Moral Rights

Continuing my analysis of paragraph 5 of Section 2.3 of the new ToS, I want to focus on an aspect not really touched upon by most of the people protesting the “for any purpose” clause. It’s the issue of moral rights, which is introduced in paragraph 4. This paragraph is a completely new section which, as said, concerns moral rights for user content and, at first, seems more than a bit odd. Let’s have a look at what it says:

Except as prohibited by law, you hereby waive, and you agree to waive, any moral rights (including attribution and integrity) that you may have in any User Content, even if it is altered or changed in a manner not agreeable to you. To the extent not waivable, you irrevocably agree not to exercise such rights (if any) in a manner that interferes with any exercise of the granted rights. You understand that you will not receive any fees, sums, consideration or remuneration for any of the rights granted in this Section.

As ON SL comments, moral rights are not something US courts are generally swayed by when they try intellectual property cases. Many states, however, do have laws concerning moral rights in copyrighted works. For instance, a waiver of this sort makes sense in a state like California, which was the first state in the USA to provide for any sorts of moral rights in copyrighted works, would make sense. Moral rights, as Wikipedia tells us, include the right of attribution, the right to have a work published anonymously or pseudonymously, (n.b. This right is being eroded in our days by several social networks’ “Real Names Only” policies and also by several “intellectuals” who seek to discredit others because of their anonymity or pseudonymity) and the right to the integrity of the work.

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