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Monday, 18 December 1905

Mr JOHNSON (Lang) - There is a good deal of force in the argument of the honorable and learned member for Werriwa. We ought not to pass a clause of this kind without seriously considering its possible consequences. The delivery of a lecture on such a subject as " Shakespeare " ought not to preclude the delivery of another lecture upon the same subject. If there be any possibility of guarding against an abuse such as that indicated by the honorable and learned member for Werriwa, I think that the Minister should seriously consider it.

Mr Groom - What is the particular point of the honorable member?

Mr JOHNSON - If one person happens to choose for his lecture the same subject as another he ought not to be subjected to special disabilities.

Mr Groom - It is clear that, under this provision, he would not.

Mr JOHNSON - I hope that it will be made so, but it is not so now.

Mr Groom - It is clear that the position could not be otherwise than I have stated. It must be his own lecture. For instance, no man could copyright the words '' Socialism "> or "A Lecture on Shakespeare." There might be as many lectures on Shakespeare as there are men in the Commonwealth. The principle is that a man must not wrongfully appropriate the work of another.

Mr JOHNSON - I am aware that that is the principle aimed at; but the question for consideration is whether this clause will not open the door to abuses.

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