Intellectual Property in Common Law and Civil Law
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Intellectual Property in Common Law and Civil Law

Edited by Toshiko Takenaka

Drawing together the views and experiences of scholars and lawyers from the United States, Europe and Asia, this book examines how different characteristics embedded in national IP systems stem from differences in the fundamental legal principles of the two traditions. It questions whether these elements are destined to remain diverged, and tries to identify common ground that might facilitate a form of harmonization.
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Chapter 6: Tradition and change: The past and future of authors’ moral rights

Mira T. Sundara Rajan


Authorship is the foundation of copyright law—and this statement is one that seems to hold true, as few assertions do, virtually always and everywhere. Without the concept of authorship, copyright law cannot exist. Copyright originates in the desire to protect, and to reward, the work of the author. Every other element of copyright law grows out of this fundamental objective—this deep-laid legal foundation. An important manifestation of authorship in copyright laws is the recognition of the non-commercial rights associated with creative works. These rights, generally known by the term ‘moral rights,’ are, quite simply, rights of authorship. They include the fundamental interests of attribution—the right to be named as the author of one’s own work—and integrity—the right to protect one’s work from harm. Different legal systems respond differently to the evolution of authorship. These diverse, sometimes divergent reactions are often based on underlying differences in the orientation of national laws towards authorship, as reflected, at a fundamental level, in their attitudes to authors’ moral rights. The presence and form of moral rights bring distinctiveness and cultural color to the ways in which copyright adapts to technology in different jurisdictions.

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