Creators are granted immediate moral rights the moment their works are fixed in physical or digital form. Creators have the right to be attributed as the creator of the work and they have the right to object to offensive representation of their work. These moral rights are guaranteed to the vast majority of the world and in most cases are unalienable and irrevocable.
(2)(b) The Convention also provides for "moral rights," that is, the right to claim authorship of the work and the right to object to any mutilation or deformation or other modification of, or other derogatory action in relation to, the work which would be prejudicial to the author's honor or reputation.
-- WIPO Summary of the Berne Convention (1886)
Moral rights were first codified internationally in the Berne Convention and legally normalized by all signatory nations, all member nations of the World Trade Organization, and through derived treaties sponsored by the United Nations. Notable exceptions are East Timor, Eritrea, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, San Marino, Somalia, Turkmenistan, and Tuvalu. The TRIPS observer 'least developed nations' Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Iran, Iraq, Sao Tome and Principe, and the Seychelles already, or are expected by the end of 2013 to, guarantee moral rights to their citizens and all works irrespective of origin.
Summary of the Berne Convention
As agreed by all Berne signatory nations, "works originating in one of the contracting States (...) must be given the same protection in each of the other contracting States." (WIPO, Berne summary 1.a). Below are the clauses in full from the Berne Convention (1886, last amended 1979) that deal specifically with moral rights (6bis), translation (8), free use (10), and adaptation (12).
Article 6bis: Moral Rights:
1. To claim authorship; to object to certain modifications and other derogatory actions;
2. After the author's death;
3. Means of redress
(1) Independently of the author's economic rights, and even after the transfer of the said rights, the author shall have the right to claim authorship of the work and to object to any distortion, mutilation or other modification of, or other derogatory action in relation to, the said work, which would be prejudicial to his honor or reputation.
(2) The rights granted to the author in accordance with the preceding paragraph shall, after his death, be maintained, at least until the expiry of the economic rights, and shall be exercisable by the persons or institutions authorized by the legislation of the country where protection is claimed. However, those countries whose legislation, at the moment of their ratification of or accession to this Act, does not provide for the protection after the death of the author of all the rights set out in the preceding paragraph may provide that some of these rights may, after his death, cease to be maintained.
(3) The means of redress for safeguarding the rights granted by this Article shall be governed by the legislation of the country where protection is claimed.
Article 8: Right of Translation
Authors of literary and artistic works protected by this Convention shall enjoy the exclusive right of making and of authorizing the translation of their works throughout the term of protection of their rights in the original works.
Article 10: Certain Free Uses of Works
2. Illustrations for teaching;
3. Indication of source and author
(1) It shall be permissible to make quotations from a work which has already been lawfully made available to the public, provided that their making is compatible with fair practice, and their extent does not exceed that justified by the purpose, including quotations from newspaper articles and periodicals in the form of press summaries.
(2) It shall be a matter for legislation in the countries of the Union, and for special agreements existing or to be concluded between them, to permit the utilization, to the extent justified by the purpose, of literary or artistic works by way of illustration in publications, broadcasts or sound or visual recordings for teaching, provided such utilization is compatible with fair practice.
(3) Where use is made of works in accordance with the preceding paragraphs of this Article, mention shall be made of the source, and of the name of the author if it appears thereon.
Article 12: Right of Adaptation, Arrangement and Other Alteration
Authors of literary or artistic works shall enjoy the exclusive right of authorizing adaptations, arrangements and other alterations of their works.
Article 15: Right to Enforce Protected Rights
1. Where author's name is indicated or where pseudonym leaves no doubt as to author's identity;
2. In the case of cinematographic works;
3. In the case of anonymous and pseudonymous works;
4. In the case of certain unpublished works of unknown authorship
(1) In order that the author of a literary or artistic work protected by this Convention shall, in the absence of proof to the contrary, be regarded as such, and consequently be entitled to institute infringement proceedings in the countries of the Union, it shall be sufficient for his name to appear on the work in the usual manner. This paragraph shall be applicable even if this name is a pseudonym, where the pseudonym adopted by the author leaves no doubt as to his identity.