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Copyright Law Explained

Copyright Attribution and Integrity

The copyright law grants rights of attribution and integrity, but these rights only apply to fine art categories of “works of visual art”: paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, and still photographs produced for exhibition. The category is further limited because it only applies to single copies or signed and numbered limited editions of 200 or less. So, for example, copyright attribution and integrity rights do not attach to such works as posters, technical drawings, models, applied art, motion pictures, books, electronic publications, merchandising items or advertising. It also does not apply to any work that is work made for hire.

Unlike the other rights noted above, which are all economic rights, the rights of attribution and integrity are considered to be moral rights (e.g., personal rights). Generally, the right of attribution is intended to allow an artist to control whether and the manner in which his or her name is associated with his own work of art and the right of integrity is intended to allow an artist to prevent his or her work from being altered, distorted, or mutilated. There are numerous exceptions to these rights in the copyright law that further limit their scope.

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