June 16, 1954 (22nd Parliament, 1st Session)


John Whitney Pickersgill (Secretary of State of Canada)


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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