« iepriekšējāTurpināt »
duction, it covers its views, very likely, by a French writer. That does not affect our particular point here. The Living Age buys and pays for by arrangement with authors and publications, a great deal of material, but it can not do so for all its contents. If it were an exclusively literary magazine it could not live. Our increase in our circulation-and it has increased fully tenfold in the last few yearshas been due to the fact we are a journal of opinion. We print this week, from the British reviews, the House Memoirs. We print next week a very spicy French sign leader and German sign leader by a prominent publicist in Germany on Ambassador Houghton's interview, or alleged interview, in Washington. That is what makes our circulation. That is what our people want to know.
This act will build a brick wall right between that kind of information and the people of the United States, unless our newspapers should care to make arrangements to take such material from the foreign press. Newspapers, as a rule, do not care to do that because they have their correspondents and press dispatchers and get excerpts of this, but there is a large demand, as our experience shows, in this country for the full, unabridged editorial comments and responsible opinion of foreign countries and descriptive articles of conditions in foreign countries by foreign writers, so we get a picture of the foreign mind.
Mr. BLOOM. You said this bill would legislate you out of business. Will you show us how?
Mr. CLARK. Exactly.
Mr. BLOOM. You mean the Berne convention?
Mr. CLARK. The Berne and Berlin. I was referring to Article IX. A literary article or a poem, as a rule, has no time value. We have plenty of time to write abroad and get publishers' license for that sort of thing, or copyright privileges. I have made arrangements for a series of articles of that sort within the past week with a Russian capitalist in the city of Belgrade, but that negotiation has taken two months. There is no time in which to make such arrangements for the articles I just referred to on the Ambassador's interview. They have lost their interest inside of two months. They become an old story. The people want to know them immediately. We have to take them up quickly, and they are not written with the expectation they will be published in the United States. The author has no idea of copyrighting them. They would not be taken, ordinarily, except by a publication like ours.
Mr. PERKINS. You mean articles that appear abroad that you reprint?
Mr. CLARK. Yes, sir.
Mr. PERKINS. How does this bill prevent that?
Mr. CLARK. Those articles will be copyrighted.
Mr. PERKINS. Here or abroad?
Mr. CLARK. Abroad. They will be copyrighted the minute they appear in foreign publications.
Mr. BLOOM. You mean by the automatic copyright?
Mr. CLARK. Yes, sir. We might take them and make subsequent arrangements with the authors but no reputable publisher can expose
himself to the liability of publication. It is a barrier that prevents publication. Moreover, if you once publish a thing, you expose yourself to fantastic charges. I know, in one instance, the original price was 50 francs for an article, but when we asked for the privilege of reprinting it, the author wanted $250.
Mr. BLOOM. What other papers handle articles the same as yourself?
Mr. CLARK. No periodical handles it to the extent we do.
Mr. BLOOM. There is no other publication that handles it to the same extent as you do?
Mr. CLARK. Not to the same extent exactly or the same way.
If Article IX of the Berlin Convention were amended or were modified to suit conditions in this country so as to permit periodicals to borrow from other periodicals, as well as newspapers could borrow from other newspapers, where the article does not contain in its original publication, a statement "republication is forbidden," it would fill our needs.
Mr. BLOOM. Is it not a reciprocal right?
Mr. CLARK. You mean of foreign publications?
Mr. BLOOM. Yes, we enter into the Berne Convention, and it is a reciprocal right. We do not give any greater rights than we get. Mr. CLARK. We give the same rights that we get; yes. We give no more than we get, but that does not affect the situation.
Mr. WEFALD. Europe has not much use for our opinions. They only need our money.
Mr. CLARK. Precisely. The amount of American material in the European press is very, very small. Two hundred publications, in five or six different languages, cross my desk and the amount of material on the United States in those papers, all put together, would make a very small one-leaf supplement in our papers.
Mr. WEFALD. How would it affect the Congressional Record? Would anybody have the right to copy and use the Congressional Record?
Mr. CLARK. I believe there is aspecial provision in reference to those proceedings. A newspaper can quote from foreign newspapers under the Berne Convention. That covers the European situation fairly well because the newspapers do a large part of the magazine service.
Mr. BLOOM. Unless specially forbidden?
Mr. CLARK. Yes. If that was extended to meet our conditions here, where so much of our literature appears in publications not classed strictly as newspapers, it would fill a need that is filled by that article pretty well for Europe.
I presume I have taken my 10 minutes, and I have put this point before you and I hope it will receive consideration.
Mr. OSBORNE. Mr. Buck is here. He is not only the president of the American Society of Composers, but a member of the council of the Authors' League of America and copyright committee, and it is in that latter capacity I desire to have him heard here now on this bill.
STATEMENT OF GENE BUCK, PRESIDENT OF THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF COMPOSERS, AUTHORS, AND PUBLISHERS, AND MEMBER OF THE COUNCIL OF THE AUTHORS' LEAGUE AND COPYRIGHT COMMITTEE
Mr. Buck. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen, I am grateful to Mr. Raney for calling our attention to an omission in the redrafting of this bill which was put in a later clause. We did not know it was eliminated and I shall add this amendment on page 3
Mr. BLOOM. H. R. 10434?
Mr. BUCK. Yes; the Vestal bill. Page 3, after line 21, insert the following:
Provided, however, That nothing in this act shall be construed to prohibit the performance of copyright musical works by churches or public schools, provided the performance is given for charitable or educational or religious purposes, unless a fee is charged for admission to the place where the music is so used.
Mr. WEFALD. That same language is in the Perkins bill, is it not? Mr. Buck. Yes. Gentlemen, I am going to try to be as brief as possible. I would like to take this occasion to express to this committee the deep appreciation of the authors for your patience and attendance in this long, exhaustive hearing. Every person who has attended these hearings has in his mind some object, representing some group, pertaining to this bill, and the psychology is that they come to these hearings and sit here sometimes for days and weeks with their thoughts and their desires to get before you members of the committee who sit here and give them your attention.
The Vestal bill, as you know-I wish to bring back into this maze of testimony that has been injected since the opening remarks—was based on a suggestion that came from this very room over a year ago. Originally Mr. Solberg, who for the past 50 years was a member of the Library of Congress and for the past 30 years the registrar of that office, was the source of the basis and background of this bill which the authors of this country think and feel and know is the most constructive and intelligent revision of the copyright law ever offered to a committee.
We found a year ago that there was a great clash of opinion with the numerous interests involved, and after sitting for days and nights in a very patient and intelligent manner, trying to get some place, a suggestion came from this room to meet during the summer with the people who had this disagreement-and honest disagreement-and to come back before you with the result of these hearings and conferences. They were held through the heat of the summer, and I myself attended some 100 of those meetings-and, as Mr. Osborne told you, they number into some one hundred and forty-odd meetings getting together with different people with a sympathetic understanding of their differences of opinion.
Now, we come back into this room with most of those difficulties eliminated, and by utilizing the term "eliminated "I mean a definite understanding. We tried from the day we started here, yesterday morning, to see if we could possibly crystallize or centralize on the vital things that had to be decided by you gentlemen, that could not be decided in conference among those men. It resolved itself into a
question of the most important parties that could not reach an agreement, the librarians on one side and next the authors and composers, regarding the mechanical clause.
I think you have had a very intelligent hearing here this morning pertaining to the librarians' problems which was very ably presented to you, and I hope to take some of your time regarding the mechanical
We come before you and ask you in this bill to remove from the act of 1909 what is known as the compulsory license provision. I sincerely trust you will pardon me if I should happen at any time in my disclosure of the facts to reiterate something that I have said to you at previous hearings. But inasmuch as this is the bill and this is the time to present these facts, I trust you will bear with me.
In 1909 there was not any organization of authors to come to Washington to appear in their behalf. There were a few men who appeared at that time and presented their problems. The facts disclose that the authors and composers presented their side in a most feeble manner, because into that law went a clause which said 2 cents on a reproduction of a composition for a disk. On the first page of this bill there is line 10, which says that such copyright includes the "exclusive right." In this bill we get the exclusive right. In the act of 1909 we did not have the exclusive right.
I wish to give you a slight idea of how that bill worked in operation for the past 17 years. You are going to have before you men from the mechanical industry. They are going to present their problems to you. They are going to explain why they want this retained in this bill. They are going to tell you about the divisibility of the copyright, about this industry which has been built up, and that the cost of records to-day, for authors and composers, runs into 12 per cent.
All the author and composer asks of your committee is one thingextend to him the same privilege that you extend to every other human being in this country for his creation, to go out and secure all he possibly can get for a given length of time and leave that open to bargaining. Mr. Burchard gave expression to an opinion that already graces this record when he stated to you the fact that the author and composer, when he wrote a song, the minute one record manufacturer reproduces that mechanically the record manufacturer must pay 2 cents, fixed by law; which means if I write a song, write a lyric to a melody by John Philip Sousa, Mr. Sousa and I, including our publisher, are confined and restricted by law to get only 2 cents. But a phonograph company can go out on the highways and byways and pick up Nora Bayes, John McCormack, or Eddie Cantor, or anyone who can sing that song and give them any amount; go out and get Paul Whiteman's band, or any orchestra in America, and that man can go in a room and sit down with the Victor Talking Machine Co., or any other company, and make his own individual agreement for his part in playing that into the canned music, but the man who created it is conceded by the law 2 cents. That is an injustice, gentlemen, that reeks to heaven with its stench.
There is a distinction between the man who starts these things going and the man who reproduces them. This law was based on an opinion rendered in a court room in which the judge ruled that inas
much as that record was manufactured, that it was part of the machine which threw out the thought that was imprinted on the record. For your attention I would like to recall this fact-I put it in the record the other day in the broadcasting hearings and I should also like record the other day in the broadcasting hearings, and I should like to put it in here that Mr. John Philip Sousa, who wrote the "Stars and Stripes," the "Washington Post March," "High School Cadets," and some of the greatest marches in the world that will be played when we are all gone and forgotten, never to this day received a 5-cent piece from any mechanical company for them as a creative piece of work. I also call attention to the fact that such a man as Ethelbert Nevin, who wrote "The Rosary" and "Mighty Lak a Rose," never received a 5-cent piece from a record company for these contributions. I could go on and name hundreds and hundreds of composers of songs that live to-day, who never derived a nickel from these companies who have gone out and made millions by utilizing those men's works.
I wish particularly to call attention to this fact regarding the divisibility of the copyright which you are going to hear about from those who know who they are dealing with and where all these things are. The record manufacturers make records only of successful numbers. They will find me, or Berlin, or any man in this country who has written a hit. They will find him. They find Mr. McCormack and they find Mr. Whiteman, and all of the other many jeople with whom they deal individually. They will not find the one man that they should find-the creator. I stand and subscribe to the theory that from the moment I write anything, be it a song or a book or a play, that it is mine from the moment I create it, and in as much as the leading nations of the world, with the possible exception of Russia, which was mentioned in this room, afford this protection, we Americans are certainly entitled to the same as they
I want to add one more thought. A year ago I brought before you gentlemen a most extraordinary group of creators, Mr. Robert Underwood Johnson, Augustus Thomas-all the leading composers and authors of this country. We did not want to take you time up at this time by presenting any show. The record is made and the thoughts are there. I merely want to say this one thing: This is an opportunity, gentlemen, to try, in a measure, to compensate the authors and composers of this country by eliminating from the law that provision that takes from an author and composer, or any creative writer in this country, the right to bargain like everyone else. I sincerely hope, in your deliberations, that you will, in your executive sessions, just be fair. We are not coming here and asking you gentlemen for anything that we do not think we are entitled to. You are going to hear talk in here of a monopoly. You are going to hear talk of a music trust. There never was a trust on brains in the history of the world and there never will be. The only trust the composers and authors have in this country is that they hold in trust for to-day and for the future the right of his opportunities, and the only trust he has is his trust in God. You will have gentlemen come here and tell you-hotel men come in here and motionpicture men come in here and make speeches and tell you to take