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Use As Right Of Sound Recordings In Broadcast And Cable Programme Services

Volume 178: debated on Friday 12 October 1990

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

Lords amendment: No. 387, in page 124, line 18, leave out from ("licence") to ("terms") in line 19 and insert—("(a) whose").

Motion made, and Question proposed, That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said amendment.— [Mr. Mellor.]

11 pm

This amendment deals with the delicate balance that has always been struck and maintained between the interests of the music recording industry and of broadcasters, particularly in radio. I urge caution on the Government before they do anything to change that delicate balance.

I am pleased to note that the issue was thoroughly aired in the other place and that assurances were given. I need not detain the House at this stage, apart from urging my right hon. and learned Friend to be keenly aware of the concern in the music recording industry about the fact that a small change in legislation could have a big effect on a major British industry that has always been a successful contributor to the British balance of payments. In that light, I hope that he will recognise the need for caution and will do nothing to upset that delicate balance.

I accept what my hon. Friend says. It is a responsibility, I am almost happy to say, of the Department of Trade and Industry, and I shall make sure that that Department is made aware of my hon. Friend's view, of which I am well aware from representations made to me.

Will my right hon. and learned Friend also convey to the Department of Trade and Industry the fact that as there is now no format protection in the Bill, any format programme from television can be pirated and run on radio without any payment whatever?

That is the Hughie Green case that we discussed at length. It all turns on whether it is an idea or whether it constitutes a fully worked through, written document of a kind that can attract copyright protection. I regret that there remains dissatisfaction on that issue. I shall convey that dissatisfaction to my colleagues at the Department of Trade and Industry, all of whom are prudently absent from the House at this hour.

Question put and agreed to.

Subsequent Lords amendments agreed to.