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COPYRIGHT LAWS.

ESSENTIAL CHANGES IN COPYRIGHT

LAWS.

The old copyright laws of the United States expressly stipulated that no citizen of a foreign state or nation should be protected by American copyright (Sec. 4971, p. 18). They made no restrictions as to the country where the printing of books covered by copyright should be done.

The new laws permit foreigners to take American copyright on the same basis as American citizens in two cases (Sec. 13, p. 31): First, when the nation of the foreigner permits copyright to American citizens on substantially the same basis as its own citizens; second, when the nation of the foreigner is a party to an international agreement providing for reciprocity in copyright, by the terms of which agreement the United States can become a party thereto at its pleasure. The existence of these conditions is to be determined by the President of the United States by proclamation.

The new laws require that all books * copyrighted under them shall be printed from type † set within the United States, or from plates made therefrom ( Sec. 4956, p. 24). In the case of photographs protected by American copyright, the negatives are to be made in the United States, and in the case of lithograph or chromos, the drawings are to be executed in the United States.

The importation of foreign editions of books covered by American copyright is prohibited.

*** A book within the statute need not be a book in the common and ordinary acceptation of the word; viz., a volume made up of several sheets bound together; it may be printed only on one sheet, as the words of a song or the music accompanying it. . ... The literary property intended to be protected by the act is not to be determined by the size, form, or shape in which it makes its appearance, but by the subject matter of the work. Nor is this question to be determined by reference to lexicographers to ascertain the origin and meaning of the word book. It will be more satisfactory to inquire into the general scope and object of the legislature, for the purpose of ascertaining the sense in which the word book was intended to be used in the statute.” Thompson, J., Clayton v. Stone, 2 Paine, 383, 386.

+ The general scope of the new copyright laws is to protect those publications which are produced as the result of American labor, and it has never been the policy of the courts to defeat the general purpose of the copyright laws by microscopic construction. It is therefore entirely safe to say that whatever process is employed in producing the effect of " type,” that process must be performed by American labor. The word “ type will doubtless be broadly construed to include all punches and other devices by which“ books,” and all publications construed to be books, are made.

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FOREIGN COUNTRIES.

RELATIONS OF THE AMENDED LAWS TO

CITIZENS OF FOREIGN COUNTRIES.

The following countries permit foreigners to take out copyright on the same basis as their own citizens; and, doubtless, their citizens will be eligible to protection under American copyright by proclamation of the President of the United States, as provided for in the new laws (Sec. 13, p. 31). Austria

Germany Russia Belgium

Guatemala Roumania Bolivia

Hayti

Spain Brazil

Holland

South Africa Colombia

Italy

Sweden Denmark

Japan

Switzerland Ecuador

Mexico

Tunis France

Norway

Venezuela

Peru Great Britian permits foreigners to take copyright on the same basis as its own citizens, provided the foreigner is at the time of publication anywhere within the British dominions, which expression includes British colonies and possessions of every sort. The proviso that the foreigner must be in the British dominions at the time of publication is a barrier to citizens of Great Britian obtaining copyright in the United States; but, by

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acts of Parliament, the Queen is empowered to provide for copyright of an international character as to any nation which will reciprocate; and it is quite possible that the laws of Great Britian will be modified in such a manner as to allow its citizens to obtain copyright in America.

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