At the risk of telling tales out of school, it was a hard fight to convince certain officials - and contrary to the wishes of certain lobbyists - to put a limit on the term of of moral rights in Canada when they were introduced in the 1988 amendments. Thankfully, these rights are coterminous with economic rights.
I thank the anonymous person below (whose comment I inadvertently deleted but then manged to restore) who seems to know some details about French moral rights law. I was relying upon the AP report which said:
The court said Friday that Hugo's novel was in the public domain, and Ceresa was therefore free to invent a sequel.This seemed to suggest that it was the public domain status that vitiated the moral rights claim. However, these press reports are often wrong on very important technical aspects. Unfortunately, decisions from France are not easy to find. I invite the commentator to provide a link to the decision, if available, or to the statutory reference.
I still think that Canada was right to put a clear time limit on the moral rights term for closure and certainty purposes. We will no doubt see some outrages - but a moustache on a reproduction of the Mona Lisa doesn't hurt anyone. Without such certainty, we might not have all those wonderful Frankenstein books and movies. Mary Shelley's heirs might have been outraged.