Moral Rights of Composers: The Protection of Attribution and Integrity Available to Musicians in the European Union and the United States

Moral Rights of Composers: The Protection of Attribution and Integrity Available to Musicians in the European Union and the United States

By Tanja Makovec Petrik*

*Owner of Petrik Law Firm, New York; LL.M., Fordham University School of Law; LL.B., University of Ljubljana Law Faculty.

Excerpt from Moral Rights of Composers: The Protection of Attribution and Integrity Available to Musicians in the European Union and the United States, 22 Fordham Intell. Prop. Media & Ent. L.J. 359 (Winter 2012)

Introduction

Creativity as expressed through art is a special virtue. Apart from its important meaning for society, 1 creativity also represents an intimate realization of an author's personality and individuality. 2 The importance of protecting creativity has different meanings depending on the perspective taken. From the artist's point of view, it stimulates his work; from a legal point of view, it forms the foundation for the special status of the creation.

Civil law countries typically advance the issue of protection of an artist's creativity through a dualistic approach. 3 These countries recognize both the artist's economic or property interests and his moral or personal rights within the same copyright protection. 4 Conversely, common law countries approach the issue from a monistic perspective, affording artists copyright protection for their economic and property interests, while leaving moral rights protection at "the mercy of" other legal institutions. 5 Thus, the European legal system, with the exception of the United Kingdom, 6 includes moral rights as part of its statutory copyright law, whereas the legal system in the United States attempts to afford similar protection through defamation, unfair competition, privacy, right to publicity and other bodies of law, but it does not recognize moral rights as such.

When discussing moral rights one should first distinguish between moral rights as a set of rules and moral rights as a concept that protects an artist's relationship to his work. 7 To examine whether the United States as a common law country in fact needs to ...

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