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Mr. MCLEOD. Is the American edition just as good as the English edition?
Mr. SELIGMAN. Mr. Melcher was explaining why he thought so. Mr. MCLEOD. That is a moot question?
Mr. SELIGMAN. Yes, sir. Here are two books [exhibiting]-take your choice.
The CHAIRMAN. Are there any other persons in the room who want to be heard in favor of the bill? We want to finish that side.
Mr. A. F. SILCOX. As chairman of the printing committee, we want to make it clear in the record that the printers of the country have gone over this bill in considerable detail with the American Federation of Labor, with the Authors' League, and other interests involved, and are in favor of the bill as it stands. There is no use of going into the details of the bill.
The CHAIRMAN. Judge Smith, are you prepared to be heard this afternoon?
STATEMENT OF CLIFFORD P. SMITH
Mr. CLIFFORD P. SMITH. I represent the Christian Science publishing interests, that publish books, newspapers, and periodicals. I believe it is well known that we are in favor of the Vestal bill, but I am glad to take this opportunity to record our position affirmatively. We are in favor of the Vestal bill and have attended many of the hearings and conferences in New York for the purpose of trying to bring everybody together, and my impression, from having talked with a great many persons interested in this, is that this bill is really almost a marvelous effort and a very unselfish effort on the part of the men interested to get together on a good bill, a bill that will enable us to secure an international copyright that will be in the interest of everybody, and I believe, from that standpoint, this bill comes pretty close to being the best American copyright bill that could be drafted. I am heartily in favor of it, and my observations and conversations with others since I have come here convince me that outside of what has been said in this room to-day they are very much in favor of the Vestal bill.
STATEMENT OF ARTHUR W. WEIL
Mr. WEIL. Mr. Chairman, I represent the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America (Inc.). On behalf of my clients I would not like to be heard at the moment, because we feel that we can be of more service to the committee somewhat later, but we do not wish to be put by abstention at this time in the position of being in the group that are opposing this bill.
The CHAIRMAN. Can you give the committee some idea of the time you will require to present your views to the committee?
Mr. WEIL. I hope not more than 15 minutes. That will depend on the course the hearing will take.
The CHAIRMAN. Have you other speakers besides yourself to speak for the motion-picture people?
Mr. WEIL. I doubt it.
The CHAIRMAN. There are the mechanical people yet.
STATEMENT OF FULTON BRYLAWSKI
Mr. BRYLAWSKI. I intended to speak on this subject on behalf of the Motion Picture Theater Owners of America, who are interested from the motion-picture standpoint although in no sense affiliated with Mr. Weil's organization.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you desire to be heard this evening?
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Smith desires to be heard for five minutes in opposition.
STATEMENT OF ALFRED L. SMITH, SECRETARY AND GENERAL MANAGER MUSIC INDUSTRY, CHAMBER OF COMMERCE, 45 WEST FORTY-FIFTH STREET, NEW YORK CITY
Mr. SMITH. I wish to say, Mr. Chairman, that we appeared, as you know, about a year ago on the Perkins bill and took up considerable time of the committee, and also presented a rather exhaustive brief covering fully certain points connected with our opposition in the matter. There have been statements made by the proponents of the elimination of the mechanical license provision which we might comment on, but you have been sitting a long time, and I will pass by that. I also wish to say that we have noticed with a great deal of interest H. R. 10987, which is not under discussion at this hearing, but which deals primarily with the principle of mechanical license. That bill came to our attention only a little while ago. It has interested us a great deal, and we are studying it very carefully. Undoubtedly there will be opportunity to discuss this bill before the committee. The committee undoubtedly is tired out on this matter, having met two days, and we think we will wait and discuss this matter of this other bill which appertains to the same subject. We are willing to say what things we want to say at that time.
The CHAIRMAN. On which bill?
Mr. SMITH. The Vestal bill, H. R. 10987.
Mr. BLOOM. Supposing we do not get to that bill at this session? Don't you want to say anything on this bill?
Mr. SMITH. I do not think so. There is a lot to say, but we have not time to present our case now.
Mr. BLOOM. You can have all the time you want.
Mr. SMITH. I have got to get a train back this afternoon.
The CHAIRMAN. I want you to understand the position of the committee.
Mr. SMITH. I do entirely.
The CHAIRMAN. I think you do-that you can have all the time you want to present the opposition, not this evening, but later on, on this particular bill, because I know the feeling of every member of this committee. We want to get all the facts that we can get; if we are going to report out a bill we want to report out one that will be equitable and just to everybody, so far as we can, and if there is any opposition to the bill, and there is some, of course, we want to have you present your opposition to this bill and will give you the time to do it. When the committee adjourns this even
ing it will probably adjourn to meet after we complete our joint hearings. To-morrow is Saturday, and unless the committee desires to meet to-morrow, and they probably do not want to, it will go over. I do not care to keep the committee in session to-morrow if they would rather have the matter go over, but I want you to understand that the committee wants to give you every opportunity to present your objections to this bill because we are sitting here as a jury, and we want to hear all of these things. Then we will try to work out a bill if we can.
Mr. SMITH. We have not objected in the slightest to remaining here the two days, because everybody has presented things of interest to you. We took up a lot of your time a year ago, and we were willing to sit back in this hearing. My engagements are such that it is important for me to leave on a late afternoon train, and as I say, we presented fully certain phases of our case, but for the other phases we would prefer to wait until we can consider this other bill. There may be some changes in our ideas in this other bill, which is a bill relating to mechanical licensing.
Mr. BLOOM. Mr. Smith is talking about something that may never take place.
The CHAIRMAN. You are talking about a late bill that I introduced, after I introduced a companion bill to the Dill bill. Whether we are going to have hearings on that bill is a question. Of course, it has been brought up in the joint hearings to some extent and may be discussed over there, and it seems to me that you ought to voice your objections to this bill, and we will give you an opportunity to do that. It seems to me when you talk about that bill you can discuss the principles of this later bill. I think it would be better if you would do that, Mr. Smith.
Mr. SMITH. We will do just what the committee wishes.
Mr. BLOOM. If Mr. Smith is going to discuss the principles of the other bill, then other gentlemen ought to have the same opportunity to discuss this other bill, and we will have to have another hearing.
The CHAIRMAN. My idea is that in Mr. Smith's objections to this bill he wants to subscribe, probably, or not, as the case may be, to the principle set out in the other bill, but I think you ought to make your objections to this bill as a matter of record.
Mr. SMITH. I will state, then, Mr. Chairman, that our objections to this bill are almost entirely the same objections which we voiced a year ago to the Perkins bill, because the two points in which we are primarily interested, namely, the mechanical licensing provisions and the provisions covering public performances for profit, are the same in this bill as in the previous bill. I might say that while we have several reasons for opposing the elimination of the mechanical license, that our reasons for wishing mechanical license to be continued can in a way be summed up in a few words, namely, that the conditions surrounding the art of music, on the one hand, and the business of giving music to the public, on the other, when considered in the light of public interest, are such that the music business must have full access to all music, and the question of price, which has been spoken of so much by people on the other side, is not the prime consideration. We have never talked so much of price as upon the
need of full accessibility to all music. We think it is against public interest to compel the manufacturers of mechanical music appliances to go into exclusive contracts, thus depriving the users of certain types of mechanical appliances from certain music that they have a right, as members of the public, to obtain.
That is our general argument. It has a great many complicated phases, and it would take a long while to present them. Perhaps some of our ideas may change in the light of that new bill which we are considering.
The CHAIRMAN. Let me ask you this question: Outside of the mechanical clause in this bill, have you any objection to the other clauses of the bill?
Mr. SMITH. There is the question of public performance for profit. We are not opposed to the copyright owner getting a return for the use of his works for public performance for profit, but we object seriously to the condition under which he now collects. He says he is compelled to collect. That may be so, but the fact is he does have to collect under conditions which are very inimical to our industry, and that they should and could be improved. That is, perhaps, of secondary interest to us as compared to the mechanical license provision. Certain of our members have also made considerable study of more fundamental questions like the entrance to the Berne convention.
Mr. BLOOM. You have no objection to that?
Mr. SMITH. We have not officially taken a stand on that point; that is, our organization has not.
Mr. BLOOM. Did you last year?
Mr. SMITH. I will have to take that back. We have. We are against entering the Berne convention. We have not gone into that as deeply as an organization as we have these other things.
Mr. BLOOM. You say the music is the principal part of your business, and in regard to these copyrights, these exclusive rights that authors and composers have, as you say, do not manufacturers of mechanical instruments have exclusive rights under patents?
Mr. SMITH. They have exclusive rights; yes; but they are limited.
Mr. BLOOM. If you get a patent you can do what you want with that patent; you can license it and ask whatever you want for the licensing or permission to use those patents; if you do not want to have a person use it you say so, and you can go into individual bargaining on your patent.
Mr. SMITH. I am willing to answer your question to the best of my ability on patents, but I want to say, first. there is not any analogy between patent and copyright. I will answer to the best of my ability. Your question is on patents.
Mr. BLOOM. The same law that gives that exclusive grant to a book or writing gives a like grant for a patent or discovery. It says writings or discoveries. Now, if the Victor Co., or the Columbia Phonograph, or the Edison Co., or any other company, own a patent and have exclusive right to do with that patent as they see fit and go into individual bargaining on that patent right that the Government gives them, do you not believe that the author and composer who
gets the right under the same part of the Constitution should have that same exclusive right to go to the different manufacturers of phonographic records and piano rolls and go into individual bargaining the same as the mechanical manufacturers of phonographs have a right to do?
Mr. SMITH. I am not expert on patents.
Mr. BLOOM. You do not have to be.
Mr. SMITH. But my understanding of the patent situation is not the same as yours. I do not understand that a patent holder has the right without limit. There are lots of things he can not do.
Mr. BLOOM. He can do it if he gets the price; he can say I will allow you to use that if you give me $10,000, or $25,000, or $50,000if he gets his price, whatever it is, he will allow you to use it. Is that a fact?
Mr. SMITH. In the first place, conditions surrounding taking a patent are different from those surrounding copyright. You can not get a patent under the same conditions as you get a copyright.
Mr. BLOOM. Exactly the same. The law says you shall have exclusive right for a limited period for your writings and discoveries. Mr. SMITH. If you invent a certain thing, a patented inkstand, and get it patented next week, can I come around six months from now and invent the same thing and get it patented?
Mr. BLOOM. If you compose a sheet of music, the creation of your brain and you have a copyright of that, can I come around in six weeks and get a copyright on the creation of your brain?
Mr. SMITH. I understand you can, yes; I may be wrong.
Mr. BLOOM. Then there is no copyright at all, according to your contention?
Mr. SMITH. No; I would not say that.
Mr. BLOOM. If that is the case, why do you bother about this compulsory licensing clause; why don't you take it if there is no copyright?
Mr. SMITH. The getting out of a mere patent does not constitute any right to the discovering of a new thing; it is not the same. Mr. BLOOM. It is exactly the same thing, but we will pass that for the time being.
Mr. WEFALD. It is the difference between tangible and intangible property. You can see songs.
Mr. BLOOM. You can not see them; they must be put down in black and white. You can make exclusive contracts for a singer and all bands and orchestras for playing this music. You have a monopoly of Caruso and Paderewski, and on Paul Whiteman, and they are allowed to go on with individual bargaining with your people and get whatever price they can. Is that a fact?
Mr. SMITH. Yes.
Mr. BLOOM. Don't you think that the man who created all those things, who is really responsible for you being in the business, and the singer and the orchestra being in the business, should have the same right as everyone else has?
Mr. SMITH. I will answer it this way: I do not think that there is a clear reason why he should have the right of copyright without any restriction.