§ The Marquess of Lansdowne
, in moving the third reading of the International Copyright Bill, stated that the object of the measure was to secure to the works of foreign authors in this cofuntry the same protection from piracy which British authors enjoyed, provided the governments of such foreign authors extended a similar privilege to the works of British authors in their respective countries. An arrangement of that nature could not now be made except by a specific treaty, which must be laid before Parliament. But it was provided by this bill, that her Majesty, by an 310 Order in Council, might give effect to any such arrangement. It was impossible to say what the operation of this Bill might finally effect, or how many countries would be willing to accede to such an arrangement as he had adverted to. But he could assure their Lordships that the subject had not been taken up without first ascertaining that there was a disposition on the part of several European Governments to concur in such an arrangement, which would be, he need hardly add, extremely beneficial to the general interests of literature.
expressed his approbation of the principle of the measure. He conceived that such an arrangement as was contemplated by the bill was most desirable both for this country and the other nations of Europe. But, in his opinion, the bill, in some points, required amendment. Looking to the first clause, it appeared that the bill applied to those authors only who divulged their names when they published their books. But the noble Marquess must know that some of the most valuable works were those which, in the first instance, were published without the author's name. Thus, in the case of Sir Walter Scott, when he originally published his novels his interests would not have been protected by this bill had it been in existence at the time, because he had not divulged his name to the world. Therefore, it appeared to him to be necessary that an alteration should be made in the bill so as to protect the interests of those who published their works without divulging their names. The noble Lord also suggested that alterations should be made in that part of the bill which related to the regulations connected with the importation of foreign works.
§ The Marquess of Lansdowne
admitted, that the bill was only intended for the benefit of those authors who avowed their works. He was ready, however, to attend to the suggestion of the noble Lord.
said, he did not mean to move any amendments, but he suggested the alteration to which he had adverted, as worthy of the consideration of the noble Marquess. The bill he considered to be of great value and importance.
§ Third Reading postponed.