[Foundation-l] Does "free content" exist in France?

Stephen Bain stephen.bain at gmail.com
Sat Apr 21 05:09:42 UTC 2007

On 4/21/07, Erik Moeller <erik at wikimedia.org> wrote:
> Is that so? Do moral rights not expire together with the copyright to the work?

Moral rights are a completely separate bundle of rights to the
economic rights under copyright. So I can grant a licence relating to
my economic rights under copyright, or even waive those rights
completely, and still hold the moral rights.

Sometimes the moral rights will expire with the copyright, but
sometimes they will expire with the death of the author, depending on
the law of the jurisdiction. Sometimes the rights will persist as part
of the author's estate and can be exercised by the estate. [1]

The one that comes into play here is the right of integrity. Whether
that right has been infringed is dependent on the facts of the case -
there are no hard and fast rules about when infringement occurs. But
generally, some factors that come into play include:
* the nature of the work,
* the purpose, manner and context in which the work is used.

This may affect different WMF projects differently. But mainly this
would be an issue for reusers, and not for us.

One point to remember is that moral rights don't affect the ability of
someone to deal with their economic rights under copyright by
licencing the work, even though the moral rights still may affect
someone using the work under the licence.

[1] The French law seems to suggest that the moral rights can actually
be devised, rather than merely subsisting in the estate, but that goes
at odds with the idea that they're inalienable.

Stephen Bain
stephen.bain at gmail.com

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