The world of British television off and on the screen, as it was sixty years ago.

Rights Issue

Granada and ABC are looking for very different types of people in The Times.

1955-10-28 Times Granada 1955-10-28 Times ABC

Meanwhile, the same paper’s political correspondent has much to say on the Government’s new Copyright Bill which was published yesterday and which, if passed, will substantially replace the Copyright Act of 1911. The new bill will establish a new performing right for television broadcasts, copyright protection for films, “the establishment of a performing right tribunal to adjudicate in disputes between persons requiring licenses to perform copyright material and the bodies entitled to issue such licenses.”

The article reports that the proposed copyright term for cinematograph films is 25 years, after which the film’s copyright would lapse although the author’s and composer’s copyright would continued in the original work during their lifetime and for 50 years after. The term of copyright in sound recordings and photographs would be reduced to 25 years.

The next part of The Times piece sounds odd. The Copyright Committee, whose recommendations have (mostly) been implemented in the bill, recommended that the new performing right in television should only be given to the broadcasting authorities because of a concern that “there would grow up around the public performance of television a thick hedge of licenses which would be required from many associations of copyright owners (as well as from individuals)” and so “The bill therefore provides that the BBC and the ITA may jointly appoint an organization to collect fees for this new right, or they may have one separate organization, but no more.” The result of this last change is that public houses, hotels and cinemas will have to pay a copyright fee to the BBC or the ITA if they want to show television programmes to their customers.

For the BBC this last item makes sense, but will the ITV companies want the ITA to be in control of this aspect? Time will tell.

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