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Wednesday, 23 October 1912

Senator CHATAWAY (Queensland) . - From the marginal note it appears that this clause owes its origin to the extra wisdom of the Attorney-General's Department. Why it has been inserted, it is absolutely impossible to say. It affirms that the registration of copyright shall be optional. But there is no law which compels a person to copyright anything, and consequently, there is no reason for the appearance of the clause in the Bill. Then we get the marvellous information that the special remedies provided for by clauses 15, 16, and 17 can only be taken advantage of by registered owners. If we turn to section 15 we find that it sets out what a person may not do without the consent of the registered owner. Clause 16 declares what a justice of the peace may do on ' the application of the registered owner, and clause 17 relates to the power of the owner of a performing right to forbid a performance in infringement of his right. These clauses, it will be observed, specially mention the registered owner as the person who has particular rights in these matters. Why then should we insert a clause setting out that nobody is compelled to copyright a thing? Why a boy in the second class of a tenth-rate school knows that nobody but the registered owner can deal with these matters. According to the marginal note this clause is not taken from any Act in particular. Registration is purely optional.

Even Senator McGregor cannot be compelled to copyright his own speeches. I would suggest to the Vice-President of the Executive Council that he should consult his officers with a view to ascertaining whether there is any valid reason for retaining the clause.

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