May 25, 1921 (13th Parliament, 5th Session)


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



With regard to the
author, I may say that his contention was that there should be no licensing system; that he should be, as matter of right, the sole person controlling the reproduction of his work. We have not been able to meet that requirement, but we did receive a memorial from the Authors' Association, in which, after putting forward that contention, they went on to indicate in detail what were the particular things in the Bill as introduced which in their view failed to do them justice. I think I may

safely say that each one of these particular objections has been fairly met. Perhaps on the part of the Canadian authors the strongest ground of objection was that by this legislation we exposed them tc losing their copyright in the United States, because we were making legislation which, as they considered-and I think it probable -would not he looked upon as acceptable by the United States. This legislation recognizes, as to all of the Copyright Union countries and as to all their authors, copyright in this country. It is not possible to treat in the same way authors of the United States, because that country does not form part of the Copyright Union. There are, however, provisions in the Bill enabling the Governor in Council, whenever it is possible to certify that the law of any country not in the union gives as efficient protection to our authors as our law does to theirs, by proclamation to extend the advantages of this Act to the country in question. Furthermore, once we have a definite law not necessarily an immutable law, but still a definite law- which we can submit to the American authors-for their consideration, there is every reason to expect that we shall be able to obtain from them a recognition of the sufficiency of our law similar to that which they have already granted to the law of Great Britain. That done, all the danger which the Canadian authors apprehend would disappear. I think I may say that their representatives felt quite reassured, when we pointed out that it was intended not to bring the Act into force save by proclamation, and that the purpose of making that provision was to enable us to be quite sure that we had a law that would operate to obtain for them protection in the United States and that, being satisfactory to Great Britain, would assure to them protection there. The representatives of the authors who came before us were satisfied upon that point, and that seemed to he the thing to which they attached the greatest importance.

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