examine". Is someone claiming that authors are prevented from examining
their own works?