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Mr. BLOOM. The regulation of the prices on radio, the same as you are trying to get this committee to exact and put prices on copyrighted music, the same as applies to mechanicals-that is what you are trying to do, is it not?
Mr. BAKER. I think that brings us back to the original point, that we feel in our own position that that is what has been done to us or will be done if the present regulation bills become law.
Mr. BLOOM. Do you agree with that idea? Don't you think that is a wonderful idea?
Mr. BAKER. As far as those bills are concerned, we have repeatedly gone on record in every one of those hearings as in favor of being regulated.
Mr. BLOOM. In price fixing? Are you in favor of being regulated in price fixing?
Mr. BAKER. I think that is what they are going to do with us.
Mr. BLOOM. Never mind what we are going to do with you. I want to know whether it is right and should be done. You would rather not be interfered with? However, let me ask another question. You are Mr. L. S. Baker?
Mr. BAKER. Yes, sir.
Mr. BLOOM. You sent out a statement from Washington, D. C., under date of April 6, 1926, and you said this:
To all broadcasting stations. From the front. Due to the dilatory tactics of Mr. Bloom, who evidently is the direct representative of the society on the committee, 12 o'clock came by the time this preliminary testimony became recorded; and, due to the Brookhart case now on the floor of the Senate, the hearings were adjourned to this morning.
Did you say that?
Mr. BAKER. Is my name on the bottom?
Mr. BLOOM. Your name is not there, but surely you know whether you sent it.
Mr. BAKER. If my name is on it, I sent it.
Mr. BLOOM. Will you look at it and see if you sent it?
Mr. BAKER. Yes; that is our bulletin, sir.
Mr. BLOOM. Now for the record, Mr. Chairman. What do you mean by "the dilatory tactics of Mr. Bloom, who evidently is the direct representative of the society on the committee "-what do you mean by that?
Mr. BAKER. Mr. Bloom, as I sat there listening to these hearings, it struck me that some of the questions were not exactly to the point. I simply reported my opinion over my name, and I am responsible for it.
Mr. BLOOM. You state that some of the questions were not to the point. Did you say that in here?
Mr. BAKER. No; I think not.
Mr. BLOOM. Did you say anything about the questions not being to the point?
Mr. BAKER. In that particular
Mr. BLOOM. That is what we are talking about. This is "from the front."
Mr. BAKER. I simply gave you my explanation of what my viewpoint was.
Mr. BLOOM. Were the questions in any way dilatory tactics?
Mr. BLOOM. You judged they were dilatory tactics?
Mr. BAKER. Yes, sir.
Mr. BLOOM. And you judged I was the direct representative of the society on the committee?
Mr. BAKER. It seems so, sir.
Mr. BLOOM. You are still of that opinion?
Mr. BAKER. I do not know, sir. That is my opinion.
Mr. BLOOM. That is your opinion to-day?
Mr. BAKER. I have no facts.
Mr. BLOOM. What did you mean by sending out the bulletin to all broadcasting stations? Why did you send it out?
Mr. BAKER. That was a report of my version.
Mr. BLOOM. You wrote this?
Mr. BAKER. Certainly.
Mr. BLOOM (reading):
If you have been tuned in on the air the last few nights, you have sensed the smoke of battle coming from Washington, as this association is opposing the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers in the DillVestal copyright hearings. The opening of the preliminary barrage was marked by our executive chairman going on the air over the A. T. & T. chain of 14 stations the night of March 28.
What do you mean by all that?
Mr. BAKER. That is a report to the broadcasting stations of what I thought was happening.
Mr. BLOOM. For what reason-to get it out to the public?
Mr. BAKER. For information.
Mr. BLOOM. To the public-to the listeners-in?
Mr. BAKER. I do not know that that went to the listeners-in. There was no such instruction or no such request.
Mr. BLOOM. Just sent it out for personal information. Did you ever send out any information to the public, to broadcast so and so about these hearings or any hearings before either committee or the joint committee?
Mr. BAKER. As far as these committees are concerned; no.
Mr. BLOOM. You did about other hearings in reference to copyrights?
Mr. BAKER. I believe that is all in the record of the hearings. Mr. BLOOM. Yes, sir; but this is the first time I have had you on the stand.
Mr. BAKER. I have been on the stand several times, but not before you.
Mr. BLOOM Not before in the copyright hearings, in the last four years?
Mr. BAKER. No.
Mr. BLOOM. And you never testified before in any copyright hearings? Where is Mr. Klugh?
Mr. BAKER. He had a telephone call before 2 o'clock.
Mr. BLOOM. Will he be back?
Mr. BAKER. I think he will be back, if you desire him.
Mr. BLOOM. I would like to ask him a few questions.
STATEMENT OF FULTON BRYLAWSKI, REPRESENTING THE MOTION-PICTURE THEATER OWNERS OF AMERICA
Mr. BRYLAWSKI. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committeeplease let me have your attention, Mr. Bloom-my name is Fulton Brylawski. I represent here to-day the Motion Picture Theater Owners of America, an organization composed of 15,000 motionpicture exhibitors in the United States.
My organization has a two-fold objection to this bill. In the first place it makes no provision for relieving in the slightest the present music situation; that is, the situation with which users of copyrighted music are faced in the playing of copyrighted music publicly for profit. For the past three years at least it seems three years, although it may have been only two-I have listened, and you gentlemen have listened, to the horrible examples cited where the society imposed its inexorable will upon all users of copyrighted music and alike demanded its pound of flesh from the corpulent owners of chains of theaters as well as the poor widows of deceased nickleodeon proprietors.
On the other hand, the society has held up to you the equally sad spectacle of the poor starving composer, the products of whose labors were being taken by crafty and scheming users of copyrighted music.
I must admit that the theater business, on the whole, is pretty good and that the majority of theater owners are surviving in spite of the society. I must admit, on the other hand, that the society's members have done well. An article appeared in the Associated Press dispatches not very long ago listing some half dozen young composers, all under 30 years of age, whose income ranged from two or three thousand dollars a week from the royalties received from their compositions. As to both, perhaps, the honors are about even. I am not going to discuss the matter here.
It was back in 1897 that Congress first passed a law giving to composers the right of public performance. I do not believe that Congress at that time had any idea to what extent that law, seemingly harmless, would be carried. Of course, your design copyright bill is not now before this committee, but
Mr. BLOOM. Next Friday.
Mr. BRYLAWSKI. I could conceive of the horror with which you would now receive a suggestion that a man who could copyright the design of a suit of clothes, would have the right to exact royalties from you if you wore it in public. I think the Congress of 1897 might have viewed with equal horror the thought that a man who, after he bought a piece of music intended for public playing could not play it in public.
While walking down the streets of Washington just the other day, I passed by the corner of Thirteenth and G Streets. There is a large music store there, the oldest in Washington, so they advertise. The windows were open and they were playing a selection on a new orthophonic Victrola. You could hear it a block away. It occurred to me that this was playing in public for profit and that the society was overlooking a good bet.
Mr. BLOOM. You do not mean that?
Mr. BRYLAWSKI. Of course I do not mean it, because if the society put the music stores out of business it also would have to go out of business.
Mr. Burkan stated before this committee last year-Mr. Burkan is not in the room, so I will try to quote him correctly-that the prices charged to moving-picture theaters, and to other theaters also, was 10 cents a seat and when reduced to a per performance basis, amounted to such a small sum as to be almost negligible. But the 10-cent tax is imposed on the seats not occupied quite to the same extent as seats that are occupied. With a theater of 2,500 seats, that tax amounts to $250 a year-a lot of money. But what we are worried about is the statement that Mr. Burkan made that there is no reason why that tax should not be 50 cents a seat or a dollar a seat or whatever price the society felt it ought to collect. Perhaps that price is limited only by what the society could collect without actually killing the gooseand I use the word "goose " advisedly-that lays the golden egg in this instance.
We believe that when a man buys a piece of music he ought to be permitted to play it. If that does not bring in a sufficient income for the author or the composer or the publisher, then it should be increased to a price that will fairly compensate the man for having written it. I admit as to that there are so many objections which could be raised that it might not be feasible.
Mr. BLOOM. How can we tell whether the man buys it or not? Mr. BRYLAWSKI. I say it might not be feasible, Mr. Bloom. I am not urging it on the committee.
My association wants to go on record as saying that we do not want to take anybody's property without paying for it. We do not want to take the copyrighted music of the society or the copyrighted music of members who are outside of the society without paying. But we do ask the privilege of paying for what we take, of knowing in advance how much it is going to cost us. That is the principle which is enunciated in the bill which the chairman introduced a few weeks ago, H. R. 10897. I believe that is the number of the bill, and I am in favor of the principle of that bill, even though certain features of its language are objectionable.
Mr. BLOOM. Was not that the radio end of it?
Mr. BRYLAWSKI. We are in it just as solidly as the radio, Mr. Bloom. The title of the bill-I have it in my pocket-is unfortunate. It is "An amendment to the copyright act of 1909 with respect to radio broadcasting." It is H. R. 10897.
Mr. BLOOM. The way I look at it it is just for broadcasting.
Mr. BLOOM. I have just glanced at it. I have enough trouble to read those before us.
Mr. BRYLAWSKI. The chairman introduced it, and I think it is a good measure. We approve of the principle of the bill, Mr. Chairman, and we would like to see the principle of this bill inserted in the present bill under consideration as an amendment, to provide for that situation, whereby the users of copyrighted music would have the privilege, if I may use the word "privilege," of paying for what they use rather than be under the necessity of paying for the privilege of using a great deal of material that they do not want and would not use if they could.
Mr. BLOOM. Why should not that be carried further? Why not put the price on films that are put out and the price on your theaters?
Mr. BRYLAWSKI. Every exhibitor who rents a motion-picture film knows what it costs him and every patron who goes into a theater knows what the price is. When you buy a suit of clothes you know what it costs you.
Mr. BLOOM. Do you charge the same on Saturdays or holidays as you do other days in the month, or the same in the evening as in the afternoon?
Mr. BRYLAWSKI. Certainly not.
Mr. BLOOM. You can charge any price you want?
Mr. BRYLAWSKI. Certainly.
Mr. BLOOM. Now, you come to this committee and seem to center on this committee putting a price
Mr. BRYLAWSKI. No, no, no; not this committee putting a price on anything.
Mr. BLOOM. But you want the composers to put a price on their goods and print it there and sell it at the prices stipulated. You do not do that. You have got a price list in the box office and if you want to change it to-night all you do is slip up a piece of paper to the box office window and charge anything you want. The same fellow who goes in at night sees the same show that he saw in the afternoon. Why not have the same price the whole year around-Saturday evenings, holidays, and every other day?
Mr. BRYLAWSKI. What has that to do with copyrights?
Mr. BLOOM. Just this: You ask this committee to do something in the way of fixing prices.
Mr. BRYLAWSKI. I do not.
Mr. BLOOM. I beg your pardon. This is a price fixing bill.
Mr. BRYLAWSKI. I beg your pardon. I suggest you read H. R. 10897.
Mr. BLOOM. It says the publishers should put the prices on the music that they will allow people to use it for.
Mr. BRYLAWSKI. It puts the price on it for sale.
Mr. BLOOM. He does not have to sell it for that. He can give it
Mr. BRYLAWSKI. He could give the other away, too.
Mr. BLOOM. He can sell it for 10, 20, or 30 cents, but the Government does not exact that.
Mr. BRYLAWSKI. We are not asking Congress to do that. Mr. BLOOM. I beg your pardon. Let me see the bill. bill says that the publisher shall put a price on there at which the purchaser shall be permitted to use it.
Mr. BRYLAWSKI. Let me continue and ask me about those things afterwards, because I will not take up much time and I will be glad to debate it with you then.
Mr. BLOOM. You called my attention to listen to you, and I did not want to listen to you at all. [Laughter.]
Mr. BRYLAWSKI. I wanted you to listen to me because I have listened to you for two years [laughter] and this is my chance.
So, we want to ask Congress not to enact this bill [exhibiting] as an amendment, but to enact the principle of this bill. I do not think this is a workable bill, but we ask that you insert the principle of this bill as an amendment whereby a man will know in advance what it will cost him and whereby that man will have the