§ Mr. John Rankin (Glasgow, Govan)
I beg to move, in page 8, line 8, to leave out subsection (7).
The fact that the hon. Member for Dorset, North (Mr. Crouch) has been good enough to subscribe his name to this Amendment is not evidence of an unholy alliance, but is proof of the fact that there is a widespread desire on both sides of the House to amend this Clause.
I was inspired to move this Amendment because of the representations which I have received from persons residing in my own division who assure me that their incomes will be adversely affected by the insertion of this subsection. Some of them I have known for a long while. Not only will they be deprived of certain rights which they now possess, but, as they assure me, it will affect their standard of living. Because of that, I felt in duty bound to submit this Amendment to the House and to the Government for their consideration.
I am assured that this subsection is entirely new to copyright law and completely foreign to all the principles of copyright. I am told that it is a fundamental principle that the author shall have the sole right to control the copying or other reproduction of his work in any material form.
It is interesting to note that that principle is already safeguarded in the Bill, because if we turn to subsection (5) of Clause 2 we find the words:(5) The acts restricted by the copyright in a literary, dramatic or musical work are—(a) reproducing the work in any material form.Therefore, the principle is already protected in the Bill. It seems to me that, having protected the principle in Clause 2, 686 the Government are now proceeding in the Bill as it stands to destroy that principle in the subsection of Clause 6 which I am asking should be deleted.
As far as broadcasting is concerned, the subsection virtually robs the author of his present right to control the copying of his work on records, and so deprives him, as I have already been assured, of a certain amount of the income which he presently earns from that source. Of course, as we are aware, at the present moment the B.B.C., the Independent Television Authority and the programme contractors who look after the Radio Luxembourg broadcasts, have been paying fees agreed between them and the authors for permission to record copyright music for the transmissions of these broadcasting associations.
If this subsection remains in the Bill, then the broadcasting companies will be able to record such music as they at present record for payment without the authors permission and without any payment to the author whatsoever. It is a complete reversal of the existing provision. However, we are assured that before they do that they must have obtained a licence to broadcast and that the records which they do broadcast are to be destroyed within twenty-eight days after they have been heard on the air.
The trouble about that is this. There is no obligation whatever on a broadcaster to give notice to the copyright owner of the fact that he is making such a record or of the fact that after the twenty-eight days he has destroyed that record. No obligation exists to inform the copyright owner of that fact, so that what would seem to be a safeguard of the author's rights and income is without any value whatever. The total effect of the subsection is to deprive him of any protection whatever.
There are people, with whom I have discussed the point, who say that the 687 author has tended to abuse his rights in the past, but, quite frankly, I have no evidence of the truth of that. Within my own—I agree somewhat limited—experience, I have been assured by those who know that no such abuse has ever been perpetrated by authors in the past ; that is, by seeking unreasonable fees or trying to impose impossible conditions. I am told that the present arrangement works very smoothly indeed and that the position is an amicable one where the broadcasting authorities and the authors are concerned.
I therefore urge the Government to take my advice that, in view of the fact that the present arrangement works well, they should leave well alone, and agree with me that this subsection ought to be deleted.
§ Mr. Robert Crouch (Dorset, North)
I beg to second the Amendment.
I think I should make it clear how this came about, because some of my hon. Friends told me yesterday that they had no idea that I kept such company. A fortnight ago, I heard from one of my constituents—I have heard from others since—Mr. Roderick Fletcher, of Bryanston, near Blandford, who is without question a very able composer and writer of music. He pointed out to me what the effect would be on authors, writers and composers if this subsection remained in the Bill. It was not until I arrived here yesterday that I realised that I was not the sponsor of this Amendment, but found that my name was supporting the Amendment of the hon. Member for Govan (Mr. Rankin). I think that rather strengthens the case for it. The hon. Member for Govan lives in Scotland and I live down in Dorset, and we have come together across very nearly the whole of the United Kingdom, representing people who have the same views on music.
Authors and composers of music do not often, until in advancing years, earn great sums of money, and I think that, in view of the hard life they have had to live before they eventually get to the top, there is no need for this particular subsection. It has already been pointed out that the arrangement up to now has worked very smoothly indeed, and I cannot see the point of this subsection. It provides that the records shall be destroyed, but what proof will there be that they have been destroyed? Provided 688 that they have been destroyed within the twenty-eight days of being made, there is no liability to pay royalty.
I appeal to my hon. and learned Friend representing the Government to accept the Amendment and to allow this amicable arrangement to go on. I know that on the Government side there are some hon. and right hon. Gentlemen who are interested in music, and I also appeal to them to support this Amendment.
§ Dr. Barnett Stross (Stoke-on-Trent, Central)
When we considered this Bill in Committee, my hon. Friend the Member for Rossendale (Mr. Anthony Greenwood) spoke so convincingly and, I thought, with such great knowledge about this matter that we were disappointed that his views were not then accepted. It is true that the Committee did not divide on the matter, but I must say that I am entirely in agreement with the mover and seconder of this Amendment for reasons that have been made apparent by them. In Clause 2 the words are very clear when we attempt to safeguard the rights of the author. Subsection (5) puts it in this way:The acts restricted by the copyright in a literary, dramatic or musical work are—(a) reproducing the work in any material form;In that Clause, the author is safeguarded. In Clause 6, however, there is some diminution of those rights, but with no recompense. We shall be most interested to hear what the Assistant Postmaster-General has to say and how he explains this divergence. I am not sure whether at this stage we have evidence as to loss of remuneration in any particular way, but for the future we have no guarantee that there would not be any.
Mention has been made already of musicians and writers. Normally, as I said upstairs in Committee, they are not very good at looking after themselves and we should not be afraid even if we erred in our attempt to safeguard their interests as much as possible. Indeed, the whole purpose of the Bill, which we have considered with so much pleasure and profit upstairs, is to safeguard the author, the musician and the playright. Throughout all our discussions, both sides of the Committee obviously had that carefully and fully in mind.
With reference to this and to writers, authors, musicians and artists generally, 689 I noted that there was a letter to The Times on 16th October which, I am sure, has come to the attention of the Assistant Postmaster-General, who must be fully aware of it and of the names appended to that letter. They include names such as Arthur Bliss, Vaughan Williams, and so on. They say that for the first time something novel is being introduced into our legislation so far as copyright law is concerned. They then point out that there is a discrepancy between the safeguard in Clause 2 and this attempt to diminish or whittle away their safeguard. They say:Clause 6 (7) virtually robs the author of his right to control the copying of his works on records and deprives him of his income therefrom.It is that phrase of which I am not as yet sure, but I am sure they are quite right when they say:Under this subsection, the B.B.C. and other broadcasting authorities will be able to record such music without the author's permission and without any payment to him whatever, provided that they have obtained a licence to broadcast and that the records are destroyed within 28 days after going on the air, but since there is no obligation on the broadcaster to give notice to the copyright-owner of the making and destroying of such records, this proviso is valueless.That is their view and it is expressed very strongly. I am sure they have given it a great deal of thought.
My hon. Friend the Member for Rossendale said much the same in Committee. He expressed similar fears. Now, I think, all parts of the House feel that he was probably right. There is still time to amend the neglect by the Assistant Postmaster-General in not putting it right at that time.
Two things are possible. If we removed subsection (7), we should have the original position. That, I think, would meet with the approval of the people most concerned whose interests we ought to consider carefully. If we do not revert to the original position, we should try to make some arrangement so that in respect of these so-called ephemeral recordings a payment of a reasonable nature should be made. I know it is late in the day, but I am sure it would be possible for the Assistant Postmaster-General to give the question further consideration and to let us, in this small matter, have our way on behalf of people whom we are all interested in supporting.
§ 5.45 p.m.
§ Sir David Gammans (Hornsey)
Some of my hon. Friends and I have a similar Amendment on the Order Paper—in page 8, line 27, at end insert :(8) The person who makes a reproduction to which the last preceding subsection applies shall, as soon as practicable, give notice to the person who (in relation to the making of the reproduction) is the owner of the copyright of the date on which such reproduction was made and of the date on which it was destroyed.(9) The person who makes a reproduction to which subsection (7) of this section applies shall pay to the person who (in relation to the making of the reproduction) is the owner of the copyright such sum by way of royalty as may be agreed between them or in default of agreement as may be fixed by arbitration.—but I will, with permission, Mr. Speaker, raise the point I have in mind in discussing the present Amendment. My Amendment does not go quite as far, but I am happy to support the present Amendment, for the time being at any rate, until we have had an explanation from the Government as to why they consider it necessary to proceed on these lines.
I raised this point on Second Reading, but I have never been satisfied that the Government have met it. If they want the support of the House on it, they should give a fuller and better explanation as to why it is necessary to alter the existing law. I think that when altering an existing law, as the Government propose to do, the onus of proving the need to alter it must rest with them. I cannot see why it is necessary—I remain quite unconvinced—to change the existing law and practice on the subject.
For many years it has been the practice that the person who wishes to record a musical work on a record or tape must pay for it. That right has to be paid for. As the Bill stands, an entirely new principle has been introduced, namely, that the work can be reproduced for what is called an ephemeral recording for a period of twenty-eight days. There arises, first, a practical point. What safeguard does the composer have that the record will be destroyed at the end of twenty-eight days? After all, he is dealing with a vast corporation or, perhaps, a big company, and he has no means of knowing that the record has been destroyed at the end of twenty-eight days.
Is there something sacred about the period of twenty-eight days? By stipulating the twenty-eight days, the Govern- 691 ment admit that a composer has an absolute right over his own work, but why do they abrogate it for a period of twenty-eight days? Why do they say that anyone can copy it for that period? Why not twenty-seven days, or thirty days? There may be a perfectly good explanation, but I have not heard of it.
I hope that the Government will not fall back on the recommendations of the Brussels Convention, for I would remind them that if they use it to assist them there is nothing mandatory about it; it is purely optional. It is left to each Government to make what kind of regulations it chooses, and from the Brussels Convention there is no reason why the period should be twenty-eight days. It could be one day or it could be three months. There is nothing sacrosant about the twenty-eight days.
I hope that the Government can give us more convincing reasons than they have done up to now, although I should like to see the Clause abolished altogether. That is why I support the hon. Member for Govan (Mr. Rankin) and my hon. Friend the Member for Dorset, North (Mr. Crouch). If the Government give some reason why it should be retained, the least they can do is to put upon the recording authority the obligation to inform the owner of the copyright that a recording has been made—there is no such obligation at present—and, secondly, to insist upon an obligation on the recording authority to inform the composer that the record has been destroyed at the end of the requisite period.
§ Colonel Sir Alan Gomme-Duncan (Perth and East Perthshire)
I should like to add my support to the Amendment. I have very great sympathy with composers of music in particular, and in these degenerate days precious little advantage is given to them. Anything which will encourage them to produce more should be done, but as it stands the Clause is a discouragement.
My hon. Friend the Member for Hornsey (Sir D. Gammans) made a very good point when he asked what was sacrosanct about 28 days. If we are to take a man's livelihood from him, it does not matter whether the period is 28 days or 28 years; they are equally bad. Not having heard the Government's explanation, I do not see why, Clause 2 having 692 laid down one thing, Clause 6 should change it, certainly for music composers, in whom I am most interested. I should like to hear something more from the Minister to convince me that the Amendment is not highly desirable, as I think it to be at the moment.
§ Mr. Philip Bell (Bolton, East)
I may be wrong, but surely very heavy weather is being made on this issue. We are being told that people's livelihoods will be taken away from them, but, as I understand it, this subsection is inserted as a business arrangement for the convenience of actors and actresses. The real position is that when actors and actresses are ready to come to the microphone there are occasions when nobody is ready to listen to them. Someone says, "We had better record you on Saturday, but we cannot hear you until Monday morning." The actors and actresses say, "Yes. Saturday morning will be all right, but we shall be out on Monday, at the House of Commons listening to a debate." So the programme is recorded and broadcast later.
The proviso says that it must be reproduced only in accordance with the assignment or licence. The author gives permission to broadcast the work. It may be decided to broadcast it twice and he is paid for that. The broadcasting authority says that it can have the actors for only one performance and so it takes a recording of the first and live broadcast and the second broadcast is recorded. Possibly the actors are available on only one occasion and then both broadcasts are recorded.
That is the bargain, it is business and for the convenience of everybody. It is not a new right. Hon. Members are making a mountain out of a molehill. There is no substance in this talk of authors not getting paid and of having things done behind their backs and losing their livelihoods. There may be something in the issue about destroying the record to prevent somebody from subsequently selling it to Peru. I do not really mean Peru, let us say Lilliput—they would be rather stupid putting it out in Lilliput—and to avoid that disaster we must put in an affidavit which, I hope, will be settled by a competent lawyer.
§ Mr. Anthony Greenwood
The rather unexpected union between my hon. 693 Friend the Member for Govan (Mr. Rankin) and the hon. Member for Dorset, North (Mr. Crouch) has been a happy one, and I hope that it will turn out to be fruitful as well. The hon. and learned Member for Bolton, East (Mr. Philip Bell) says that we are making rather heavy weather of this, but I can assure the House that it is the Government who are making very heavy weather of this matter.
The hon. and learned Member for Bolton, East said that this is an arrangement for the convenience of the performer or artist. We have never suggested that the practice of making these ephemeral recordings should be abolished. It is obviously a most satisfactory arrangement from everybody's point of view. However, we do object to the fact that the Government are now proposing to upset what has been, as my hon. Friend the Member for Govan said, a very amicable system by which both the B.B.C. and, I understand, the programme contractors have been prepared to pay the performer for the two rights which the broadcasting authority has been receiving.
Those two rights are the right to broadcast and the right to record. What the Government are now proposing is to give the broadcasting authorities two rights for the price of one. It is very difficult, particularly in a private enterprise economy, to justify an attitude of that kind. I am afraid that throughout the Parliamentary Secretary has not appeared to be wholly in control of the situation.
When we discussed this matter in Standing Committee, I ventured to read to the Parliamentary Secretary the criticism which the Performing Rights Society made of the Government's proposal. The Society said :It is in our submission the makers of commercial advertising films who may indirectly reap the benefit of this subsection. … Admittedly they are not the licensees of the owners of the performing rights, but the Programme Contractors hold comprehensive licences to perform music and they own subsidiary companies which make advertising films. Under the existing law, the makers of these advertising films must obtain the permission of the copyright owner before recording a musical work in what may well be a most unsuitable connection. These films, because they are often repeated, must have a short life to avoid boring 694 the television viewer."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, Standing Committee B, 28th June, 1956 ; c. 170–1.]Although one might not think that that was a characteristic of advertising films, when we put this point to the Parliamentary Secretary he admitted that he did not know what the answer was to the point about advertising films, and he said that he did not know whether it was the Independent Television Authority or the programme contractors who would be affected by the subsection. I have waited anxiously for nearly four months to have some elucidation, either in writing or in the course of the debate, from the Parliamentary Secretary upon the point which my hon. Friends and I put to him in Standing Committee.
I have said that we accept the inevitability of the making of ephemeral recordings of this kind. In Standing Committee we proposed an Amendment which is identical with the one standing in the names of the hon. Member for Twickenham (Mr. Gresham Cooke) and the hon. Member for Hornsey (Sir D. Gammans) and others. It would have had two effects. One would have been to ensure that the broadcasting authority would have to give the owner of the copyright notice of what was being done, and there were certain safeguards about the destruction of the recording and that there should be suitable remuneration by way of royalty.
I am glad that hon. Members opposite have tabled a similar Amendment, and we shall certainly support that, if it is necessary to do so, just as we shall support another one which my hon. Friends and I have put down. I want openly to say to the Government that we do not want to delete this subsection. Throughout our discussions we have tried to improve it so that it will not impose any hardship upon the people it is to affect. We are trying, even at this late stage, to improve the subsection, and I ask the Government whether they are not prepared to accept the Amendment standing in the name of the hon. Member for Twickenham as well as the Amendment standing in my own name.
If they are able to give us that assurance, it will remove any possibility of injustice being perpetrated and we shall not find it necessary to divide the House. If, on the other hand, they cannot assure us on these points, it will be necessary for 695 us to add our weight to the gesture that the hon. Member for Twickenham and others are to make by going into the Division Lobby in the event of their Amendment being resisted by the Government.
I should like to say how much we appreciated the words of the hon. and gallant Member for Perth and East Perthshire (Sir A. Gomme-Duncan) on the way we pay our composers. They are paid very little indeed; we treat them as meanly as we treat most other creative artists in this country. I would rather the House did not go on record as perpetrating an injustice which will operate meanly in the case of the fellow citizens to whom the hon. and gallant Gentleman referred.
§ 6.0 p.m.
§ Mr. Anthony Kershaw (Stroud)
I take the view which is taken by my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Bolton, East (Mr. Philip Bell). It seems to me that this is just a mechanical subsection, laying down how the business of reproducing shall be carried out where reproduction is more convenient than having a live broadcast. But I am bound to say that the fear expressed by hon. Members on both sides of the House that there is more in this subsection than the mere mechanics of the business and that perhaps it takes away a right which at present composers enjoy has communicated a certain amount of anxiety to me.
I should like my hon. Friends and those who have moved the Amendment to know whether the Government take the view that this relates purely to the mechanics, or whether it is the birth of some new right, or the whittling down of a right which composers at present enjoy.
§ The Assistant Postmaster-General (Mr. C. J. M. Alport)
I am obliged to the House for an exhaustive debate on what is, on the whole, a relatively small aspect of the general problem of the whole relationship between broadcasting and the world of composition and music. I think it right to say that my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Perth and East Perthshire (Sir A. Gomme-Duncan) overestimated—as was said by my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Bolton, East (Mr. Philip Bell)—the effect of this upon musicians and composers.
696 Speeches from both sides of the House have shown that hon. Members are concerned to watch carefully and to safeguard the interests of the composers in a matter of this sort. The Government fully share that view. At the same time, I think it right to point out that the opportunities available to a composer at present are, as a result of the invention and increase of broadcasting, very much greater than they have ever been in the past; and the reason why in fact there has been no separation of the two rights under the 1911 Act, which was referred to by the hon. Member for Rossendale (Mr. Anthony Greenwood), is because at the time the Act was passed there was no broadcasting. We are bringing the law into relation with the circumstances of the present day, and the existence of a highly powerful organisation of broadcasting, including both sound and television, which has brought great benefits to composers generally as a result of the increased use of their works.
The hon. Member for Rossendale asked me a particular question which he had raised with my hon. and learned Friend the Parliamentary Secretary during the Committee stage discussions. It was whether it would be the programme companies or the I.T.A. which would enjoy the benefit of the provision in this case. In case the hon. Gentleman is still concerned about this matter, let me say that it would be the programme companies; but it is covered by the Clause as it stands at present.
Let me explain the reason for the Clause. It is, as I say, in principle to bring the legal situation into relation with existing circumstances which have changed very substantially, as the hon. Gentleman recognised fully, since the passing of the 1911 Act. It is perfectly true, as was said by my predecessor, my hon. Friend the Member for Hornsey (Sir D. Gammans) that we are not under a mandatory injunction under 11 bis 3. But at the same time there is no doubt of the intention of that provision of the Brussels Convention.
Indeed, there is a further matter which is relevant, namely, the Report of the Copyright Committee which recommended a period of something like 28 days ; and that this particular provision should be included and the right of ephemeral recordings be given to the 697 I.T.A. and the other authority concerned. Therefore, were we to take out the whole of this subsection, we should in fact be going against the obvious intention of the Brussels Convention and also the recommendation of the Copyright Committee, whose authority in this matter I do not think the House has ever suggested that we should ignore. Indeed, we have not done so in the general approach to this Bill during its various stages.
Sir D. Gammaus
My hon. Friend has brought in the Brussels Convention and suggested and that if it is not mandatory at any rate it is so suggested. If he would explain to the House how many countries have amended their copyright laws since that time to bring in something of the order of a 28-day period, it would strengthen his argument.
§ Mr. Alport
No doubt that would be the case. On the other hand, there has always been a sense that in the legislation which we pass on this subject this country is the leader. Therefore, there is no doubt that what we do will be followed by other countries to a large extent when they face similar problems about bringing their own copyright law into relationship with present-day conditions.
As was pointed out by my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Bolton, East, it is a matter of convenience that a recording is taken in order to facilitate the presentation of a programme. The authority which the owner of the head copyright gives is given in respect of the use of his work in relation to the broadcast. It seems reasonable, and I suggest that it is reasonable, that the broadcasting authority should have the right at the same time to utilise, without paying a second fee, whatever method is convenient in order to put the work of the composer or other artist concerned on the air. We feel that to be the logical and proper approach. It is certainly the logic behind the Brussels Convention and the Report of the Copyright Committee.
I do not think that the emolument of the composer would be greatly affected by this, because the total emolument will be in respect of the full use of his work, whereas what has been suggested in other Amendments which have been put down 698 is that there should be a division between the recognition of the mechanical right on the one side, which is the recording, and the copyright on the other, which is in fact the broadcasting of the work.
Although there are always fears by the parties interested in this matter, I suggest that their apprehensions are not well-founded, because the total emolument, or the award, or the payment made, would clearly be affected by the fact that the B.B.C. or the I.T.A. would not have the full scope for the use of the work if the authority to broadcast did not include the full authority to use the work in whatever way was most convenient to ensure that a broadcast was made successfully and fully.
§ Mr. Alport
The question of the 28 days was discussed—or the notification at the end of the 28 days was discussed—at some length during the Committee proceedings. My hon. and learned Friend the Parliamentary Secretary made reference to what he called, I think, "statutory scepticism" of the bona fides of these authorities—the I.T.A., which is responsible for the programme companies, and the B.B.C.—and whether they would carry out their obligations in this matter.
May I correct a point which has been made, I think, by the hon. Member for Govan (Mr. Rankin)? We shall shortly make an Amendment to this subsection to prevent the recordings being made for broadcasting out of the United Kingdom, or those Colonies, as in fact they are, to which this particular subsection is extended. That limits the use of this privilege to the B.B.C. and the I.T.A. The hon. Gentleman need not fear that there will be any abuse of this right by the despatch of recordings from this country for use overseas. I am merely anticipating an Amendment which is to come later in order to answer a point which was made by the hon. Member for Govan.
§ Mr. Crouch
We are listening with interest to my hon. Friend's argument. Can he tell us at what time of day the first live musical broadcast is given? I know that at 7.30 a.m. or thereabouts there are no live broadcasts.
§ Mr. Alport
My hon. Friend is a farmer and no doubt gets up considerably earlier in the morning than I do. I am unable to say when the first live broadcast takes place in the day. I presume that my hon. Friend is referring to broadcasts of music. I cannot give him the information straightway. I do not think that point affects the principle that we are trying to establish. It may be that my hon. Friend has in mind that it is not necessary to use these recording rights for broadcasting as much as the broadcasting authorities say, but I can assure him that there is no question of early rising for actors, actresses and musicians but of their having other engagements which preclude them from appearing on a particular feature. This makes recording a very convenient way of handling the presentation of certain programmes.
We have made provision in the Clause to prevent abuse of this facility—it is no more than this—which is being given to the broadcasting authorities to enable them to make proper and efficient use of the wares which the composer has to sell. I have drawn attention to an Amendment which is to be considered later, but I think we have made it clear that these recordings must not be copied and must be destroyed within 28 days.
I shall be surprised if any hon. Member on either side of the House does not accept the good faith of the B.B.C. and the I.T.A. for the carrying out of their obligations in this matter. I do not think that it will hamper or detract from the legitimate rights of composers but will, on the contrary, ensure that their works are efficiently and perhaps more effectively used by the broadcasting authorities. We have to recognise that what may appear superficially to be a conflict of interests is not really so. There is a community of interest between composers on the one side and the B.B.C. on the other that facilities should be as adequate as possible to enable the B.B.C. to extend its work. This can only be in the interests of composers.
Because of that, and because of the earlier arguments I put before the House about the Brussels Convention and the recommendations of the Copyright Committee, as well as the fact that we have taken full precautions to prevent any abuse of this facility, I hope the hon. Member for Govan and my hon. Friend 700 the Member for Dorset, North (Mr. Crouch) will not feel they must press the Amendment.
§ 6.15 p.m.
§ Mr. William Wells (Walsall, North)
The Assistant Postmaster-General has advanced arguments which have been in our minds throughout these proceedings. We did not divide in Committee on the question of ephemeral recordings as such. I must now ask the Assistant Postmaster-General, who has raised the question that is implicit in the Amendments in the name of the President of the Board of Trade and of my hon. Friend the Member for Islington, East (Mr. E. Fletcher), whether he can give an assurance that he will meet the point of the Amendments in the names of the hon. Member for Twickenham (Mr. Gresham Cooke), my hon. Friend the Member for Rossendale (Mr. Anthony Greenwood) and myself, in relation to arbitration. This was also the point of two Amendments which we put forward in Committee. If the hon. Gentleman can give that assurance we shall not divide the House on this Amendment. If he is unable to give it we shall have to ask my hon. and right hon. Friends to go into the Lobby.
§ Mr. Alport
With the permission of the House, perhaps I might say that the merits of the Amendment in the name of the hon. Member for Rossendale (Mr. Anthony Greenwood) and his hon. Friends will be considered later. I can give no undertaking on the matter. I think the hon. Member for Islington, East (Mr. E. Fletcher) would agree that his Amendment is covered by the Amendment in the name of my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade which will be proposed in due course. Beyond that I cannot go.
§ Mr. Rankin
The Assistant Postmaster-General appealed to me to withdraw the Amendment which stands in my name and the name of the hon. Member for Dorset, North (Mr. Crouch), who has joined forces with me and my colleagues on this side of the House. Having put his hand to the plough, I hope that the hon. Gentleman will follow us to the bitter end, that is, if the end is to be bitter. There is still time for the Assistant Postmaster-General to recant.
I do not know whether he sought the advice of the Parliamentary Secretary to 701 the Board of Trade. I thought there was a little consultation going on. If it is not as helpful as I hoped, I am prepared to carry on saying a few more words to allow Ministers a chance of reconsidering the bitter end to which they are driving their hon. Friend the Member for Dorset. North and one or two other of their colleagues who have been good enough to support the Amendment.
If I followed the argument of the Assistant Postmaster-General properly, he admits defects in the present set-up. They will be remedied by the deletion of this subsection. He based a good deal of his argument on the Brussels Convention, and at the same time said that no other nation was yet implementing the Brussels Convention, but that we were going to set a lead which others would follow. We have not had many examples
§ of followers for the lead that this Government has set in other spheres, and matters do not look very hopeful in this instance. It is not disputed that the subsection will deprive composers of certain rights which they now have and, by virtue of that, will deprive them of a certain amount of their income. The Assistant Postmaster-General has said nothing to show that that will not be the effect if this subsection goes through. I wonder if the two hon. Gentlemen have now had second thoughts on this matter. If not, I hope that we shall divide the House on the Amendment.
§ Question put, That the words proposed to be left out, to the end of line 9, stand part of the Bill:—
§ The House divided: Ayes 211, Noes 175.703
|Division No. 284.]||AYES||[6.21 p.m.|
|Aitken, W. T.||Emmet, Hon. Mrs. Evelyn||Kerr, H. W.|
|Allan, R. A. (Paddington, S.)||Fell, A.||Kershaw, J. A.|
|Alport, C. J. M.||Fisher, Nigel||Kimball, M.|
|Anstruther-Gray, Major Sir William||Fraser, Sir Ian (M'cmbe & Lonsdale)||Lagden, G. W.|
|Arbuthnot, John||Freeth, D. K.||Lambert, Hon. G.|
|Armstrong, C. W.||Galbraith, Hon. T. G. D.||Lambton, Viscount|
|Ashton, H.||Garner-Evans, E. H.||Leavey, J. A.|
|Atkins, H. E.||George, J. C. (Pollok)||Leburn, W. G.|
|Baldwin, A. E.||Gomme-Duncan, Col. Sir Alan||Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. H.|
|Banks, Col. C.||Gough, C. F. H.||Legh, Hon. Peter (Petersfield)|
|Barlow, Sir John||Gower, H. R.||Lindsay, Hon. James (Devon, N.)|
|Barter, John||Graham, Sir Fergus||Llewellyn, D. T.|
|Baxter, Sir Beverley||Grant, W. (Woodside)||Lloyd, Maj. Sir Guy (Renfrew, E.)|
|Beamish, Maj, Tufton||Green, A.||Low, Rt. Hon. A. R. W.|
|Bell, Philip (Bolton, E.)||Gresham Cooke, R.||Lucas, Sir Jocelyn (Portsmouth, S.)|
|Bell, Ronald (Bucks, S.)||Grimston, Sir Robert (Westbury)||Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh|
|Bennett, Dr. Reginald||Grosvenor, Lt.-Col. R. G.||McAdden, S. J.|
|Bevins, J. R. (Toxteth)||Gurden, Harold||McCallum, Major Sir Duncan|
|Bidgood, J. C.||Hall, John (Wycombe)||Macdonald, Sir Peter|
|Biggs-Davison, J. A.||Hare, Rt. Hon. J. H.||Mackeson, Brig. Sir Harry|
|Birch, Rt. Hon. Nigel||Harris, Frederic (Croydon, N. W.)||McKibbin, A. J.|
|Bishop, F. P.||Harris, Reader (Heston)||Mackie, J. H. (Galloway)|
|Body, B. F.||Harrison, A. B. C. (Maldon)||McLaughlin, Mrs. P.|
|Bowen, E. R. (Cardigan)||Harrison, Col. J. H. (Eye)||McLean, Neil (Inverness)|
|Boyle, Sir Edward||Heath, Rt. Hon. E. R. G.||MacLeod, John (Ross & Cromarty)|
|Braine, B. R.||Hesketh, R. F.||Macmillan, Maurice (Halifax)|
|Braithwaite, Sir Albert (Harrow, W.)||Hicks-Beach, Maj. W. W.||Macpherson, Niall (Dumfries)|
|Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. W. H.||Hill, Mrs. E. (Wythenshawe)||Maitland, Cdr. J. F. W. (Horncastlc)|
|Buchan-Hepburn, Rt. Hon. P. G. T.||Hirst, Geoffrey||Manningham-Buller, Rt. Hn. Sir R.|
|Bullus, Wing Commander E. E.||Holland-Martin, G. J||Markham, Major Sir Frank|
|Cary, Sir Robert||Hornby, R. P.||Marples, A. E.|
|Channon, H.||Hornsby-Smith, Miss M. P.||Marshall, Douglas|
|Chichester-Clark, R.||Horobin, Sir Ian||Maude, Angus|
|Clarke, Brig. Terence (Portsmth, W.)||Howard, Gerald (Cambridgeshire)||Medlicott, Sir Frank|
|Cordeaux, Lt.-Col. J. K.||Howard, Hon. Greville (St. Ives)||Milligan, R. Hon. W. R.|
|Craddock, Beresford (Spelthorne)||Hudson, W. R. A. (Hull, N.)||Molson, Rt. Hon. Hugh|
|Crowder, Sir John (Finchley)||Hughes-Young, M. H. C.||Morrison, John (Salisbury)|
|Crowder, Petre (Ruislip—Northwood)||Hurd, A. R.||Nabarro, G. D. N.|
|Currie, G. B. H.||Hutchison, Sir Ian Clark (E'b'gh, W.)||Nairn, D. L. S.|
|Danee, J. C. G.||Hyde, Montgomery||Neave, Airey|
|D'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry||Hylton-Foster, Sir H, B. H.||Noble, Cmdr. A. H. P|
|Deedes, W. F.||Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye)||Nugent, G. R. H.|
|Digby, Simon Wingfield||Jenkins, Robert (Dulwich)||O'Neill, Hn. Phelim (Co. Antrim, N.)|
|Donaldson, Cmdr. C. E. McA.||Jennings, J. C. (Burton)||Orr, Capt. L. P. S.|
|Doughty, C. J. A.||Jennings, Sir Roland (Hallam)||Orr-Ewing, Charles Ian (Hendon, N.)|
|Drayson, G. B.||Johnson, Dr. Donald (Carlisle)||Page, R. G.|
|du Cann, E. D. L.||Johnson, Eric (Blackley)||Pannell, N. A. (Kirkdale)|
|Dugdale, Rt. Hn. Sir T. (Richmond)||Joseph, Sir Keith||Partridge, E.|
|Duncan, Capt. J. A. L.||Joynson-Hicks, Hon. Sir Lancelot||Pickthorn, K. W. M.|
|Eccles, Rt. Hon. Sir David||Keegan, D.||Pilkington, Capt. R. A.|
|Eden, J. B. (Bournemouth, West)||Kerby, Capt. H. B.||Pitman, I. J.|
|Pott, H. P.||Speir, R. M.||Vane, W. M. F.|
|Raikes, Sir Victor||Spens, Rt. Hn. Sir P. (Kens'gt'n, S.)||Vaughan-Morgan, J. K.|
|Rawlinson, Peter||Steward, Harold (Stockport, S.)||Vickers, Miss J. H.|
|Redmayne, M.||Stewart, Henderson (Fife, E.)||Wade, D. W.|
|Rees-Davies, W. R.||Storey, S.||Wakefield, Edward (Derbyshire, W.)|
|Renton, D. L. M.||Stuart, Rt. Hon. James (Moray)||Walker-Smith, D. C.|
|Ridsdale, J. E.||Studholme, Sir Henry||Wall, Major Patrick|
|Robertson, Sir David||Summers, Sir Spencer||Ward, Hon. George (Worcester)|
|Robinson, Sir Roland (Blackpool, S.)||Sumner, W. D. M. (Orpington)||Ward, Dame Irene (Tynemouth)|
|Roper, Sir Harold||Taylor, William (Bradford, N.)||Waterhouse, Capt. Rt. Hon. C.|
|Ropner, Col. Sir Leonard||Teeling, W.||Whitelaw, W. S. I. (Penrith & Border)|
|Russell, R. S.||Thomas, Leslie (Canterbury)||Williams, Paul (Sunderland, S.)|
|Schofield, Lt.-Col. W.||Thomas, P. J. M. (Conway)||Wills, G. (Bridgwater)|
|Scott-Miller, Cmdr. R.||Thompson, Lt.-Cdr. R. (Croydon, S.)||Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)|
|Sharples, R. C.||Thorneycrott, Rt. Hon. P.||Wood, Hon. R.|
|Shepherd, William||Thornton-Kemsley, C. N.||Woollam, John Victor|
|Simon, J. E. S. (Middlesbrough, W.)||Tiley, A. (Bradford, W.)||Yates, William (The Wrekin)|
|Smithers, Peter (Winchester)||Touche, Sir Gordon|
|Soames, Capt. C.||Turton, Rt. Hon. R. H.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Spearman, Sir Alexander||Tweedsmuir, Lady||Mr. Barber and Mr. Bryan.|
|Ainsley, J. W.||Hewitson, Capt. M.||Probert, A. R.|
|Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.)||Hobson, C. R.||Proctor, W. T.|
|Allen, Arthur (Bosworth)||Holman, P.||Pryde, D. J.|
|Anderson, Frank||Holmes, Horace||Randall, H. E.|
|Awbery, S. S.||Houghton, Douglas||Rankin, John|
|Bacon, Miss Alice||Howell, Charles (Perry Barr)||Redhead, E. C.|
|Bence, C. R. (Dunbartonshire, E.)||Howell, Denis (All Saints)||Reid, William|
|Benn, Hn. Wedgwood (Bristol, S. E.)||Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayrshire)||Robens, Rt. Hon. A.|
|Beswick, F.||Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.)||Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvon)|
|Bevan, Rt. Hon. A. (Ebbw Vale)||Hunter, A. E.||Robinson, Kenneth (St. Pancras, N.)|
|Blackburn, F.||Hynd, J. B. (Attercliffe)||Rogers, George (Kensington, N.)|
|Blenkinsop. A.||Irvine, A. J. (Edge Hill)||Ross, William|
|Boardman, H.||Irving, S. (Dartford)||Royle, C.|
|Bowden, H W. (Leicester, S. W.)||Isaacs, Rt. Hon. G. A.||Shinwell, Rt. Hon. E.|
|Bowles, F. G.||Janner, B.||Shurmer, P. L. E.|
|Brockway, A. F.||Jeger, Mrs. Lena (Holbn&St.Pncs,S.)||Silverman, Julius (Aston)|
|Brown, Rt. Hon. George (Belper)||Jones, J. Idwal (Wrexham)||Silverman, Sydney (Nelson)|
|Brown, Thomas (Ince)||Jones, T. W. (Merioneth)||Simmons, C. J. (Brierley Hill)|
|Burke, W. A.||Kenyon, C.||Skeffington, A. M.|
|Burton, Miss F. E.||Key, Rt. Hon. C. W.||Slater, J. (Sedgefield)|
|Butler, Herbert (Hackney, C.)||King, Dr. H. M.||Snow, J. W.|
|Butler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green)||Lee, Frederick (Newton)||Steele, T.|
|Callaghan, L. J.||Lever, Leslie (Ardwick)||Stewart, Michael (Fulham)|
|Carmichael, J.||Lindgren, G. S.||Stokes, Rt. Hon. R. R. (Ipswich)|
|Chetwynd, G. R.||Lipton, Lt.-Col. M.||Stones, W. (Consett)|
|Clunie, J.||Logan, D. G.||Summerskill, Rt. Hon. E.|
|Coldrick, W.||Mabon, Dr. J. Dickson||Swingler, S. T.|
|Collick, P. H. (Birkenhead)||MacColl, J. E.||Sylvester, G. O.|
|Collins, V. J.(Shoreditch & Finsbury)||McGhee, H. G.||Taylor, Bernard (Mansfield)|
|Cove, W. G.||McInnes, J.||Taylor, John (West Lothian)|
|Craddock, George (Bradford, S.)||McKay, John (Wallsend)||Thomson, George (Dundee, E.)|
|Cullen, Mrs. A.||McLeavy, Frank||Thornton, E.|
|Dalton, Rt. Hon. H.||MacMillan, M. K. (Western Isles)||Timmons, J.|
|Davies, Harold (Leek)||Mahon, Simon||Turner-Samuels, M.|
|Davies, Stephen (Merthyr)||Mann, Mrs. Jean||Ungoed-Thomas, Sir Lynn|
|de Freitas, Geoffrey||Mason, Roy||Viant, S. P.|
|Delargy, H. J.||Mellish, R. J.||Warbey, W. N.|
|Dodds, N. N.||Mikardo, Ian||Watkins, T. E.|
|Donnelly, D. L.||Mitchison, G. R.||Weitzman, D.|
|Dugdale, Rt. Hn. John (W. Brmwch)||Monslow, W.||Wells, Percy (Faversham)|
|Edwards, Rt. Hon. Ness (Caerphilly)||Moody, A. S.||Wells, William (Walsall, N.)|
|Edwards, W. J. (Stepney)||Morris, Percy (Swansea, W.)||Wheeldon, W. E.|
|Evans, Albert (Islington, S. W.)||Mort, D. L.||White, Mrs. Eirene (E. Flint)|
|Fernyhough, E.||Moss, R.||White, Henry (Derbyshire, N. E.)|
|Finch, H. J.||Moyle, A.||Wilkins, W. A.|
|Forman, J. C.||Mulley, F. W.||Williams, Rev. Llywelyn (Ab'tlillery)|
|Fraser, Thomas (Hamilton)||Noel-Baker, Rt. Hon. P. (Derby, S.)||Williams, Ronald (Wigan)|
|Gooch, E. G.||Oram, A. E.||Williams, Rt. Hon. T. (Don Valley)|
|Gordon Walker, Rt. Hon. P. C.||Orbach, M.||Williams, W. R. (Openshaw)|
|Greenwood, Anthony||Oswald, T.||Williams, W. T. (Barons Court)|
|Grenfell, Rt. Hon. D. R.||Owen, W. J.||Willis, Eustace (Edinburgh, E.)|
|Grey, C. F.||Padley, W. E.||Wilson, Rt. Hon. Harold (Huyton)|
|Griffiths, Rt. Hn. James (Llanelly)||Paling, Rt. Hon. W. (Dearne Valley)||Winterbottom, Richard|
|Hamilton, W. W.||Paling, Will T. (Dewsbury)||Woodburn, Rt. Hon. A.|
|Hannan, W.||Pannell, Charles (Leeds, W.)||Woof, R. E.|
|Harrison, J. (Nottingham, N.)||Parker, J.||Yates, V, (Ladywood)|
|Hastings, S.||Parkin, B. T.||Younger, Rt. Hon. K.|
|Henderson, Rt. Hn. A. (Rwly Regis)||Pentland, N.|
|Herbison, Miss M.||Plummer, Sir Leslie||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|Mr. Pearson and Mr. Deer|
§ 6.30 p.m.
§ Mr. Alport
I beg to move, in page 8, line 9, at the end to insert:from a place in the United Kingdom, or in another country to which section two of this Act extends".Perhaps it might be convenient, Mr. Speaker, to consider, with this Amendment, that in page 8, line 14, at the end to insert "in the United Kingdom", standing in the name of the hon. Member for Islington, East (Mr. E. Fletcher).
During the Committee stage, the hon. Member for Islington, East raised the question as to whether there might not be the danger of an abuse of the right to record for broadcasting purposes given under this subsection if it were possible for, say, a record to be made of a broadcast and for that record subsequently to be sent abroad and copied there. As I promised on that occasion, we have gone carefully into the desirability of making an Amendment along the lines which were suggested by the hon. Member. We have come to the conclusion that there was weight in his arguments and that, indeed, we would be going beyond the letter—and possibly beyond the spirit—of the Brussels Convention by not making such an Amendment as that which we now propose.
We suggest that, possibly from a purely drafting point of view, the wording of our Amendment is more appropriate than that which the hon. Gentleman has tabled. I say at once that that is merely because we have the advantage of the assistance of Parliamentary draftsmen. In these circumstances I hope that this Amendment will commend itself to the Committee, and that the hon. Member for Rossendale (Mr. Anthony Greenwood), who made some rather ungenerous remarks about the failure of the Government to meet points raised by hon. Members on both sides of the House, will now feel that he has no longer substance for that accusation but that we have, wherever we possibly could, met the points put to us from hon. Members on either side.
§ Mr. E. Fletcher
The Assistant Postmaster-General has said that his Amendment is designed to meet a point with which I dealt in Standing Committee B, and reported in columns 161, 162 and 163, on 28th June, 1956.
§ Mr. Fletcher
It may have been too long but, in his reply, the Assistant Postmaster-General expressed his gratitude to me for explaining so clearly the problem with which I was then attempting to deal. That is the only justification I have for going into it at that length, and it will probably not be necessary to repeat the speech on this occasion.
The hon. Gentleman has also said that he has the benefit, which obviously I have not, of access to Parliamentary draftsmen. I am afraid, however, that I cannot accept his view that his Amendment adequately meets my point, and while I welcome it as far as it goes, I shall, unless I obtain a satisfactory reply from him, still feel it necessary, in addition to accepting his Amendment, to move mine which appears immediately after it on the Order Paper.
I do not want to enter into this delightful controversy as to how far, if at all, the Government have met the criticisms of this Clause which were made in Committee. I think that the whole House and the country were obviously very impressed by the letter, to which reference has already been made, which appeared in The Times on 16th October, over the distinguished signature of Sir Arthur Bliss and others.
The fact that the Government have resisted the last Amendment and have insisted on Clause 6 (7) remaining in the Bill makes it all the more necessary that we should look carefully at the safeguards, because the real gravamen of the charge made by Sir Arthur Bliss and others in their letter was that the provisions in the proviso were "valueless." We are, in this Clause, trying to strike a balance between, on the one hand, the business requirements of having a record made of a broadcast so that it can be repeated and, on the other, ensuring for the benefit of composers and others that there is no possibility of abuse creeping in.
The Assistant Postmaster-General's Amendment would mean that Clause 6 (7) would read as follows:Where by virtue of an assignment or licence a person is authorised to broadcast a literary, dramatic or musical work, from a place in the United Kingdom, or in another country to which section two of this Act extends but … would not be entitled to make reproductions 707 of it in the form of a record or of a cinematograph film, the copyright in the work is not infringed by his making such a reproduction of the work solely for the purpose of broadcasting the work.I still think it necessary to make the end of that subsection read, "for the purpose of broadcasting the work in the United Kingdom."
The two points are quite different. I think the Clause should be limited to broadcasts from the United Kingdom or other territory to which Clause 2 extends, but equally it seems to me necessary that the reproduction from the record should be limited to reproduction in the United Kingdom. There could, otherwise, be this possible result. The record, although authorised for a broadcast in the United Kingdom, may itself be used for reproduction and use outside the United Kingdom. The Assistant Postmaster-General shakes his head, but that, I think, would be the result.
My object is, first, to limit the permission given by this Clause to broadcasts originating in the United Kingdom, and secondly, to limit the reproduction from the record to reproduction in the United Kingdom. What I think is feared by the composers and the others is that the record might be taken out of the country and there used for some purpose which obviously would not be fair to the composer, and would not be necessary for the protection of the B.B.C. or of the I.T.A. Therefore, before we part with this Amendment—to which, I imagine, none of us takes any objection—I very much hope that the Assistant Postmaster-General will also see the desirability of accepting the next Amendment in my name, on the Order Paper.
§ Mr. W. Wells
I understand, Mr. Speaker, that we are discussing both these Amendments at the same time, and it appears to us that, while the Government's intentions here have been virtuous, their execution has not been perfect. My right hon. Friend says that is the opposite to usual, but I am not sure that that is quite correct, either. During the Committee proceedings the Assistant Postmaster-General, referring to the Amendment that then stood in the name of my hon. Friend the Member for Islington, East (Mr. E. Fletcher) and which now stands in the names of my hon. Friend 708 the Member for Rossendale (Mr. Anthony Greenwood) and myself, said:As I understand it, the hon. Member is attempting to remedy what he considers to be a loophole in the Bill. He will correct me if I have got the main problem wrong, but I think that he is putting forward the possibility that a film might be televised and recorded purely for television purposes; that the recording—which is almost a retake of the film—might then be copied, and the copy sent overseas and used, free of all copyright obligations, for the financial gain of the people concerned. It is certainly against the spirit of the provision which we are now considering that that should happen. If there is such a loophole in the Bill it would be the wish of my right hon. Friend to prevent it."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, Standing Committee B, 28th June, 1956 ; c. 164.]I think my hon. Friend the Member for Islington, East has demonstrated that the purpose of his Amendment has not been achieved by the Amendment which the Postmaster-General has accepted and has put forward in the name of the President of the Board of Trade. I therefore formally move the Amendment which stands in the name of—
§ Mr. Speaker
Order. At the moment we are dealing with the Amendment moved by the Minister. We cannot go beyond that.
§ Mr. Alport
I hope that I can reassure the hon. Member for Islington, East on this matter. It is a point of construction and drafting. Perhaps I should draw his attention to the following fact. If my Amendment is read in conjunction with subsection (7), the subsection will read:Where by virtue of an assignment or licence a person is authorised to broadcast a literary, dramatic or musical work from a place in the United Kingdom, or in another country to which section two of this Act extends …In that we include the point which the hon. Gentleman has in mind because the assignment or licence is referred to again in paragraph (a), which says:Provided that this subsection shall not apply if the reproduction is used for making any further reproduction therefrom or for any other purpose except that of broadcasting in accordance with the assignment or licence. …The assignment or licence is a licence to broadcast from a place in the United Kingdom and goes no further than that. 709 If it is used for any other purpose, then it is an infringement of the licence.
I hope I have made it clear that by our Amendment we are covering precisely the point which the hon. Gentleman wishes us to cover and intends should be covered in his Amendment.
§ Mr. Anthony Greenwood
I think I detect on the faces of hon. Members opposite—and, no doubt, it is present on the faces of my hon. Friends on this side of the House—a look of slight bewilderment about the exact effect which this Amendment is going to have.
We may well be getting into a difficult situation. We had occasion during the Committee stage from time to time to suggest that the Assistant Postmaster-General did not make things as clear as, no doubt, he intended to do. We felt from lime to time the need for having one of the Law Officers of the Crown present to advise us on matters of drafting.
The Assistant Postmaster-General has clearly put the Recess to good advantage; he must have been taking a correspondence course on clear exposition, but nevertheless on a matter of this kind, which is one of drafting, it would be a great convenience to the House if for the rest of the consideration of this Bill we had the benefit of the unusual powers of elucidation possessed by the Attorney-General or other Law Officers of the Crown.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ Mr. Speaker
The Amendments standing in the name of the hon. Member for Twickenham (Mr. Gresham Cooke) in page 8, line 27, to add new subsections (8) and (9), and in the name of the hon. Member for Rossendale (Mr. Anthony Greenwood) to add a new subsection (8) seem to me to cover the same ground. I select the Amendment in the name of the hon. Member for Rossendale.
§ Mr. E. Fletcher
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. I thought you were going to call the Amendment standing in my name, to page 8, line 14, at the end to insert "in the United Kingdom".
§ Mr. James MacColl (Widnes)
I beg to move, in page 8, line 27, at the end to insert: 710(8) Where a reproduction is made solely for the purposes of broadcasting in accordance with the provisions of the last preceding subsection, the owner of the copyright may apply to the Lord Chancellor who shall appoint an arbitrator in accordance with the Arbitration Act, 1950, to determine the remuneration to be paid to the owner in respect of such reproduction.This Amendment deals very much with the same point as is dealt with in the second part of the Amendment standing in the name of the hon. Member for Twickenham (Mr. Gresham Cooke), namely, the question of going to arbitration.
I felt that the Assistant Postmaster-General, in the remarks he made about the proposal to leave out subsection (7), went a bit too far in what he set out to prove. He was inclined then to dismiss the concern which had been expressed about the working of the subsection as being due to a misunderstanding and he adopted the argument put forward by the hon. and learned Member for Bolton, East (Mr. Philip Bell) that the whole matter could be settled because the terms under which this recording took place would be taken care of in the original licence. That being so, there was no need to hedge this power around with any precautions or protection for the owner of the copyright.
The Assistant Postmaster-General was inclined to say that we rely on those in charge of the B.B.C. and the I.T.A. as being decent chaps who would always play the game and that, therefore, there was no danger of this power being abused. If that is so, I cannot understand why we need to have the safeguards that are already provided in the subsection. If the whole matter could be covered without any risk of misunderstanding or error or abuse, by means of the original licence, we would not need to have the limit of the 28 days. We would not need to charge the B.B.C. with this duty of solemnly destroying this rather dangerous recording which they have in case it should be used in the wrong way. There would be no point in stipulating that duty if the whole question of the recording could be covered by the original licence.
In the same way all this complicated and extremely technical argument which has gone on between the Assistant Postmaster-General and my hon. Friend the 711 Member for Islington East about whether the use of these recordings outside the United Kingdom should be prevented would not be necessary if the whole matter were covered and if there were no danger of the recording being used in the wrong way.
We have already accepted the principle that we should have subsection (7). I do not want to go back on it but the fact that we agree that the B.B.C. should have the right to make a simultaneous recording of this sort does not of itself deal with the question of what remuneration should be paid for doing it. Provided that the B.B.C. and the I.T.A. have the power to make these recordings I cannot see why there is so much objection on the Government benches to having some provision in the Clause which would make certain that fair remuneration would be paid to the owner of the copyright. I cannot see that it can do any harm. I can see that in some cases it might do a great deal of good and might be a valuable protection to the copyright owner, and I am sure it is the object of everyone to make quite certain that composers, authors and others concerned are paid fairly.
What this Amendment does is to provide either that there shall be agreement on the amount to be paid, or, in default of agreement, there shall be recourse to arbitration. It seems to me to be a perfectly fair and sensible way of tackling the problem. In most cases, of course, one need hardly doubt that there will be agreement. As the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Bolton, East said, in most cases the original agreement or licence would be comprehensive and would take up all these points ; there would be no argument or friction between the parties.
In some cases, however, something may go wrong; there may be misunderstanding, a composer may not be very acute in looking forward and anticipating all the possible things which might happen, or it may be that some quite new situation will arise which is not envisaged at the time agreement is first reached. Therefore, it is important to be sure that there is machinery for arriving at a fair measure of what the recompense to the owner of the copyright should be.
712 There is a very little danger of this provision being abused ; there is very little danger of it being used as a means of exerting some kind of blackmail on the B.B.C., because, under the Arbitration Act, the arbitrator has power at his own discretion to award the costs of the proceedings. Quite obviously, if an arbitrator were of opinion that the proceedings were unnecessary, the point being already covered and the proceedings, in his view, being used for wrong purposes, that would be something which, with costs in his discretion, he could take into account.
I do, therefore, suggest that this is a reasonable compromise between the two views, the extreme view that subsection (7) should not be in the Bill at all, and the view which the Government have been taking, namely, allowing a considerable amount of freedom to the B.B.C. and I.T.A. to use these powers just as they will. Here is a reasonable compromise between the two views, whereby we say, "We accept the principle that, as part of the normal mechanics of reproduction, recordings and films of this sort are part of the process and therefore should be allowed, but at the same time we will put something in the Bill to make sure that there is a fair recompense being obtained by the owner of the copyright whose rights are affected." That seems to be an entirely sensible, workable and reasonable thing to do, and, that being so, those arguments ought—though I am not at all sure that they always do—to present themselves as entirely convincing.
§ Dr. Horace King (Southampton, Itchen)
I beg to second the Amendment.
My hon. Friend the Member for Widnes (Mr. MacColl) has moved his Amendment with his usual persuasiveness and clarity. The House has shown quite clearly this afternoon that it desires to protect the interests of the creative artist, and it is concerned that reduplication of a broadcast should not endanger his fair reward. Indeed, the whole of subsection (7), as my hon. Friend the Member for Widnes has just pointed out, is devised to protect the artist against any such danger.
Neither the B.B.C. nor the I.T.A. can be accused of not having played fair with artists so far over the question of 713 what is a second broadcast or a repeat performance, but the difficulty may arise at some time in the future. Indeed, from what has been said this afternoon by my hon. Friend the Member for Islington, East (Mr. E. Fletcher), it appears that there may be discussion and debate as to the effect on the artist of a repeat performance in an overseas broadcast. There may at some time be the difficulty of deciding the relative value of the fees given to an artist for the first performance and a repeat performance.
It is desirable that we should have written into this Bill, in order to deal with those cases, something which may not have to be used very often but something to which the artist might turn as a last resort if he fails to come to terms with these powerful corporations. I hope, therefore, that the Minister will accept the Amendment.
§ Sir A. Gomme-Duncan
I wish to ask a question in connection with this Amendment. I see that a copyright owner who thinks he has been wrongedmay apply to the Lord Chancellor who shall appoint an arbitrator".In the case of a Scottish artist, to whom will he appeal for the appointment of an arbitrator?—not to the Lord Chancellor, I presume. What is the proposal about that?
§ Mr. R. Gresham Cooke (Twickenham)
I would not intervene in this debate at this late stage were it not for the fact that there is in my constituency of Twickenham a great musical and literary tradition. We have associations with Alexander Pope, Horace Walpole, Sir John Hawkins, the writer of "A General History of the Science and Practice of Music", and, more recently, Walter de la Mare. I find it not surprising, in a constituency which has the Kneller Hall of Music, the Royal Military School of Music, that a number of composers should live in the neighbourhood, and they have voiced certain fears to me, which have been bruited about in the Press already but to which I think I must on their behalf refer again briefly.
It is a new principle, I think, brought forward in this Bill that a recording should not be paid for. The fear which has been expressed to me is that the composer has no means in the future of checking whether a recording is or is not 714 destroyed. Without imputing dishonesty to anybody, it may be that, by carelessness, recordings are kept by the B.B.C. or I.T.A. or any of these other organisations, not being paid for, and used in the future. Composers do feel, rather strongly I think, that the owner of the copyright should be informed if and when a record is destroyed.
Having heard what they have to say, I repeat that it seemed to me that in this Clause some further protection for the owners of copyright is required.
§ Mr. Rankin
What puzzles me about the remarks of the hon. Gentleman the Member for Twickenham (Mr. Gresham Cooke) is this. Why did he not come into the House and deliver that speech in support of the Amendment which I moved earlier, which he then opposed?
§ Mr. Alport
I have noticed that when the hon. Member for Rossendale (Mr. Anthony Greenwood) finds any arguments advanced by myself unpalatable, he immediately gets up and accuses me of confusing and misleading the House. While I regret that there should be any deficiency on my part in the clear exposition of what are complicated legal problems, I think it has been hard that he and his hon. and learned Friend the Member for Walsall, North (Mr. W. Wells) should have decided not themselves to move the Amendment which the House is now considering, but should have left it to two of their hon. Friends on the back benches, and should have done so without explaining to them the meaning of the Amendment and the fact that it has no relevance whatever and is incapable of carrying out the purpose for which apparently it is intended.
By the terms of this Amendment, it is suggested that if a composer or head copyright owner is dissatisfied with the payment which he receives in respect of the reproduction or recording of his work by the B.B.C. or the I.T.A., he should then apply to the Lord Chancellor for the appointment of an arbitrator in order to ensure that his remuneration is correct. But we have made it clear that the whole purpose of the preceding subsection is to say that no separate fee should be paid. What, therefore, is the purpose of deciding to appoint an arbitrator to decide between two fees, when in fact the whole purpose of the previous provision is to 715 ensure that there should be one fee and one fee only?
In these circumstances, I hope that the hon. Gentleman and his hon. and learned Friend will not press the Amendment, because not only does it not make sense in the context, but, in fact, it would not accomplish the object which they have in mind. Let me, as we shall shortly be departing from this Clause, say that we are just as concerned as my hon. Friend the Member for Twickenham and his friends in safeguarding the proper and legitimate rights of composers in this matter; but, in this particular relationship, we must also consider the interests of what is for them a very lucrative field of employment, namely, the legitimate interests of the broadcasting authorities concerned.
§ Mr. W. Wells
I cannot resist the challenge of the Assistant Postmaster-General, and, in any event, I had intended to make a few remarks on hearing what the hon. Gentleman had to say in reply to the speeches from both sides of the House on the Amendment.
I do not argue for a moment that there are not technical defects in the way in which this Amendment is drafted. They are technical defects which, even at this stage of the Bill, the procedure of the House is quite adequate to rectify. The Parliamentary Secretary need not look so dubious. There are many ways in which a correction can be made, even at this late stage. There is the possibility of recommital, and it has even been known, I understand, for a comparatively minor Amendment of this sort, although it is, I believe, very unusual, to be embodied in the Third Reading of a Bill, and there are other possibilities. So it is really not quite fair for the Assistant Postmaster-General to say that the Amendment has no relation to what precedes it.
§ It is perfectly clear that the intention of the Amendment is to provide that where there is a case, such as that instanced by my hon. Friend the Member for Itchen (Dr. King), in which, in the light of all the circumstances, the fee paid for a repeat performance is found to be inadequate and unfair, the matter may be reopened in some way. It is precisely to meet that contingency that the Amendment is framed.
§ I am sorry that I am unable to answer the very pertinent question of the hon. and gallant Gentleman the Member for Perth and East Perthshire (Colonel Sir A. Gomme-Duncan). There again, that matter could be rectified. Whether it is the Lord President of the Court of Session or the Scottish Law Officer who is the requisite authority, I know not, but certainly the resources of the Government are equal to determining who is the right person in Scottish law to appoint an arbitrator to deal with a problem of this kind.
§ The point is quite a simple and short one. It is simply a matter of whether we are to introduce a safeguard into the very wide power that is given to the B.B.C. and the I.T.A. under the Clause as it stands. We have had support from both sides of the House for the view that safeguards should be written in. For that reason, and without any reference to the particular drafting drawbacks and defects that there may be in the Amendment, I shall now ask my right hon. and hon. Friends to vote for it, and I hope that hon. Members opposite who have paid vocal service to the principle of introducing safeguards into the Bill will now show that their words will be equalled by their acts.
§ Question put, That those words be there inserted in the Bill:—
§ The House divided: Ayes 165, Noes 192.719
|Division No. 285.]||AYES||[7.5 p.m.|
|Ainsley, J. W.||Bottomley, Rt. Hon. A. G.||Clunie, J.|
|Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.)||Bowden, H. W. (Leicester, S. W.)||Coldrick, W.|
|Allen, Arthur (Bosworth)||Bowles, F. G.||Collick, P. H. (Birkenhead)|
|Anderson, Frank||Brockway, A. F.||Collins, V. J. (Shoreditch & Finsbury)|
|Awbery, S. S.||Brown, Thomas (Ince)||Cove, W. G.|
|Bacon, Miss Alice||Burke, W. A.||Craddock, George (Bradford, S.)|
|Bence, C. R. (Dunbartonshire, E.)||Butler, Herbert (Hackney, C.)||Cullen, Mrs. A.|
|Benn, Hn. Wedgwood (Bristol, S. E.)||Butler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green)||Dalton, Rt. Hon. H.|
|Beswick, F.||Callaghan, L. J.||Davies, Harold (Leek)|
|Bevan, Rt. Hon. A. (Ebbw Vale)||Carmichael, J.||Davies, Stephen (Merthyr)|
|Blackburn, F.||Champion, A. J.||de Freitas, Geoffrey|
|Boardman, H.||Chetwynd, G. R.||Delargy, H. J.|
|Dodds, N. N.||Lewis, Arthur||Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvon)|
|Dugdale, Rt. Hn. John (W. Brmwch)||Lindgren, G. S.||Robinson, Kenneth (St. Pancras, N.)|
|Edwards, Rt. Hon. Ness (Caerphilly)||Logan, D. G.||Ross, William|
|Edwards, W. J. (Stepney)||Mabon, Dr. J. Dickson||Royle, C.|
|Evans, Albert (Islington, S. W.)||MacColl, J. E.||Shinwell, Rt. Hon. E.|
|Evans, Stanley (Wednesbury)||McGhee, H. G.||Shurmer, P. L. E.|
|Fernyhough, E.||McInnes, J.||Silverman, Sydney (Nelson)|
|Finch, H. J.||McKay, John (Wallsend)||Simmons, C. J. (Brierley Hill)|
|Fletcher, Eric||McLeavy, Frank||Slater, J. (Sedgefield)|
|Forman, J. C.||MacMillan, M. K. (Western Isles)||Sparks, J. A.|
|Fraser, Thomas (Hamilton)||Mahon, Simon||Steele, T.|
|Gibson, C. W.||Mann, Mrs. Jean||Stones, W. (Consett)|
|Gooch, E. G.||Mason, Roy||Summerskill, Rt. Hon. E.|
|Gordon Walker, Rt. Hon. P. C.||Mellish, R. J.||Sylvester, G. O.|
|Greenwood, Anthony||Mikardo, Ian||Taylor, Bernard (Mansfield)|
|Grenfell, Rt. Hon. D. R.||Mitchison, G. R.||Taylor, John (West Lothian)|
|Grey, C. F.||Monslow, W.||Thomson, George (Dundee, E.)|
|Griffiths, Rt. Hon. James (Llanelly)||Moody, A. S.||Thornton, E.|
|Hamilton. W. W.||Morris, Percy (Swansea, W.)||Timmons, J.|
|Hannan, W.||Mort, D. L.||Turner-Samuels, M|
|Harrison, J. (Nottingham, N.)||Moss, R.||Viant, S. P.|
|Hastings, S.||Moyle, A.||Warbey, W. N.|
|Herbison, Miss M.||Noel-Baker, Rt. Hon. P. (Derby, S.)||Watkins, T. E.|
|Hewitson, Capt. M.||Oliver, G. H.||Weitzman, D.|
|Hobson, C. R.||Oram, A. E.||Wells, Percy (Faversham)|
|Holmes, Horace||Oswald, T.||Wells, William (Walsall, N.)|
|Houghton, Douglas||Owen, W. J.||West, D. G.|
|Howell, Charles (Perry Barr)||Padley, W. E.||Wheeldon, W. E.|
|Howell, Denis (All Saints)||Paling, Rt. Hon. W. (Dearne Valley)||White, Mrs. Eirene (E. Flint)|
|Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayrshire)||Pannell, Charles (Leeds, W.)||White, Henry (Derbyshire, N. E.)|
|Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.)||Parkin, B. T.||Wilkins, W. A.|
|Hunter, A. E.||Pearson, A.||Williams, Rev. Llywelyn (Ab'tillery)|
|Hynd, J. B. (Attercliffe)||Pentland, N.||Williams, Ronald (Wigan)|
|Irvine, A. J. (Edge Hill)||Plummer, Sir Leslie||Williams, Rt. Hon. T. (Don Valley)|
|Irving, S. (Dartford)||Probert, A. R.||Williams, W. R. (Openshaw)|
|Isaacs, Rt. Hon. G. A.||Proctor, W. T.||Williams, W. T. (Barons Court)|
|Janner, B.||Pryde, D. J.||Willis, Eustace (Edinburgh, E.)|
|Jeger, Mrs. Lena (Holbn & St. Pncs, S.)||Randall, H. E.||Winterbottom, Richard|
|Jones, J. Idwal (Wrexham)||Rankin, John||Woodburn, Rt. Hon. A.|
|Jones, T. W. (Merioneth)||Redhead, E. C.||Woof, R. E.|
|Kenyon, C.||Reid, William||Yates, V. (Ladywood)|
|Key, Rt. Hon. C. W.||Rhodes, H.|
|King, Dr. H. M.||Robens, Rt. Hon. A.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Lever, Leslie (Ardwick)||Roberts, Albert (Normanton)||Mr. Rogers and Mr. Deer.|
|Aitken, W. T.||Currie, G. B. H.||Holland-Martin, C. J.|
|Allan, R. A. (Paddington, S.)||Dance, J. C. G.||Hornby, R. P.|
|Alport, C. J. M.||D'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry||Horobin, Sir Ian|
|Anstruther-Gray, Major Sir William||Deedes, W. F.||Howard, Gerald (Cambridgeshire)|
|Arbuthnot, John||Digby, Simon Wingfield||Hudson, W. R. A. (Hull, N.)|
|Armstrong, C. W.||Donaldson, Cmdr. C. E. McA.||Hughes-Young, M. H. C.|
|Ashton, H.||Doughty, C. J. A.||Hulbert, Sir Norman|
|Atkins, H. E.||du Cann, E. D. L.||Hurd, A. R.|
|Baldwin, A. E.||Dugdale, Rt. Hn. Sir T. (Richmond)||Hutchison, Sir Ian Clark (E'b'gh, W.)|
|Banks, Col. C.||Duncan, Capt. J. A. L.||Hyde, Montgomery|
|Barber, Anthony||Eden, J. B, (Bournemouth, West)||Hylton-Foster, Sir H. B. H.|
|Barlow, Sir John||Emmet, Hon. Mrs. Evelyn||Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye)|
|Barter, John||Fell, A.||Jenkins, Robert (Dulwich)|
|Baxter, Sir Beverley||Fraser, Sir Ian (M'cmbe & Lonsdale)||Jennings, J. C. (Burton)|
|Beamish, Mai. Tufton||Freeth, D. K.||Jennings, Sir Roland (Hallam)|
|Bell, Philip (Bolton, E.)||Galbraith, Hon. T. G. D.||Johnson, Dr. Donald (Carlisle)|
|Bell, Ronald (Bucks, S.)||Garner-Evans, E. H.||Johnson, Eric (Blackley)|
|Bevins, J. R. (Toxteth)||George, J. C. (Pollok)||Joynson-Hicks, Hon. Sir Lancelot|
|Bidgood, J. C.||Gomme-Duncan, Col. Sir Alan||Keegan, D.|
|Biggs-Davison, J. A.||Gough, C. F. H.||Kerby, Capt. H. B.|
|Bishop, F. P.||Cower, H. R.||Kimball, M.|
|Body, R. F.||Graham, Sir Fergus||Lagden, G. W.|
|Bowen, E. R. (Cardigan)||Grant, W. (Woodside)||Lambert, Hon. G.|
|Boyle, Sir Edward||Green, A.||Lambton, Viscount|
|Braine, B. R.||Grimston, Sir Robert (Westbury)||Leather, E. H. C.|
|Braithwaite, Sir Albert (Harrow, W.)||Grosvenor, Lt.-Col. R. G.||Leavey, J. A.|
|Bryan, P.||Gurden, Harold||Leburn, W. G.|
|Buchan-Hepburn, Rt. Hon. P. G. T.||Hall, John (Wycombe)||Legge-Bcurke, Maj. E. A. H.|
|Bullus, Wing Commander E. E.||Hare, Rt. Hon. J. H.||Legh, Hon. Peter (Petersfield)|
|Cary, Sir Robert||Harris, Frederic (Croydon, N. W.)||Lindsay, Hon. James (Devon, N.)|
|Channon, H.||Harrison, A. B. C. (Maldon)||Llewellyn, D. T.|
|Chichester-Clark, R.||Harvey, Air Cdre. A. V. (Macclesfd)||Lloyd, Maj. Sir Guy (Renfrew, E.)|
|Clarke, Brig. Terence (Portsmth, W.)||Heath, Rt. Hon. E. R. G.||Lucas, Sir Jocelyn (Portsmouth, S.)|
|Cordeaux, Lt.-Col. J. K.||Hesketh, H. F.||Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh|
|Craddock, Beresford (Spelthorne)||Hicks-Beach, Maj. W. W.||McAdden, S. J.|
|Crouch, R. F.||Hill, Mrs. E. (Wythenshawe)||McCallum, Major Sir Duncan|
|Crowder, Sir John (Finchley)||Hirst, Geoffrey||Macdonald, Sir Peter|
|Crowder, Petre (Ruislip—Northwood)|
|Mackeson, Brig. Sir Harry||Pilkington, Capt. R. A.||Taylor, William (Bradford, N.)|
|McKibbin, A. J.||Pitman, I. J.||Teeling, W.|
|Mackie, J. H. (Galloway)||Pott, H. P.||Thomas, Leslie (Canterbury)|
|McLaughlin, Mrs. P.||Profumo, J. D.||Thomas, P. J. M. (Conway)|
|McLean, Neil (Inverness)||Raikes, Sir Victor||Thompson, Lt.-Cdr. R, (Croydon, S.)|
|Macleod, Rt. Hn. Iain (Enfield, W.)||Rawlinson, Peter||Thorneycroft, Rt. Hon. P.|
|MacLeod, John (Ross & Cromarty)||Redmayne, M.||Thornton-Kemsley, C. N.|
|Macmillan, Maurice (Halifax)||Rees-Davies, W. R.||Tiley, A. (Bradford, W.)|
|Maddan, Martin||Ridsdale, J. E.||Touche, Sir Gordon|
|Maitland, Cdr. J. F. W.(Horncastle)||Robertson, Sir David||Turton, Rt. Hon. R. H.|
|Manningham-Buller, Rt. Hn. Sir R.||Robinson, Sir Roland (Blackpool, S.)||Tweedsmuir, Lady|
|Markham, Major Sir Frank||Roper, Sir Harold||Vane, W. M. F.|
|Maude, Angus||Ropner, Col. Sir Leonard||Vaughan-Morgan, J. K.|
|Medlicott, Sir Frank||Schofield, Lt.-Col. W.||Vickers, Miss J. H.|
|Milligan, Rt. Hon. W. R.||Scott-Miller, Cmdr. R.||Walker-Smith, D. C.|
|Molson, Rt. Hon. Hugh||Sharples, R. C.||Ward, Hon. George (Worcester)|
|Morrison, John (Salisbury)||Shepherd, William||Waterhouse, Capt. Rt. Hon. C.|
|Nabarro, G. D. N.||Simon, J. E. S. (Middlesbrough, W.)||Whitelaw, W. S. I. (Penrith & Border)|
|Nairn, D. L. S.||Spearman, Sir Alexander||Williams, Paul (Sunderland, S.)|
|Neave, Airey||Speir, R. M.||Wills, G. (Bridgwater)|
|Nugent, G. R. H.||Spens, Rt. Hn. Sir P. (Kens'gt'n, S.)||Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)|
|O'Neill, Hn. Phelim (Co. Antrim, N.)||Steward, Harold (Stockport, S.)||Wood, Hon. R.|
|Orr-Ewing, Charles Ian (Hendon, N.)||Stewart, Henderson (Fife, E.)||Woollam, John Victor|
|Osborne, C.||Storey, S.||Yates, William (The Wrekin)|
|Page, R. G.||Stuart, Rt. Hon. James (Moray)|
|Pannell, N. A. (Kirkdale)||Studholme, Sir Henry||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|Partridge, E.||Summers, Sir Spencer||Mr. Edward Wakefield and|
|Pickthorn, K. W. M.||Sumner, W. D. M. (Orpington)||Colonel J. H. Harrison.|