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COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY
UNITED STATES SENATE
S. Res. 53
From 1901 to 1954
Clause of the Constitution
APR 25 1960
Printed for the use of the Committee on the Judiciary
WASHINGTON : 1960
DOC. EX. PROJECT
COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY
JAMES O, EASTLAND, Mississippi, Chairman ESTES KEFAUVER, Tennessee
ALEXANDER WILEY, Wisconsin OLIN D. JOHNSTON, South Carolina
WILLIAM LANGER, North Dakota! THOMAS C. HENNINGS, JR., Missouri EVERETT MCKINLEY DIRKSEN, Illinois JOHN L. MCCLELLAN, Arkansas
ROMAN L. HRUSKA, Nebraska
KENNETH B. KEATING, New York
SUBCOMMITTEE ON PATENTS, TRADEMARKS, AND COPYRIGHTS
JOSEPH C. O'MAHONEY, Wyoming, Chairman OLIN D. JOHNSTON, South Carolina
ALEXANDER WILEY, Wisconsin
ROBERT L. WRIGHT, Chief Counsel
STEPHEN G. HAASER, Chief Clerk 1 The late Hon. William Langer, while a member of this committee, died on Nov. 8, 1959.
This is the first of a series of committee prints to be published by the Committee on the Judiciary Subcommittee on Patents, Trademarks, and Copyrights presenting studies prepared under the supervision of the Copyright Office of the Library of Congress with a view to considering a general revision of the copyright law (title 17, United States Code).
The present copyright law is essentially the statute enacted in 1909, though that statute was codified in 1947 and has been amended in a number of relatively minor respects. In the half century since 1909 far-reaching changes have occurred in the techniques and methods of reproducing and disseminating the various categories of literary, musical, dramatic, artistic, and other works that are the subject matter of copyright; new uses of such works and new industries for their dissemination have grown up; and the organization of the groups and industries that produce or utilize such works has undergone great changes. For some time there has been widespread sentiment that the present copyright law should be reexamined comprehensively with a view to its general revision in the light of present-day conditions.
Beginning in 1955, the Copyright Office of the Library of Congress, pursuant to appropriations by Congress for that purpose, has been conducting studies of the copyright law and practices. A number of these have been completed and others are in the process of preparation. Four of the completed studies (comprising this first committee print), are general surveys of a background nature. The other studies (to appear in succeeding committee prints) deal with substantive problems which appear to call for consideration in a general revision of the law; they are designed to review the problems objectively and to present the major issues to be resolved, as well as alternatives for their resolution, together with the views submitted to the Copyright Office by various persons on these issues.
The subcommittee believes that these studies will be a valuable contribution to a better understanding of copyright law and practice and will be extremely useful in considering the problems involved in proposals to revise the copyright law.
The present committee print contains four general studies of a background nature: (1) “The History of U.S.A. Copyright Law Revision From 1901 to 1954," by Abe A. Goldman, Chief of Research of the Copyright Office, with a supplementary note on "Revision of Patent and Trademarks Laws”; (2) “Size of the Copyright Industries,” by William M. Blaisdell, economist of the Copyright Office; (3) "The Meaning of 'Writings' in the Copyright Clause of the Constitution," prepared by staff members of the New York University Law Review under the guidance of Prof. Walter J. Derenberg of the New York University School of Law; and (4) “The Moral Right of the Author," by William Strauss, attorney-advisor of the Copyright Office.
It should be clearly understood that in publishing these studies the subcommittee does not signify its acceptance or approval of any statements therein. The views expressed in the studies are solely those of the authors.
JOSEPH C. O'MAHONEY, Chairman, Subcommittee on Patents, Trademarks, and Copy
rights, Committee on the Judiciary, U.S. Senate.