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I would just like to add that our concern is not with fair competition. If wage rates are approximately equal in another country, we are confident that American manufacturers and American workers can get along with them. But we think that this is a desirable change to make with respect to the manufacturing clause.
We are troubled by the proposal which the Register of Copyrights makes to increase the number of copies from 1,500 to 3,500 that may be imported into this country. This makes it necessary for me to go back into a little more history. The original Copyright Act of 1891, which granted for the first time copyright protection to foreigners in this country, was carried forward with some tightening up in the act of 1909. In 1949 those requirements were, we think, very generously lightened insofar as foreign interests are concerned. The number of books that might be imported was increased from 1 to 1,500. The length of time within which registration was required was increased from 60 days to 6 months and the period of time in which publication in this country was required was increased from 6 months to 5 years.
The unions at that time supported these amendments. They were based on the simple theory that this would enable the foreign manufacturers to test the American market in order to determine whether or not the publication of an American edition was feasible.
Those we thought at the time were generous concessions to the interests of foreign manufacturers, and we still think that they were.
Now I have not heard from any source any complaint that this number of 1,500 was inadequate for the purposes of testing the market. We recognize, however, that the market has grown. We, therefore, would not object to some modest increase. But the proposal to increase it substantially over 100 percent seems to us misguided, and we believe that no basis has been shown to justify that dramatic increase in the number of copies that might be imported.
Now I would like to say a word about the problem of reproduction proofs which was gone into at some length here yesterday. For the members of the committee who were not here, I should state that this problem arises from the fact that in our interpretation the present law requires that in order to meet the conditions of the manufacturing clause, all the work has to be done in this country.
Under new methods of printing which have been developed, it is now entirely feasible, however, to have type set abroad and, instead of importing type into the United States, to import into it what I shall call “reproduction proofs"—though this covers a multitude of processes, including such things as computer tapes, paper reproductions, and so forth.
Instead of importing the type, however, it is easy enough to put on a jet plane a small package containing the reproduction proofs of the type and to introduce them into this country.
Now some publishers have taken the position that under present law this practice is lawful. We assert that it is not; that is to say, that loss of copyright follows from the adoption of this practice. We have not been able to bring this to a judicial determination because we have no standing to sue in court. The penalty that is involved, the loss of copyright, is not one that can be directed at us because we do not hold any copyright.
We are confident, however, that the matter will be judicially resolved before too long. Mr. Frase yesterday objected that the Congress should not adopt this
proposal because it is indefinite, because the Register of Copyright admits he does not know what the present statute means. But I put it to you that daily Congress adopts statutes of which they do not know the precise meaning. You adopt a statute saying that a utility must charge reasonable rates, that a certain transaction must take place in good faith, that a certain act must be done within a reasonable time.
There is nothing new or different about the Congress leaving to the courts the job of interpreting statutory language, which is in substance what the Register of Copyrights proposes be done here.
The mere fact that the language may have some ambiguities—we insist there is no ambiguity—that the present statute clearly outlaws this practice, we think this is no valid reason why the Congress should not leave this matter to later judicial determination, and we are confident what the outcome of such litigation would be.
Now I shall only briefly mention the fact that, while we have our types of violent disagreement with the publishers, we do support their position on fair use. We think that the copyright law should not be repealed in effect by granting a right to any person to make as many copies by whatever means he chooses of a copyrighted work.
If I could, I would like to make a few comments about the testimony you heard here yesterday.
As I understood the thrust of the testimony yesterday, it was directed at two points. The first is that the repeal of the manufacturing clause would not make a bit of difference to anybody. We were told that British book manufacturers had said they didn't care whether it remained on the books or was repealed. We were told this could not affect the interests of the printing trades workers or the American manufacturers.
In short, one was left with the impression that the committee was wasting its time in considering this subject matter because it made no difference to anybody.
On the other hand, we were assured that the retention of the manufacturing clause was stifling scholarship, that it was crippling the publishing industry, that it was a horrendous offense against morals and against society. We were told that the publishers did not object practically, they merely objected in principle to the manufacturing Clause.
As Senator Jim Watson, of Indiana, used to be fond of saying, “There are times when every politician must rise above principle," and this is one case where the publishers have in fact risen above principle. I think they don't care any more about money than I do about my right eye. I think that quite clearly their effort is to have the opportunity to search around the world to find where the work can be done most cheaply and hence most profitably to them.
But I think, of particular significance, Mr. Frase, in testifying for the book publishers, did a little boasting about how right he was in 1954 when he stated that the repeal of the manufacturing clause as to works produced by foreign authors in the English language would have no effect on the market, and he rather intimated that we were very stupid at that time in thinking that it might make a difference.
He had a lot of statistics to prove how right he was and how wrong we were.
Now I do not know whether you have copies of his statement, but if you will look at page 19, there appears there a table which shows the comparative volume of trade books in English, imported and manufactured in the United States in 1953, 1958, and 1964.
If you will look at the column headed “Percent of total copies, the 1954 amendment applied, as I have stated, only to books in English of foreign authorship. If you look on the first line under “Imported," you will see that in 1953 the percentage is 1.8 percent. That in 1958 it was 3.5 percent, or just about 100 percent more. That in 1964 it was 4.8 percent. That is, in a period of less than 10 years there has been a 250-percent rise, approximately, in the number of books of foreign authorship in English imported into this country.
I will leave it to the members of this committee to say whether or not a 250-percent increase is or is not a dramatic increase and whether or not those figures support Mr. Frase's contention that the repeal of this clause in this respect would make no difference or whether they support our contention, made at that time, that it could and would have an economic impact.
What I have not done, but perhaps some attention ought to be given to it, the percentage of books in English by foreign authors is, as these figures show, a relatively small percentage of the total books manufactured and imported into the United States. But if you take a rise of 250 percent in less than 10 years or of about 25 percent a year, extrapolate that over another 10 or 20 years, you will get to some really dramatic figures. And if you apply those same percentages, then, to the total book manufacturing industry in the United States which would, of course, be affected by the total repeal of the clause, then I think you will see some very dramatic impact indeed on the American book manufacturing industry.
So that we insist that Mr. Frase's figures, far from supporting his assertion that the manufacturing clause will make no difference, are clearly belied by the figures that he himself has produced and that his accuracy as a prophet can be highly questioned in the light of the kind of testimony which he gave in 1954 which he repeated here yesterday.
Now we were also told yesterday that we are stilling scholarship by asking for the retention of the manufacturing clause. Now, cross my heart and hope to die, I am not against scholarship, and neither is the ITU. We are all for it. You will recall in the testimony you have heard about the way in which publishers are stilling scholarship because of their insistence on fair use provisions in the copyright laws. That scholarship ought to be assisted by giving an unlimited right of copying.
You have heard the publishers' anguished reply that they should not be asked to subsidize scholarship by giving them free books, that libraries and scholars and universities and so forth ought to pay the full price of their books.
Now we will accept that argument. We say by the same token that printing trades workers in the United States should not be asked to subsidize scholarship. I suppose there would be a great increase in the
printing of scholarly works if the printers in the United States would agree to set them for nothing or even if you cut the wages of printing workers in the United States in half, this would probably increase the amount of scholarly printing.
No one that I know of has proposed that that be done. I don't know how it is in other fields, but in the particular field in which I am interested, labor relations, I would say that a good half of the so-called scholarly works that come across my desk are pure, unadulterated junk which should never have seen the light of day. They are long, tedious studies devoted to proving the obvious, done I think frequently by young persons solely because they think that with an M.A. or a Ph. D. they will get a somewhat higher salary in the teaching profession.
Be that as it may, I would like to point out that last fall I was taken on a tour of the Princeton University Library. I was most impressed by two things. One, by the extraordinarily high percentage of books in that very busy library which had never in the long history of the library been taken out by anyone. They simply sat there on the shelves.
No. 2, by the fantastic problems they were having in simply finding physical space to store the books that were coming off the presses.
So I think that there is another side to this business that we ought to have an unlimited right of any person who says he is a scholar to put his work in print, and particularly to do it at the expense of American printing trades workers.
Yesterday you heard a great deal of testimony about how the printing industry in the United States had grown, about how much our exports exceeded our imports, about I believe 21 new university presses having been established in the last 10 years, generally about the very healthy state of the industry.
What no witness mentioned, however, in giving these figures, was that all of these results had been achieved with the manufacturing clause on the books. Mr. Frase's statistics alone demonstrate how very hazardous it is to say that conditions will continue to be the same if this clause is repealed. If I cannot prove that the enormous increase in the importation of foreign authors writing in English is due to the repeal of the manufacturing clause, Mr. Frase cannot demonstrate that it is despite that either.
By the same token, if this clause is repealed, I am confident that you will be accomplishing a substantial revolution in this industry which may have substantially adverse effects on our international position as well as on our domestic market. If these desirable results have been achieved in the printing industry, to the extent that they are due to the skill and competence of our members we are of course proud of them.
I earlier stated we do not fear fair competition but we do think that the effort of this committee ought to be by the kind of amendment I have suggested—to pull the wages of foreign printing trades workers up to our level rather than to give foreign
manufacturers a bonus in the form of a monopoly of the American market because they have degraded working conditions.
In short, the kind of amendment I have proposed here, which would relieve the importer of the manufacturing clause if they were produced
under substantially similar conditions to ours, would manifestly give the foreign industry an incentive to raise their living standards to ours rather than, as I have said, a bonus for maintaining the exploitive conditions which are prevalent in this industry in many other parts of the world.
I am grateful for this opportunity to appear before the committee. I thank you for the patience with which you have heard me out.
Mr. KASTENMEIER. Thank you, Mr. Van Arkel.
I think we are familiar with the fact that there has been an effort made among various interests on this question of the manufacturing clause in the revision bill to see whether the differences could not be reconciled. I gather they have not. When I asked Mr. Frase yesterday about the state of this, he said that they largely fell down on the question of reproduction proofs.
I wonder if you could confirm that or whether you have a different view of the state of negotiations among the various interests on this question.
Mr. VAN ARKEL. I would say in answer to that, Mr. Chairman, that I have no doubts about what the publishers' strategy has been and it seemed to me that they were confirmed by everything that Mr. Frase said yesterday. They have long sought the entire repeal of this clause. What they have in practice done with some success has been to try to whittle it down. Their present effort is to whittle it down to take typesetting out of the manufacturing clause. This for the obvious reason that this is the particular part of the operation which it is now most feasible to perform abroad.
Insofar as presswork and binding is concerned, there still is a problem because of distance insofar as competition is concerned. There is substantially none insofar as typesetting is concerned. With a jet airplane you can get copy from New York to the Netherlands as fast as you can get it from New York to Chicago. The problem of shipping is nonexistent because you put some reproduction proofs in an envelope and bring it in.
The publishers' present obvious objective is to cut this particular part out of the manufacturing clause. In the first place, we say that this is a dilution of the entire clause of a kind that should not be tolerated.
Second, we are utterly confident in our own mind that if the Congress adopts that, that in 5 years or 10 years when transportation has become cheaper, when larger jet planes make the import of books easier, that the publishers will be back here again saying now you have to exclude binding and presswork and so forth. In short, their whole objective has been to whittle this clause down until it no longer exists, It was this that they insisted on as a condition of any agreement, and it was this that all of the allied printing trades, understanding what was up, refused to accept.
Mr. KASTENMEIER. Mr. Van Arkel, the ITU is a member of the Allied Printing Trades Association ?
Mr. VAN ARKEL. Yes, we are.
Mr. KASTENMEIER. Represented by Mr. Strackbein who testified yesterday?
Mr. VAN ARKEL. Yes, we are.