Government Information Quarterly
A historical and theoretical analysis of the copyright environment demonstrates that both the economic rights associated with copyright and the moral rights often associated with copyright perform social functions. The latter have not been as universally embraced or adopted as the former. The lack of enthusiasm for moral rights is argued to be because the social utility of this aspect of the copyright regime has gone largely unrecognised. In fact, moral rights ensure that the information needs of the public are being met because they enhance the ability to assess the authority and reliability of information. While historically this has not been as important as enhancing the supply of information, a function performed by the economic rights of copyright, in the context of the new information environment, the role played by moral rights is becoming increasingly important. Our thesis also defines the appropriate scope of moral rights protection in copyright.