HL Deb 30 October 1956 vol 199 cc1148-50

Clause 6, page 7, line 16, leave out from first ("of") to ("is") in line 18 and insert "reporting current events—

  1. (a) in a newspaper, magazine or similar periodical, or
  2. (b) by means of broadcasting, or in a cinematograph film.
and, in a case falling within paragraph (a) of this subsection,")


My Lords, we come now to Clause 6, which deals with the general exceptions from protection. This point is a very small one indeed. This Amendment makes two changes. The first is only drafting. The words "conveying news of current events" seem a little narrow. They might, for example, be held to restrict protection given to the provision of news items in papers or news bulletins on the radio. The words "reporting current events" now inserted are clearer and have also the merit that they are the words used in the Convention (Brussels text, Article 10 bis). The second change is that acknowledgement will now only have to be made when a copyright work is dealt with in a newspaper or magazine; this is as much as the Convention requires (Brussels text Article 10 (1) and (3)). The Bill, as drafted, also required acknowledgement in the case of broadcasts and films. This provision is now removed. Indeed, to comply with it would often, in practice, have been impossible. For example, a radio commentator could not be expected to break off and name tune and composer whenever a hand or a busker came within range of his microphone. That might have happened. I beg to move that this House doth agree with the Commons in the said Amendment.

Moved, That this House doth agree with the Commons in the said Amendment.—(Lord Mancroft.)


My Lords, I am not going to fight this battle over again. This is the clause that deals with the subject of the ephemeral recording. Enough has been said, and a lot has been written. The clause now shows the slightest of slight improvements. I think the proposal forms a major erosion, and that the Government may regret it in future. It depends largely on the attitude of the B.B.C. and the I.T.A. whether or not it proves a loss, and a substantial loss, to authors and composers, inasmuch as their work can be recorded without their permission so long as the recording is destroyed within 28 days. I very much regret that the Government could net go further than this, but it is far too late a stage in the Bill to fight it. With one last dying protest, I shall have to acquiesce.

On Question, Motion agreed to.