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Monday, 18 December 1905

Mr FISHER (Wide Bay) - The honorable and learned member for Werriwa has directed attention to the question of photographs. He has argued that under the Bill if a photographer took a picture of a celebrated painting, he could copyright it so that no other person would be able to take similar photographs. Photography is practically a new art, and I fail to see why an able and skilful man, who may expose himself to considerable danger in securing abeautiful photograph, should not be allowed to copyright it. The photograph is his own just as much as a painting is the property of the artist who creates it. I know of a case in which a photographer went down a mine and obtained a brilliant picture. The State Government has pirated that particular photograph, and has declined to allow him any compensation whatever. Under such circumstances, I claim that we ought to protect a photographer equally with any other artist.

Mr. McLean.The honorable member would not prevent another artist from taking a similar picture?

Mr FISHER - We ought not to allow persons to take a copy of a brilliant picture without recognising the right of the owner. Consequently, I say that the clause should not be amended. I feel that his own sense of fairness would induce the honorable and learned member for Werriwa to admit that a photographer is as much entitled to protection, if he thinks it worth while to copyright a particular picture, as is the author of a book.

Mr Conroy - The difficulty is that so much of the work of producing a photograph is truly mechanical. For instance, the use of a fine lens will assist a photographer in a way that nothing else will.

Mr FISHER - My own experience is that success in photography can be obtained only by the . application of brain power. There is as much intelligence required in taking a photograph as there is in any other avocation.

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