• Right to publish or not
  • Right of paternity
  • Right of integrity- to prevent alterations that may harm the honour or reputation.
  • The Moral rights are representative of the social values concerning authorship, creativity and artistic work. They are based on a belief that the artistic creation is something more than an attempt to earn a livelihood.
  • The Moral rights flow from the fact that a literary or the artistic work reflects the personality of the creator
  • Amarnath Sehgal v. Union of India- the moral rights are soul of his work. The author has a right to preserve, protect and nurture his work.
  • The Moral rights are the embodiment of the natural rights of an artist. The Moral rights are personal legal rights belonging to the creator of copyright works and cannot be transferred, assigned or sold.


Kinds of moral rights

  1. Droit the the Divulgation (Right to Publication) and this is the first moral right of an author. The right gives author the right to decide whether he he is going to publish or not to publish work.
  1. Droit a law Paternity (The right to Paternity):- so this right gives author the right of authorship of his work. the author can also prevent the others from using his name in their works. Right to demand that his name appears in all the copies.
  2. Droit Respect de l’ oeuvre (The right of integrity):- gives the author the right to prevent alteration, mutilation or the distortion and other action that may damage the author’s honour or reputation. This right arises in case of the assignment and after assignment when any one creates such type of distortion or mutilation which is against author’s reputation or honour.

In Indiaà Sec 57 based on Art 6bis of the Berne Convention

In Indian copyright Act, 1957 the provision related to moral rights has been given. Indian copyright provides special right to author that are moral rights.

These rights are independent and parallel of the author’s economic rights.

Mannu Bhandari vs Kala Vikas Pictures Pvt. Ltd. And (1986

The book of the plaintiff is adapted into a movie. The book is acknowledged as a contemporary classic, and the film, starring Shatrughan Sinha, Shabana Azmi, Shreeram Lagoo, Tina Munim and Vinod Mehra, is produced by Dharmendra Goyal, and directed by Sisir Mishra who has also made Bheegi Palkein


While the novel was an exploration of the psyche of a sensitive child filmmakers  have turned it into a cheap anti-divorce story running along a predictable “Bombay film formula”.

Author: “My novel’s message is that such children are extremely vulnerable and they need special care as they can grow up into extremes of sensitivity or ruthlessness. But they have made it into just another commercial film.”

  • -Considered a mature work of the fiction on child psychology the novel deals with the sensitive child of an upper middle class couple who divorce and find new marriage partners.
  • The child vacillates between mother and the father feeling persecuted and discriminated against in comparison to his stepfather’s son and daughter from his previous marriage and feeling still more alienated when he enters the strange world of his father, which now has his stepmother and year-old stepbrother.
  • Though all four parents take good care of him, Bunty ends up insecure and confused. In order to give the child a chance to find his feet, he is sent to a boarding school. On that note the novel ends.


The mother is indifferent and lost in her own world with her new husband. The child goes to the father but the stepmother ill-treats him.

He then wanders all over the city, and gets drenched in the rain. Sick and neglected, he ultimately dies by the roadside.

  • It was held that the contract of assignment has to be read subject to the provisions of section 57.

However few changes can be made such as:

  • Change of title– was no distortion
  • Few sentences were deleted on the ground that they distorted the character and were not necessary changes.
  • End of the film was justified but the manner in which it was shown should be deleted.

Amar Nath Sehgal v. Union of India 2005

The plaintiff created a bronze mural for display at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi After extensive preparation and research, plaintiff’s untiring and stressful concentrated hard work, spanning over a period of five years, eventually produced an acclaimed piece of artistic work manifesting itself in the form of a 14 feet long and 40 feet high mural, demonstrating a delectate balance between cultural and material aspects in national perspective essence of rural and modern India being its them.

The mural so created found its rightful place in Vigyan Bhawan lobby right at its entrance, in the year 1962 and in due course of time acquired the reputation of being one of the important historical murals representing essential part of India’s best art heritage.

It was removed in 1979 and dumped in storeroom, it lost its aesthetic and market value.

The plaintiff sought the following relief in the nature of:

  • A decree for declaration that the defendant has violated the plaintiff’s special rights under section 57 of the copyright Act, 1957 and the defendant is liable to be directed to tender an apology,
  • A decree for permanent injunction restraining the defendant from, further distortion, mutilation or damage the plaintiff’s mural;
  • A decree for damages to compensate the plaintiff for the loss, injury, insult and humiliation caused by the defendant to the plaintiff’s reputation and honour and
  • A decree for delivery-up directing the plaintiff to return the plaintiff’s mural to the defendant for restoration at the defendant’s cost and or return to the same to the plaintiff.

It was held by the court that copy right is a bundle of rights, which the author can exploit, independently for economic benefit any exercising these rights. A copyright owner may exploit his work himself or license others to exploit any one or more of the rights for a consideration, which may be in the form of royalty or a lump sum. Payment copyright apart, the author of a work has certain moral rights as well.



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