Whatever the current legal status of these abuses, there can be no doubt that they are undesirable and unjustifiable. Undesirable, because they leave creators with little guarantee of continuing remuneration from the use of their works, and little or no control over how their works are used or exploited. Unjustifiable, because it is the aim of copyright to ensure creators obtain such remuneration and the aim of moral rights to confer on creators control of the uses of their works. In effect, the alienability of contract when coupled with a regime of freedom of contract, undermines the very raison d’etre of copyright protection.
In theory, there are a number of reasons why the legal system recognizes copyright protection. These include the following four purposes:
- to protect the human rights of creators
- to provide incentives to create
- to reward creators for their efforts
- to promote democracy.
In this section we argue that the copyright regime that currently operates in the UK fails to achieve these aims as well as it might, by allowing copyright to be transferred and allowing moral rights to be waived.