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Re: question about moral rights

 --- Thomas Uwe Gruettmueller <sloyment@gmx.net> からの
> Hi Mark,
> On Thursday 24 April 2003 19:37, Mark Rafn wrote:
> > A few people have brought up the topic of Moral
> Rights, with
> > which I am not very familiar.  They sound like
> some sort of
> > meta-copyright which an author cannot assign, and
> may not be
> > able to grant permission over.
> >
> > Does anyone have a pointer to some description of
> these rights
> > that a layman like myself might understand?  I'm
> particularly
> > interested in how they relate to the GFDL and why
> they would
> > apply to documentation and not to software.
>     * * * IANAL * * *

** This is not legal advice.  This is a general statement
of law. **

I've reviewed this issue a couple years ago in an article
format (which is I think approachable to a layman, but it
is a law review piece so no promises.. :)

Whether documentation and software are treated differently
for moral rights will depend on the jurisdiction. 
Remember, though, that moral rights is a continental
tradition, that was not recognized in common law
jurisdictions generally.  Might be of interest for
example, that the U.S. signed on to Berne finally, and
basically said, "uh, we're already protecting moral
rights... sortof... so we need not change our domestic

Software is generally treated differently though and I
reference a variety of sources that give a country by
country analysis.  I focused on Japan, U.S., and others.

In the paper, I advocated an assertion of a moral right in
software for free and open source developers, because of
the strong nexus between the rights sought, eg. right to
attribution and integrity of the work, and the lack of
much nexus between the rights generally afforded under
copyright.  I argued that for someone more interested in
"protecting" their work for public interest'y reason,
using a regime based on the moralistic rights of an author
makes better sense than one focused on maximized economic

The article provides several cites for further research,
but I'd be happy to discuss the topic more here.  I should
revisit that article so comments are very welcomed.


James Miller

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