In 1931, Canada was the first of the copyright countries to adopt a moral rights provision, closely modeled on Article 6bis of the Berne Convention, into its legislation. But this was not the first step that Canada had taken towards the legislative protection of moral rights. Not only had certain provisions protective of the non-economic interests of authors been included in the federal Criminal Code and in the legislation of Quebec prior to 1920, but during the 1920s a sustained effort had been made to give these interests more explicit and systematic protection under the Copyright Act. The present article focuses on a series of bills put to the Canadian Parliament from 1924 onwards. Not only would they have provided increased protection for the non-economic interests of authors but they would have given a legislative definition to the term "moral right". These bills, framed in the absence of any influence from Article 6bis, provide a glimpse of what "moral rights" might have been. They support the view that Canada was moving towards the express legislative protection of these rights significantly earlier that is commonly thought.
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