Moral Rights: Principles, Practice and New Technology, Oxford University Press (New York), 2011

Published in the Spring of 2011, this new book offers a detailed look at the non-commercial aspect of copyright law, widely known as the doctrine of authors’ moral rights. A new edition is pending, with updates on Google Books, Creative Commons, new moral rights cases from the UK, Australia, and India, analysis of state-level approaches to moral rights in the United States, and new chapters on e-books and video games. Moral rights are based on the idea that authors possess a special bond with their own creative work. At present, the legal status of moral rights demands clarification and assessment as never before. The international expansion of moral rights is occurring in the unprecedented context of digital technology. Just as the survival of copyright law depends on its capacity to adapt effectively to the new technological environment, a new approach to moral rights is imperative. This book is the first work to address the past, present, and future of moral rights, looking at the doctrine comprehensively in terms of the role and the challenges of moral rights in a digital world. The problem is approached from both practical and theoretical perspectives, and examples are drawn from the legislation and practice of key jurisdictions around the world. The book concludes with a consideration of how the concept of moral rights can contribute to the re-conceptualization of copyright law in the digital context. Individual chapters look at the cultural concepts behind moral rights, the historical development of the doctrine, and the implementation of moral rights in different jurisdictions; and they explore the moral rights aspects of software creation, the modern music industry, film production and distribution, virtual museums, and open-access alternatives to copyright protection. The book includes a Foreword by Hector MacQueen, and a blurbs from Jeremy Phillips and Bill Patry, who calls it “an essential work” that will be “everyone’s go-to resource.”