§ Order of the Day for the Second Reading read.
§ THE LORD CHANCELLOR (Lord HERSCHELL)
, in moving that the Bill be now read a second time, said, the object of the Bill was to enable this country to come into the Union proposed at a conference held at Berne some four or five years ago. Under that Union, so far as International Copyright was concerned, copyright in one country would give copyright in all the countries who had joined the Union. The proposal was that where a term of copyright existed in two or more countries the International copyright should not endure in any country longer than the shortest time for which it existed, either according to the law of the country where the publication took place, or of that where the question was raised. If a work was published in this country under the Imperial Copyright Acts copyright was given to the whole of Her Majesty's Dominions. If, on the other hand, a work was published in any one of the Colonies which formed part of those Dominions that work enjoyed copyright only according to the law of that Colony. It had been felt that this was not a satisfactory state of the law; and, therefore, it was proposed that a work published in any one of the Colonies should, under the Imperial Copyright Acts, obtain copyright protection throughout Her Majesty's Dominions, just as, in the same way, copyright obtained by publication in the United Kingdom applied to all Her Majesty's Dominions. He thought it desirable that this legislation should be carried through this Session. With regard to the views of the Colonies, so far as the answers received at present showed, they were all favourable to the proposal. Not one unfavourable answer had been received; but some of the answers of the Colonies had not yet arrived. Before the Bill passed into Committee, and if those answers had not arrived, he should ask their Lordships to accept a clause excepting from the operation of the Bill the Colonies which did not wish to be included.
§ Moved, "That the Bill be now read 2a—(The Lord Chancellor.)
§ Motion agreed to; Bill read 2a accordingly, and committed to a Committee of the Whole House on Thursday next.