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Monday, 18 December 1905

Mr BROWN (Canobolas) - I think there is a good' deal in the contention of the honorable and learned member for Corio. I should be very sorry to make any invidious distinction against the United States, but we cannot overlook the fact that although the law is not specially directed against us, American legislation places our publishers at a disadvantage. The United States Act requires that a book for which copyright is required shall be printed and published in America within a certain time after the application has been lodged. I understand that, owing to this condition, a number of large English publishing firms have set up branch offices in America, and have brought out numerous works in England" and America simultaneously. The smaller firms that are unable to resort to this method of publication are placed at a great disadvantage, and this would apply to all the Australian publishing houses. Therefore, whilst American publishers can come here and obtain copyright for their publications, our publishers are denied a like privilege. We desire to place our publishers on the same footing as those of other countries, and I think that the amendment is deserving of consideration. It makes no invidious distinction so far as the United States is concerned, but subjects its publishers to the same conditions in Australia as are applied to foreign publishers in the United States. What is good enough for America ought to be good enough for Australia; and there can be no cause of complaint against us if we apply to the United States the methods which that country has adopted in dealing with others. The United States might be induced to recast its copyright legislation if it found that we were determined to assert our right in the direction indicated.

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