Copyright Law

Oral Answers to Questions — Trade and Commerce – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 28th July 1949.

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Photo of Squadron Leader Ernest Kinghorn Squadron Leader Ernest Kinghorn , Great Yarmouth 12:00 am, 28th July 1949

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether, in view of the fact that the United Kingdom delegation only accepted the provisions of Article II of the Brussels Copyright Convention, 1948, on the understanding that His Majesty's Government remained free to enact such legislation as they might consider necessary in the public interest to prevent or deal with any abuse of the monopoly rights conferred upon the owners of copyrights by the law of the United Kingdom, he can state in what way this conditional acceptance is to be implemented; and, in particular, what steps are to be taken to ascertain whether any such abuse exists or is possible under present arrangements and, if so what kind of legislation is necessary to deal with it.

Photo of Mr Harold Wilson Mr Harold Wilson , Ormskirk

The object of the declaration referred to was to reserve the right of His Majesty's Government, notwithstanding the provisions of Article II, to take action to deal with any abuse of copyright monopoly rights, but it did not imply that any such legislation was actually called for in this country. Before the United Kingdom ratification of the Brussels Convention can be deposited, however, some amendments of existing copyright law will be necessary, and in this connection, I am considering whether it would be advisable to make a general inquiry into its working. The question whether there is any abuse in the exercise of the exclusive rights of public performance of musical works in this country such as would justify legislation, is, of course, one of the matters which could be dealt with in such inquiry.