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Wednesday, 20 June 1906


Senator TRENWITH (Victoria) . - I have very great sympathy with the object which Senator Givens desires to achieve, but 1 think he has hardly a senseof proportion. There is a great differencebetween the piracy of books and the piracy of designs. Piracy of a book means in-, every instance the piracy of the whole valueof the production. The paper and binding are merely the material by means of whichthe original crude value is presented to thepublic. The whole value lies in the brains of the author. There ought to be a severe penalty for stealing a man's entire property in a certain thing. There can be no objection to following the same course with a view to achieve a like result in connexion with a design. A design may be, and probably will be, very different from a book in the proportion' of its value. For instance, a design may be worth £1, and the complete article of which the design forms part may be worth £20 or .£100.


Senator Guthrie - The design may give it its value.


Senator TRENWITH - And it may not. My view is that the owner should haveample protection. The question is whether we are not going beyond what is necessary to achieve that end. I realize, and to this, extent I sympathize with Senator Givens, that there can be no offence, and no recovery, under this proposal unless a man has knowingly pirated a design.


Senator Best - That is not so. The amendment is in the form of a new clause.


Senator TRENWITH - Then that is an additional reason why, notwithstanding the strong points made by Senator Givens, we should not adopt his proposal. It lacks proportion. Designs may be, and will be, applied to a. thousand and one manufactured articles, and before the discovery is made that there has been a piracy many of those articles may have gone into private use and become the property of innocent persons.


Senator Givens - All these arguments might well have been applied to the Copyright Bill.


Senator TRENWITH - Not to the same extent. Under this amendment we should give to the proprietor of a registered design that had been pirated a right to goods that had cost any one of us any sum from, say> £l t0 £I0°- That would be an extreme step to take to secure what we desire.


Senator Sir Josiah Symon - The difference is that the carpet in the one case is the property, and the design may be merely ornamentation ; in the other case it is the book that is the property.


Senator TRENWITH - I have pointed out already that in the case of a book the whole property is in the letterpress, as the product of the brains of the man who wrote it, the paper and binding being merely the material in which it is presented. A design may be, as I have said, only onetwentieth, or, it may be, one-hundredth, or even one-thousandth part of the value of the completed article. The design may be valuable and important as an adjunct to the completed article, but not necessarily anything like the entire value, and, therefore, the cases are not parallel. If the remedy were made so terribly stringent as Senator Givens desires, the result might, and probably would, in some instances be that the penalty would fall on entirely innocent persons.


Senator Givens - So it might under the Copyright Act.


Senator TRENWITH - I do not see it in the same sense. While I sympathize heartily with the desire of Senator Givens, I think he is attempting to achieve the protection of a creator of a design by means that, are unnecessarily stringent. I think he can insure protection under the Bill as at present drawn. If a design has been pirated, the owner can proceed by injunction to prevent its further use, and a penalty is provided apart from any damage that may be recovered for piracy.







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