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Honour in UK Copyright Law is Not ‘A Trim Reckoning’ – Its Impact on the Integrity Right and the Destruction of Works of Art

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)272-303
Number of pages32
JournalOxford Journal of Legal Studies
Issue number2
Early online date17 Sep 2015
DateAccepted/In press - 14 Apr 2015
DateE-pub ahead of print - 17 Sep 2015
DatePublished (current) - Jun 2016


The meaning of ‘honour’ in section 80 of the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 is not easily ascertained. There has been a tendency for academics and judges to either equate the concept of ‘honour’ with that of ‘reputation’, or to ignore its presence altogether. The author will propose that there is little to justify such treatment of this concept. This article offers a reinterpretation of the concept by analysis of anthropological theories of honour and of the Roman law of iniuria. By applying such reinterpretation, it is argued the concept of honour would play a far more significant role in articulating the integrity right under section 80 than previously envisaged. In particular, by interpreting ‘honour’ as a right to respect, it opens up the possibilities of recognising the artist’s right to object to the destruction of their works, a right which is presently unrecognised in UK copyright law.

    Research areas

  • copyright, moral rights, art, honour, anthropology, iniuria

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    Accepted author manuscript, 535 KB, PDF document


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