Copyright and Law for Writers (1996) by Helen Shay

By Helen Shay

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The Act These influences were partly behind the introduction of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. If you remember only one technical legal authority, make it this one. It is 'the Act' and is referred to as such in the rest of this chapter. Your rights under it are the cards in your hand when you negotiate any deal with a publisher. Figure 2 lists the main rights together with the section of the Act in which each appears. Knowing Your 'Moral Rights' What are Your Moral Rights? Every law student learns if they did not know already that law and morality are never the same.

The author needs to be properly credited, especially if the adaptation has a different title from the original. ) Integrity right This is the second moral right. Whilst it may not have the same economic worth as the paternity right, it matters a great deal to writers. There are easier ways of making money, and the writer is usually also motivated by the need to communicate a particular idea in a particular way. To see that distorted can be devastating. It is said that Anthony Burgess was mortified at the film adaptation of A Clockwork Orange.

There have also been Hollywood battles involving committed directors, such as Terry Gillam, who wished his rather than Universal Studios' version of Brazil to be released. Artistic and commercial interests often clash. Changes detrimental to a work can injure the creator's credibility and career. Objections You cannot object to every change made to your work (otherwise editors would be out of a job). Treatment is only 'derogatory' if it Page 23 distorts or mutilates your work or prejudices your 'honour or reputation'.

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