June 20, 1936

CON

David Spence

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPENCE:

I should not have used the word, and I apologize, but will anybody say that my hon. friend did not try to be a dictator on the committee-I think that is parliamentary, Mr. Speaker. I did not intend to insult the hon. member, for whom I have a great deal of regard.

I was saying that these investigations only mean a waste of public money. We started our investigation on March 17 by selecting a lawyer, whom I am not going to criticize, but who acted like a police court lawyer when it came to getting evidence. We also selected an accountant, a high type of man, I assume, and we have spent a lot of money, probably $15,000 or $20,000, but what have we accomplished? I admit that the recommendation we made was the only one we could make under the circumstances. We had to compromise. We could not do other than recommend a continuance of the investigation. I was personally opposed to a royal commission because I thought it would cost too much money. I have to make every dollar I get and I do not like to see money wasted.

I say without fear of contradiction that only a man with a suspicious mind would think that the implement people were not giving this country a square deal. As a matter of fact I believe the implement people are getting the worst of it.

Topic:   AGRICULTURE AND COLONIZATION
Subtopic:   AGRICULTURAL IMPLEMENT PRICES-RECOMMENDATION THAT INQUIRY BE CONTINUED NEXT SESSION BY SPECIAL COMMITTEE
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LIB

Malcolm McLean

Liberal

Mr. McLEAN (Melfort):

We never said they were not.

Topic:   AGRICULTURE AND COLONIZATION
Subtopic:   AGRICULTURAL IMPLEMENT PRICES-RECOMMENDATION THAT INQUIRY BE CONTINUED NEXT SESSION BY SPECIAL COMMITTEE
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CON

David Spence

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPENCE:

But the inference was that something was doing something to somebody. Evil be to him who evil thinks.

Topic:   AGRICULTURE AND COLONIZATION
Subtopic:   AGRICULTURAL IMPLEMENT PRICES-RECOMMENDATION THAT INQUIRY BE CONTINUED NEXT SESSION BY SPECIAL COMMITTEE
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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

1 did not care to interrupt the hon. member for Selkirk (Mr. Thorson) in his very moderate and courteous observations, but perhaps I might now answer his question by referring to the statute. What I had reference to was subsection 5 of section 4 of the Tariff Board Act:

It shall also be the duty of the board to inquire into any other matter or thing in relation to the trade or commerce of Canada which the governor in council sees fit to refer to the board for inquiry and report.

Topic:   AGRICULTURE AND COLONIZATION
Subtopic:   AGRICULTURAL IMPLEMENT PRICES-RECOMMENDATION THAT INQUIRY BE CONTINUED NEXT SESSION BY SPECIAL COMMITTEE
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SC

Joseph Needham

Social Credit

Mr. JOSEPH NEEDHAM (The Battle-fords) :

Mr. Speaker, as a member of the standing committee and having attended, I think, every meeting, I am amazed at the turn which this discussion has taken. We were not able to finish our inquiry into the price of implements and make a complete report to the house, and it is likely that

Agriculture-Implement Prices

another price list will be given out by the implement manufacturers before the inquiry is completed. That is the sad part of it. We have heard a great deal about Saskatchewan and the west, and the condition in which they are placed because of these things. In the district I represent I do not think five per cent of the farmers have a full equipment of efficient machinery. That has been the condition during the last four or five years. The situation was so serious that they did not know what to do regarding further investments, with the prospects that lay before them.

I was amazed to read a little while ago that the prairie provinces from 1900 up to the present time produced 112,500,000,000 of new wealth; that is equal to $1,000,000 per day. And yet we find these people in the situation they are in to-day. We must remember that if western Canada suffers, the rest of the dominion will suffer with it. Our interests are theirs, and on behalf of this group I wish to express our concurrence in this report.

Motion (Mr. Weir) agreed to.

At one o'clock the house took recess.

The house resumed at three o'clock.

Topic:   AGRICULTURE AND COLONIZATION
Subtopic:   AGRICULTURAL IMPLEMENT PRICES-RECOMMENDATION THAT INQUIRY BE CONTINUED NEXT SESSION BY SPECIAL COMMITTEE
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WRECKS IN ONTARIO WATERS


On the orders of the day.


CON

Thomas Langton Church

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. T. L. CHURCH (Broad<view):

Mr. Speaker, I desire to ask a short question of the Minister of Marine (Mr. Howe) with reference to two wrecks which occurred yesterday in Ontario. One was at Amherstburg, where the steamer Tashmoo, with 1,100 passengers, had great difficulty in making shore, and the other wa9 at Brockville, where the steamer Kingston was damaged. Is it the intention of the minister to have the wreck commissioner hold an inquiry under the act?

Topic:   WRECKS IN ONTARIO WATERS
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LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Marine; Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Hon. C. D. HOWE (Minister of Marine):

I have asked the officers of my department to investigate both these matters. If an inquiry is called for it will undoubtedly be held.

Topic:   WRECKS IN ONTARIO WATERS
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NIAGARA RIVER SHOAL


On the orders of the day.


CON

Herbert Earl Wilton

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. H. E. WILTON (Hamilton West):

Will the minister look at the conditions on the Niagara River, where there is a big shoal three miles long, and large steamers are running over it? It is partly in American waters and partly in Canadian.

Topic:   NIAGARA RIVER SHOAL
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COPYRIGHT AMENDMENT ACT

AMENDMENT WITH RESPECT TO FEES, CHARGES AND ROYALTIES, AND TO CONSTITUTE A COPYRIGHT APPEAL BOARD


The house resumed from Friday, June 19, consideration in committee of Bill No. 55, to amend the Copyright Amendment Act, 1931- Mr. Rinfret-Mr. Sanderson in the chair.


LIB

Frederick George Sanderson (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

The CHAIRMAN:

When the committee rose last night we were discussing section 1.

Topic:   COPYRIGHT AMENDMENT ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT WITH RESPECT TO FEES, CHARGES AND ROYALTIES, AND TO CONSTITUTE A COPYRIGHT APPEAL BOARD
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LIB

Louis Édouard Fernand Rinfret (Secretary of State of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. RINFRET:

Before we proceed with the discussion of the section, I desire to say a word or two with regard to a remark made by the hon. member for Kootenay West (Mr. Esling) before the house rose at one o'clock. The hon. member has been very accommodating, and my observation is made in a friendly spirit and is, I hope, courteous in relation to his view of the matter. The hon. member said that he thought this matter should go before a committee before the house passes upon it. May I remind him and other hon. members that there is no subject upon which so many committees of the house have sat as that of copyright. We have had them from year to year and from session to session. Besides that, there have been two inquiries, one by Mr. Justice Ewing, which was held in 1931, I believe, the other one by Mr. Justice Parker, in 1935.

I repeat that the object of this bill is neither to redraft the copyright bill, nor to abolish it, as some hon. members, to judge from their remarks, seem to think, but to regulate the matter, and only on the points that have been touched by the inquiry of Judge Parker and his commission. The recommendation is for an appeal board. In other words, the inquiry that my hon. friend wishes to have continued by sittings of a new committee of the house can be made before that appeal board. Representations from both sides can be made to that board, which will sit from year to year. But I say again that it is urgent that we adopt some legislation before parliament prorogues. We cannot continue in the undecided state in which the whole question is at the present time.

Yesterday, Mr. Chairman, and very properly so, because there was no discussion on the second reading, you gave quite a leeway to the various speakers to deal generally with the question in discussing the first section. I understand that the hon. member for Ottawa East wishes to speak to this matter. I am sure the committee will give him the same latitude that was given to the hon. member who spoke yesterday. But once that is done the committee, I suggest, should be ready to

*Copyright Amendment Act

proceed with the two sections of the bill, and as they are very clear, we can deal with them in an orderly but expeditious way.

Topic:   COPYRIGHT AMENDMENT ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT WITH RESPECT TO FEES, CHARGES AND ROYALTIES, AND TO CONSTITUTE A COPYRIGHT APPEAL BOARD
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LIB

Lionel Chevrier

Liberal

Mr. CHEVRIER (Ottawa):

In these the

dying hours of the present session it is not my intention to traverse all that was said yesterday in the three hours during which we listened to speakers on the other side. I have no hesitation in saying that at least nine-tenths of what was said last night was absolutely irrelevant to the issues now before us. What we are confronted with is the bill in committee. The bill is divided into two clauses. There is an amendment to clause 1 which I shall speak about in a moment or two. At the outset I desire to say that this bill was more or less called for by reason of the legislation which was enacted by the previous secretary of state. It would have been very much better if that legislation had not been enacted at all. In that event we should not have been faced with the conditions that now confront us-a most difficult situation, not for the performing right society as such, because I am not concerned with it as a performing right society, but for the authors.

This bill is not a bill for the performing right society. This is a copyright bill, and so long as we continue to misunderstand the purport and intent of the bill, so long we shall face the difficulties that we experience at this moment. The copyright law is not for the purpose of protecting some society; it is for the purpose of affording that rightful protection to which authors are entitled by law. I said it had been called for by the legislation that was passed by the former secretary of state and upon which Judge Parker's report was initiated. It would have been very much better if that investigation had not taken place in the manner in which it did. We are not concerned here with the control of the performing right society, because it was on trial before Judge Parker, and nobody in that instance received any measure of justice. The authors got no justice and the users of music got more than they were entitled to.

I say at the outset that this bill, when enacted, will have the result, by giving effect to section 1, of making clear the statutory permission to infringe copyright in flagrant contravention of an international agreement and in defiance and violation of authors' personal rights, and, by giving effect to section 2, of establishing and fixing rates interfering with the collection of fees, again in violation of an international agreement and in defiance and violation of private rights; and thirdly, in an endeavour to meet an isolated case, 12739-2535

namely that of the performing right society- which, by the way, is a very bad way of legislating, from the particular to the general-of inflicting heavy and unjustifiable hardships upon innocent bystanders, all of which, again, is in flagrant violation of an international agreement and in defiance of private rights.

Time will not allow me fully to go, as I should like to have done, into the question of law, but I gravely doubt whether this matter could not have been achieved, and the present situation remedied, by a procedure altogether different from the creation of an appeal board and inflicting upon authors the restrictions which are again inflicted upon them. I should have been satisfied to make an endeavour to reduce the restrictions that were placed upon the authors, but apparently it never rains but it pours, and now I am faced, in an endeavour to remove the difficulties that previously existed, with an amendment conceived for the purpose of making more onerous the inflictions upon the authors, through the extension of the unwarranted privileges that are now being accorded to industrial fairs. First we had this provision giving agricultural fairs the right to use the music of these composers without obtaining their permission and without paying fees. Now we find that is not enough, that up to the moment the composers have not been sufficiently ill treated, that in their greed some people have insisted that industrial fairs now must have the same privileges. If this sort of thing continues there will be nothing at all left for the authors.

I should like to point out also, Mr. Chairman, that up to the moment there has been no definition of an industrial fair, and if this amendment passes and becomes law it will provide another subject of contention, as to what constitutes an industrial fair. We will not only be faced with the situation that existed up to the time the Canadian National Exhibition was sued by the Canadian Performing Right Society in order to determine what was private profit; the situation will be made even more complicated. In that case the court decided what private profit meant. Now we are to extend the law and inflict further restrictions upon the rights of the authors.

I wonder if hon. gentlemen really appreciate the position of an author. This morning the right hon. leader of the opposition said that protection existed for practically everybody in industry, and he mentioned the fruit growers and others who were protected. With that I have no quarrel, but it seems that in Canada the only one who is not protected

Copyright Amendment Act

is the Canadian author. May I cite what the honorary secretary of the Canadian Authors' Association says:

The basic fact of all the feeling against the performing right society (and against the composers and authors for whom it acts) is that the public has not yet realized that composers have both moral and legal right to be paid for their work, and next, that (with the sheet music and gramophone records for private use practically superseded by talkies and radio), the only means they have of getting paid is through performing rights.

Now by this amendment covering industrial fairs, to this further extent we desire to deprive the authors of their rights.

I am going through my notes rather hastily, Mr. Chairman, but yesterday we were told what copyright was. Well, the copyright with which we are concerned is not the copyright as defined by Webster's dictionary or any other encyclopaedia; copyright is defined in terms of the law and section 3 of the Copyright Act says:

For the purposes of this act, "copyright" means the sole right to produce or reproduce the work or any substantial part thereof in any material form whatsoever-[DOT]

Then paragraph 2 of article IV of the convention of Berne says:

The enjoyment and the exercise of these rights shall not be subject to the performance of any formality; such enjoyment and such exercise are independent of the existence of protection in the country of origin of the work.

I say, Mr. Chairman, that the amendment exempting industrial fairs unduly takes away from the rights of the authors. In this matter we are not at all concerned with the performing right society. That society has nothing to do with the rights of the authors, in regard to letting their works be used for fairs, whether they are under the control of the dominion, the province or the municipality. Why in the name of common sense should a composer 'be forced to allow his music to be played gratuitously at any agricultural fair under the dominion, province or municipality, or at an industrial fair? Why, Mr. Chairman, the peanut vendor is paid at these fail's; everyone makes money at these fairs except the author. The farmer makes money; he is protected, but the author is not protected. I do not believe there would be any fairs if there were no music. Everyone is prepared to pay all those who have anything to do with the fair except the author who provides the very first requirement in order that the fair may be held. I do not think the point needs to be elaborated to show how illogical, how uncharitable and, I might even say, how unlawful that is.

While I am on this point may I say that in taking this step we are not only dealing with Canadian authors. Under the terms of the convention of Berne a large number of authors living in such countries as France, Italy, Belgium, Switzerland and many other countries are protected in Canada. If I had time I could easily proceed to show that while we in this country have the right to treat our own nationals in any contemptible way we may wish, the law of the land is that we cannot treat nationals of other countries in the same way. We can do what we like with our own people; we can be as mean as we wish towards them, but if we act in that way towards authors belonging to nations other than Canada we do so in flagrant violation of the convention of Berne. If proof of that statement were needed I could go back to 1921, when the licensing clauses were under consideration. The then Minister of Justice, Mr. Doherty, decided that the licensing clauses placed in our law could be operative only in connection with our own nationals and not in connection with the nationals of other countries who were protected by the convention of Berne. So I submit that by taking this action we are not showing Vespeet for an international convention in which we have participated. We are told that this does not amount to very much, that the authors will not lose very much in the way of fees by exempting these small fairs. But, Mr. Chairman, may I point out that at page 42 of the Parker report 278 fairs are listed in the province of Ontario.

I have not time to go through the whole of the report or to traverse everything that was said last night, but most hon. gentlemen who spoke then stated that the fees charged were exorbitant. I am not concerned with whether it is the performing right society or any other society that collects these fees. These are the fees of the authors and composers, and I say we have not the right to place this further hardship upon them. For the time being the Canadian Performing Right Society is the duly constituted agent of a certain number of authors, and they have the right to collect their fees.

Topic:   COPYRIGHT AMENDMENT ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT WITH RESPECT TO FEES, CHARGES AND ROYALTIES, AND TO CONSTITUTE A COPYRIGHT APPEAL BOARD
Permalink
CON

Frederick Cronyn Betts

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BETTS:

Will the hon. member permit a question?

Topic:   COPYRIGHT AMENDMENT ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT WITH RESPECT TO FEES, CHARGES AND ROYALTIES, AND TO CONSTITUTE A COPYRIGHT APPEAL BOARD
Permalink
LIB

Lionel Chevrier

Liberal

Mr. CHEVRIER (Ottawa):

Last night I listened with great patience to every speaker on the other side, and time is now so limited that I hope they will extend to me the same courtesy that I extended to them.

The rates were stated to be $5 to $30 a day; I say it is not so. The Parker report shows that no such fees as $30 a day were exacted. But if they had been I say it

Copyright Amendment Act

was perfectly all right, because after all those would have been the fees the authors would have asked, and if people do not like to pay for music why should they have it? If they do not want to pay for a fur coat why should they get it? After all, my property is mine and if anyone wants to use it he should pay for doing so. Although hon. members say the performing right society gathered in the fees, the evidence will disclose that none of the small fairs operate for more than a day or two; even if they paid $5 a day for two days it would amount to only $10, so that at no time is there any such amount charged as was stated last night.

I am sorry I have not the time other hon. members had, but if I had and proceeded to show what the Canadian National exhibition in Toronto gathered in in the way of fees and what they paid for the privilege of using this music, hon. members would be astounded. The society submits that a fee of $982 for the use of music at the Canadian National exhibition during 1935 when the total attendance was 1,444,000 is prima facie evidence that the fee is fair and reasonable. It is also established in evidence that large sums are paid annually by the Canadian National exhibition to the performers of music. There was spent on bands in some years I think $35,000 or $40,000. In 1934 the bands got about $15,000. There was a definite understanding that Rudy Yallee would get somewhat less than $30,000 for two weeks. I could continue that ad nauseam but I do not think I should insult the intelligence of the committee by further argument that the authors have a perfect right to ask what they think right for the performance of their music. If they choose to select the performing right society or any other society to represent them for that purpose I care not. If the performers desire to use the music they should pay what the authors ask; if they do not want to pay, then let them not play the music.

May I point out also that there is a public demand for this music. The author is protected during his lifetime and fifty years thereafter. Every day a tremendous amount of music falls in the public domain which may be used free, and not only music but all kinds of artistic and literary work. Why do not those who use this music take that which they can have free? But it is with them just as it with moths; you always find the moth in the nicest piece of fur, and you always find these people trying to get the latest music and paying nothing for it.

Now that is in relation to clause 1. Under the terms of the Berne convention and under

the terms of the Copyright Act we have no right to take the music of any Canadian author, or of authors of any of the other nations adhering to the Berne convention without paying proper fees. I submit that it is a further spoliation of the author's rights to enact this amendment into law.

I should like to proceed with the other feature of the bill, that which has to do with fees. The explanatory note to the bill reads thus:

"10c. In March, 1935, His Honour Judge Parker was appointed a commissioner under subsection 2 of section 10 of The Copyright Amendment Act, 1931 (hereby repealed) and under the Inquiries Act, to investigate and report whether the Canadian Performing Right Society Limited or any other society, association or company proposed to collect excessive fees. The commissioner submitted a report which, inter alia, recommended the appointment of a copyright appeal board and also recommended modifications of the tariff filed with the minister by the Canadian Performing Right Society Limited in January, 1935. The act, chapter eighteen of the statutes of 1935, provided for a stay of proceedings pending the receipt of and action upon the commissioner's report. This section is designed to enable the governor in council to provide for the revision of the tariffs filed in January, 1935, in the light of the recommendations contained in the commissioner's report and also to prevent the recovery of fees or damages in excess of the fees prescribed by the governor in council.

Here is a piece of legislation directed against one society. As a result of the investigation that took place into this society, and followed by the Parker report, we now have general legislation affecting everyone that may be in the same position, every society, every company, all who may deal with performing rights, whether rightfully or wrongfully, whether they charge proper fees or whether they do not, whether their business was investigated or whether it was not-all will be subject to this iniquitous legislation. I say that proceeding from the particular to the general is as bad a way of legislating as could possibly be conceived.

If I speak of the performing right society I do so for two reasons: because it is the collecting agency for the composers, and because any fair-minded member of this committee is interested in justice. Let me point out that you can legislate against this society; you can legislate it out of existence if you like, but by doing so you would be depriving the musical composers and authors of what is at the moment their only collection agency. But notwithstanding that, you cannot compel authors and composers to accept fees that this committee or anyone else may desire to impose. You can do as you please with that society but you cannot fix the fees

Copyright Amendment Act

to be received by composers, whether nationals or those outside Canada. That is the situation. I have a telegram from John M. Bison, secretary of the Authors' and Composers' Association of Canada, protesting against this legislation. He says:

Meeting executive Authors and Composers Association of Canada Doctor Healey Willan presiding following resolution was passed on motion Sir Ernest MacMillan: We desire as

representing authors and composers throughout the dominion to protest strongly against passage of Bill 55. This measure we feel distinctly contrary provisions Berne convention arid will react unfavourably against Canadian authors and composers whose works may be performed in other countries. Authors, composers, publishers appeared before Parker commission but our evidence seems to have been ignored judging by page 46 of Judge Parker's report and terms of Bill 55.

Those two statements are true:

We request you to delay this measure for further consideration.

Appropriating to myself the words of a Canadian musical publisher and composer, I say that no other country in the world, not even the most barbarous, has treated the rights of its authors and composers as Canada proposes to do under this bill. Whether or not it is against the letter of the Berne convention it is certainly against the spirit of it. The memorandum addressed to the Prime Minister states:

The curtailment of the rights of foreign authors and composers in Canada is bound to react unfavourably upon the rights of Canadians in foreign countries. This was the case in connection with the mechanical royalties which Canadian authors and composers struggled so long to acquire. If this bill is aimed particularly at the Canadian Performing Bight Society, would it not be better to control the society in some other way rather than by imposing hardships on Canadian authors and composers ?

Is not that a fair request, Mr. Chairman?

Copyright is a property right vested in creators of intellectual work and as such should be subject to the same laws of supply and demand as any other commercial commodity. Compulsory charity is not relished by Canadian authors and composers. Other property owners are not compelled to hand property to a charitable organization.

Is there any place in Canada where a Sunday school organization may ransack a bakeshop to get supplies for a Sunday school picnic to be held to-morrow, because it is for a charitable purpose? Is there any place in Canada where a person can go into a retail store and take goods, clothing and provision for the upkeep and maintenance of the needy, simply because it is for a charitable purpose? Is not this property just as sacred as any other?

IMr. E. R. E. Chevrier.l

The world's best music is free to all users. Mendelssohn, Handel, Schubert, Beethoven, are free to all. While the performing right societies control the majority of present-day copyright works they have by no means a monopoly. The music users might create their own music.

There are a number of other observations which could be made along the same line.

Coming back to the proposed change in the law, may I place on record subsection 2 of section 10, under which the investigation took place:

Whenever in the opinion of the minister, after an investigation and report by a commissioner appointed under the Inquiries Act, any such society, association or company which exercises in Canada a substantial control of the performing rights in dramatico-musical or musical works in which copyright subsists, unduly withholds-

Who will say that they unduly withheld? We have had an investigation, and it has been stated that they did unduly withhold. Why should they not withhold? Why should I not have the right to withhold my musical composition? It is not something like insulin; it is not something which could be classed as a necessity of life. Music is not a necessity of life. It is not the object of public utilities corporations, as are telephone or steamship lines. Why not withhold? It is suggested 'that if I do not wish to let my song be played anybody can come and take it over, and pay what he wishes, and I must let it go. Then the section continues:

... or proposes to collect excessive fees-

Why be so arbitrary? I cannot determine for myself what the fees shall be, but have to be kept within bounds by a guardian who will look after my fees. It continues:

-or otherwise conducts its operations in Canada in a manner which is deemed detrimental to the interests of the public.

Can anybody by any construction, say that the withholding of a piece of music from public performance or otherwise is detrimental to the interests of the public? Yet that is the law. But what I want to point out is that the law as framed to-day affects the performing right society and every other society now doing the same thing in the same way in Canada. May I point out that in addition to the performing right society there are French societies which control a certain number of titles, and the former Secretary of State is not without knowledge of them. For instance, one of the largest societies now doing business in France and Canada is La Societe des Auteurs, Editeurs et Compositeurs de Musique. That society, doing business in France and Canada, was never the subject

Copyright Amendment Act

of the investigation. Yet by the operation of this act that company has to go through every one of the things iniquitously prescribed, in violation of the convention of Berne, in violation of our own statutes, and in defiance of property rights. Those other companies have to do that. I cannot help the inflicting of the direct punishment upon our own societies, even to our own disgrace, but I do say there is an international statute which ought to be respected and which is not being respected by this law, nor was it respected by the former law.

May I say a word about the findings of the commission. The most important problem before the Parker commission was the determination of what would be a fair tariff or fee. In the first place there was no legal right to go into that matter. The report states:

It is a fair assumption that the present tariff of _ the Canadian Performing Right Society Limited was made higher because of the expenses incurred in persuading a public that was often unreasoning and ignorant of the society's legal rights to purchase a licence.

I, the author, who owned the play or composed the music or wrote the work, have to suffer because the public was ignorant.

The demand for payment by the society was regarded as an unjust imposition, and the music user honestly believed that the author, composer or publisher was not entitled to any payment for his performing rights.

If the public were ignorant to that extent, does it mean that this committee must inflict punishment upon authors because of the ignorance of the general public?

Due to the very nature of the intangible right possessed by the society, it is most difficult, if not impossible, to determine what is a fair fee.

Notice the unfairness of all this.

The society, however, is not in as good a position as the broadcasting stations themselves to determine-

Substitute the words "author and composer" for the word "society," because the society is the collector. Then we say that "the author and composer is not in as good a position as the broadcasting stations themselves to determine what part of this gross should be contributed by the various stations in Canada, and it was suggested by one of the witnesses, who was closely connected with broadcasting, that an association of the various stations could best determine what each station should contribute." Is that a fair statement? Is it fair to go into a store and say, "I know better than the merchant does what he should charge for his wares. If he does not want to

take what I offer, I have a right to appropriate it unto myself." Then, 'with regard to theatres they say:

The commission is of opinion that the 1935 tariff is excessive.

I am not concerned about the performing right; I am concerned only about that which is due to the authors. That is the only way in which it can be collected. May I say right here and now that if this attitude is continued and if the pious or expressed wish of the gentleman who spoke last night is that of putting the performing right society out of business, I do not care if it does, but if they do put it out of business then I ask hon, members to notice the chaotic condition into which you will throw the authors and users of music. There will then be no one to whom one might go in an endeavour to make a bargain or to procure rights to perform. All people who operate hotels, theatres, music halls and the like who have to pay fees from time to time will be driven to finding out who the authors and composers are and endeavouring to make bargains with them. Just imagine what the condition will bel Instead of dealing with one corporation in Canada you will have to try to find out the name of the copyright owner in Canada, and what if he happens to be not in Canada but in Switzerland? If, without his authority and consent his music is used, then so long as the law remains as it is and so long as the rights are still preserved for him, he may invoke the law for infringement of his copyright, and one can readily appreciate how difficult it will be to secure the consent under such conditions. It simply means that if this is to be pursued the whole organization will be broken down.

Topic:   COPYRIGHT AMENDMENT ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT WITH RESPECT TO FEES, CHARGES AND ROYALTIES, AND TO CONSTITUTE A COPYRIGHT APPEAL BOARD
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June 20, 1936