Moral Rights

In addition to his economic rights or a grant of an assignment with respect to such right, the author of a work also has the following moral rights:[1]

  • To require that the authorship of the works be attributed to him, in particular, the right that his name, as far as practicable, be indicated in a prominent way on the copies, and in connection with the public use of his work;[2]
  • To make any alterations of his work prior to, or to withhold it from publication;[3]
  • To object to any distortion, mutilation or other modification of, or other derogatory action in relation to, his work which would be prejudicial to his honor or reputation;[4] and
  • To restrain the use of his name with respect to any work not of his own creation or in a distorted version of his work.[5]

Waiver of moral rights

An author is allowed to waive his moral rights through a written instrument so long as it does not permit another: (a) to use the name of the author, or the title of his work, or otherwise to make use of his reputation with respect to any version or adaptation of his work which, because of alterations therein, would substantially tend to injure the literary or artistic reputation of another author, and (b) to use the name of the author with respect to a work he did not create. [6]

The law provides the copyright owner moral rights as a matter of social responsibility. The true and proper authors of work should be recognized. Consequently, a moral right cannot be assigned or transferred, but it may be waived.

The author’s moral rights lasts during his lifetime, as well as 50 years after his death.[7]

Moral rights cannot be the subject of any assignment or license.[8]

Editing, arranging, and adaptation of work do not contravene moral rights

The necessary editing, arranging, or adaptation of a work, for publication, broadcast, use in a motion picture, dramatization, or mechanical or electrical reproduction, in accordance with the reasonable and customary standards or requirements of the medium in which the work is to be used, are not deemed to contravene the author’s moral rights.[9] This rule applies in the absence of a contrary stipulation at the time the author licenses or permits another to use his work, as well as in cases involving the complete destruction of a work unconditionally transferred by the author.[10]

No compulsion on author to create work or for publication of work already in existence; Breach of contract

Subject to being liable for damages arising out of a breach of contract, the author cannot be compelled by an action for specific performance to perform his contractual obligations to create a work or for the publication of his work already in existence.[11]

Contribution to collective work waiver of attribution by default

Unless he reserves it, the contributing author to a collective work is considered to have waived his right to attribution for his contribution.[12]

Enforcement remedies

The author has the same rights and remedies available to a copyright owner for violation of his moral rights, including damages.[13]


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[1] Ibid. Section 192.

[2] Ibid. Section 193.1.

[3] Ibid. Section 193.2.

[4] Ibid. Section 193.3.

[5] Ibid. Section 193.4.

[6] Ibid. Section 198.

[7] Ibid. Section 195. “The person or persons to be charged with the posthumous enforcement of these rights shall be named in writing to be filed with the National Library. In default of such person or persons, such enforcement shall devolve upon either the author’s heirs, and in default of the heirs, the Director of the National Library” (Ibid.).

[8] Ibid. Section 195.

[9] Ibid. Section 197.

[10] Ibid.


[12] Ibid. Section 196.

[13] Ibid. Section 199. “Any damage recovered after the creator’s death shall be held in trust for and remitted to his heirs, and in default of the heirs, shall belong to the government” (Ibid.).