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Wednesday, 23 October 1912

Senator KEATING (Tasmania) .- Generally speaking, in the countries which have anything in the nature of copyright law, registration is not essential to title in copyright. Publication and publication alone is the ground upon which the right of the individual author to prevent the unauthorized reproduction of his own works, rests. We follow that principle. The provisions to which reference is made in this clause are something in the nature of an innovation in the matter of protecting the rights of - authors and owners. Their effect is to enable an individual, without recourse to any judicial tribunal, to personally injunct others from infringing his rights. In. the clause now under consideration we provide that before he takes these extreme steps - before he avails himself of opportunities such as are extended to him in no other country in the world - he must be the registered owner of the copyright or the accredited representative of the registered owner. I think it is desirable that we should make some special provision for registration in certain cases, and that we should allow that registration to be optional. Take, for example, the production of a play, which may be staged in Melbourne- or Sydney, and which may be attracting large houses. It is conceivable that that play might be taken into the back portions of New South Wales, Queensland, or Tasmania, with the object of staging it under a different title, and a company might be prepared to perform it. Under clause 16 an opportunity would be afforded the owner of the copyright in that play to injunct every individual who was likely to take part in the performance, and to restrain the owner of the theatre in which the performance was to take place from allowing his theatre to be used for that purpose. These are extraordinary remedies which we afford to the owners of copyright, and in no other country in the world are they granted such a power of summary redress. If the owner of a copyright wishes to enjoy that right throughout the Commonwealth, the least he can do is to register himself as the owner of it. The same remark is applicable to copyright in books. Having * given the owners of copyright these rights, we may fairly ask them to register themselves so that they shall, at least, be identifiable. In asking that, we are not asking too much.

Clause agreed to.

Clauses 27 to 39 agreed to.

Clause 40 - (1.) The publisher of every book which is first published in the Commonwealth after the commencement of this section, and in which copyright subsists under this Act, shall within one month after the publication deliver, at his own expense, a copy of the book to the Librarian of the Parliament, who shall give a written receipt for it.

Senior KEATING (Tasmania) [9.14].- I should like to ask the Minister whether he has considered the advisableness of calling upon the publisher of every book published in Australia to deliver an extra copy to the Parliamentary Library ?

Senator de Largie - In many instances one copy is sometimes too many. I do not know where we shall find room for all the publications we receive.

Senator KEATING - At the present time two copies are delivered. One is kept as a record, and the other copy, if it is of any use at all, is placed on the shelves of what may be called our National Library. The Parliamentary Library, under the policy pursued by members of the Library Committee of the Senate and House of Representatives, is being organized, with the ultimate object of being a Library, not merely for the Parliament, but for the nation. It is highly desirable that one copy of every book published in Australia should be preserved in the Library. The VicePresident of the Executive Council, in his second-reading speech, alluded to the fact that, in order to obtain copyright in Great Britain, six or seven copies of a book' have to be supplied to different institutions. Some time ago a circular was issued, and came into the hands of most honorable senators, urging that each State Library should get a copy of every book published in the State. We might just as. well ask for two copies for Library purposes as for one. One copy should belong to the nation that gives the protection of its laws to an author. Another copy might be supplied to the Library of the State in which the work is published. I do not propose to move an amendment, but mention the idea for the consideration of the Vice-President of the Executive Council.

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