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Copyright Law (United States)

Volume 22: debated on Monday 26 April 1982

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asked the Minister for Trade if he will seek to persuade the United States Government to oppose any move in the United States of America to reinstate that clause in the American Copyright Act which, contrary to the spirit of the Florence agreement and the rules of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, discriminates against the importation into the United States of literary works in English by American authors which have been printed outside the United States of America.

Her Majesty's Government have already delivered notes to the United States Government, protesting about the possible reinstatement of this clause. The Commission has made similar protests. We are keeping the situation under review and are considering what further action may be called for to secure the removal of this quite unjustified trade barrier.

asked the Minister for Trade whether he has discussed with the Trade Ministers for West Germany and Italy any combined action against the United States of America under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade on any continuation, even on an amended basis, of section 601 of the United States Copyright Act 1976 beyond 1 July 1982; and whether any retaliatory tariff action will be taken against the prohibition of importation or distribution in the United States of America of English language works printed in the United Kingdom.

[pursuant to the reply, 22 April 1982, c. 133]: This matter has been discussed by my officials with the European Commission and other member States. The United States Government have been left in no doubt of the concern with which the United Kingdom and the European Community view the possibility of this measure being continued, and further steps to emphasise to the United States the seriousness with which the United Kingdom and the Community view the matter are under urgent consideration.