« iepriekšējāTurpināt »
nies is thus indefinite and confusing, even to the bestinformed English jurists, and can seldom be stated with certainty. Under the new British code, the “self-governing dominions" will have the right to accept the Imperial code, either completely or with adaptation to local judicial methods, or to legislate independently.
In respect to the colonies now constituting the Do- Canadian minion of Canada, before British copyright protec
history tion had been definitely extended to works first published outside the United Kingdom, Lower Canada in 1832, Canada (upper) in 1841 and Nova Scotia in 1847 had passed copyright statutes to protect authors of books first published in the respective provinces. On the passage of the Imperial act of 1847, authorizing the suspension of that portion of the act of 1842 which prohibited the importation of foreign reprints of British copyright works, as to any colony in which provision should be made by local legislation for protecting the rights of British authors, Orders in Council were passed for Nova Scotia and New Brunswick in 1848 and for Canada in 1850, suspending such prohibition, following satisfactory protection accorded by local acts in those years. These local acts provided for the collection of an impost on foreign reprints of works by British authors in favor of the author or copyright owner.
In 1867 the British North America act (30 & 31 Dominion of Victoria, c. 3) was passed, providing for the union of Canada: Canada and the other North American provinces (ex
early acts cept Newfoundland) under the title of the Dominion of Canada, and section 91 of this act specified copyright among the subjects which were to be within the legislative authority of the Parliament of Canada. At the first session of the first Dominion Parliament in 1868, a general copyright act was accordingly
Acts of 1875
passed, which was followed in the same year by an act continuing the customs duty of 122 per cent on foreign reprints of British copyright works, and an Imperial Order in Council was passed July 7, 1868, continuing Canada within the provisions of the foreign reprints act of 1847. The returns to British authors from this duty proved so small-only £1084 in ten years — that there was much dissatisfaction, and this impost was finally discontinued in 1895, whereupon the suspension under the Imperial act of 1847 of the prohibition of importation ceased to be in force in Canada and foreign reprints of British copyright works were again under the Imperial law prohibited.
In 1872 a new Canadian copyright act was passed, but it was disallowed by the Imperial authorities, whereupon, in 1875, the Parliament of Canada passed a new act, carefully drawn to avoid conflict with Imperial legislation. To remove any doubts as to its validity, the “Canada copyright act” of 1875 was passed by the British Parliament to authorize the royal assent. This Imperial act forbade the importation into the United Kingdom of colonial reprints, though authorized for the Canadian market by British authors (and therefore not piracies), of any work which might be copyrighted in Canada, and in which copyright subsisted in the United Kingdom. The Canadian act of 1875 then received the approval of the Crown, and as replaced and substantially re-enacted by the Revised Statutes of Canada, 1886 (c. 62), -- which also included (as c. 37) the amendatory act of 1886, prohibiting the importation of "reprints of Canadian copyright works and reprints of British copyrighted works which have been also copyrighted in Canada," — is still in force, being now Revised Statutes, 1906, c. 70, pt. I, as the fundamental Canadian copyright law, subject to amendments since passed and approved. The Imperial and Canadian laws of 1875, taken together, make it possible to issue in Canada cheaper reprints of British copyright works, by arrangement with the author or copyright owner, without interfering with the more costly English editions.
It should here be noted that the Canadian act of License acts 1889, as amended by the Canadian act of 1895, con
disallowed stituting Part II of chapter 70 of the Revised Statutes, 1906, has never been approved and brought into force by proclamation of the Governor-General. The act of 1889, following the Imperial international copyright act of 1886, extended Canadian copyright on condition of registration with the Minister of Agriculture, and printing and publication or production in Canada within one month after publication or production elsewhere, and provided that the Minister of Agriculture might grant licenses, not exclusive, for the production of works not thus protected on an undertaking to pay to the author ten per cent royalty on the retail price, in which case importation of foreign-made (but not British) editions might be prohibited during the copyright period. The act of 1895 extended this license system to works which the copyright proprietor failed to keep in print in Canada, unless he should give satisfactory assurance of prompt re-issue. These acts, as noted, never became effective.
In 1900 an amendment to the copyright act was The Fisher passed which is sometimes referred to as the Fisher act, 1900 act. It provides that if a book, as to which there is subsisting Canadian copyright under the copyright act, has first been published in any part of the British dominions other than Canada, and the owner of the copyright has granted a license to reproduce in
Canada an edition of such book designed for sale in Canada only, the Minister of Agriculture may prohibit the importation into Canada, except with the written consent of the licensee, of any copies of such book printed elsewhere, excepting two copies each for the use of public or institution libraries. There is some question as to the compatibility of this act with Imperial law.
An act of 1887 had authorized the transfer from the Minister of Agriculture to the Minister of Trade and Commerce of the registration of industrial designs and trade-marks, but this transfer has never taken place. The acts of 1890 and 1891 provided for copyright suits in the Exchequer Court of Canada in the name of the Attorney-General or at the suit of any person interested. The act of 1895 also contained a provision adding to the two deposit copies required for Canada a third for deposit in the British Museum. Finally an act of 1908 substituted the short form of copyright notice, “Copyright, Canada, 19 , by A. B.” This completes the history of Canadian copyright legislation.
The copyright legislation of Canada will presently be replaced by a comprehensive code, utilizing the permission granted by the new Imperial copyright measure to self-governing dominions. The new bill, of which the original text, as submitted to Parliament April 26, 1911, is given in full in the appendix, will establish relations between the Dominion of Canada and the Imperial authority closely similar to those established by the Australian act of 1905, between that Commonwealth and the home government. It pushes still further the precedent of "protection to home industries" followed by American copyright legislation since 1891, and is a far more drastic measure, evidently in retaliation against the
Short form of notice
Proposed Canadian copyright code, 1911
United States and with preferential relations toward Great Britain in view. Americans can scarcely criticize, however, the logical application in Canada of legislation on this side of the border. Copyright is to “subsist in every original literary, dramatic, musical and artistic work the author of which was at the date of making the work a bona fide resident in Canada,” not first published outside Canada (simultaneous publication being defined as within fourteen days), conditioned on registry before publication, and the manufacture of every copy within Canada. One registration of a periodical is to protect all future issues. Copyright it is proposed to define broadly, as in the new English bill, including the right “if the work is unpublished, to publish the work,” thus bringing unpublished works within the statute law and probably excepting them from common law protection; and protection against mechanical music reproduction is also to be included. The term is to be for the life of the author and fifty years thereafter, with the new British proviso as to works of joint authorship, that the term is to be for the life of the author who dies first and fifty years thereafter, or the life of the author who dies last, whichever period is the longer. Assignment of copyright must be in accordance with the acts, and be registered. Importation of copies made out of the British dominions is prohibited. In case of a license for a Canadian edition of a book, copies printed elsewhere may be prohibited importation, except two copies for library use. Copyright may also be extended to foreign citizens under arrangements made by the governor in Council. British subjects resident elsewhere than in Canada may be brought under the act by Order in Council.
The Imperial and Canadian copyright laws, apparently a complexity of complexities, are construed with