The most important defense of the idea that IP protections respect pre-existing moral rights is Robert Merges’ 2011 book Justifying Intellectual Property. Merges doesn’t argue that moral rights are foundational to IP law, but he does argue that what he calls the “dignity principle” is one part of the foundation of IP law. Here’s how he describes it:

[the dignity principle] says the creator of a work should be respected and recognized in ways that extend beyond the traditional package of rights associated with property: the right to exclude, to alienate (sell or license), to use as one wishes, and…

Nick Geiser

Political theory PhD. I write about politics and (social) science.

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