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and a novelist and a lecturer and an honorary doctor of literature-sort of an all-round writer at large—so I have a sort of a bird's-eye view of the whole thing. Now, if I take my novel over to Europe no publisher is going to do very much about it. He is going to say, "Well, the copyright is so shaky that I can not push you; I can not help you if you are a good novelist, and I can not spend very much,” and he does not do it; and that is why, as long as we have the old copyright, until we have a new one, no American writer is going to be considered any good at all, nor are they even going to know we have good American writers in Europe or anywhere else.
The CHAIRMAN. Just a moment there. Are you in favor of all the suggestions that have been given here this morning for the protection of the American author, composer, novelist, dramatist, fundamentally?
Miss WIDDEMER. Yes; indeed I am.
The CHAIRMAN. You are in sympathy with all the sentiments that have been expressed here!
Miss WIDDEMER. That is what it is all about. We have been going around in a waterproof with wet feet, when everybody else is completely dressed. It has been terrible.
And now I will go to the other end of it, which is the really sound scientist and historian, and people who are great men, who have written for us and have been people who should be respected the world over. Nobody knows a thing about them in Europe or anywhere else. Will Irwin tells me he went to South America and said to them down there: “Have you any of the American scientists or historians in this Spanish library translation in your great University of Montevideo?” “No," they said, “ there are no such animals," or whatever that is in Spanish—“No son animales,” or something like that, and so he went to the librarian and found that all of our great historians were sitting there in Spanish translation because all he found was a miserable little courtesy copyright with them. Every blessed great man who writes in America is translated under British copyright and passes to everybody who reads them as an Englishman, which is not awfully good, after all, for what is really a quite great country, full of quite great writers. Of course, that is a minor detail compared to our living, our bread and butter; because after all, you have got to live, but nevertheless there is something called “good will,” there is something called “honor," and something called “ reputation,” and all of those things are simply absolutely at the mercy of the copyright law as it is now, and you can not do anything about it. Of course, all these changes of Doctor Sirovich's in the bill he proposes would give us a chance to be respected and known and believed, aside from being considered either "Babbits," as I said, or “ neurotics,” which pleases, if I am not being a cat, but I think it rather pleases Europe to feel that way about us, and I do not think she really ought to be allowed to. 'I think it would be nicer if we had all the respect to which we are entitled, which would be given us by this copyright bill. Also it would be nicer if we had all the sales.
That is all I have to say-I never did know how to end a speech properly.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you very much, Miss Widdemer. I will now call on Mrs. Farnham.
STATEMENT OF MRS. MATEEL HOWE FARNHAM
Mrs. FARNHAM. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, it is very late, and I think we are all exceedingly tired, and I think everything has been said by all the authors to make it clear that we are all unanimously in favor of owning the copyright and the right to license.
The CHAIRMAN. Assignments and licenses?
Mrs. FARNHAM. And I came down here thinking it was extremely simple, that it was like making a pie, and that I ought to have a right to sell a segment of pie [laughter] or an inch of pie, or half a pie, but I find it very complicated, and my head reels, and I have a great deal of sympathy for you gentlemen after listening all day long to talk after talk of this sort. But at least I do want to go on record in favor of the ownership of copyright, and I have never heard of an author that did not want that thing, wanted it emphatically, and I would like to indorse Miss Fanny Hurst's speech this morning, her charming little speech in favor of the lesser authors. We have all been lesser authors, but some of us have had special advantages. To give a personal allusion, I was practically bornwas born into a literary family. My father is an editor, Mr. E. W. Howe—“Ed” Howe, as he is usually called.
The CHAIRMAN. Former Commissioner of Immigration ?
Mrs. FARNHAM. No; he was editor of the Atchison Globe and Howe's Monthly. One of my brothers owns a chain of newspapers and another is in the Associated Press. So that I have always known and been taken care of I have never had to deal with the lesser magazines—I mean those that are not quite honorable, and I have had special advantages. But I have a great feeling for the people that have not had those advantages. I have letters—all writers have letters from people who are out in Montana and Kansas-I came from Kansas—and Washington and Idaho, and who want advice and they have a fear that their things will be stolen. They do not know just how to go about selling them, and they seem to all have this fear because they know that the copyright is not in their name, and I think that this has resulted in one very bad thing—it is just an idea of my own and may not be true—but the young writer out in the provinces, as the English say, wants to come to New York because he feels that he can protect himself there. Now, we have not a country but a continent; we have California and Idaho and Texas and the Middle West and the South and the East, and the young author will come in and leave this wonderful field of material and come into New York. Now, New York is another story. It could be written up by the greatest, but I think it ought to be written by the people who have lived there a long time and know it very well, and not by the newcomers who have crowded into little Greenwich Village, or something like that. I think they ought to write about their own country and stay in their own country, and I think they will when this fear is removed that they are being done, and they ought to get into the market and meet other authors, and that is one reason why
I am so very much in favor of the simplification of the copyright law.
The CHAIRMAN. And you thoroughly indorse all the sentiments expressed by the various speakers here this morning and this afternoon regarding the three fundamentals that will bring you happiness?
Mrs. FARNHAM. Well, when you get into music, I do not know anything about that—that sounds too complicated to me.
The CHAIRMAN. Would that make you an authority on the subject? [Laughter.]
Mrs. FARNHAM. No; I think not.
Mr. UNDERWOOD. May I ask a question? I want to say to the lady that she has made a very fair statement. I have heard it repeated here to-day by several distinguished writers, who have appeared before this committee, the fact that they were very much interested in the lesser lights, those that were down below and were not making fortunes, had not been fortunate enough to reach the top of the ladder like the majority of those who have spoken here to-day. In connection with that, I desire to say that it is a very commendable attitude, but at the same time, if we enacted legislation, would it not be of great benefit to those who are up at the top of the ladder in the writing world?
Mrs. FARNHAM. I think the international side would be of inestimable benefit if that were cleared up.
Mr. UNDERWOOD. I am not saying that in a critical vein, but you would all benefit?
Mrs. FARNHAM. I think we would all benefit. I think this Authors' League has most of the authors in it, and we are always spending a good deal of time getting stirred up over it.
The CHAIRMAN. As I view it, it would give equal opportunity to all authors without guaranteeing to each author the same accomplishment and success that the other has achieved.
Mrs. FARNHAM. Exactly.
Mr. UNDERWOOD. You know, many times a Member of Congress becomes suspicious when some one pleads too much the cause of the other fellow.
Mrs. FARNHAM. Of course the Authors' League--I think we are all asking for something.
Mr. UNDERWOOD. I wanted to bring out by my question the fact that you will all be equally benefited by this legislation.
Mrs. FARNHAM. I think that personally, as a woman, I have, just as I had before we had suffrage, I have sort of a sense of outrage when I sell my serial rights, or a book right and it is published, and it belongs to the publisher or the owner of the magazine. I have a sense of injustice. So far they have always given them back to me, but it is only a courtesy,
The CHAIRMAN. You feel that it is your right?
Mrs. FARNHAM. I feel that it is my right to own it. I think it outrages my good old American independence.
The CHAIRMAN. You think your child belongs to you as its mother?
Mrs. FARNHAM. I think my child belongs to me.
Mr. UNDERWOOD. I may say to the lady that that is not always the motive of many of those who come before the various committees of Congress advocating legislation. Many times they protest their
interest in the little fellow, but when it is finally reported out or enacted into law they are not so well taken care of as they should be.
Mrs. FARNHAM. Well, I will say this: If I thought this were going to discriminate against us in favor of the little fellow, we might not be so much in favor of it. [Laughter.] But we are all human, and I do think there is a great feeling among the members of the Authors' League, a general feeling of trying to look out for the little fellow as well as for ourselves. We are all partners, and it does not hurt us to help the beginning author. He has to take his place in the line.
Mr. UNDERWOOD. I agree with you, and I want to thank you for your very commendable statement in that respect, and all the other witnesses who have testified here to-day.
Mrs. FARNHAM. I do not mean to talk too long, but everyone who writes is always coming in contact with others who want to write. Our sympathies are always being appealed to. People will tell us stories; people will write us letters. I had a letter the other day from Montana, a woman who has a child and who wants to write and does not know how to market her stuff. You have all those appeals, because you are in the public eye, before the public. I suppose you get them, too.
Mr. UNDERWOOD. Many of them every day. Not for information how to write but for other things.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you very much, Mrs. Farnham; and I want to take this opportunity, ladies and gentlemen, of paying a tribute of respect and admiration to so many of you distinguished ladies and gentlemen who have come here to-day from a purely altruistic standpoint, because you have in your own name the privilege of having the copyright, put there by the great magazines and publishers, and in spite of the fact that you have all that you want you have come here to cast a little ray of sunshine onto the pathway of those who do not have the opportunity that you have; and I am sure that both Congressman Underwood and I, representing the committee, appreciate these sentiments very deeply.
Mr. UNDERWOOD. And I want to thank the chairman for giving us the opportunity of hearing such distinguished speeches.
The CHAIRMAN. And now, as the last speaker of the day, I am going to call upon Mr. Koenigsberg, who for many years was one of the distinguished editors of the Hearst publications and founder of what we term “King's Features,” which are read all over the land.
STATEMENT OF M. KOENIGSBERG, NEW YORK CITY
Mr. KOENIGSBERG. At the close of the day, in which I have heard more wisdom on copyright legislation than it has been my privilege to comprehend in the period of 20 years, I feel that I am carrying coals to Newcastle; but I think I should say at the outset that never before has the copyright problem been in the hands of an organized body the head of which seems to so fully comprehend the problems of the author as on this day I had the opportunity to find that the chairman of this committee has.
The direction of his questions has indicated a better understanding of the problems of authors than most of them themselves have. So I
feel confident that for the first time in years there is prospect of constructive legislation.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you for your expressions of good will. Mr. KOENIGSBERG. It is not of good will, sir; it is of respect and admiration. I say that in all sincerity because we find among the persons who testified before you to-day some conflict of understanding of the present laws. I think it is most important to point out this about the copyright: Congressmen and others, considering the affect of copyright, seem to believe that they are serving individuals in securing for inventors and authors certain privileges. I should like to lay before, especially, the gentleman from Ohio because of the course of his questioning, my theory that the Constitution authorizes Congress to encourage the arts and sciences by securing to the inventor and author certain privileges, and in its purpose had evidently no aspiration except to serve the public by stimulating invention, by raising the level of the arts and sciences, and in accomplishing that to employ the individual unit merely as instrumentalities toward the end, and that the benefits that flow to the public flow as the result of this stimulation of the imagination of the authors and inventors. In other words, I beg of you not to consider that you are serving one individual at the expense of another, but that in making possible higher learning, higher reward for the author and inventor, you are creating that flow of benefits which runs to the public.
In other words, if an author is assured of a larger reward, if an inventor is assured of a larger reward than he got otherwise, is not the public gathering the largest benefit from his activities from the stimulation of his mind and imagination? If we consider that phase of the matter, we will not permit ourselves to confuse the interests of an author, or the interests of an inventor as being in conflict with the public. I would like to lodge that thought in your minds, and an expression was used to-day by the chairman of this committee which I think dramatically illustrates that feeling. He spoke of the emancipation of the author. That is not metaphorical, it is actual. Anyone who has dealt with the creators of thought, anybody who has dealt over a long period of time with persons whose chief activity in life is the pursuit of their imaginative faculties, or the exercise of them, knows very well that they are temperamental, that they produce their best work when they are least harassed, and when they are in the mood for creating work. I have had the experience through a quarter of a century of working with artists and writers, and I have had the feeling that hundreds of thousands of dollars of potential property-yes, millions of dollars of potential property have destroyed by maladministration of editors and managers who harassed, who annoyed the writer, the artist.
Let us take the independent author-I mean the author or writer who works independently. His first task is to produce. He must be in a mood, or she must be, in a mood to employ most efficiently and most effectively their imaginative faculties. The next task is to sell, and that is quite a problem, particularly to the less successful, or the least successful writers; and after having sold, when they discover that they have been—may I employ the language of some of them, "gyped ”-the harassment, the annoyances, the depressions that come to them interfere with the quality of the next work that they do. I ask you to liberate the mind and genius of these