May 25, 1921

L LIB

Rodolphe Lemieux

Laurier Liberal

Mr. LEMIEUX:

There is something else on which I should like to be enlightened. Suppose an author publishes a book in which he expresses certain opinions, religious, political, or otherwise, and later regrets having given publicity to those opinions. Would it be right that this

author-perhaps he may have published something bordering on immorality-should see his work republished, notwithstanding his own sincere regret for having' given expression to such views and opinions? I have in mind a book which created quite a sensation in the Old Country not very long ago, and possibly the author, when sober reflection had dawned upon him or her, might be very much opposed to a republication of it. Could any enterprising editor come to the minister, under this section, and obtain a license to publish that work in spite of the author, who is entirely opposed to the further propagation of the views and sentiments he has expressed?

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   COPYRIGHT ACT AMENDMENT
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UNION

Charles Joseph Doherty (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Unionist

Mr. DOHERTY:

Under subsection 12 of section 13, there is recognized the right of the author to suppress his work, and it is provided, even where a license has been granted, that if the author decides to suppress the work, the licensee shall print no additional copies.

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L LIB

Rodolphe Lemieux

Laurier Liberal

Mr. LEMIEUX:

It is hard to suppress a book which has already been in circulation; its circulation is all the greater because the book serves as an appetizer to some people.

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Subtopic:   COPYRIGHT ACT AMENDMENT
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UNION

Charles Joseph Doherty (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Unionist

Mr. DOHERTY:

I understand the difficulty of authors absolutely suppressing all copies; but if an author determines that he does not wish his views to be given further publicity, under subsection 12 he is entitled to stop the licensee from printing any further copies. The clause does allow the licensee the right to sell such copies as he has already printed and published, subject, however, to the author's right to buy from him all those copies, paying for them simply the cost of printing. We have, therefore, gone pretty far in protecting the author who desires to suppress his work. I quite appreciate, in fact I share in, the view of the hon. member, that the author ought to have the right, if he has revised his opinions for any reason, and does not want to continue being responsible for the dissemination of those opinions or doctrines, to suppress further publication of them.

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L LIB
UNION

Charles Joseph Doherty (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Unionist

Mr. DOHERTY:

Yes, and there is the case I mentioned a moment ago of scientific works.

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L LIB

Rodolphe Lemieux

Laurier Liberal

Mr. LEMIEUX:

The author may have

changed his views.

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Subtopic:   COPYRIGHT ACT AMENDMENT
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UNION

Charles Joseph Doherty (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Unionist

Mr. DOHERTY:

Exactly. He may find himself to-day with a book written ten or

fifteen years ago, and if that work were to continue in circulation, he might find that apparently he was teaching doctrines which the whole scientific world had discovered to be erroneous, and which, under the circumstances, he certainly would not endorse. I propose to strengthen the position of the author by adding a clause which might be added to subsection 12, providing that nothing in the section shall authorize the granting, without the consent of the author, of a license to publish any succeeding edition of a work whereof such author has published one or more editions in Canada.

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Subtopic:   COPYRIGHT ACT AMENDMENT
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UNION

Robert Laird Borden

Unionist

Sir ROBERT BORDEN:

Does section 13 impose upon the minister a duty in respect of which he has no discretion; such language is usually construed as imperative. It is a general rule of law that, where an authority is conferred upon a public officer the statute conferring it is construed as making it imperative that he should exercise that duty. Some of the expressions in this section may not be quite clear. Another question I should like to ask is this: Subsection 12

provides that no more copies shall be printed of a book which the author suppresses. Suppose an author has suppressed a book before any application is made for a license, what is to happen then? This is a case which does not seem to be provided for.

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Subtopic:   COPYRIGHT ACT AMENDMENT
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UNI L

William Stevens Fielding

Unionist (Liberal)

Mr. FIELDING:

May I, in connection with the same section, be permitted to ask whether the expression "suppressed by the owner of the copyright" has a clear and well-defined meaning? What constitutes "suppression?" Is there some provision elsewhere which determines that?

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?

Mr. DOHERT Y@

As to the right that

authors have had in the past to endeavour to stop the reproduction of their works I am not in a position to give a definition of just precisely how it is to be done, nor do I think it belongs to us now to suggest, in connection with a Copyright Act, the creation of a right which I understand is a recognized right. What we were seeking to do was to leave that right, whatever its extent may be under common law or under the law as it now stands, unaffected by the fact, or affected as little as possible by the fact, that a license has been issued for the publication of that work. I have not gone into the question sufficiently to be able to give a very satisfactory answer as to what is the nature and extent of the right recognized by the law in an author, irrespective of copyright questions, to suppress his work. What we were seeking to do was to leave that right, so far as possible, unaffected by the fact that a license has been issued.

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UNI L

William Stevens Fielding

Unionist (Liberal)

Mr. FIELDING:

Is the term already used in the statute.

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UNION

Charles Joseph Doherty (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Unionist

Mr. DOHERTY:

I do not know of any legislation of our own in which it has been used.

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UNION

Robert Laird Borden

Unionist

Sir ROBERT BORDEN:

I do not think the word has ar.y technical meaning.

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UNION

Charles Joseph Doherty (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Unionist

Mr. DOHERTY:

I might say that, this clause was taken from a draft of a Bill made some years ago by the present Deputy Minister of Justice, and that is what called my attention to it in the first place. On discussing the matter with him he left me under the impression-and I can secure the different instances which he gave- that authors had exercised the right. Of course what they can do to suppress a book is a question which depends on many practical considerations. I do not think there is any right recognized in the author,-after he has let the book be published and I have bought it-to come to me and say "You must turn your copy over to me." If no license were granted if course it would be in his hands to, stop all further publications. By reason of the license being grantd, however, the publication has passed into the hands of somebody else, and the purpose of this clause is to prevent the fact of the license being issued leaving the author powerless to stop the future circulation of his work. Now, in this clause, what was in mind was that when the circumstances indicated exist, it should be the duty of the minister to grant the license, but with regard to the terms and conditions upon which it should be issued, that it would be in the exercise of his discretion-it would rest with him to determine what are the fair terms and conditions as to the royalty, duration of the license, and so forth. I do not know which particular clauses might perhaps require modification to make that clear.

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Subtopic:   COPYRIGHT ACT AMENDMENT
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UNION

John Allister Currie

Unionist

Mr. CURRIE:

Might I suggest to the minister that in sub-clause 5 of section 13, line 34, after the word "minister," a few words should be inserted to the affect that "the minister, if by him deemed advisable, may grant." That will give the power to suppress on behalf of the author and cover all the objections raised. As it stands now the minister must grant the application. If there was an objection and it was de-

sired to suppress the book I do not see how the minister could act, unless some discretion is given to him in this clause as suggested by the right hon. - member for King's (Sir Robert Borden).

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Subtopic:   COPYRIGHT ACT AMENDMENT
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L LIB

Georges Henri Boivin (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Laurier Liberal

The CHAIRMAN:

What about the

amendment already before the committee?

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Subtopic:   COPYRIGHT ACT AMENDMENT
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UNION
UNION

Charles Joseph Doherty (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Unionist

Mr. DOHERTY:

I did intimate my intention of moving an amendment.

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Subtopic:   COPYRIGHT ACT AMENDMENT
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L LIB

Georges Henri Boivin (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Laurier Liberal

The CHAIRMAN:

Mr. Doherty moves to amend section 13 by adding at the end of subsection 12 thereof the following words:

Provided that nothing in this section shall authorize the granting, without the consent of the author, of a license to publish a second or succeeding edition of any work whereof such author has published one or more editions in Canada.

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Subtopic:   COPYRIGHT ACT AMENDMENT
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May 25, 1921