May 12, 1911

CON
LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

Yes, and I must say that at first sight I was rather opposed to it; but the argument of the committee in their report, and the discussions that took place, convinced me that on the whole it was a fair proposition. Considerable exception was taken to it at first, but I see that it has been accepted by the imperial parliament, without any modification.

Topic:   COPYRIGHT ACT.
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CON
LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

Our patent is only for 18 years. I might state very briefly the reasons for this term of copyright. It is to give fair and reasonable reward for really intellectual work. The contention is that a work that is not of great value will practically pass out of any advantages of copyright long before this period 'expires, and the existence of such copyright is no detriment to the public. In the case of a work of great value, which is generally produced when a man is mature or in advanced years, it is thought that his descendants ought to have a right to some advantage.

On section 6-license to republish or perform work in public granted by minister upon petition.

281*

Topic:   COPYRIGHT ACT.
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LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

This is a provision which some authors in England have rather objected to in the English Act.

Topic:   COPYRIGHT ACT.
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CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER.

But the English Act qualifies it by making it after the death of the author.

Topic:   COPYRIGHT ACT.
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LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

That has been done in England, and I must say that I do not quite see why the public should be deprived until the death of the author. In this country we are a little more liable to hurt if there were not this provision than they are in England, because it is quite possible that the author might not think it worth his while to publish a work for the small market in Canada, and this would give the public the right to secure the enjoyment of the work, of which we give copyright protection, and I think the public would have a right to it. In England they thought it was sufficient to do it after the death of the author, but I see no particular reason why we should wait for that. In the Act now in existence in Canada, in section 23, there is this provision, and I think it well to .maintain it and continue it for the future. . .

On section 7, ownership of copyright, &c.

Topic:   COPYRIGHT ACT.
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LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

This is the same as the British Act with the exception of the last clause, clause 6. In the British Act there is no provision for the machinery of assignment. We have a provision requiring that the assignee shall fulfil the conditions of the law the same as the original owner of the copyright.

On section 13, penalties for dealing with pirated copies.

Topic:   COPYRIGHT ACT.
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LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

This corresponds practically with clause 11 of the English Act. The penalties are similar to those imposed in the Bill which this House passed two years ago, but which did not become law because not passed by the Senate. It was an amendment to the Criminal Code, and the criminal penalties are introduced into this Bill at the special request of a large number of people interested in copyright.

On section 16, importation of copyright works.

Topic:   COPYRIGHT ACT.
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LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

This is different from the English Act, and involves printing of the work in this country. In England, there is no such condition, they do not object to a work being printed abroad, provided it is published in England, and publication in England means simply sale. A foreigner may print his work in his own country, and if he sells half a dozen copies in England that gives him copyright. That is not the case in Canada, and consequently we prohibit importation.

On section 33,

Topic:   COPYRIGHT ACT.
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LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

I ought to explain that "this section, although it gives full rights as to-day existing, if an individual having such copyright at present does not fulfil the *conditions of the new Act, he will not reap the advantage of the longer period of the copyright. He would have the length of the copyright he had under the old Act.^ But if an author chose to fulfil the conditions of the new Act, he would then have the copyright for life and it would extend for the 50 years after the author is dead.

On section 35,

Topic:   COPYRIGHT ACT.
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CON
LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

No, I think the hon. gentleman is quite right. An arrangement of this kind would mean a great deal to certain basses in the community, and I think the representatives of the people ought to have the final say. I did not intend to take this Bill out of committee to-day, and if my hon. friend would allow the clause to pass, before the final disposition of the Bill, I will draft a clause and add it.

Topic:   COPYRIGHT ACT.
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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).

There are some provisions in the English Act which seem to be omitted. I suppose this has been done after consideration.

Topic:   COPYRIGHT ACT.
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?

Mr FISHER.

There are a number of clauses in the British Act which apply to their conditions in various ways, and wnicn do not apply to our conditions at all; but there is no principle involved in the Bntisn

i t i 1 1 * _ ~n 4 4 **, rtl 11 rl A rl 1 T1 t il I Q

Topic:   COPYRIGHT ACT.
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LIB

Gilbert Howard McIntyre (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. DEPUTY SPEAKER.

Section 35 stands for further consideration.

On section 36: evidence of foreign copyright.

Topic:   COPYRIGHT ACT.
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LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

This is simply a provision with regard to evidence that a person has a copyright in a foreign country when an international arrangement is made.

On section 37: certified copies as evidence.

Topic:   COPYRIGHT ACT.
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LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Air. FISHER.

This is the same as section 32 in our present Act.

On section 38: validity of documents.

Topic:   COPYRIGHT ACT.
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LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

This is the same as section 33 in the present Act.

On section 39: registration fees.

Topic:   COPYRIGHT ACT.
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CON

May 12, 1911