HC Deb 02 December 1908 vol 197 c1436
MR. BOWLES (Lambeth, Norwood)

To ask the President of the Board of Trade whether his attention has been called to the hardship and loss which, by the adhesion of any country for the first time to the Berne Copyright Union, will be inflicted upon British subjects who, before such adhesion, may have purchased but not yet published manuscript arrangements of musical and other works originating in that country; whether the free publication in the United Kingdom of works so purchased has been provided for by the Berne Conference or otherwise; and, if not, whether he can take any steps to secure that British subjects shall not be deprived of rights which they have lawfully purchased by the action of any foreign Power.

(Answered by Mr. Churchill.) Section 6 of the International Copyright Act, 1886, provides that where any person has before the date of the publication of an Order in Council lawfully produced any work in the United Kingdom, the issue of the Order shall not diminish or prejudice any rights or interests arising from or in connection with such production which are subsisting and valuable at the said date. A period of some months usually elapses between the definite adhesion of a new country to the Berne Convention and the publication of the consequent Order in Council in this country, and this interval would probably be sufficient to allow of the production of any work which may be existing in manuscript at the time, and any rights which may have been acquired by purchase or otherwise can thus be preserved.