June 16, 1954

PC

Edmund Davie Fulton

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fulton:

What has the minister to say about the bureau for translations? Does his

[Mr. Macdonnell.l

department not exercise control over what shall be translated and what shall not be translated?

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LIB

John Whitney Pickersgill (Secretary of State of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. Pickersgill:

No, Mr. Chairman. The bureau for translations provides a translation service for each department of government and for parliament. It translates what it is given to translate. It does not decide that something is worth translating or something else is not worth translating. It is simply a service.

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PC

Edmund Davie Fulton

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fulton:

Is there not considered to be a saving in having it centralized in one bureau?

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LIB

John Whitney Pickersgill (Secretary of State of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. Pickersgill:

I would suggest, Mr. Chairman, that in one case it is suggested that a qualitative judgment be exercised and in the other-

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PC

Edmund Davie Fulton

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fulton:

No. Taking the minister at his own word that he does not exercise any discretion as to what shall be given publicity and what shall not, may I ask this question? Would there not be the same measure of saving and economy which is now felt to be made by having a centralized bureau for translations? Would there not be some measure of economy by having a central bureau?

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LIB

John Whitney Pickersgill (Secretary of State of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. Pickersgill:

In that sense there is

already the printing bureau which is responsible to me.

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Item agreed to. Patent and copyright office- 423. Copyright and industrial designs division, including a contribution of $2,100 to the union office for the protection of literary and artistic works, $22,068.


PC

James MacKerras Macdonnell

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Macdonnell:

I want to ask a question with regard to the Copyright Act and I wish to preface my remarks by reading briefly from last year's Hansard when the estimates of the Secretary of State were under discussion. At page 5304 of Hansard of May 13 of last year this question was asked:

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PC

Ellen Louks Fairclough

Progressive Conservative

Mrs. Fairclough:

I wonder if the Secretary of State will say whether be contemplates providing Canadian composers with means for copyrighting their original musical compositions?

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LIB

Frederick Gordon Bradley

Liberal

Mr. Bradley:

I do not know that there is anything to prevent a Canadian composer from copyrighting his production now.

Then there was a further question and Mr. Bradley then replied as follows:

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LIB

Frederick Gordon Bradley

Liberal

Mr. Bradley:

As a matter of fact copyright exists without registration, and I do not understand why the particular case to which my hon. friend refers cannot be straightened out.

Then tne non. memDer ior Hamilton West who had been questioning him said this:

This is not a particular case. I have been all through it, and I tried very hard to get Canadian coyright for an original composition. You just cannot get it in Canada.

I now come back to where I started. I want to ask the minister if he will just explain briefly the procedure which is followed. I have been reading the Copyright Act. I take it that there must be some procedure necessary-it is quite clear from the act that there is-but what I am not clear about it is just exactly what evidence is given by the department to the composer on the strength of which he is evidently able, according to the terms of the act, to seek legal remedies if his right is infringed. I repeat my question. I am asking for guidance as to the procedure which needs to be followed and as to the document or whatever it is which is obtained by the grantee for use in evidencing his rights.

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LIB

John Whitney Pickersgill (Secretary of State of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. Pickersgill:

I am going to improvise a little bit, Mr. Chairman. I have not the advantage enjoyed by the hon. member for Greenwood who is a lawyer. However I do not think that advantage helps much in this case. As I understand it, copyright is inherent. You own the copyright if you produce the thing, regardless of whether you register it or not.

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PC
LIB
PC

James MacKerras Macdonnell

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Macdonnell:

You say you own the copyright if you produce it?

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LIB

John Whitney Pickersgill (Secretary of State of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. Pickersgill:

If you produce the article, the music or the writing or whatever it is, the copyright is your property without regard to anything you may do at the copyright office.

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PC
LIB

John Whitney Pickersgill (Secretary of State of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. Pickersgill:

If you write it down on a piece of paper, it is yours; you own it.

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PC
LIB

John Whitney Pickersgill (Secretary of State of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. Pickersgill:

If the hon. lady could be patient for just a moment or two I will come to that matter. I was coming to it next. Of course you can defend that right in the courts without having anything to do with the copyright office at all. You can simply go to the courts and if you can prove that you wrote the thing in the first place, or that you composed the music in the first place, then it belongs to you, it is your property

Supply-Secretary of State and it does not enter into the public domain for a certain number of years. I do not profess to know how many years that is.

The object of the copyright office is to facilitate the proving of the fact of ownership, and there is there the facility for registering these claims of ownership in order to help prove ownership and to make it easier to collect royalties. I do not think the hon. member for Hamilton West last year was quite right in saying that you could not establish the copyright. I know there is a great deal of feeling that a Canadian composer cannot profit from his copyright or that it was very difficult unless he joins one of these associations which hold copyright to get any benefit from copyright. I have heard this contention. This is something that has been alleged to me, and is one of the things that I hope is going to be elucidated by the royal commission which was set up last week under Chief Justice Ilsley.

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June 16, 1954