May 25, 1921

LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

May I ask

the minister whether the committee has considered the possible effect of this enactment upon the amount which a publishing house, say in the United States, would allow an author for the publication of his work? An American publisher will take work from a Canadian author because he is sure of having the market of the United States and the market of other countries as well. If this Bill goes into force, it limits to a certain extent the possible market that a publishing house may have, and, consequently, the amount which may be made on a contract.

Mr. DOHERTY The existence of this provision of law, which modifies the author s own right to the extent of subjecting it to the possibility of a license, may, of course, affect the value of that right when ha goes to sell it. It is a right affected by the existence of that law. It was, however, urged-and it seems to us that it has considerable force-that, while it may be perfectly true to-day, with no impediment in the way, the American publisher expects to get and insists on getting the rights in Canada of the book which he

buys from the author, if you had a situation such as this law creates where the publisher will know that he will be liable to come into competition with the holder of the license, but where he knows that the author cannot alter that situation, it is impossible that the publisher is going to say: " Then I will not buy the book."

Surely, the American publisher who buys a w'ork has principally in mind his immense market of 110,000,000 people, and it would seem to me a very exceptional case where the right to publish in Canada absolutely without restriction would loom so large in the transaction that the transaction would fall through. As to what the author might be paid, let me point out that if what he gets from the American publisher is reduced by the American publisher not getting the Canadian right, if this license is carried through, the author will get his compensation in Canada for the circulation in Canada; he will not foe deprived of that right without ample compensation. I am not suggesting that the author is left just as well off as if this clause did not exist. I have conceded that this is putting a limitation on the interests of the author. Might we not appeal to the author, the Canadian author in particular, not to be absolutely selfish, but to have some thought for the Canadian printer or publisher who has contributed his part to this book? Might not the author have some consideration for the publisher's interest, and even if this reduces, in some degree, the price that the author gets from the American publisher, is it an unfair thing, when we are taking all the pains that we are taking to protect the author's rights and to surround them with guarantees, to ask him to be willing to accept, without too great criticism, this provision? I may point this out also, that as the law now stands, notwithstanding the issue of this license, works may be imported from countries that are in the Copyright Union, and if we come to a satisfactory understanding with the United States, as we have every reason to expect, no doubt we shall be in a position to extend the privilege to the United States. In that case the American publisher will be able to sell those books in Canada. All that he will be called upon to submit to is competition with a Canadian publisher.

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Subtopic:   COPYRIGHT ACT AMENDMENT
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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

Assuming that an author by further research has come to the conclusion that he does not care to have a certain edition republished,

can he .be protected against the republishing of such edition?

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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:

We have already moved an amendment to provide that the second edition or subsequent editions shall not be published without the consent of the author.

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Subtopic:   COPYRIGHT ACT AMENDMENT
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Section agreed to. On section 14-license to publish books in serial form.


UNION

Horatio Clarence Hocken

Unionist

Mr. HOCKEN:

This clause nullifies what has been done in the preceding clause. It reads:

If the publication of a book is lawfully begun as a serial elsewhere than in His Majesty's Dominions or in a foreign country to which section 4 of this Act applies, and the owner of the copyright has refused to grant a license to any person-

That is to say, the author may start printing the book as a serial in the United States or in Great Britain; then there will be no right for any publisher in Canada to get a license to print the book, and what we have done in the preceding clause, we are undoing with these words. What should ibe done is to make the clause read in this way:

If the publication of a book is lawfully begun as a serial elsewhere than in Canada-

And strike out the words: " His Majesty's Dominions or a foreign country to which section 4 of this Act applies." Then the two clauses would harmonize. If you are going to be consistent, the words that I have mentioned ought to be struck out.

I would like to know what the minister says about the matter.

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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 am disposed to think there would be no objection to accepting the suggestion of the hon. member. Of course, I am frank enough to say that what we have in contemplation in the Bill is to make a distinction between countries which come into the Copyright Union and those which do not. The clause as it reads is following on that general line of action. On the other hand, I quite realize that it is, perhaps, fair that where a work is published as a serial, say in England, there should be a possibility of a paper in this country publishing it. I am trying to think what ground of objection there could be. I do not know to what extent this Bill will expose us to difficulty in Great Britain. As I pointed out earlier in the treatment of this matter, it is important that we should make such a law as in Great Britain will be found to give British authors as full protection as their

law gives us. I do not know whether this would afford ground for the suggestion that we are not giving them as full protection as they give us, because I do not think they have any licensing system at all, and their author under their system is interfered with in no way by any right recognized in the publisher. I feel so strongly that the thing is unobjectionable that I would have no objection to accepting the amendment, and in the event of further consideration revealing any objection to it, I will speak to the hon. gentleman and the matter might, perhaps, be adjusted in the Senate. In the meantime I will accept the amendment. I beg to move to amend subsection (1) of section 14 by striking out these words in the second and third lines of the section: "His Majesty's Dominions or a foreign country to which section 4 of this Act applies," and by substituting therefor the word "Canada."

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L LIB

William Daum Euler

Laurier Liberal

Mr. EULER:

Should the deleted clause not begin with the word "elsewhere"? It is the word "elsewhere" that makes all the trouble.

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UNION

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

Unionist

Mr. DOHERTY:

The clause as amended will read "elsewhere than in Canada." If a book is started as a serial in Canada, I do not understand the suggestion to be that there should be a license.

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?

Mr. H. M. MO WAT@Parkdal'e

Has the minister appreciated the trouble we may have in having this Bill accepted by Great Britain? We shall have to have their concurrence in joining the Berne Convention, which is the protection, all over the civilized world, of authors. May not the minister by striking out these words and making the provision apply everywhere, foster a feeling of opposition which may give us great difficulty in dealing with the British Government? My recollection is that that was in our minds when we drew the clause in this way. What we endeavoured to protect a serial magazine man from was this: The United States is the place to which the Canadian author will go, and at times he is not able to publish his work in a Canadian magazine, because when he asks the American magazine publisher for the right to publish in Canada he is met with a somewhat curt refusal. The American Magazine publisher will say to him: Our magazine is published in Canada, and I will not give you those rights. The Canadian magazine publisher, who has been striving for years to build up a good business and to give Canada as good a magazine as can be got elsewhere, feels that it is a great hard-

ship that he is not able on fair terms to the author to get a license to publish these articles. The magazine men feel very keenly over this. One magazine after another in Canada has gone into bankruptcy simply because the publishers could not get past this impediment put in their way-and no doubt quite properly from the point of view of business-by the American publishers. That was the idea underlying this clause, and I would ask the minister to hesitate before he extends it to Great Britain.

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UNION

Horatio Clarence Hocken

Unionist

Mr. HOCKEN:

All I have in mind is

that we should not allow the publication of a book as a serial in the United States publication to prevent a license being issued in the Dominion of Canada. The minister assures me that the clause as it stands has that effect, and upon his assurance, therefore, I remove my objection to the clause. I did not desire to do anything more than provide that a man cannot write a book and start it as a serial in the United States in order to escape the licensing clauses of his Act, and on the minister's assurance that that point is covered, I withdraw my objection.

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UNION

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

Unionist

Mr. DOHERTY:

There can be no doubt that that is the effect. I said that there was a reason which I could not think of at the moment, and it is the provision in the Berne Convention that serial stories published in the newspapers or periodicals of one of the countries belonging to the Union may not be reproduced in the other countries without the consent of the author. I move for leave to withdraw my amendment.

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L LIB

William Daum Euler

Laurier Liberal

Mr. EULER:

I was quite in agreement

with the minister when he made his amendment, although there was a little misunderstanding as to just which words were being withdrawn and which inserted. If the clause remains as it is in the Bill you will be violating a principle with regard to the serial printing of a story that you observe in the case of the completed book. My understanding of a principle that was to be observed in this Bill was this: that where a Canadian author prints his work in book form in the United States it should become possible for a Canadian publisher to obtain a license to print that book in Canada. I think that is correct, and if that is correct with regard to the story in book form, is it not intended that the same principle shall apply to the book when printed in serial form? It seems to me that the wording of the section prevents that. It says:

If the publication of a book is lawfully begun as a serial elsewhere than in His Majesty's Dominions or a foreign country to which section four of this Act applies.

I would think that section 4 will conceivably apply to the United States when it joins the Berne Convention. If so, the United States will be exempted entirely from this provision and the Canadian publisher will not be able to get a license.

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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:

When the United States joins the Berne Convention-up to the present time she has not done so, and she has given no indication of doing so-she would come under this express provision of the Berne Convention, which escaped my mind at the time I proposed the amendment:

Serial stories, tales and all other works, whether literary scientific or artistic, whatever their object, published in the newspapers or periodicals of one of the countries of the Union may not be reproduced in the other countries without the consent of the author.

Now when the United States, if she ever does, comes into the Berne Convention she will come under that provision. But we are legislating, of course, for the existing condition of affairs, and as things stand today, this clause we are considering has the effect precisely of enabling licenses for serial stories to issue in Canada where a story is published as a serial in the United States. It would also be true of any other country not in the Union, but I think for practical purposes the country we are interested in is the United States; it would hardly be desirable to insert any particular country, but we get a practical result by saying "elsewhere than in countries that belong to the Union."

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L LIB

William Daum Euler

Laurier Liberal

Mr. EULER:

Does the minister then

state that this disability on the part of the American publisher will disappear if the United States joins the Berne Convention? If the United States joins the Berne Convention, will or will it not then be possible for the Canadian publisher to publish in serial form under license the work of a Canadian author which has been published in that form in the United States?

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UNION

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

Unionist

Mr. DOHERTY:

If the United States

should join the convention, then it will be for us to consider what legislation we ought to make in view of the altered conditions. If that should happen, and we want to continue this privilege, we will have to consider whether we had not better legislate to continue it even though that country has come into the Union. That will involve our considering what we then ought to do about

adhering to the convention. But we are making a law now to meet the conditions that exist at present, and as conditions now exist, this gives to our publishers the right to obtain a license to publish these things as serial stories where they are published as serial stories in the United States. No doubt there will be a different situation if the United States changes its position and we will then have to consider what we ought to do about it.

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L LIB

William Daum Euler

Laurier Liberal

Mr. EULER:

Does the discrimination

remain as against the Canadian publisher as compared with the British publisher or publishers in other parts of His Majesty's Dominions merely because of the fact that they belong to the Berne Convention?

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UNION

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

Unionist

Mr. DOHERTY:

I do not know that we analysed just what was the reason why, but the fact is that they do belong to the Berne Convention, and the fact is with regard to all countries belonging to the Berne Convention, if they wish to adhere to it, that we cannot enact this legislation as applicable to them. The same reason applies to Great Britain and the dominions as applies to all other countries who are in the Berne Convention, and therefore it was not necessary for us to consider whether there was any additional reason why we should do it with regard to the British dominions.

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L LIB

William Daum Euler

Laurier Liberal

Mr. EULER:

Is it true that under the Berne Convention there is a distinction with regard to the publication of books printed as a whole, and those printed merely as serials.

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UNION

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

Unionist

Mr. DOHERTY:

There is an express

provision that serials shall not be reproduced without the consent of the author.

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L LIB

May 25, 1921