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Music Publishers' Protective Association : 56 West ' Forty-fifth Street, New
J. Fischer, 113 West Fortieth Street, New York City.
City. E. C. Mills; telephone, Van. 4327. National Association of Book Publishers : 25 West Thirty-third Street, New York City. Frederic G. Melcher, R. R. Bowker Co., 62 West Forty-fifth Street; tele
phone, Murray 0150. Eustave Seligman, Sullivan & Cromwell, 49 Wall Street; telephone, Man
hattan 7642. National Association of Broadcasters (Radio) : 1265 Broadway, New York City. Paul B. Klugh, 1269 Broadway; telephone, Lon. 5687. American Telephone and Telegraph Co. (Radio department), 195 Broad
way, New York City. J. A. Holman, manager of broadcasting; telephone,
Cor. 8940. Radio Corporation of America, 233 Broadway, New York City. Harry G.
George C. Lucas; telephone, Wis. 2126.
City. G. Evans Hubbard.
F. A. Silcox, Room 1710, 461 Eighth Avenue, New York City.
Avenue, New York City.
sentatives. 1451 Broadway, New York City ; telephone, Wis. 7850. D. S. Brassil, 41 Elizabeth Street, New York City; telephone, Franklin 0280.
York City ; Copyright committee of bar association.
Conferences were held in the city by these various groups. Sometimes the meetings were attended by some and sometimes others. Invitations at all times were sent to the various associations listed on this list I have read.
The net result of that was through all the hearings and the subcommittees of our own committee, an attempt was made to come to an agreement on all the clauses that it was possible. It developed that there were some clauses upon which there was an irreconcilable difference of opinion, and in that committee it was made clear all the way through that it was a conference committee and not a confirmatory committee; that is, a committee set up purely for the purpose of endeavoring to see how far it was possible to go in a reconciliation of those differences of opinion. The Authors' League naturally was very vitally interested in this bill, and have been conferring over this entire period of time with most of these interests with the view of trying to arrive, as I say, at some kind of a bill which would bring out into relief those sections in which there was an irreconcilable difference of opinion and those on which we could agree.
The bill as presented represents the result of these committee deliberations. A report was sent to you, Mr. Chairman, which stated that certain groups that were named definitely made reservations in regard to this bill, but on the whole it represents the result of about a year's deliberations.
Mr. BLOOM. Which bill is that?
Mr. Silcox. H. R. 10434; and all I want to say as chairman of that committee is that these discussions were carried on in a serious effort to see whether or not, in a spirit of conference and conciliation, we could not arrive at some bill that would represent as many agreements as we could get. It does not represent the agreement in total of all groups that were in that hearing, and several of the groups made it specifically clear during the hearings that they reserved the right to make their statements here, whether in favor of or in opposition to the bill.
If I may say just one final word, as chairman of that committee, as far as the employing printers are concerned, the items of the bill which they are interested in they are in agreement on with the rest of the groups and are for the bill as it stands.
Mr. BLOOM. Did you mention the American Federation of Labor ? Mr. Silcox. Yes.
Mr. LANHAM. In view of the very voluminous hearings that we have had on the subject of copyright in general, wouldn't it be a good method of procedure to have the witnessess who appear here and testify at this hearing to devote their testimony exclusively to those features of the bill with which they are not in accord? I think the general principles and the fundamentals of this thing have been gone over so thoroughly in former hearings that it would be more helpful to the committee if we would simply see the points in which various groups are not in accord with the text of this bill as introduced, H. R. 10434. That may be the purpose.
Mr. Bloom. Mr. Chairman, we have some new members on the committee who are not as well acquainted with this matter as the old members.
Mr. LANHAM. The new members of the committee can thoroughly familiarize themselves with the general principles by reading a copy of the former hearings, because they are voluminous and extensive, and it occurred to me that from the standpoint of getting this bill in shape for some definite action and as something for our consideration in executive session, assuming that the bill generally is satisfactory to all groups, if we could hear from the various groups and know the points wherein the bill is not satisfactory to the respective groups, then we could have something definite to reflect upon and to discuss and consider when we come to take it up in executive session.
The CHAIRMAN. I think that is a very, very good suggestion.
Mr. LANHAM. In other words, the discussion might run on here for days, as it did before, and be a mere duplication of what we have already in the printed record. We can assume that the bill is satisfactory to them except in so far as they refer to sections that are not satisfactory, and they may suggest amendments to those that are not satisfactory.
STATEMENT OF WILLIAM H. OSBORNE—Continued
Mr. OSBORNE. Mr. Chairman, it would be my purpose to indicate what the opposition to this bill is and from whence it emanates, as nearly as it is possible for me to do so, because I think we can narrow it down to that question.
I want to make two or three things specific and clear, in view of arguments that were made here last year. In the first place, Mr. Chairman, the Authors' League of America, which propounds this bill and supports this bill introduced by you, that is, the Vestal bill, is the national organization in this country of authors, screen writers, dramatists, and artists. It has no affiliation in this country with any other organization. It owns no rights of any of the members, and sells no rights. It does not act as agent or as manager for any of its members. It is supported by the dues of its members and acts merely in an advisory capacity, maintains a pension fund for the benefit of any authors, artists, screen writers, or dramatists, or any creative geniuses who are ill or in hard luck, and in no way does it control the output of its members. It is organized to promote the welfare of the creative geniuses here in America.
In the second place, I want to make another thing clear. Two years ago the Authors' League came before this committee as then constituted, and supported a bill known as the Dallinger bill. The Authors' League has always desired to support a bill which includes international divisible copyrights, automatic copyright, and a bill which provided for an extended term. The Authors' League then supported the Dallinger bill, which was a measure proposed by the motion-picture interests, and we supported that bill enthusiastically.
When Mr. Solberg, the register of copyrights, prepared and propounded the Perkins bill, the Authors' League very cheerfully and immediately abandoned the Dallinger bill and supported the Perkins bill.
It was said at the hearings last year that the Authors' League had changed front. The Authors' League has not changed front, because of the principles of the Perkins bill, the principles of the Dallinger bill, and the principle of your bill, sir, are exactly the same, and they constitute those principles for which the Authors' League has always stood.
I want to say this by way of anticipation, because the Authors' League was criticized last year for apparently changing front when it had not changed front. It preferred the bill prepared by a disinterested draftsman, such as the register of copyrights, to a bill propounded by an interested party. It prefers your bill for the reason that the interests that opposed the Perkins bill last year have met us upon your bill. No perfect copyright law can be framed, and if you could lay down on this table a perfect copyright bill the Authors' League would cheerfully abandon your bill and would support the new and perfect copyright bill.
The Authors' League has never been at odds with the American Federation of Labor on the manufacturing clause. Mr. Solberg drafted the Perkins bill and left out the manufacturing clause
because he concluded that it had no place in a copyright bill. In theory he was correct. The Authors' League, when that bill was printed, submitted to the American Federation of Labor an amendment which had already been agreed upon. The American Federation of Labor naturally drew the justifiable conclusion that, because the Authors' League was supporting the Perkins bill without the manufacturing clause, therefore it had violated its pledge to the American Federation of Labor. It had never done so, and the American Federation of Labor is satisfied that it has never done so
Now, I mention these facts simply to show that the attitude of the Authors' League, which is representative of the attitude of the authors of this country, has been consistent throughout and that it has not changed front.
A year ago when the Perkins bill was up, the Perkins bill was supported by the Authors' League, the American Composers' Society, the Librarians, and it was opposed by every other interest. To-day, singularly enough, the Vestal bill-I think I am correct in making this prophesy-you will find will be opposed by the Librarians, by those persons, including the canned music and radio interests, and those persons allied with them who are interested in small rights, what we call small rights, and I will exlain in a minute what I mean by that. I think the opposition to the Vestal bill will be confined to the Librarians and to these other interests, radio, canned music, hotel men and restaurant men, who are interested in the small rights of musical composers, and you will find that whereas the Perkins bill was opposed last year by practically all the interests I have mentioned, the Vestal bill now will be supported by all the interests except those interests whom I have named.
Mr. Bloom. Does that include the necessity of registration for copyright? Are you all agreed upon that?
Mr. OSBORNE. I'he interests that are in favor of this bill have all agreed upon all the provisions of this bill. There is a provision in here as to infringement, several provisions as to infringement, which protect a so-called innocent infringer unless there has been a registration of copyright, or unless there has been a performance, a public regular performance of a dramatic production.
Mr. Bloom. Then there will be no opposition with regard to the registration of copyright; that is, a copyright shall hold whether it is registered or not?
Mr. OSBORNE. That is my understanding. To illustrate how simply these changes have been brought about, because while the Vestal bill is the Perkins bill with changes, just let me state one meeting at which Mr. Bloom himself was present last May at the office of the Periodical Publishers' Association. At that one meeting these reasonable things were agreed upon: We put in the manufacturing clause, we put in an importation clause which was satisfactory to the publishers, we put in a so-called innocent infringement clause that the employing printers desired, because they said “ If we are handed something to print and the material infringes the creation of some author, we should not be held liable," a perfectly reasonable thing; we put in a provision which was admittedly left out of the Perkins bill, relating to the right to sue in the case of a licensee, that is to say, under the present act, if I sell my rights to a magazine and then sell
my book rights to a book house, the book house can not protect its rights unless it gets the magazine to join, because the magazine holds the copyright. We allow every property owner of any divisible right in your bill here to sue to protect such right.
Now, those are only four of the reasonable things. Mr. Chairman, there have been 150 small conferences, at least, and by “small” I mean between two or three people at a time, since your committee met last year, and I would like to call your attention to the fact that the authors of the Authors' League, many of whom are men over 40 and a considerable number over 50, who have had over a quarter of a century experience with magazine houses, theatrical magnates, motion-picture houses, and book houses—these men know their business, they understand the trade customs, they understand the difficulties under which the people who buy their wares constantly labor. A successful author knows the book publisher's business, he knows the periodical publisher's business, he knows the motion-picture business.
Now, when we found an avalanche of opposition to this bill last year we knew there was something the matter, and the suggestions that were made were just as simple as these four suggestions on which nobody could disagree; just as simple throughout. When a magazine man said " I want this " and it did not infringe the right of an author, he got it. We have had, in other words, the most sympathetic kind of consideration on this bill from both sides, authors on one side and purchasers of creative material on the other, and the result has been this bill.
Now, let me call your attention to the nature of the opposition. If the Librarians opposed this bill, or could oppose it, in toto, it would be one thing; but the Librarians have a controversy on here with the publishers which does not occupy more than three lines in this entire bill, and you will find that every librarian in the country probably has memorialized you on the proposition that this bill is a bad bill and inimical throughout to the welfare of the public, and if you change three lines in this bill you will meet the demands of the Librarians, but if you change those three lines you will affect the interests of the publishers.
Mr. BLOOM. What section is that?
Mr. GOODWIN. It is sections 30 and 31.
Mr. OSBORNE. I do not know that I want to go into that. It is very simple, though.
Mr. Bloom. Is anyone else going to speak on that?
Mr. OSBORNE. Yes. Major Putnam is going to speak on that and the Librarians will speak on that.
Mr. BLOOM. All right.
Mr. OSBORNE. Now, you see there is no reason why an entire copyright bill should be wrecked because of a controversy which involves three or four lines on a certain page. That is the character of the opposition of the Librarians. If the bill is 99 per cent good, there is no reason why a 1 per cent opposition, or an opposition of 1 per cent, should materially affect the other substantial portions of the bill, on which everybody is agreed.