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Senator Thomas of Utah. I should appreciate having it, and if you and Dr. McClure will look out for these details, unless the information comes out in Dr. McClure's testimony, we should appreciate having the information as to the extent of the operation of the convention today. You have mentioned cultural relations in the · Americas. Does the convention hold in all of the British commonwealths, for example?
Mr. Long. Yes.
Senator THOMAS of Utah. In a country like Holland we have had some trouble ourselves because we are not a party to the treaty, but Holland is a party to the treaty, and Holland at the present time is not Holland as she was a couple of years ago. I wonder if we could have a paragraph, to use that as an illustration, about just what is happening in regard to this convention in Holland. Mr. LONG. I will furnish that information.
Senator THOMAS of Utah. Then we will have something definite. If there is a better country than Holland to use as an illustration both as to the probable disrespect and at the same time the probable respect for a fundamental habit-forming treaty, we should like to have any other country mentioned in the same way, because I am sure that in a time like this, with the world upside down, there will be many questions coming to us from the floor when the convention is before the Senate which we should be able to answer with as much definiteness as possible.
Mr. LONG. We shall be very glad to furnish that information specifically
Senator THOMAS of Utah. I think you very much, Mr. Secretary.
STATEMENT OF EDWARD G. TRUEBLOOD, ASSISTANT CHIEF,
DIVISION OF CULTURAL RELATIONS, DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Mr. TRUEBLOOD. Mr. Chairman, the attention of the Division of Cultural Relations of the Department of State has been called to this morning's hearing on the International Copyright Convention. In view of the Division's concern with the problem of assuring wider circulation throughout the world of the significant works of writers and composers of the United States, I am authorized to state that it is keenly interested in any measure, such as the convention now under consideration, which gives promise of contributing to that objective.
In the current program of cultural relations by means of which it is hoped to make our writers and composers better known in the American republics, the problem of copyright has already proved to be a definite obstacle. Leading publishers in this country have expressed their reluctance to take part in this program until they feel that their interests will be adequately protected. At the same time, it is essential for this country to be able to accord similar protection in the United States to the writers and composers of other countries.
Consequently, the Division feels that any move in the direction of an improvement in this situation is desirable. I therefore wish to express the hope that the Senate may find it possible to vote adherence by this Government to the convention now pending.
Senator Thomas of Utah. One question. In American relations, in regard to a convention of this type, is there a backwardness in relation to printed matter, the spoken word, radio, and moving pictures?
What is the big problem in bringing the Americas into a unit with respect to one another's artistic properties?
Mr. TRUEBLOOD. One situation we have encountered recently is this; we are trying to bring American books before the people of the other American republics, and we have found that some of the publishers are fearful of being able to protect their own works; that is, they realize that by going through certain formalities in certain countries they can do it, but that is a long process, and expensive. It means hiring attorneys in each country, and so forth. The result is that it has retarded our efforts to give wider circulation to American books down there.
Senator THOMAS of Utah. Where are those manufactured in the United States?
Mr. TRUEBLOOD. Yes, sir.
Senator THOMAS of Utah. Generally manufactured in the United States?
Mr. TRUEBLOOD. Yes, sir.
Senator THOMAS of Utah. So that if we do not sell our Americanproduced books in the Latin-American countries, we are depriving certain labor. Is that your point?
Mr. TRUEBLOOD. It would seem that way to me.
Senator THOMAS of Utah. It would deprive certain labor of certain of their rights?
Mr. TRUEBLOOD. Yes, sir. Perhaps Dr. McClure would wish to amplify that. He is our expert on this subject.
Dr. McCLURE. That is perfectly correct.
Senator THOMAS of Utah. If Mr. Trueblood can answer your question, we should be glad to have the question, of course.
Mr. KILROE. I should like to know, Mr. Trueblood, how United States adherence to the convention would affect our relations with South American countries. So far as I can ascertain, there is only one South American country that is a member of the convention, that is, Brazil.
Mr. TRUEBLOOD. I believe there are two. I believe Haiti is also a member.
I should like to say this, subject to correction by Dr. McClure, that we feel that it would be a constructive step-perhaps it would not accomplish the whole purpose overnight, but so far as I can ascertain, there is no way of accomplishing the objective rapidly. It is a case of moving slowly.
Mr. KILROE. What is the matter with the Buenos Aires Convention, proclaimed by the President in 1914? That covers a good many of the states in South America—13 states.
Mr. TRUEBLOOD. I should like to ask Dr. McClure to speak on that. Dr. MCCLURE. I will take that up in a moment,
STATEMENT OF JOHN E. LOCKWOOD, GENERAL COUNSEL OF THE
OFFICE OF THE COORDINATOR OF CULTURAL AND COMMERCIAL RELATIONS BETWEEN THE AMERICAN REPUBLICS
Mr. LockWOOD. I am general counsel of the Office of the Coordinator of Cultural and Commercial Relations Between the American Republics, of which Mr. Nelson A. Rockefeller is chairman. I have a very brief statement setting forth the position of our office with regard to the convention which, with your permission, I should like to submit.
Senator Thomas of Utah. We should be glad to have your statement.
Mr. LockWOOD. Mr. Chairman, the Office of the Coordinator of Commercial and Cultural Relations Between the American Republics is vitally concerned with all activities which tend to promote and foster deeper and more effective cultural exchanges between the republics of this hemisphere. As a consequence, it is keenly desirous to see all barriers to such objectives eliminated or removed wherever possible. The unsatisfactory situation in the copyright field in our hemisphere stands in the way of a more complete cultural interchange between the American republics. In that I agree with what has been said by Mr. Long and Mr. Trueblood as to the cause and as to the lack of protection in some countries. I believe Dr. McClure will cover the detail more fully.
Our Office is especially cognizant of the unsatisfactory situation now existing, not only because it has been the recipient of strenuous protests from American publishers who decry the wholesale piracy of their books printed and published in China, apparently under Japanese auspices, and then widely distributed throughout Latin Americaand I might add that the principal place where that is taking place is in Brazil, which I believe is a party to the Bern Convention-but also because in its own experience it is a substantial and practical obstacle that interferes with its own publication program. A study is now being made with a view toward its amelioration through cooperation with such agencies as have beent striving and continue to work for this desirable end.
The Berne Union, which is universal in character, providing for copyright protection without formalities, appears to afford the most generally satisfactory world-wide solution of this problem. Accordingly, ratification by the Senate of the United States of the revised Bern Convention must be viewed with satisfaction by the Office of the Coordinator since such ratification would represent the acceptance by this country of the principle of giving the fullest measure of protection to foreign authors of intellectual property. It would be hoped that such action would lead to a more general acceptance by the American republics of the principle of protection without formalities. If we do not do it, we cannot ask them to. The increase among the American republics of such protection of foreign authors is one of the aspirations of this Office as a means to the most effective prosecution of its program for inter-American cultural exchange, in accordance with its functions and responsibilities as set forth by the Council of National Defense and approved by President Roosevelt.
I thank you.
Mr. BRYLAWSKI. May I ask the witness one question?
Mr. BRYLAWSKI. Mr. Lockwood, you mentioned the piracy in Brazil of books printed in China.
Mr. LockWOOD. Yes.
Mr. BRYLAWSKI. I wish to reiterate what Mr. Kilroe said, that Brazil is a member of the Buenos Aires Convention, and I know as a practical matter that Brazil has extended complete copyright protection to all works of American authors which are protected in the United States. I am just wondering as to the basis of your statement that such works are pirated in Brazil. Has any attempt been made to restrain them?
Mr. Lockwood. I have stated that we are in receipt of the protests. I cannot carry you through to the conclusion of it, because it has not reached any conclusion. We are working on it at the moment.
Mr. BRYLAWSKI. I made the statement because of the piracy of Walt Disney motion pictures in Brazil, which were fully protected in the Brazilian courts when action was brought.
Senator THOMAS of Utah. Brazil is a party? Mr. BRYLAWSKI. Brazil is a party to the Buenos Aires Convention, which would extend the benefits of the copyright in works to American authors merely upon the presentation of a certificate showing that copyright has been secured in conformity with our laws.
Senator THOMAS of Utah. But we are not a member.
Mr. BRYLAWSKI. No; the Buenos Aires Convention.
Senator THOMAS of Utah. She is a member of the Bern Convention. I do not want to get these conventions mixed up. She is a member of the Bern Convention?
Mr. BRYLAWSKI. That is correct.
Senator THOMAS of Utah. So that so far as the Bern Convention is concerned there is no agreement between the United States and Brazil.
Mr. BRYLAWSKI. That is correct.
Senator THOMAS of Utah. But we have another convention, under which there is an agreement in regard to copyrights.
Mr. BRYLAWSKI. Yes.
Senator THOMAS of Utah. And Brazil is living up to the other convention?
Mr. BRYLAWSKI. Absolutely.
STATEMENT OF DR. ARCHIBALD MacLEISH, LIBRARIAN OF
Dr. MacLEISH. I should like to make a very brief statement as to my position as a writer and as Librarian of Congress
In broad principle, I am very strongly in favor of adherence to the convention, and particularly at this time. It seems to me there never was a time when it was more necessary to translate into terms of fact and action our frequently expressed belief in the free flow of the things of the mind and the things of the spirit between peoples. Our Government through its leaders has frequently and eloquently expressed our position in opposition to those who would obstruct this flow, and it does seem to me that this particular action at this particular time would have a particular pertinence.
I should like to add that so far as the Librarian of Congress is concerned, the Library is of course very much interested in the protection of its deposit under the Copyright Act. I refer particularly of course to its domestic deposit, which would not be in any way affected by this action, but the Library would like to have an opportunity to be heard in connection with any enabling legislation in this connection, or any connection which might in any way affect the deposit. That is the only statement I care to make.
Senator THOMAS of Utah. The treaty, when it was reported out, provided for a year of grace, if I may use that expression, before it would go into effect, so that Congress would have time to take care of these various legislative matters, and it is that point, I suppose, you would like to see retained so that all proection which the Library of Congress and the Government should have in regard to its deposit would be respected. Have I understood you correctly?
Dr. MACLEISH. Yes, sir.
Mr. KILROE. Doctor, our adherence to the Bern Convention now would give our writers what additional protection abroad which they do not enjoy at this time?
Dr. MACLEISH. If I may answer that in terms of personal experience, a few days ago I received a copy of an Italian magazine which had without authority from me or without request to me, published a translation of a poem of mine, and not only published it, but published it in a garbled form which was extremely injurious to its meaning and to the integrity of my position as a man having certain beliefs. I should assume I would have additional rights under the Bern Convention in that connection which I do not have now.
Mr. KILROE. The fact is that if we did adhere to the Bern Convention, your property would not be protected in Italy unless you registered it. So that so far as Italy is concerned, you would get nothing further from the Bern Convention. The same is true of Spain.
Senator Thomas of Utah. Your point, Mr. Kilroe, is that, convention or no convention, you would seem to be the victim of circumstances.
Mr. KILROE. He has to register; he has to comply with the formalities of Italian law, and that means registration. In other words, in order to have protection, you must register. You have to under the Bern Convention.
Dr. MACLEISH. Are you sure it covers that?
Mr. KILROE. There is no question about it. I will show you repeated decisions of the United States district courts on it, showing that the Bern Convention contains a provision that the rights set forth in the Bern Convention are in force according to the laws of the country in which you claim the rights. If you claim the rights