HC Deb 31 March 1862 vol 166 cc323-4

Order for Third Reading read. Motion made and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read the third time."


said, he would move that the Bill be read that day six months. He thought that the Bill would be wholly ineffective to afford a protection to artists. The measure appeared to have been prepared in a hurry, and was apparently intended only for the purposes of the Great Exhibition. Hasty legislation was always found by experience to be unsuccessful. Supposing that an artist did not register his picture, he saw nothing to prevent a surreptitious copy of the work being taken, without the slightest remedy to the artist. It would be better to reconsider the subject, wait a little longer, and get a better Bill.

Amendment proposed, to leave out the word "now," and at the end of the Question to add the words "upon this day six months."

Question proposed, "That the word 'now' stand part of the Question."


said, he hoped that the hon. Gentleman would not persevere with his Amendment. He had been indebted to several hon. Members on both sides of the House for suggestions and improvements in the measure. Nor was it fair to say the Bill had been prepared in a hurry. He had been requested by a committee of artists to introduce such a measure, the object being to place copyright in works of art on the same footing as that in literary works, sculptures, and engravings. The artists were at first opposed to the plan of a register; but finally their objections were removed. The object of the register was to afford absolute protection to every purchaser of a work of art after it had left the artist's hand. There was a difficulty in the way of a register of works of art, for a requisition to register would operate as an interference with the productions of artists; but no one could be injured by the Bill as it stood, and he hoped, that as it had reached that stage, it would not be opposed.


said, he was glad that such an improvement had been made in the law relating to works of art; and he thought that some such summary protection should be extended to literary property as was afforded to works of art by the Bill.


said, he would withdraw his Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Main Question put, and agreed to.

Bill read 3 °, and passed.