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Mr. St. ONGE. I think we should encourage the professor and his committee to furnish us with whatever information they can come up with before we take final action on the bill. I have no further questions.
Mr. MEYERHOFF. Could we ask you what your timing on the bill is so that we may be guided?
Mr. KASTENMEIER. We cannot be too enlightening at this point. Mr. MEYERHOFF. Must I assume you are worse off than we are?
Mr. KASTENMEIER. I do not anticipate it will take us a year but congressional prognostications have been wrong before.
Mr. St. ONGE. I have no other questions, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. KASTENMEIER. If Mr. St. Onge's inquiries seemed odd to you, it is generally because we like to identify the witnesses who testify before us and the nature of their work.
Mr. MEYERHOFF. Then in the committee you are dealing here with only three of the directors. The committee as a group is quite informal, but as Mrs. Linden indicated today, the publishers are interested and therefore are represented in it. The publishers include not alone the publishers of textbooks but the university presses who were the first of the publishers to become interested, and also the scientific societies that sponsor the publication of scientific periodicals and engineering publications.
Then, of course, our concern was with the users and shall we call them the transmitters, the manufacturers of equipment and the users of equipment for reproduction. So, we have in CICP representatives of many organizations. If I may name one or two-and I don't like to advertise any in particular—the Eastman Kodak Co. is one, a large manufacturer of supplies for reproduction. I might also mention the manufacturers of copying equipment such as Xerox, and so on. But then, rather than lengthen the list, what we tried to do with a reasonable degree of success, Mr. Chairman, was to get some representative of each group concerned with the copyright problem and the creativity and the use into this organization, so that all points of view and all special interests would be represented.
It is not an easy job and do not think for a moment that there have not been some very frank and candid expressions of opinion and some differences of opinion.
But it seemed to us that that was the only way to resolve a rather complicated issue of this kind.
Mr. KASTENMEIER. We appreciate that explanation, partly because of the fact that your organization's title, Committee To Investigate Copyright Problems, seems to be something with which this subcommittee is also concerned.
Mr. SOPHAR. Mr. Chairman, we thought of it first.
Mr. KASTENMEIER. The committee thanks all three of you gentlemen, Dr. Heilprin, and Professor Meyerhoff and Mr. Sophar for appearing here today.
With your testimony this hearing for today is concluded. The next meeting of this subcommittee for the purpose of continuing hearings on copyright revision will be at a time, date, and place to be subsequently announced, and, until that time, the subcommittee stands adjourned.
(Whereupon, at 3:20 p.m., the subcommittee adjourned subject to call.)
COPYRIGHT LAW REVISION
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 4, 1965
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
Washington, D.C. The subcommittee met at 10:15 a.m., pursuant to call, in room 2226, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. William L. St. Onge presiding
Present: Representatives St. Onge, Edwards, Tenzer, and Poff.
Also present: Herbert Fuchs, counsel; and Allan Cors, associate counsel.
Mr. St. Onge (presiding). The hearing will come to order.
The subcommittee has reconvened to hear further testimony on H.R. 4347 and companion measures for revision of the copyright law. Today and tomorrow we shall hear witnesses with miscellaneous interests, some of whom were scheduled to appear earlier, but who were unable to appear at that time.
Next week, on August 11 and 12, the subcommittee will hear witnesses on the manufacturing clause, sections 601 and 603, and subsequent plans will be announced later.
The Chair urges all witnesses to summarize their prepared statements and to make their oral presentations as brief as possible so that the subcommittee may be able to complete its schedule by noon, when it must adjourn.
The first witness this morning is the Honorable George D. Cary, Deputy Register of Copyrights,
who will address us on the question of whether the subcommittee should separately report at this time a Copyright Office fee bill, H.R. 2853, which would increase fees in conformity with section 708 of H.R. 4347.
H.R. 2853 will be inserted in the record at this point. (H.R. 2853 follows:)
(H.R. 2853, 89th Cong., 1st sess.) A BILL To amend title 17, United States Code, with relation to the fees to be charged Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That section 211 of title 17, United States Code, is amended by substituting the amount “$75" in lieu of the amount "$25".
Sec. 2. Section 215 of said title 17, United States Code, is amended to read as follows:
“FEES.—The Register of Copyrights shall receive, and the persons to whom the services designated are rendered shall pay, the following fees :
"For the registration of a claim to copyright in any work, including a print or label used for articles of merchandise, $6; for the registration of a claim to renewal of copyright, $4; which fees shall include a certificate for each registration: Provided, That only one registration fee shall be required in the case of several volumes of the same book published and deposited at the same time: And provided further, That with respect to works of foreign origin, in lieu of payment
of the copyright fee of $6 together with one copy of the work and application, the foreign author or proprietor may at any time within six months from the date of first publication abroad deposit in the Copyright Office an application for registration and two copies of the work which shall be accompanied by a catalog card in form and content satisfactory to the Register of Copyrights.
"For every additional certificate of registration, $2. “For certifying a copy of an application for registration of copyright, and for all other certifications, $3.
"For recording every assignment, agreement, power of attorney or other paper not exceeding six pages, $5; for each additional page or less, 50 cents; for each title over one in the paper recorded, 50 cents additional.
"For recording a notice of use, or notice of intention to use, $3, for each notice of not more than five titles; and 50 cents for each additional title.
"For any requested search of Copyright Office records, works deposited, or other available material, or services rendered in connection therewith, $5, for each hour of time consumed."
Mr. St. ONGE. Mr. Cary, if you please, come forward.
STATEMENT OF GEORGE D. CARY, DEPUTY REGISTER OF COPY.
RIGHTS; ACCOMPANIED BY WILLIAM P. SIEGFRIED, ASSISTANT REGISTER OF COPYRIGHTS
Mr. Cary. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
My name is George D. Cary, and I am the Deputy Register of Copyrights.
I would like to introduce to you Mr. William P. Siegfried, the Assistant Register, who is in charge of budget and fiscal matters. He will be available for questioning if you have any problems on the details in this area.
Mr. St. ONGE. We welcome Mr. Siegfried.
Mr. Cary. The present statutory fees of the Copyright Office, which have remained unchanged for 17 years, do not reflect the consistently spiraling increase in the general price level over that span of time. The resulting decrease in the ratio of return to the Government from the present fee schedule has caused some concern to the House and Senate Appropriations Committees for the past several years. H.R. 2853 was introduced by Mr. Steed, a member of the Appropriations Committee, for the express purpose of producing a more appropriate ratio between Coypright Office fees and expenditures.
I might add that, with some necessary changes, the fee schedule of that bill has been adopted in section 708 of the bill for general revision of the copyright law, H.R. 4347, as has just been noted by the chairman. So in a very real sense the bill under consideration may be said to be a part of the revision program.
The present Copyright Act of 1909 is more than a half century old. During that time, the Congress has enacted only two general revisions of the fee schedule, the first in 1928 and the most recent in 1948. From 1909 until the fiscal year 1942 the applied fees of the Office exceeded its expenditures. In other words, for some 33 years the Office was making money for the Government. This relationship was reversed beginning with fiscal year 1943, and the ratio of fees to costs continued to decline until the enactment of the 1948 fee schedule. As a result of the 1948 amendment, Copyright Office income once more exceeded expenditures, but not for long—for only 1 year, in fact. Since fiscal year 1950 the ratio of the applied fees to expenditures has dropped from 100 to 63 percent for the fiscal year just ended, 1965. It is this
downward trend that has given rise to the concern of the Appropriations Committees.
If I may at this point, I would like to read you a few sentences that appeared in the reports of those committees so that the committee here will have some idea of what we face.
I read here from House Report No. 442, the 89th Congress, 1st session, to accompany H.R. 8775. This is dated June 3, 1965, and Mr. Steed is the gentleman who submitted the report.
About the Copyright Office he has this to say:
Costs have so increased since fees were last raised in 1948 as to materially lower the percentage of cost recovery. In contrast to 1949 when there was a cash recovery of 103 percent, the recapture factor has steadily gone down. Since 1961, it has ranged around 62 to 64 percent. Some thought was given to making the appropriation increase contingent on approval of a reasonable upward adjustment of fees and unless some action is taken that may have to be done in future budgets.
The Senate Appropriations Committee voiced some similar language which appears in Senate Report No. 424, 89th Congress, 1st session, to accompany H.R. 8775. This report is dated July 6, 1965, and the sentences are as follows:
The operations of this office result in cash receipts to the Government although recovery from fee receipts is diminishing from year to year. The estimated percentage of fees as applied to costs for fiscal year 1966 is 62 percent as compared to 103 percent in 1949. Fees have remained the same since 1948 and in view of rising costs, it is the committee's opinion that pending legislation raising the registration fee should be given priority consideration by the appropriate legislative committees.
The cause of this decline, it seems clear, is that the Office's operating costs have increased at a considerably faster rate than the cash income from fees. For example, the income from fees in the fiscal year 1965 was only some 44 percent greater in 1965 than in 1949, but the appropriations for the Office were some 144 percent greater in 1965 than in 1949. The continued upward trend of our economy was, of course, a principal factor, as reflected by a 95 percent increase in the average annual salary of the employees of the Office, which increased from $3,518 in 1949 to $6,880 in 1965. The increase in staff was only 20 percent (from 211 to 255) during this period, although the total registrations—which are an indication of the activity of the Office-increased some 45 percent. Other major factors in the increased costs were the accelerated upward trend in miscellaneous costs, such as the printing of the Catalog of Copyright Entries and contributions under the 1957 amendments to the Retirement Act. These costs rose some 150 percent between 1953 (the first year of a new fiscal allotment system) and fiscal year 1965.
Another factor should be considered in viewing the problem of income to the Government from the activities of the Copyright Office. Under the provisions of the copyright law, the Librarian of Congress is authorized to select, from the works deposited in the Copyright Office, any items which he wishes to add to the collections of the Library, or for exchange purposes. Thus, in one sense, it may be considered that the total value of the material selected for the Library's collections is another form of income to the Office, and in this sense the Office has been more than self-sustaining down through the years. But, even when the value of deposits is added to the income from fees, the ratio of income of deposits and fees to cost has also gone down.