HC Deb 09 May 1990 vol 172 cc345-6
Mr. William Cash (Stafford)

I beg to move, amendment No. 709, in page 116, line 10, leave out 'or (3)'.

Mr. Deputy Speaker (Sir Paul Dean)

With this it will be convenient to consider the following amendments: No. 710, in page 116, line 19, leave out '(a)' and insert after the first `the' `conditions and'.

No. 711, in page 116, line 21, leave out from 'him' to end of line 26.

No. 712, in page 116, leave out lines 27 to 33 and insert `(3) A licensing body shall not be entitled to propose a restriction on needletime unless expressly requested by a licensee, provided that where a person who has expressly so requested such a restriction later requests a relaxation of a restriction as to needletime, the condition referred to in section 135A(1)(b) shall be deemed to be fulfilled.'.

No. 713, in page 116, line 34, leave out 'references' and insert 'reference'.

No. 714, in page 116, line 37, leave out from 'licence' to `failing' in line 37 and insert 'includes'.

No. 715, in page 116, leave out lines 41 to 45 and insert `needletime" means the amount of time a sound recording, or an aggregate number of sound recordings is included in a broadcast or cable programme service,'.

No. 716, in page 117, line 32, leave out from 'condition' to end of line 35 and insert 'intended to prevent or hinder unauthorised copying of the sound recordings, notice of which has been given to him by the licensing body,'.

No. 717, in page 118, line 19, leave out 'and' and insert `(taking into account the provision of paragraph (d) below.)'.

No. 718, in page 118, line 24, leave out 'less than reasonable' and insert `of an unreasonably low amount'.

No. 719, in page 118, line 26, at end insert— `(c) if asked to do so by a person exercising the right conferred by section 135C shall determine whether the payment proposed by the licensing body in response to a request under section 135B(1) was of an unreasonably high amount and if it was may order the costs of the person on that application to be paid by the licensing body, (d) shall not be entitled to treat as a relevant consideration when determining whether the terms of payment are reasonable, any increase in usage of sound recordings whether as a result of a removal of a restriction on needletime or otherwise and sections 129 and 134 (factors to be taken into account) are modified accordingly.'.

No. 720, in page 118, line 36, leave out from 'condition' to 'sound' in line 38 and insert 'intended to prevent or hinder the unauthorised copying of the'.

No. 721, in page 118, line 44, after 'and', insert '(i)'.

No. 722, in page 118, line 45, at end insert— 'or

  1. (ii) if it is not reasonable the tribunal may order any costs of the applicant on the reference to be paid by the licensing body.'.

No. 723, in page 119, line 27, after licence', insert 'save as modified by section 135D(1)(d)'.

Mr. Cash

In one minute I shall celebrate my 50th birthday, on 10 May. That day in 1940 was a great day for this nation, but not on account of my birth.

The Minister is well acquainted with the arguments about needletime and I should be interested to hear his response to my amendments.

Mr. Mellor

I am glad to say that, in view of the brevity of his speech, it appears that my hon. Friend the Member for Stafford (Mr. Cash) will indeed reach his birthday. Had he spoken for longer, that might have been doubtful. I shall filibuster for 30 seconds so that I can wish him a happy birthday.

This is a complex set of provisions, but my hon. Friend has, I think, raised points which need to be considered very carefully. I am happy to give him an undertaking that we shall consider them positively, and I will write to him. If our decision is favourable, it will be possible to make some of the changes that he wants in another place. We have not yet reached the time, but I wish my hon. Friend a happy birthday anyway.

12 midnight

Mr. Jim Lester (Broxstowe)

I hope that, despite what my hon. and learned Friend the Minister has said, he will consider the full implications of amendments that have been moved so arbitrarily at such a late hour. As I am sure he realises, there is a good deal more to them, and those who oppose them would like an opportunity to say so in —or through—another place.

Mr. Simon Coombs

I echo what my hon. Friend has lust said. It is important for hon. Members to understand that a balance must be struck between the interests of the music industry and those of broadcasters. If the Government are to move at all, they must move with great deliberation. This is not the time to do more than put on record the fear of many Conservative Members that a move will be made to upset that delicate balance, so I merely urge hon. Members to resist the amendments.

We discussed these matters when we debated the Bill which became the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, and no change was made then. Similar amendments were defeated. If these amendments were approved, or reintroduced in another place, broadcasters would have access to unlimited quantities of material without making payments which related in any way to their volume use. That would represent a serious change in the delicate balance between the rights of the music industry and those of broadcasters.

By all means let us debate the matter, but not at such late hour. I hope that my hon. and learned Friend will mar in mind what I have said.

Mr. Cash

Having reached the age of 50, I beg to ask eave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Forward to