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YEAR 1915-16

WASHINGTON, D. C., July 10, 1916

SIR: The copyright business and the work of the Copyright Office for the fiscal year July 1, 1915, to June 30, 1916, inclusive, are summarized as follows:


The gross receipts during the year were $115,663.42. A Fees, etc. balance of $9,257.35, representing trust funds and unfinished business, was on hand July 1, 1915, making a total of $124,920.77 to be accounted for. Of this amount, the sum of $2,711.39 received by the Copyright Office, was refunded as excess fees or as fees for articles not registrable, leaving a net balance of $122,209.38. The balance carried over to July 1, 1916, was $9,222.53 (representing trust funds, $7,839.26, and total unfinished business since July 1, 1897— 19 years-$1,383.27), leaving fees applied during the fiscal year 1915-16 and paid into the Treasury $112,986.85.

The yearly copyright fees have more than doubled since the reorganization of the office in 1897, reaching above the $100,000 mark during the first year of operation under the new copyright law which went into effect on July 1, 1909. The annual applied fees since July 1, 1897, are:

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Copyright receipts and fees

Excess of fees Over salaries

Value of copyright deposits



The appropriation made by Congress for salaries in the Copyright Office for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1916, was $102,580. The total expenditures for salaries was $102,552.47, or $10,434.38 less than the net amount of fees earned and paid into the Treasury during the corresponding year. The expenditure for supplies, including stationery and other articles and postage on foreign mail matter, etc. was $1,064.63.

During the 19 fiscal years since the reorganization of the Copyright Office (from July 1, 1897, to June 30, 1916) the copyright fees applied and paid into the Treasury have amounted to more than a million and a half dollars ($1,649,776.15), the articles deposited number over three and a half millions (3,642,856), and the total copyright registrations exceed two millions (2,051,541).

The fees ($1,649,776.15) were larger than the appropriation for salaries used during the same period ($1,409,087.75) by $240,688.40.

In addition to this direct profit, a large number of the 3,642,856 books, maps, musical works, periodicals, prints, and other articles deposited during the 19 years were of substantial pecuniary value and of such a character that their accession to the Library of Congress through the Copyright Office effected a saving to the purchase fund of the Library equal in amount to their price.

Money value of The exact money value of the copyright deposits is not obtainable. The books deposited by the leading publishers usually are accompanied by a statement of selling price, but a large number still come to us without any indication of value. Of the books received during the first five months of 1916 costing $10 or more each there were 126 items, making a total actual value of more than $6,000. The greater number of the books deposited, however, are sold at less than $10 each. It is believed that a conservative estimate of the value of the books alone received during the fiscal year would amount to $50,000. In addition, among the 30,000 musical works deposited there are many of considerable money value, and many prints and engravings of high price are included in the fine arts deposit.

registrations of renewals, at 50 cents each. The fees for these registrations amounted to a total of $110,710.50.

The number of registrations in each class from July 1, 1910, to June 30, 1916, as compared with the number of entries made in the previous year, is shown in Exhibit F.


The various articles deposited in compliance with the copyright law which have been registered, stamped, indexed, and catalogued during the fiscal year amount to 201,802. The number of these articles in each class for the 19 fiscal years is shown in Exhibit G.

The copyright act which went into force on July 1, 1909, provides for the gradual elimination of the accumulated copyright deposits (secs. 59 and 60.) During the year books desired for the Library to the number of 6,563 volumes (including 1,487 foreign books and pamphlets) have been forwarded through the Order Division. These selected books were in addition to the "first" copies of copyright books sent forward as received from day to day, numbering 11,794 for the fiscal year. In addition, there has been transferred upon the Librarian's order a collection of books and pamphlets relating to American poetry and printed dramas by American authors, numbering 1,144 pieces, thus making a total of 19,501 books and pamphlets delivered to the Library from the Copyright Office during the year.

Of musical compositions, 20,644 were deposited and registered during the year, and of these, 18,633 were transferred to the Music Division. There were also transferred 19,735 musical compositions that were registered prior to 1909' under the old law. All of the 1,612 maps registered during the year were placed in the Map Division. Out of the total of 23,348 photographs, engravings, and other "pictorial illustrations" entered, 4,438 were selected and forwarded to the Print Division for permanent deposit. Of the 24 daily newspapers registered, both copies of 18 (6 being

Books transferred to other libraries



Return of deposits to copyright claimants

Request for copies

rejected) were promptly sent to the Periodical Division, and 1,193 magazines and periodicals, including weekly newspapers, out of the 1,589 different journals received, were also transferred to that division; while the copies received in the case of 396 of the least important publications registered under the designation "periodical," have been returned during the year to the copyright claimants.

The act of March 4, 1909 (sec. 59), provides for the transfer to other "governmental libraries" in the District of Columbia "for use therein" of such copyright deposits as are not required by the Library of Congress, and during the present fiscal year 5,452 books were selected by the librarians and thus transferred to the libraries of the following: Departments (Agriculture, Commerce, Navy, and Treasury); Bureaus (Education, Fisheries, Mines, Standards); Engineer School, Federal Trade Commission, Hygienic Laboratory, Internal Revenue Office, Pension Office, Soldiers' Home, Surgeon General's Office, and the Public Library of the District of Columbia.

A special collection consisting of 635 works by Scandinavian authors (Danish, Norwegian, and Swedish) were transferred for use in the Public Library of the District. They were all duplicate copies.

Under the provisions of the act of March 4, 1909, authority is granted also for the return to the claimants of copyright of such copyright deposits as are not required by the Library or Copyright Office. The notice required by section 60 has been printed for all classes of works deposited and registered during the years January 1, 1900, to June 30, 1909. In response to special requests, 13 dramatic or musical compositions and 9,917 motion-picture films have been returned to the copyright claimants, and of the current deposits not needed by the Library of Congress the following have also been so returned: 12,177 "books" (pamphlets, leaflets, etc.), 19 photographs, 13,753 prints, 8,642 periodicals, music (old) 14,735; a total of 59,256 pieces. The total number of articles thus transferred during the year or returned to the copyright claimants amounts to more than one hundred and seventy thousand pieces (177,089).

In response to inquiries during the year from the Card Section, the Order Division, and the Reading Room in re

gard to 639 books supposed to have been copyrighted but not found in the Library, it was discovered that 94 of these works were actually in the Library, 90 of the books had been deposited and were still in the Copyright Office, 94 works were either not published, did not claim copyright, or for other reasons could not be deposited, and in the case of 191 works no answers to our letters of inquiry had been received up to June 30, 1916. Copies were received of 170 works in all in response to requests made by the Copyright Office during the period of 12 months for works published during recent years.



The copyright registrations are indexed upon cards. The Index cards cards made are first used as copy for the printed catalogue and after printing are added to the permanent card indexes of the copyright entries. The temporary cards made for the indexes to the printed catalogue (numbering 83,351 during the fiscal year) have been eliminated, and the remaining cards (105,591 for the fiscal year) were added to the permanent card indexes, now numbering over 2,930,000 cards. By revision and condensation 520 cards were canceled and withdrawn from the indexes during the year. The printing of the catalogue of dramas copyrighted from 1870 to 1915 will permit the elimination of more than 130,000 cards and to that extent relieve the pressure for space in the index.

Copyright Entries

The Catalogue of Copyright Entries has been continued, Catalogue of as required by law, by the publication of five volumes for the calendar year 1915, containing a total of 7,320 pages of text and indexes.

price of catalogue

Each part of the catalogue is sold separately at a nominal Subscription annual subscription rate within the maximum price established by law, as follows:

Part 1, Groups 1 and 2, Books and Pamphlets, etc. .
Part 2, Periodicals..

Part 3, Musical Compositions.

Part 4, Works of Art, Photographs, etc.


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The price of the entire catalogue is $3 for the year. The subscriptions, by express provisions of the copyright act, are required to be paid to the Superintendent of Docu

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