Lapas attēli

humanly intelligible through the sense of sight) and therefore, in the Court's opinion, was not covered by the copyright statute.

Furthermore, the Court said, in keeping with its narrow construction of the word "copy", that issues of a new technology not specifically covered in the current statute "properly address themselves to the legislative and not to the judicial branch of the Government." However, it was clear from other court statements that the Court was sympathetic to sound recording protection, despite its contrary ruling on the basis of its interpretation of the law as written.

At the time of the White-Smith ruling, Congress was working on the prospective Copyright Act of 1909, and one issue was whether copyright owners should have a new exclusive right to make recordings of their music. During hearings, Congress was told that one company had contracted with most of the major music publishers for exclusive licenses under the anticipated new law to record all the music controlled by those publishers for many years to come. The result was that Congress, in the 1909 Act, established a compulsory license for musical recording, requiring that once an owner of a musical copyright had permitted his work to be recorded by one company, any other company could record it similarly, upon payment of 2 cents for each reproduction of the composition manufactured. This step prevented the anticipated recording monopoly.

However, this did not mean, necessarily, that recordings of musical compositions were copyrightable. They were not, strictly speaking, even though no one could lawfully manufacture records of copyrighted music without paying the compulsory license fee. Nevertheless, Congress provided for the copyright owner of a dramatic work to have exclusive rights in "any transcription or record thereof" in the 1909 Act, and extended this right this right to nondramatic literary works in 1952. The question whether, under the Constitutional clause on copyright, a recorded performance could be considered the "writing" of an "author" and therefore eligible for copyright protection if Congress so chose to grant it, was apparently disposed of in the affirmative in the case of Capitol Records, Inc. v. Mercury Records Corp., heard by the 2nd Circuit Court in 1955. However, it was not until 1971 that Congress passed a law naming "sound recordings" as a category of copyrightable works, when it became evident that "record piracy" had become rampant and was growing. In the 1976 General Revision, Congress provided for copyright of works "fixed in any tangible medium of expression" and defined "sound record ings" as "works that result from the fixation of a series of musical, spoken, or other sounds, but not including the sounds accompanying a motion picture or other audiovisual work, regardless of the nature of the material objects such as disks, tapes, or other phonorecords in which they are embodied" (Section 101). Thus motion picture sound tracks are not covered as "sound recordings," although they are covered elsewhere. This is due to their judicial history and their closer connection with motion pictures as an industry.

3.2.1 Copyrighted Music in Sound Tracks

In 1946, the question arose whether a producer of motion pictures was entitled to a compulsory license for 2 cents per recording for use of a performance of copyrighted music in a sound track of a motion picture. Clearly, in 1909, when the compulsory license for music recordings became law, sound tracks in motion pictures were unknown. Consequently, this was a clear case for judicial interpretation. That the Court decided in the negative on purely economic grounds may be noted from the following quotes from the Court decision on this case, Jerome v. Twentieth Century - Fox Film Corp:

"Counsel assert that no more than 500 positive prints of a
film of a musical motion picture are made to supply the de-
mands for exhibition purposes. If Section

If Section 1(e) the com-
pulsory license provision of the 1909 Copyright Act 1 ap-
plied to a motion picture use of a musical composition, then
and producer could appropriate a copyrighted musical com-
position for use in a motion picture for a total sum of
about $10.00, at the rate of 2¢ for each positive print...
The result would be destructive of valuable rights of com-
posers and publishers, which the Act was intended to se-
cure and protect."

In the 1976 Act, the view that the compulsory license provision did not apply to sound tracks was stated explicitly. Owners of copyrights in musiç retained the exclusive rights to record on sound tracks and the compulsory license to record was confined to the making of "phonorecords" which excludes sound tracks as a subset.

3.2.2 Educational and Library Reproduction of Phonorecords

In the 1976 General Revision of Copyright Law, sections 107 and 108 and related pages of House Reports 94-1476 and 94-1733 concern the concepts of fair use and permitted educational and library reproduction of works. The content of this material is discussed in Section 3.6.2 below in the context of photocopying because the problems addressed by that material arose primarily from that cause. However, a review of the documents shows that the solutions applied to photocopies also apply, in general, to phonorecords.


With this technology, as with others, the Federal Courts struggled with the question of whether new technology not specifically provided for by Congress is protected by virtue of extension of concept or is not protected by virtue of strict literal interpretation.

The problem arose in 1903 in the question whether a sequence of photographs telling a story could be protected with the affixation of a single copyright notice or whether each photograph had to have its own notice, as literally intended when Congress protected (individual)


photographs in 1870. This was the situation in Edison v. Lubin. that case, the District Court said:

"...if... the law is defective, it should be altered by Con-
gress, not strained by the courts.

On the other hand, the Circuit Court of Appeals, in reversing the District Court, said:

"When Congress... saw extend copyright protection to
a photograph... it is not to be presumed it thought such art
could not progress, and that no protection was to be afforded
such progress. It must be recognized there would be change
and advance..."

In 1912, Congress amended the copyright statutes to include "motionpicture photoplays" and "motion pictures other than photoplays" as protected classes of works. The 1909 revision had made no mention of these concepts, although they were well-known at the time. After 1912, then, there was protection for motion pictures against unauthorized copying, but due to the specific language of the statute, it was clear that there was protection against unauthorized "public performances" (as distinguished from copying) only for dramatic and musical works. The question whether a motion picture photoplay was a dramatic work arose therefore through litigation.

Specifically, this question arose in Tiffany Productions v. Dewing, (1931), and in M. G. M. v. Bijou Theatre, (1933). The effect of both cases was to insure that a motion picture photoplay was legally defined as a type of dramatic work and that the protection of copyright was accorded to public performances or exhibitions of this type of motion picture.

In the Tiffany Productions case, the Court (holding that a motion picture photoplay was a form of a dramatic work) said that:

"The statute must be given a sensible meaning in its applica-
tion to modern invention, expressly within the scope of the

In the M. G. M. case, the District Court, in a decision later countermanded, had said:

"...the effect of a new invention in any given field seems to
be a matter for legislative consideration, rather than for the
extension of existing statutes by judicial construction."

3.3.1 Sound. Tracks in Motion Pictures

"Talking motion pictures began to be produced about 1924, some 12 years after motion pictures were added to the copyright statutes as a protected class of work. Despite the lack of explicit copyright protection,

the industry groups concerned tacitly accepted and operated on the premise that the sound track is protected as an integral part of the motion picture; and this premise appeared then and continues to appear to be logically valid since the pictures and sound together are necessary to constitute the complete work and to convey its artistic effect. This concept was given some judicial validity in the case of L. C. Page & Co. v. Fox Film Corp., (1936); in which the Court stated that "as the plaintiff well says,

talkies' are but a species of the genus motion pictures."

In 1971, in tre House Report on the amendment to the copyright statute which extended nrotection to sound recordings excepting those sounds accompanying a motion picture, a statement on sound tracks was made. The House Report stated:

"The exclusion of sound tracks from the protection accorded
sound recordings 7 reflects the...opinion that sound tracks or
audio tracks are an integral part of the "motion pictures"
already accorded protection...and that the reproduction of
the sound accompanying a motion picture is an infringement
of copyright in the motion picture."

Finally in the 1976 General Revision, it was clearly stated that the definition of motion picture included accompanying sounds, and that the copyright in a motion picture included the right to perform it publicly by making its images visible or its sounds audible. Thus, from 1924 until 1976, more by general unstated agreement than by actual law or judicial interpretation, sound tracks were accepted as an integral part of motion pictures.


In 1909, radio and television broadcasting were unknown and a public performance was thought of as a performance given in the presence of a group of persons assembled within sight or hearing of the performers. When the use of the copyrighted music and plays in radio broadcasts became common in the early 1920's, the question arose whether broadcasts of copyrighted works were public performances within the scope of the 1909 Statute.

This question was considered in the case of Jerome H. Remick & Co. v. American Automobile Accessories Co. in 1925 with respect to a radio broadcast of a musical work. The court held that the broadcast did constitute a public performance, stating:

"While the fact that the radio was not developed at the time
the Copyright Act... was enacted may raise some question as to
whether it comes within the purview of the statute, it is not
by that fact alone excluded.... The statute may be applied to
new situations not anticipated by Congress, if, fairly con-
strued, such situations come within its intent and meaning....

While statutes should not be stretched to apply to new situations
not fairly within their scope, they should not be so narrow-
ly construed as to permit their evasion because of changing
habits due to new inventions and discoveries.... The artist
[in a radio broadcast] is consciously addressing a great,
though unseen and wideTy scattered audience, and is therefore

participating in a public performance. The ruling in this case was generally accepted in practice by broadcasters and other concerned parties. In addition, the ruling in this case determined that the public performance was "for profit" if the broadcast was over a commercial station that was used as a medium for advertising, regardless of the fact that the broadcast listeners did not pay an admission fee.

A similar result ensued in the case of Leo Feist, Inc. v. Lew Tendler Tavern in 1958, which extended the public performance concept from broadcasting to wire transmissions. In this case, music transmitted over wire from a central location to a restaurant and then made audible there for the benefit of restaurant patrons was found to be a public performance for profit.

The 1976 Act codified these results by assigning the copyright owner the exclusive right (with certain exemptions) of public performance and display; and by including in the definition of public performance and display transmission or communication to the public "by means of any device or process, whether the members of the public capable of receiving the performance or display receive it in the same place or in separate places and at the same time or at different times" (Section 101).

[blocks in formation]

A question that was to have very important ramifications 35 years later for cable television retransmissions was raised in the case of Buck v. Jewell-La Salle Realty Co. in 1931 before the U.S. Supreme Court. In that case, a hotel maintained a master radio set which was wired to loud speakers from which the radio programs could be heard in all of the public and private rooms of the hotel. The Court held that the hotel's reproduction of the broadcast performance, through its receiving set and loudspeakers, for the entertainment of its guests, was itself a public performance under the 1909 Statute and therefore not exempt from the implications of the Statute for royalty payment. The opinion in this case by Justice Brandeis for the Court is quoted from extensively in Section A.2.4.2 of Appendix A of this report and is a prime example of reasoning by analogy in determining the law with respect to new technological devices not previously considered by Congress.

Another similar casę which confirmed the copyright owners' rights to retransmissions in a hotel situation was SESAC v. New York Hotel Statler Co. decided in 1937.

« iepriekšējāTurpināt »