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The French law protecting authors' rights incorporates two distinct regimes of rights, "pecuniary" rights, and "moral" rights. As the denomination indicates, pecuniary rights pertain to the author's economic interests, and provide the author a monopoly in the reproduction and public performance of his work. Moral rights safeguard the author's "personality" interest in his work. Despite the appellation "moral" rights, the author's claims under French law to the security of his personality as expressed in his work are not precatory: moral rights entail several distinct and enforceable interests. These are: the right to make the work known to the public "droit de divulgation"); the right to withdraw the work from publication ("droit de repentir"); the right to have the author's name associated with the work; and the right to have the work be respected – generally called the right of integrity. The right of integrity comprehends the right to prevent the work from being destroyed or mutilated. The concept of destruction or mutilation extends to more than physical damage to works of the plastic arts. It denotes any nonconsensual alteration to a work of authorship, whether literary, artistic, musical, or other, which deforms, substantially recasts, or misrepresents the creator's conception of the work. While pecuniary rights endure for the author's life and fifty years following his death, and may be granted in whole or in part, the French copyright act declares moral rights to be "perpetual, inalienable, and indefeasible.”


Intellectual Property Law | International Law | Law