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Monday, 18 December 1905

Mr CONROY (Werriwa) - It seems to me that the definition of " artistic work" is too wide. It includes -

Any painting, drawing, or sculpture; and any engraving, etching, print, lithograph, woodcut, photograph, or other work of art produced by any process, mechanical or otherwise, by which impressions or representations of works of art can be taken or multiplied.

It is proposed to give to owners of photographic work protection, which certainly is not possessed by them in any other part of the world.

Mr Fisher - Quite right, too.

Mr CONROY - I very much doubt whether it is right. To begin with, the law in every other country has been framed with a strict regard to the liberties of individuals. Photography is now so much in vogue that the ordinary touring amateur can produce very good work, and I think we should take care that we do not inflict injustice by adopting too wide an interpretation under this clause. Take, for instance, the case of the photograph of a famous picture. Would no one else have the right to photograph the picture? We have had no discussion or explanation, to make that clear, and we cannot foresee the difficulties that may arise.

Mr Groom - We are proposing merely to do what was provided for in the Bill approved of by the House of Lords.

Mr CONROY - But it is now proposed to go further than that.

Mr Groom - No. The two provisions are practically the same.

Mr CONROY - I thought they were widely different. I now come to the definition of the word " book."

Mr Groom - That is absolutely the same as the definition which was recommended by the House of Lords.

Mr CONROY - Is a limitation imposed in the English Act?

Mr Groom - It is the same definition as that proposed in the Imperial Bill.

Mr Bamford - We ought to allow the Bill to stand over until next session.

Mr CONROY - I quite agree with the honorable member. I cannot conceive of any individual being injured as the result of delaying its passage. However, I feel that, in pointing out some of the difficulties which may hereafter arise, I have discharged my duty.

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