Moral Rights Extended To Performers in UK

March 2006


New UK copyright law has come into force extending “Moral Rights” to performers. Since 1 February 2006, performers have the legal right (with exceptions) to be identified as the performer and to object to derogatory treatment of their recorded or broadcast performances. The new laws have been inserted into the existing Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, by way of the ThePerformances (Moral Rights, etc) Regulations 2006. In the UK, copyright law is divided generally into three types: the best-known “copyright” laws which protect the works of authors, the lesser-known “rights in performances” laws which protect the live performances of musicians and other performers, and the little-known “Moral Rights” which protect the reputations of authors (and, now, also performers). This new extension of “Moral Rights” to performers includes the right to be identified as the performer when his performance is broadcast or when a recording of his performance is communicated to the public. He (or his stage name or the name of his group) must be identified in a manner likely to be noticed by the audience. Exceptions include where identification is “not reasonably practical” and where the performance is given for reasons relating to advertising or news reporting. No guidance is given as to when identification may not be reasonably practicable and this may or may not cover a radio presenter that fails to name all musicians performing on a recording. The full text of the new regulations can be accessed at From an article by Tom Frederikse which can be found at

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