Memory Alpha
Memory Alpha
"A crewman's right ends where the safety of the ship begins."
– James T. Kirk, unknowingly speaking about himself, 2267 ("Shore Leave")

A right was a power or privilege held by the general public as the result of a constitution, statute, regulation, judicial precedent, or other type of law.

In 2364, inside the captain's ready room, Kurt Mandl told Jean-Luc Picard that he was overstepping his authority and he had no right to interfere, to which Picard said, "An attack on one of my crew gives me the right." (TNG: "Home Soil")

In 2378 and inside the Doctor's holonovel Photons Be Free, the holographic character Three of Eight stated that the protagonist Emergency Medical Hologram had the right to expand their program but Captain Jenkins responded that the EMH was a piece of technology and thus had no rights. Three of Eight further stated that one day the EMH and others like them would be recognized for what they were: intelligent individuals with a passion for life.

Outside of the holonovel, publisher Ardon Broht stated that, despite authors having rights, the Doctor was a hologram and holograms had no rights according to Federation law. Tuvok stated that Broht was correct under a strict interpretation of Federation law and that the Doctor had no legal rights. Captain Kathryn Janeway considered the Doctor to have the same rights as every other member of the USS Voyager's crew.

On stardate 54748.6, Janeway recorded in her Captain's log that a Federation arbitrator had been assigned to determine whether the Doctor had the right to control his artistic creation.

Tuvok cited Section Seven Gamma of the Twelfth Guarantee and submitted that the Doctor should be entitled to all rights and privileges accorded to an artist under the law. Tuvok later stated that if the Doctor didn't have the right to control his own work, then it stood to reason that he never had the right to enter into a contract agreement with Broht.

Janeway noted that centuries beforehand in most places on Earth, only landowners of a particular gender and race had any rights. Over time, those rights were extended to all Humans, and later to thousands of other sentient species as Humans explored the Milky Way Galaxy.

Later, while the arbitrator couldn't say with certainty that the Doctor was a person, he was willing to extend the legal definition of artist to include the Doctor and therefore ruled that the Doctor had the right to control his own work. (VOY: "Author, Author")

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