Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Wednesday, 20 June 1906


Senator GIVENS (Queensland) .- The Minister's explanation does not quite satisfy me. The gist of his remarks is that the Judges in England, acting under the English law, have done what I contend should be ordered to be done by the Act itself. I fail to see why we should be satisfied with Judge-made law. when we have power toembody the will of the Legislature in the statute-book. It is wise that we should state the law plainly and straightforwardly when we are passing a Bill of this kind. Every reason which the Minister adduced against putting such a provision as

I advocate in this Bill may be adduced with equal force against the Copyright Act.


Senator Keating - No, because the judicial interpretation of the Copyright Act is entirely different.


Senator GIVENS - Let us put an interpretation on the Act ourselves, so that the Judges cannot go behind it. Courts of law often differ. Frequently suitors have to appeal from court to court to find out what the law is. No person, unless he possesses great wealth will dare to seek the protection of the Court. Is a poor man who has a clear case to be put to a most expensive course of litigation in order to find out what the Judge-made law is? I fail to see why the intention of Parliament should not be expressed in the Bill. To this Parliament, which is the High Court of the land, is intrusted the duty of framing the laws, and that obligation ought not to be shirked. Section 49 of the Copyright Act of last year reads as follows : -

All pirated books and all pirated artistic works shall be deemed to be the property of the owner of the copyright in the book or work, and may, together with the plates, blocks, stone, matrix, negative, or thing, if any, from which they are printed or made, be recovered by him by action or other lawful method.

Why should not the author of a valuable design have a similar remedy ? Why should not a man who holds a design for the printing of calico or cotton goods have the right to invoke the law and get the blocks and plates from which the design was being pirated handed over to him? Suppose, for instance, that an Australian design is put upon cotton goods abroad, and they are imported ? Why should not we protect the Australian designer by saying, " So long as you can show that it is a piracy of your design the goods will become your property, to deal with as you may please." It is only by providing a drastic remedy which could be easily enforced that we shall give efficient protection to Australian designers. I move -

That the following new clause be inserted : - " 31A. All goods bearing any pirated design shall be deemed to be the property of the owner of the copyright in the design, and may, together with the plates, blocks, stone, matrix, negative, or thing, if any, from which they are printed or made, be recovered by him by action or other lawful method."







Suggest corrections