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Seanad Éireann debate -
Wednesday, 6 Mar 1963

Vol. 56 No. 5

Bille Chuan Luimnigh (Droichead), 1963. - Copyright Bill, 1962: Second Stage.

Question proposed: "That the Bill be now read a Second Time".

This is a Bill to bring the law of copyright up-to-date to meet present day conditions, and to replace the existing Acts, which deal with the matter, by a single comprehensive statute.

Copyright law is the law that protects the authors and composers of original intellectual works such as writings, plays, music, paintings, etcetera. It is the law by which such persons are enabled to derive an economic benefit from their works after they have published them to the world. Basically, the rights which the law gives to authors are the rights to prevent their works from being copied or from being performed, without their permission.

The law at present is contained in Parts VI and VII of the Industrial and Commercial Property (Protection) Act, 1927. There have been a number of minor amendments to this over the years, the last being in 1958. The law enacted in 1927 was substantially the same as that contained in the Copyright Act of 1911; and in the half-century that has passed since then, there have developed new methods of exploiting literary and musical works such as by radio and television, and also new claimants for copyright protection, such as the broadcasting organisations and the cinematograph industry.

The Bill which is now introduced does not make any very fundamental change in the rights of authors and composers over their original works of a literary, dramatic, musical or artistic character, but it defines these rights more exactly. It also introduces some new copyrights in subject-matters other than literary, dramatic, musical or artistic works, and I think I should say a few words about each of these at this stage.

In section 17 of the Bill, a copyright is established in sound recordings. This replaces a provision in existing law under which records and the like were given a copyright as if they were musical works. The contents of recordings need not, of course, be music, and it is more appropriate that the copyright in such subject-matters should be separately defined, as the copyright in recordings is independent of any copyright in any literary or musical work that may be incorporated in the recording. The scope of the copyright in sound recordings, under the Bill, is a right to prevent copying, and a right to payment when the recording is played in public or broadcast.

Section 18 of the Bill deals with cinematograph films, and gives them a copyright on their own standing, irrespective of whether the film is of a dramatic character or a simple record of passing events, and it vests this copyright in the maker of the film whether it be a person or corporate body.

A new copyright is set up by Section 19 in sound and television broadcasts, and it is vested in Radio Éireann. The scope of this copyright is a right to prevent the unauthorised recording or re-broadcasting of a broadcast, and to prevent a television broadcast from being shown to a paying audience. As in the case of sound recordings and cinematograph films, the copyright being established in broadcasts is separate from any copyright that may subsist in any work or subject-matter contained in the broadcast.

There is a further new class of copyright established by Section 20. It is for the benefit of publishers and consists of a right for the publisher to prevent the photo-copying of any edition he may publish. It does not give him any special right in the work contained in the edition; it merely protects his typographical arrangement from reproduction by photographic means.

For the first time, a certain measure of control over the exercise of certain copyrights is being introduced into the law. It is well known that the performing right in musical works is exercised by composers by means of an organisation set up for that purpose. This was probably inevitable, as it would be extremely difficult for an individual composer to keep track of all the various public performances that might be given of a work which he had published, and of which a copy could be bought in a shop. But the fact that the great bulk of what may be called popular music is within the control of one organisation, and that this music must be used by classes of persons such as cinema proprietors, dance promoters and entertainment organisers of various descriptions, has given rise to suggestions that there should be some means by which disputes between such an organisation of copyright owners and users of copyright works could be resolved. I may say that the use of gramophone records for playing in public is a similar case.

The Bill, therefore, in Part V, proposes to set up an appeal body, consisting of the Controller of Industrial and Commercial Property, before whom cases of dispute may be brought. Royalties charged by an individual author for the use of his works will not be a matter that could be brought before the Controller but licensing schemes operated by an organisation of copyright owners can be reviewed at the instance of an organisation of persons requiring such licences.

There have also been some questions raised from time to time about the costs that may be involved in copyright actions. Under the 1927 Act, such actions could be started only in the High Court. The present Bill does not require that actions should be commenced in any particular court, but a provision is introduced in Section 23 which limits the costs that may be recovered on an action taken in the High Court that could have been taken in a lower court. This places copyright actions in the same position as other types of action for infringement of property rights, as governed by the Courts of Justice Act of 1936.

Under present law, actions for infringement of copyright must be commenced within three years of the infringement but this provision is not being continued, and the matter will in future be governed by the Statute of Limitations.

Amongst the miscellaneous provisions being made in Part VII of the Bill is a continuation of the obligation on publishers to send copies of books first published in the State to certain libraries, to which St. Patrick's College, Maynooth, is now added. There have been, I know, criticisms of this, but it is a long time in the law; I think it is a desirable provision and I should not like to sponsor its removal.

And, speaking of libraries, there is a provision introduced at Section 58, enabling the King's Inns Library to dispose of books which they may have acquired and have been obliged to retain, under the terms of old Copyright Acts or the King's Inns Library Act of 1945.

The House will be aware that the protection of copyrights is largely a matter of international agreements. Ireland is a party to the two main Conventions on this matter, namely, the Berne Convention and the Universal Copyright Convention. We have also signed, but cannot yet ratify, a Convention for the international protection of Performers, Producers of Phonograms, and Broadcasting Organisations, which was concluded at Rome in 1961. The proposals in this Bill are in accord with our obligations under the two copyright conventions I have mentioned, and are also designed to meet the requirements of the Rome Convention in so far as it relates to records and broadcasts. The Bill does not deal with rights for performers, which will have to be the subject of a separate measure. There is provision in Section 43 of the Bill continuing the existing arrangements by which the Government can make orders extending the benefit of this law to the works and to the nationals of foreign countries to which we give reciprocal protection under the Conventions.

I recommend the Bill for the approval of the House.

Anything relating to codification or the bringing up to date of legislation is always to be welcomed. At the very outset, there is one thing I do not understand about this Bill if it is to be a codified effort and an effort to bring things up to date. I am really mentioning this now probably for the benefit of practitioners of the law more than for the benefit of the public. For instance, in the Second Schedule — No. 21 of 1958: The Industrial and Commercial Property (Protection) (Amendment) Act, 1958, the extent of repeal is — The whole Act (other than Section 4). Why could Section 4 not be brought in and reenacted in this and get rid of the piece of legislation that might be hidden away somewhere which would do untold damage if somebody forgot it at an appropriate time?

As has been said about the Trade Marks Bill, this is essentially a Committee Bill. Copyright is not alone a very precise portion of our law but is also extremely delicate. Difficulties of proof in matters of infringement are involved. It is a brand of law where performers can become guilty, quite unwittingly, of crimes that would involve them punitively and also civilly. In my view, in legislation of this kind the question of definition is extremely important. Definition should be simple, clear, succinct and, in so far as is possible having regard to the fallibility of human speech, incapable of misconstruction.

There is one thing in the definition list — I do not want to be too detailed at this stage — which I think the Minister should look at. As far as I can see in Section 2, there is no definition of the word "court". Not so long ago I appeared in a copyright action and it was something that appeared to be generally accepted that you proceed on copyright action in the manner of damages in the High Court only. There is a section further on that regulates the costs in the event of the damages being less than the High Court jurisdiction and also in the event of damages being less than the Circuit Court jurisdiction. I think definition in relation to the court, or, shall I say, the appropriate court, as the case might be where there are actions of this kind, might be initiated so as to clarify it once and for all.

It is extremely difficult from time to time for people who collect anonymous stuff, have it published in various forms — whether in an album or by themselves—when they find themselves up against somebody claiming copyright, whereas, in fact, no trace of any copyright has been registered anywhere in respect of the said works. I had another case some time ago where an action was taken by certain people in this country against publishers abroad. The publishers abroad contented themselves with a search of the British Museum and they found nothing there and then proceeded to publish whereupon they were sued successfully in this country and had to pay damages. They were very small damages from the point of view of the assessment of the actual damage because it was actual damage within the State, but there was a punitive damage awarded against them as well, only to the extent of the fine of the Industrial and Commercial Property Act.

Subsequent to that, curiously enough, quite an amount of correspondence came into the solicitor's office from people in different parts of the country claiming that they had heard the particular songs sung long before the person who claimed the copyright said he composed them.

I do not understand this business of register of licensed holders and their application for licences. I think there should be some form for the registration of original works immediately upon their composition in some register or other, where it would be mandatory upon persons about to produce any part of it, or the whole of it, in any album or otherwise, first of all, to look and see if there is anything registered resembling what they propose to publish.

I am very pleased about the section that allows the King's Inns Library — I take it that it is a matter of space — to sell off the books that have to be presented to them by virtue of the various enactments. I do not know whether it should not be extended to the others as well. I think it is something that should be considered by other universities and libraries, which must receive by all enactments and by this enactment, copies of every published book and pamphlet. They should have the same right to get rid of stuff that would not be appropriate to them. One could easily conjure up the kind of things that would not be suitable for some colleges and would be extremely suitable for others and vice versa. I do think, of course, on the other hand, as the Minister has said, there has been criticism. He says, of course, it is the law for a long time. It can be very hard on small publishers to have to send so many copies of every first publication. It can be very difficult. The Minister might do well if in consultation, say, with the Minister for Finance and, perhaps, the Minister for Education, he established a fund out of which publishers, particularly small publishers, could be recouped to some extent at any rate for contributions to libraries. That would ensure that nobody is done in in the process, so to speak.

I do not know that there is anything else I need refer to further on this Stage because, as the Minister intimated, this is a Committee Stage Bill. The Bill deals with a part of the law that is extremely interesting and one worthy of study by the members of the House interested in it. I hope when it comes to the Committee Stage we shall have a mutually fruitful discussion.

Before I deal with the Bill proper, I should like to make a general comment. It seems to be a practice in Seanad Éireann that when there is a detailed measure such as this a copy of the Minister's Second Reading speech is given to the front benches of the various Parties. However, I notice that a copy is never made available to the Labour Party benches, which compares unfavourably with the practice in similar circumstances in Dáil Éireann. I hope that will be rectified in the future.

The Senator should not be wrecking the vocational idea.

For a moment this afternoon I thought the only vocation here was the legal profession.

The Senator will agree it is a vocation.

It is a remunerative one anyway. I am principally concerned in this Bill with the effect on musicians as such, and how Part III of this Bill affects their livelihood and their prospects of future employment. The Bill deals generally with copyright.

In Part II of the Bill we get a general understanding of what is meant by copyright. The general understanding is that the owner of a work retains, in effect, the ownership of that work and no other person is allowed to reproduce it except by the permission of the owner of the work. Copyright is infringed by a person who, not being the owner of the copyright and without the licence of the owner thereof, does, or authorises another person to do, certain things.

When we come to apply that general approach to Part III of the Bill, which deals with the use of recordings made, we find that there is a completely different concept. We find, in effect, that a record can be broadcast, and can be used for public entertainment, without the express permission of the owner of the copyright. All that is involved then is that if the person broadcasting or performing to the public has not got the permission of the owner of the copyright, the owner of the copyright can recover some recompense, and there is provision where agreement is not reached as to what payment would be equitable remuneration, that the matter can be referred to the Controller.

The point here is that the owner of the copyright of the record cannot withhold permission. We have heard recently of instances of the owner of a copyright of a play, for example, refusing permission for the reproduction or putting on of that play in this country. That is a right which is continued and defended in this measure. We may not agree with the reasoning behind it but it is there, and we accept that it is right and just, but in regard to a record which can affect the remuneration and the continued employment of the people making that record, the owner of the record cannot prevent its broadcast, or its diffusion, as it is expressed here, or its performance in public. He cannot withhold permission. In effect, his permission is not required. It can be broadcast without the permission of the owner of the copyright. The only recompense that the owner of the copyright has is that he may get some payment for that broadcast or diffusion.

I think we are holding two different measurements in this matter and that our approach in regard to records is inequitable. That is underlined by further sections in Part III under which records can be played to the public, for example, in a hotel or a holiday camp provided there is no charge for admission to the place where the records are being played and where the music and entertainment are being provided. If the people in a holiday camp are there for the purpose of sleeping in and staying at that establishment, then the music and entertainment can be provided for them without the permission of the owners of the copyright, and all the owners of the copyright can hope to get is some payment eventually.

If any of us have something for sale I think we would expect to have the prior right to decide whether or not to sell it. If you are compelled to sell, and someone else may ultimately decide the payment you will get, that amounts, to some extent anyway, to confiscation. This is important, not so much to the owners of the records, the people who manufacture them but to the people who put their talents into the production of the sound or the entertainment. It could mean that those people would find their continued employment affected in the future.

There are circumstances at present where, for example, in a large hotel or a holiday camp the employment of a band would be necessary and desirable. Under the Bill as it is now before us, the proprietors of those establishments could provide that music, or that entertainment, through records and without the permission of the owners of the copyright of those records. I do not think that is fair or just. The matter was mentioned in the Dáil and I do not accept the Minister's reply to what was said there at the time. However, we shall go further into it on Committee Stage. At this stage, all I want to do is to draw the attention of the Seanad to the different approach to copyright in regard to the artistic works, books and plays, as against the approach to records. I am suggesting it is an unfair and inequitable approach and should be mended when we come to the Committee Stage of the Bill.

May I interrupt for a moment before Senator O'Brien speaks? It looks as if we could complete the Second Stage of the debate without adjourning and I think it would be desirable to do so because the Minister has an engagement at 7.30 p.m. with the Companies Bill Committee. It would be advisable to finish without adjourning if we could.

If there are other Senators who wish to speak would they indicate their intention?

I propose to be very brief.

Acting Chairman

There are two more.

I shall address my remarks to Section 56 following on what was said by Senator Lindsay. This section provides for the delivery of books to certain libraries. At the outset, I think I should be honest and declare that I have a double personal interest in this section. First of all, as a director of a publishing firm in Dublin, I am concerned with the giving of books and, secondly, as a Trustee of the National Library I am concerned as a recipient of books. Therefore, I am not speaking without some personal interest in the section.

As the section stands it appears, on the face of it, rather unfair to Irish publishers that every Irish publisher has to give away seven copies to the libraries, and possibly four others if he is asked. He may, therefore, have to give away 11 copies of every book he publishes, whereas in Britain a publisher has to give only six copies, one of which comes to Trinity College, Dublin. Speaking as a Trustee of the National Library for many years, I can certainly say that from the point of view of the country we are benefiting by the exchange. There is no question whatsoever about that. Publications in England and particularly in London are so numerous and so many books of great importance are received in Trinity College Library — the Library receives a copy of every book published in Great Britain — that from the national point of view it is a very good return for the comparatively few books which Irish publishers send to Great Britain in return. Therefore, I have no doubt at all that from a national point of view this is an extremely good arrangement, that Trinity College receives a copy of every book published in Great Britain. That means that the National Library and other libraries in this country, out of their limited funds, do not have to buy some very expensive English books because they know that there will be at least one copy of these books for students in this country. That means that we can devote the funds of the National Library and other libraries to the purchase of American books knowing that students of any subject will be sure of finding all the English books in Trinity College. Therefore, from the national point of view I think the exchange is a fair one. In fact, I think we are likely to gain.

From the point of view of the Irish publisher it is rather a burden to have to send a minimum of seven, and possibly a maximum, of 11 books published and many of the new Irish publishers are small. They are publishing books on a rather elaborate scale, rather expensive books, very good books. Some of the new publishers who have come into existence in the past few years are doing very good national work. This obligation to send out several free copies can impose quite a serious burden. Therefore, I join with Senator Lindsay in asking the Minister to try to find some possibility of giving a small subvention from some cultural fund or from the Department of Education towards helping Irish publishers to carry out this liability. It may be quite a serious burden on the individual publisher but from the point of view of the nation as a whole it is an arrangement from which I have no doubt at all Ireland gains more than she loses.

First, may I say that I am entirely in agreement with what Senator O'Brien and Senator Lindsay have said about the desirability of some small subvention for struggling publishers in this country who become liable under this Bill. It is perhaps a little hard on them. If necessary, I would have tried to make a case myself justifying the Trinity College enjoyment of copyright, but Senator O'Brien has done it already, and there is no need. But, if the Minister could see his way to compensating those who are just beginning their work or struggling, it would be a good thing generally. We want as far as possible to encourage the publishing business. At the moment we are sadly behind with it. Most Irish authors send their books abroad for publication, that is, to Great Britain usually or America. Almost all Irish musicians send their works out of the country for publication. If that state of affairs could be remedied it would be very much to the advantage and benefit of the country.

In this Bill we have to consider three different types of people. We have first the authors and composers. Without them there would be no Bill of this kind. They are the creators, they are the makers, they give us the material for what is in this Bill. Secondly, we have the publishers. On the whole, I think those are the people who are best able to look after themselves. They are generally shrewd business men, very much on the spot in matters of this kind, and I do not think they are likely to suffer under this Bill for any lack of intelligence and pressure on their part. The third group are the performers of musical works. Senator Murphy has already said something about those. I should like to support him later on that point.

May I first say a word on behalf of the composers? On the one hand they have been treated fairly and generously under this Bill, but there is one fact which may hit them. I am assured by one leading composer in this country that it will hit them. That is Section 16. This is one in which a work of joint authorship is referred to. It is defined later on. Section 16, subsection (1) reads:

In this Act "work of joint authorship" means a work produced by the collaboration of two or more authors in which the contribution of each author is not separate from the contribution of the other author or authors.

Now, what will be the position under this Bill in the following circumstances? A simple tune is devised by somebody outside this country, a "pop" tune if you like. A composer in this country orchestrates that, with a great deal of work and does it very successfully. He, in fact, has created another work of art, if it is well done. Is he not entitled in justice to some copyright for this, what is virtually a new work of art? After all, if we consider the work of Bach or of other great composers, what they did was to take tunes which were going around Germany or wherever it was in their day and develop them into magnificent chorales or other works of high musical merit. It seems to me that it is only fair that if a man transforms a simple tune of this kind into a major work of art he should have some copyright in the matter. He will not under the Bill as at present. It may be that I misunderstand the clause — and here I should like to express my gratitude to the Minister for the correspondence in which he has clarified certain matters for me — but, I would ask him now whether it would not be possible to introduce some kind of amendment by which our Irish composers would get some return in this way.

I understand that at present the law in Great Britain is what is envisaged here, but that this is not the law in other countries abroad. In fact, I understand that the law in Great Britain was not changed to what we have here until the war, and then under the usual excuse, a justifiable one no doubt, of war and necessity, certain rights under the previous copyright law were changed.

The position will be, I understand, under this Section that composer X in Ireland who takes a simple tune, orchestrates it and makes a considerable work of art out of it, will get nothing except his original fees. All the other monies on that will go out of the country because we have no big musical publishers in this country. Now, I understand if a composer in France were to take a simple tune and do that kind of thing with it he would get certain copyright fees.

I am speaking from information provided from somebody else. I am open to correction, but I know the person who gave me this information was acting in good faith. If I am wrong in this matter I shall of course withdraw it. But if I am right in the general outline I suggest to the Minister that possibly amendment is desirable to see that these people who are doing work of high artistic merit in this country should get some copyright fee. It is a very complicated Bill and it may be that the matter is safeguarded elsewhere but to put it quite simply, if a simple tune is taken and made into a major orchestral piece, must our Irish composers receive no copyright for that considerable work?

It seems to me that this section might be amended rather simply—this is a dangerous thing to say about such a complicated Bill as this — if we could change the phrasing to "in which the contribution of each author is not separable from the contribution of the other author or authors." The section at the moment reads "separate from the contribution of the other author or authors." You see it would be perfectly possible in the case that I have mentioned to say: here is the simple tune which is protected under copyright. All the rest of this elaborate orchestration has been done by Irish composers with possibly some originality in it. They are separable. Therefore, it is not a work of joint authorship under the Act and some copyright fees may be obtained.

I know I am treading in very labyrinthine ways in this Bill. If I put my foot in the wrong direction the Minister will, I hope, put me right. If what I say is correct, I think it is unjust to Irish composers that because they live in Ireland and not in France or, possibly, Canada or the States — I am not quite sure of the exact law in these places — they will be prevented under this Bill, from getting certain copyright fees which they would get in that other country. We are adapting ourselves to British law, where British law is not the model in certain other parts of the world.

To turn from the composers to the performers, I do think that a fair case has been made by Senator Murphy that performing musicians in this country will face the risk of considerable unemployment if certain provisions in Section 17 still stand. If these records of their music can be used a good deal more freely than in the past, it is perfectly clear that many places will dispense with bands and play records. It might be argued that when performers make records they know they are taking that risk and they need not make the records. That is not a justifiable line of argument. They have to make these records to eke out their very slender fees.

I would urge the Minister very earnestly to see if he could cut down this risk of unemployment amongst the practising musicians of Ireland by some amendment of this section. Again, it might be a very complicated process. I would not care to try to undertake it by way of amendment myself. I do think it is called for.

We have a great tradition of music in this country. On the Minister's letter which I have before me, the harp is on the lefthand corner. It is also on our coinage. Part of the fame of Ireland depends on that music which is symbolised by the harp. Under this legislation, those who are as it were, the descendants of the ancient harpers of Ireland, will suffer. I hope the Minister will reconsider the matter in that light.

Níl mórán le rá agamsa ach tagairt do rud nó dhó. Tá dhá rud i gceist anseo— scríbhneoireacht agus ceol. Tá ceist na scríbhneoireachta beagnach réitithe. Tá coinbhinsiún idirnáisiúnta ann agus tá sé sin i bhfeidhm ar fud an chuid is mó den Eoraip. Tá an t-eolas ann. Ar an dtaobh eile, is rud trioblóideach é an ceol. Sin í an trioblóid is mó atá i gceist sa Bhille seo.

Mar a dúirt cuid de sna Seanadóirí tá baol ann go mbeidh dífhostú nó dith oibre imeasc roint ceoltóirí má mhéadaíonn an nós chun taifeadáin a úsáid in ionad buíonta ceoil. Táim ar aon aigne leo sin agus is rud tábhachtach é maidir le h-obair sa tír seo. Ach chím a lán deacracht san scéal sin. Conas a gheofar teacht ar táille a bhaint de dhaoine a úsáidfidh taifeadáin in ionad buíon cheoil chun caitheamh aimsire i dtithe nó i hallaí ar fud na tíre? Ní heol dom aon ghléas chun táille do bhaint díobh sin. Tá nós ann i dtíthe óil faoi láthair na taifeadáin a chur ar siúl. Is eol dom go raibh dlí in gcoinne cúpla tígh chun íocaíocht a bhaint amach ar son lucht úinéireachta na dtaifeadán, ach ní tháinig sé fós ann go mbeidh cúis ghearáin ag buíonta ceoil toisc go seinntear ceol ar thaifeadáin a cheannaítear i siopa nó ó na daoine a dheanann iad.

Sí an trioblóid atá sa scéal, dar liomsa, ná conas a thiocfaí ar aon táille a bhailiú ó dhá-dtrian de sna hallaí agus na ranganna agus na háiteanna a bhainfeadh feidhm as taifeadáin in ionad feidhm a bhaint as buíonta ceoil. Is dóigh liom gurb é sin an priomh dheacracht a bhaineann le ceol. Aontaím ar fad leis na cainteoirí a dúirt, gur baol do bhuíonta ceoil nuair is ceadmhach do lucht caitheamh aimsire, rincí, agus a leithéidí sin, feidhm a bhaint as taifeadáin ionad feidhm a bhaint as lucht seinte ceoil.

Sin í an deacracht atá ann don Aire nó do Aireacht a bheidh ag iarraidh fuascalt éigin a dhéanamh ar an gceist seo. Is dóigh liom gur rud crosta, deacair, beagnach dó-dhéanta, aon íocaíocht a bhaint as gach aon halla beag agus gach aon tigh óil.

Maidir le drámaí agus cúrsaí litríochta, bíonn siad san i hallaí poiblí, amharclanna agus a leithéidí sin. Is féidir smacht nó cúntas do choimheád orthu. Ach maidir le ceol a sheint do ranganna nó do bhuíonta nó do dhreamanna rince, tá an oiread sin ann a chelachtas na rudaí sin go mbeadh sé deacair é chur i bhfeidhm. Sin é an pointe ba mhaith liomsa go ndéanfaí machnamh air.

My remarks on the last Bill apply equally to this one. I do not think it is necessary for me to go into any detail. I shall, to some extent, try to meet or rather answer some of the points raised by the Senators. I find myself again in a difficulty I was in once before in referring to Senator Lindsay's remarks, that I am now addressing him as LeasChathaoirleach. I think I can allay one fear he expressed about the Second Schedule of the Bill in its reference to Section 4 of the 1958 Act. The 1958 Act applies to all industrial and commercial property, and provides that rules of court under the 1927 Industrial Property Act must be made by the courts and not by the Minister. As I said, that Act did not relate only to copyright, and, therefore, it is retained in existence because it refers also to rules of court in respect of trade marks and other industrial and commercial properties.

There is not a definition of "Court" in the definition section of the Bill, but Section 23 provides that an action may be brought in an appropriate court and sets out in detail what these courts are, from the High Court down to the District Court. The provisions of Section 23 relieve a long-standing complaint that infringements of copyright were prosecuted exclusively in the High Court, and on many occasions where an innocent infringement might have occurred, done perhaps by the proprietor of a small dancehall in a rural area, he would have to face a claim brought against him in the High Court. Section 23 does not preclude the bringing of such cases in the High Court, but it enables the Judge to award costs appropriate to the amount of the damages he gives. In other words, if the damages given against an infringer of copyright are appropriate to the District Court, even though the case is brought in the High Court, then costs on the District Court scale may be given. That will relieve what is undoubtedly a hardship particularly in the case of innocent infringers.

The power that the King's Inns Library are given to sell certain of their books was given as a result of representations directly made. As far as other libraries are concerned who have the right to receive books from publishers, they do not necessarily have to take books willy nilly, because there is provision whereby they can, through appropriate means, request that published books be sent to them. If they do not want them, they do not have to apply in the approved way.

As far as Senator Murphy is concerned, I do not know whether I am responsible for his not getting a copy of the speech I delivered. Sometimes I wonder whether it is wise for a Minister to give a copy of a speech. On one occasion recently I circulated a copy of a speech I made in the Dáil when there were about two Deputies present. Other Deputies wandered in, picked up copies which they found lying around, and picked passages out of it and then made irrelevant contributions. I am not suggesting that such a thing would happen here, but it often tends to delay proceedings. However, I can assure the Senator that in future on any occasions when I will cause copies of an introductory statement to be circulated he will get one of them.

As far as his point is concerned about the difficulty that Part 3 of the Bill will cause to musicians, a point on which he was supported by both Senator O'Brien and Senator Stanford, Senator Stanford anticipated the type of reply I would have given, which is, nevertheless, a valid one. If a record is made of a work, then the person who makes it can do what he likes with it. He can put it into his own archives and nobody can use it. If he puts it on sale then a person who pays the appropriate cost is entitled to buy it. If that record contains musical or dramatic works of individual performers, then there is an obligation on those performers to ensure that any contract they made with the record owners will ensure that they will be adequately remunerated for their contribution to the record. Once the record is put on sale, then it is only fair that members of the public who buy it should have the right to use it.

If a record is played — and this, I think, will answer the problem of Seanadóir Ó Siochfhradha — in public there is remuneration. In other words, the proprietor of a public house is charged a fee for his customers listening to the record. He will be obliged to pay the appropriate fee to the record owner. The person who plays a record in public has paid already a £1 or maybe more, of which a certain percentage is given to the people who own the copyright in it, so that, by and large, in the first instance, it is a matter for the person who makes the record to put it on sale or not as he likes——

Will the Minister help me? Am I correct in saying that if you publish a book Radio Éireann cannot necessarily read that book in its programme even though Radio Éireann buys that book?

Certainly they can. They can put the book across and acknowledge its authorishp.

Not without permission, surely?

They can read reasonable extracts from any book.

That is a different thing.

They can put a book in dramatic form or, perhaps, have a programme of reading from the book. However, this is a matter on which, as Senator Murphy has indicated, we shall obviously be going into more detail on the Committee Stage.

Senator O'Brien made some references to the habit of Irish musicians of having their works recorded abroad, apart from Irish authors having their works published abroad. As far as the making of records is concerned, we do make records here but there is the basic element in this called the matrix, which is the key imprint. We do not, unfortunately, make matrices in this country, but we can make reproductions from them. We have to have these matrices made abroad and imported, so that is one matter that we cannot provide for in this Bill. We cannot help Irish musicians to have their works recorded from the ground up, so to speak, in this country.

The other main point raised was the obligation on publishers to provide libraries in this country and in Britain with copies of each book they publish. As I said already, there is provision in the Bill whereby such people make application for a copy through certain channels. If you examine the obligation you will see that it is very much in favour of this country as everyone agrees by and large, even though it might be remarked in passing that some British publishers are complaining about the advantages we enjoy.

Take the average book published in this country, let it cost £1, £3 or £4. Assume that it costs £2 as an average figure — I do not know whether it would be or not. The obligation to present 11 copies is not, I suggest, a very onerous one. If it retails at £2 the cost to the publisher is considerably less and a £2 book may cost the publisher only £15 for the 11 copies he would have to provide. Dearer books would cost more, of course. I see few cases in which the publisher would have to pay more than £30 or £40 for the allocation of these books to the libraries to which we give entitlement under the Bill.

I do not think it would be a severe hardship and while it may be possible to have some administrative provision to give compensation in suitable cases I do not think you could write such a provision into the Bill because you would have to define what a weak company is and every publishing company might have a claim for compensation from the State for the obligation imposed by the Bill.

It was suggested to me elsewhere — not here—that this forced Irish publishers to have their printing done abroad. I do not think there is anything at all in that. I do not think it is any valid argument against this provision.

These are the main points which were raised I think. I am obliged to the Seanad for hearing out the Second Stage without adjourning.

What about the matter of joint authorship?

In respect to that, the Senator's letter to me was my first intimation that any difficulty was experienced with that problem. As I understand the Senator's case here this evening he said that when a person adapted a tune and made a reasonably good composition of it some copyright should reside in him. In the first place, in order to adapt a tune like that the composer or adaptor would have to have the permission of the person who composed the song and in whom the original copyright would have been. It would be a dangerous precedent to permit a copyright to be created in a work already composed by somebody else. The essence of copyright, the essence of the subject of copright must be that it is a creative work, something creative, something which the person who composed it created himself. To give the right to a person to claim copyright for the adaptation of such work would, I think, lead you into dangerous fields. The Senator's letter which was received only some days ago on February 26th was the first intimation that a difficulty may exist and between this and the Committee Stage I will give it further consideration.

Question put and agreed to.
Committee Stage ordered for Wednesday, March 13th 1963.
The Seanad adjourned at 6.25 p.m. until 3 p.m. on Wednesday, March 13th, 1963.