Moral rights

Moral rights are additional rights which are given to creators of works and films, and performers of live and recorded performances. These rights are defined in the Copyright Act but are separate to the rights of the copyright owner. Unlike copyright, moral rights cannot be given away (e.g. licensed or assigned) and only apply to individuals (e.g. not corporations or governments).

The three moral rights are:

  • the right of attribution;
  • the right not to be falsely attributed;
  • the right of integrity.

In practice this means you must correctly attribute or credit the source of any material that you use and not treat it in a derogatory way. If you fail to cite the source, incorrectly cite it to someone else, or treat it in a way which is prejudicial to the honour or reputation of the author or performer then you have likely infringed their moral rights.