HL Deb 02 November 1988 vol 501 cc269-70

69B Line 4, leave out ("or in any work included in it").

Viscount Brentford

My Lords, I am in a strange position in that the Minister has already expressed his views about this proposed amendment, Amendment No. 69B, to Commons Amendment No. 69. Bearing that in mind, I should like to make a couple of observations about it. My amendment refers to the distinction in the Copyright Act 1956 whereby it is not an infringement of copyright for a person to record for private purposes a sound or television broadcast but it is an infringement to record, even for private purposes, a copyright musical work which is included in a broadcast programme. That distinction is important and I believe that it should be continued. The provision has worked well for 30 years. However, I appreciate that technology is very different now.

My second point relates to the enforcement of private rights. That is a point about which my noble friend Lord Young of Graffham spoke last year. I should like to quote from the record of Standing Committee E of the House of Commons when on behalf of the Government my honourable friend the Minister said that: there are private rights which are enforceable in the courts. They are not enforced at present, and there is scope for that practice to be enhanced".—[Official Report, Commons, Standing Committee E; 24/5/88; col. 336.] That is what we are talking about. The case of C. B. S. Songs Limited v. Amstrad Consumer Electronics plc has already been referred to this summer in the Judicial Committee of your Lordships' House. It reminded Parliament of the grievances that owners of copyright had in relation to home taping. We should take note of what was said and seek to preserve such rights as exist, even though it must be recognised that it is difficult to prevent home copying. I beg to move.

Moved, That the House do agree with Amendment No. 69B, as an amendment to Commons Amendment No. 69.—(Viscount Brentford.)

Lord Strathclyde

My Lords, I have already spoken to this amendment. I do not want to repeat myself. I am sorry if the noble Viscount does not agree with everything I said. To reiterate, I do not believe that it would be right to continue to place on the wrong side of the law millions of citizens who are engaged in a harmless activity. That is what this amendment would do. I must therefore resist it.

Viscount Brentford

My Lords, of course I regret that reply. I feel that this is an important point but at this hour I beg leave to withdraw my amendment.

Amendment No. 69B as an amendment to Amendment No. 69, by leave, withdrawn.

[Amendment No. 69C not moved.]

The Deputy Chairman (Lord Alport)

My Lords, the Question is that the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendment No. 69.

On Question, Motion agreed to.

Viscount Long

My Lords, I beg to move that further consideration of Commons amendments to the Copyright, Designs and Patents Bill be adjourned until 8.45 p.m.

Moved accordingly, and, on Question, Motion agreed to.

[The Sitting was suspended from 7.47 until 8.45 P.m.]