Dead, possibly fictitious 'author' asserts his moral right?
September 4, 2014 6:36 PM Subscribe
According to my copy of The Art of War
, "Sun Tzu asserts the moral right to be identified as the author of this work". Please help me understand what is intended by this statement in this instance
I have a 2013 Collins Classics publication of Sun Tzu's The Art of War
(ISBN 9780007420124) which has, on the verso, the following text: "Sun Tzu asserts the moral right to be identified as the author of this work".
I understand that this moral rights statement is an element of copyright law.
But even if we assume that Sun Tzu existed and was the sole author of the book, how can anything
be asserted (in the present tense) by someone long-dead?
Anyone here familiar with copyright law or publishing conventions? Please help me understand what is intended by this statement in this instance.
The book's introduction states, in the first paragraph:
- "It was into this Oriental environment that Sun Tzu was allegedly born"
- "As if often the case with ancient documents, The Art of War is attributed to one author, but may actually be the work of many contributors"
How can someone
- whose existence is not verified
- who, even if he lived, died over two thousand years ago
- who, in any case, may not even be the author of the work in hand
assert a moral right to be identified as the author of the work?