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STATEMENT OF TRUMAN MICHELSON, REPRESENTING THE
LINGUISTIC SOCIETY OF AMERICA
Mr. MICHELSON. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen, the Linguistic Society of America was formed a little over a year ago, composed of very technically trained men. It is not a duplicate of the American Păilological Association. We are not interested entirely in language per se. We have at the present time a membership of about three hundred and fifty odd. That membership includes classical scholars, and technically trained men, as well as students in that line. We support the attitude of the American Library Association and approve their position in regard to this bill.
There is, however, one little point which Doctor Raney did not bring out, which we think is essential. That is that, under this bill we are required to get our original or whatever it may be from the American publisher. There is no provision in this bill requiring those publishers to furnish what we want within any specified time. There is no such requirement. It seems to me this bill should not go through without stating definitely how long we must wait upon our American publishers to furnish what we want. That is one point I wish to urge.
Mr. RANEY. Dr. John C. French, representing the Modern Language Association.
STATEMENT OF JOHN C. FRENCH, REPRESENTING THE MODERN
LANGUAGE ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA
Mr. FRENCH. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, the Modern Language Association of America is an organization of the teachers in colleges and universities of English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, and such languages, between 2,500 and 3,000 in number. They are particularly concerned in anything that affects the interest of libraries, because our work is almost exclusively with books. This association, at its meeting in Chicago, unanimously approved the position taken by the American Library Association, and we very earnestly hope the changes that have been suggested in the bill will be made.
Mr. RANEY. Dr. Henry G. Doyle, representing the American Association of University Professors.
STATEMENT OF DR. HENRY G. DOYLE, REPRESENTING THE
AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF UNIVERSITY PROFESSORS
Mr. DOYLE. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen, I realize that you have been extraordinarily patient, and I will be as brief as I possibly can.
The American Association of University Professors has some 6,000 members, representing the 250 colleges and universities in this country. They are engaged in teaching and research in practically all of the known fields of knowledge. The objects of the association are to facilitate a more effective cooperation among teachers and instructors in universities and colleges and professional schools of similar grade for the promotion of the interest of higher education and research, and in general to increase the usefulness and advance the standards and ideals of the profession. The association aims to be a national clearing house for the general problems of the university and college teachers. The functions of this association are analogous to those of the American Bar Association and the American Medical Association, in relation to the professions of law and medicine.
I can best express our position in respect to this situation, as stated by Doctor Raney, by reading a telegram from one of our local chapters, which will take just a moment:
The Purdue University Chapter of the American Association of University Professors expresses its approval of those provisions of the copyright bill (H. R. 10434) now before Congress which guarantee the rights of authors, extend term of copyright protection, protect foreign officers, and permit the United States to enter the International Copyright Union. They desire to protest against any provisions that will prohibit or restrict the importation of authorized editions of books in any language or that will unnecessarily delay or complicate such importation by libraries and universities. They especially urge that the freedom of importation of authorized editions for use and not curtail be reserved. Signed by C. B. Jordan, president; W. E. Edington, secretary.
I have a similar expression from another chapter which I should like to present, to be included in the record.
The CHAIRMAN. Without objection, that may be done. (The document referred to is as follows:)
Baltimore, Md., April 13, 1926. Hon. ALBERT H. VESTAL, Chairman of House Committee on Patents,
House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. SIR: We, the undersigned members of the Goucher chapter of the American Association of University Professors, recognizing the serious inconvenience to American libraries and to private collectors and scholars of America which will result from certain provisions in the pending copyright bill (H. R. 10434), urge that the following sections be deleted from the bill:
Section 30 (a), first line, “in the country of origin.”
Section 30 (a), second half of the section : “ provided the proprietor of the United States copyright- -copies of the American edition have been made as aforesaid.”
Section 30 (b), the entire section.
T. Baker, W. A. Beardsley, Charles H. Lemsai, J. W. Beatty, jr.,
Goodloe, Louise Kelley, Mary W. Williams. The point which this organization would like to make is this: That libraries and other similar agencies of learning and research should be able to buy, wherever they can and where it is most convenient, any book which is needed for their purposes. They should not be hampered by restrictions which may prove to be troublesome to libraries and such agencies and sources of information.
I Mr. RANEY. Dr. Henry B. Learned, representing the American Historical Association.
I thank you.
STATEMENT OF HENRY B. LEARNED, REPRESENTING THE
AMERICAN HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION
Mr. Chairman, I was asked to come here as a representative of the council and organization known as the American Historical Association. This body was organized first in 1884, and was incorporated by act of Congress in January, 1889. It represents a large body of research men and women, teachers, writers, experts in histories, English, Oriental, and American.
At their annual business meeting in Ann Arbor, Mich., in December, the substance of the position which Mr. Raney has taken was propounded to that meeting, after it had been carefully examined, as I understand it, by the council that governs that body, a group
of something like 18 or 20 men who are appointed from time to time to make the regulations for the annual meetings which come each December, and are scattered over the country from San Francisco to Boston and from Chicago to New Orleans, as the case may be, year by year.
As I say, the council, with the approval of the business group of research men and women of that association, took the position that on the whole, the Perkins bill, with such modifications as have been suggested by Mr. Raney, they would like to approve. And so I simply want, as a representative of the association, to put the association at the present time on record with reference to its approval of this bill.
I thank you.
Mr. RANEY. Mr. Joy E. Morgan, representing the National Educational Association.
STATEMENT OF JOY E. MORGAN, REPRESENTING THE NATIONAL
Mr. MORGAN. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen, I wish briefly to indorse the position which the American Library Association has taken in respect to this bill. It seems to me that learned scholars in science are of such vast importance to our home welfare, even in a selfish sense, that we can not afford to restrict them in any way, financially, or by means of red tape.
I think it is a fine thing that a man like Doctor Raney will, year in and year out, as I know he has, give intensive study to situations like this in its whole world aspect. I know of his work in that research institution, Johns Hopkins, whose name is known among scientists and scholars throughout the world, trying to gather there from every possible source the material that the group of scholars who come to that university can use for the advancement of knowledge.
It seems to me the position outlined by him to the committee is thoroughly sound, and it is one which I wish to commend to the serious and careful consideration of this committee.
I thank you.
Mr. RANEY. Dr. Charles R. Mann, representing the American Council on Education.
STATEMENT OF CHARLES R. MANN, REPRESENTING THE
AMERICAN COUNCIL ON EDUCATION
Mr. Mann. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen, the American Council on Education is a federation of 18 national educational associations dealing with higher education. It also has about 205 college and university members. It operates, besides an office in Washington for the purpose of producing coordinate action among universities, an office in London and an office in Paris, known as the American University Union office, for the development of international good will and cooperation among educational institutions. On behalf of the organizations and universities that belong to this council, I desire to indorse what Mr. Raney has said.
I have one question of two words I would like to ask. I find myself puzzled as to the result of this hearing. It has been brought out that the manufacturing interests involved in making it possible for individuals and libraries to import these books for use does not amount to a row of pins. There are no financial interests involved. We have been told that we have had the privilege in libraries and universities all these years of importing for use individual copies of expert books. Why change that? It has been suggested that if it is the law that we can do it now under certain conditions that we take a chance on it. You are putting on the statute books a law that compels honest, loyal citizens to run the risk of being lawbreakers. What is the point? What is the use of it? Why not use the thing the
way it is, and let us have that privilege we have always had, and which is so important to the scientific research and higher educational interests and educational library interests of the country?
I thank you.
Mr. RANEY. May I conclude by reading a letter addressed to the chairman of this committee by Mr. C. B. Roden, librarian of the Chicago Public Library?
On behalf of the Chicago Public Library I desire to point out the absurd and vexatious consequences to us and our constituency of the provisions in section 31 of H. R. 10434, the new copyright bill, compelling public libraries and other educational institutions to ascertain whether a book of British origin is or is not on sale somewhere in this country before placing an order therefor abroad.
Aside from the serious delays involved in our effort to secure such information, which would presumably have to be hunted out in public records, advertisements, copyright bulletins when and if issued, and similar places, the whole thing appears as so pitiful and picayunish a struggle to see that no American dollar is spent for an English book as to cast a curious light upon the American bookseller in his relation to public education.
We spend $200,000 a year for book, of which about $2,000 or 1 per cent goes for English books. This probably represents 300 to 500 different English books for each of which we should have to spend anywhere from half an hour to half a day hunting around to determine whether, by buying the book in London we were or were not depriving some American go-getter of a dollar's worth of business.
Gentlemen, I thank you very much for your kind and considerate attention.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Phillips, of Boston, desires to make a short statement.
STATEMENT OF J. D. PHILLIPS—Resumed
Mr. PHILLIPS. Gentlemen, I desire to refer briefly to some of the testimony that has been offered here this morning. In that connection, there is one thing that sort of impresses me. There are a lot of things that are organized in this country, and there are a lot of things that are unorganized. Briefly stated, probably 90,000,000 are unorganized and about 10,000,000 at the outside are organized. The only representatives of the 90,000,000 are probably in the United States Congress, and the 10,000,00 are pretty well organized.
I have been interested in hearing the testimony in regard to different books, but it seems to me as if it were more an apparent than a real trouble. In other words, most of these orders for books go through the book dealers, like A. C. McClurg & Co., and other like dealers, and the books are provided without undue difficulty to the libraries. If this clause were to be enacted he would probably do that more successfully and more carefully than he does it now. In other words, it would be handled in the same way.
Now, in regard to the importation of foreign books, why not get right down to the fundamental principles? We are living in America under American conditions. One of those conditions is the high cost of labor. America is a country where the laboring people receive high wages, and in turn we pay high prices. There is no doubt about that. That is the fundamental principle upon which we are running this country. We may be running it wrong. If we are running it wrong, all right. Let us change the whole thing. But let us not pick out individual cases and pull them out and change them. Let us change the whole basic principle of running the country:
We are operating, as I said before, with the high price of labor, under the manufacturing clauses of this bill. If it is well for anybody to be out from under these manufacturing costs, it is well for everybody to be out from under them. I can not see any reason for changing a part of it and not changing the whole of it. I do not see any special reason for making special exceptions.
As far as the use of foreign books is concerned, why should we not use American books in America ? Why should we use books made under conditions in Italy or Germany or Austria or Hungary or even England and Scotland with their cheap labor, when we are trying to hold up wages in America and trying to hold up, the conditions of life, for which we pay the penalty of high prices!
Mr. PERKINS. Would you mind my interrupting you?
Mr. PERKINS. On the general principles I think we probably all agree with you, but with reference to technical works, books that are not read by people generally, and which by their 'very nature must be few in number, why not let them get the books for the purposes desired by them?
Mr. PHILLIPS. Does that bill provide that?
Mr. PERKINS. Yes; but their idea is that they ought to be able to get them as quickly and directly as possible.
Mr. Phillips. I wonder if they would do it. I hope they would be more successful in getting books from abroad than we are. That is the slowest proposition I know of.
Mr. Bloom. May I ask you a question ?