« iepriekšējāTurpināt »
Mr. Bloom. But the Latvian Minister represents his country here?
Mr. Kosicki. Yes, sir.
Mr. Bloom. I can not see why you can not do something in that line.
Mr. KOSICKI. Of course our international relations are not complete. They are always looking into that.
The CHAIRMAN. Are we not better off in not having copyright relations in countries in which their citizens will have a much greater chance for profit and income than our citizens over there?
Mr. Bloom. I think it is the reverse. I think our citizens would have 10 to 1 greater benefits. We have more to protect over there in their countries than they have over here.
Mr. Kosicki. I think, with the motion pictures entering these various fields, we have something important to protect.
The CHAIRMAN. I understood the gentleman to make the opposite statement, that we have more to offer than they have.
Mr. KOSICKI. That has been true in the past, but in the last several years that situation has changed. The motion pictures exhibited abroad are about 75 per cent American.
The CHAIRMAN. I can see very readily that the motion picture people would have a fertile field in the foreign countries.
MĪr. KOSICKI. The same situation has arisen in South Africa and Turkey. I will not quote further from the reports. It is sufficient to say that we have received reports that piracy has occurred in the following convention countries-Greece, Japan, Palestine, Poland, South Africa, and Turkey, with the understanding, of course, that Turkey is not yet a member, but is due to become so. Of these countries we have no relations with Greece, Palestine, Poland, and Turkey.
As to nonunion countries, piracy in motion pictures has occurred in Rumania, Chili, Columbia, Venezuela—of course the figures are not complete, but this is a safe indication showing that where copyright protection is not easy to obtain, a fertile field is offered to film pirates.
Mr. Bloom. How do they get their titles?
Mr. KOSICKI. Of course, they get the tangible thing—the commodity. They do not bother very frequently with who owns the idea,
Mr. Bloom. But the title of the films and the explanations?
Mr. Bloom. How do they make them at the time they make a copy of the film?
Mr. KOSICKI. That is possibly made by some outfit that has facili. ties for making the pirated copy of the film.
Mr. Bloom. It would have to be made at the time.
Mr. KOSICKI. No; the film can be split up. A pirated print is just made from the original film. They will change it to suit their own needs.
Mr. BLOOM. Have you a brief?
Mr. Bloom. I wish you would submit a brief. This matter is very interesting to me.
Mr. KOSICKI. I shall do so, Mr. Bloom.
Mr. Kosicki. My principal purpose was to present the facts so the committee could draw its own conclusions. My conclusion is this: That the piracy of motion pictures occurs because the producer here does not find it easy to get copyright protection abroad. The same may be true of other artistic productions. For example, books; publishers, for instance, have been getting indirect protection under the international convention, by getting simultaneous publication. A person here can go to a country that is a member of the copyright union and get that protection there. In the countries with which we have no relations, he is at the mercy of the pirate. The Berne copyright union would relieve him of the necessity of going into each country separately and claiming protection there. He would immediately, upon acquiring his copyright here, receive similar protection in every country in the union-considerably over 30.
I might also mention this, that Great Britain has adhered to the union on behalf also of its colonies and protectorates. These number about 40. So the protection is even more world wide than it first appears upon a listing of the countries.
Mr. Bloom. You favor our entering into the Berne convention?
Mr. Goodwin. Is there any other witness who would like to be heard?
STATEMENT OF L. S. BAKER, REPRESENTING THE NATIONAL
ASSOCIATION OF BROADCASTERS
Mr. BAKER. I think all members of this committee are more or less conversant with our position and the controversy that is some several years old with the music publishers, so I will not bother you with a rehash of that.
However, as far as we are concerned, with resepct to this particular bill under consideration, the bill itself and in its making has been a freezeout as far as the broadcasters are concerned, and we oppose is most vigorously.
In that connection I would like to insert in the record a letter dated Novembmer 28, 1925, addressed to Mr. F. A. Silcox, signed by Paul B. Klugh, executive chairman of the National Association of Broadcasters. The letters reads:
DEAR SIR: In reply to your notice dated November 25 calling a meeting for December 1, we wish to call your attention to the inclosed resolution on copyright, which was unanimously adopted at our last meeting in Washington, D. C.
This states our position fully, and indicates our desire to settle this matter along lines which are not only practicable, but fair and equitable to all concerned.
Inasmuch as Nathan Burkan, representing certain copyright owners, stated at the first meeting of your committee that the interests which he represented had nothing to yield in their discussions with broadcasting stations, or words to this effect, as the record will show, and, furthermore, inasmuch as the writer stated in the open meeting referred to that Mr. Burkan's remarks were not in keeping with the spirit of negotiation for which the meeting was supposedly called, and suggested that Mr. Burkan withdraw his remarks; and inasmuch as Mr. Burkan declined to withdraw said remarks, thus closing the door to any beneficial results which might have come from a fair and open discussion of this matter, we therefore have not deemed it necessary to attend any of the meetings which followed.
Our opposition to the bill which was presented to us by Mr. Silcox at a later date, is again recorded under date of March 18, 1926, in a letter asking that in any list submitted to this committee our association be recorded as opposed to it.
Mr. Bloom. How could you be opposed to something that was not in existence at the time?
Mr. BAKER. Sir?
Mr. Bloom. How could you be opposed to something that was not in existence at that time? This was a bill that was introduced long after that letter was written,
Mr. BAKER. The original draft of this law, referred to by Mr. Silcox, came to us as the bill they were going to introduce. That is what I referred to.
Mr. BLOOM. What is the date of that letter?
Mr. BAKER. It was, sir. As to why we opposed this bill-well, in a word, because it knocked out the mechanical clause of 1909, which is a very important part of the present law under which we believe we should be brought. Further discussion of that I do not believe I should go into, because it has been hashed and rehashed. We believe, however, that by so doing, instead of aiding the controversy between the broadcasters and the musical publishers, it only would serve to aggravate it.
Mr. Bloom. That is the only thing you are opposed to in this bill—the limitation of the compulsory license?
Mr. BAKER. From our viewpoint that is quite enough.
Mr. Bloom. Outside of that this bill is satisfactory to you and the broadcasters?
Mr. BAKER. I have no brief whatsoever as to any controversy or promise or agreement between the authors and publishers as exhibited in the first hearings on this bill.
Mr. Bloom. Now, I am going to ask the question over again. Outside of the elimination of the compulsory licensing clause, everything in this bill (H. R. 10434) is satisfactory to the Broadcasters’ Association-is that right?
Mr. BAKER. We could go into that at great length, sir, because our whole attitude is that this bill, as it works out, so far as the use of music for broadcasting is concerned, would be the death of broadcasting.
Mr. BLOOM. Well, we just had three weeks of that, but I am still asking you—is there anything in this bill that you want to object to or do object to outside of the one thing—the elimination of the compulsory licensing clause ?
Mr. BAKER. Mr. Bloom, I am not an attorney. I could go through the bill and make an effort at it, but I would be glad to have the attorney for our association file a brief taking it up paragraph by paragraph.
Mr. BLOOM. The gentleman is a witness and says he represents the Broadcasters' Association, I would like to ask him again whether the bill in its entirety outside of the one clause he is objecting to, is satisfactory to the broadcasters. If he is representing the broadcasters, I would like to have him represent the Broadcasters' Association. Can you answer that?
Mr. BAKER. I should like to answer it in this way, that we do not believe in the bill in any respect where it affects the music which broadcasters must use.
Mr. Bloom. That is the compulsory licensing clause—is that right? Mr. BAKER. There are other features of the bill.
Mr. BLOOM. I want to get the broadcasters on record on that. What do you object to?
Mr. BAKER. I shall be glad to have our attorney appear here tomorrow and discuss that.
The CHAIRMAN. As I get it, the main feature in this bill that the broadcasters object to is the elimination of the mechanical clause ?
Mr. BAKER. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. And are you prepared to say, as a representative of the broadcasters, if the mechanical clause were put back in this bill, that you would be—that the broadcasters would favor the passage of the bill—are you in a position to say that?
Mr. BLOOM. As it stands?
Mr. BAKER. Do you mean the mechanical clause as it stands on the books to-day?
The CHAIRMAN. Yes.
Mr. BAKER. No; but if you would put back the mechanical clause into this bill and include broadcasting under any fair, equitable basis of rates or arrangements that might be worked out, then we would indorse it. But, as I say, with the structure of this bill as it is, it would be impossible to do such a thing.
Mr. BLOOM. I wanted to get your views. You would not be in favor of this bill even though the present law pertaining to mechanicals was written into the bill?
Mr. BAKER. As far as the broadcasters are concerned, it would do no good.
Mr. Bloom. That would not help you at all, as far as you view the matter?
Mr. BAKER. No; not one bit, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. And any bill that fails to include the broadcasters along the lines of mechanicals to-day, you would oppose ?
Mr. BAKER. Let me say this, sir, that so far as the broadcasters are concerned, our position is very much open, and by that I mean
this, that we have tried for several years, as you gentlemen know, to arrive at some fair equitable solution of this problem if it could be done; and referring back to the situation which occurred last summer, I can assure you that we went into that meeting ready to meet it in the proper spirit and tried to effect some agreement and tried to enter into the general spirit of the thing, but when Mr. Burkman's remarks were registered and he did not see fit to withdraw them, it was a bitter disappointment to us. If any other solution of the big problem that faces the broadcasters in regard to the use of music can be worked out, I am sure you will find our associates ready to back it. As yet we have not seen it.
Mr. Bloom. Would your association be willing to back a reciprocal clause, that we put a compulsory licensing clause in regulating the price of broadcasting and advertising through broadcasting, the same as you want to exact in this bill in reference to the compulsory licensing clause of music?
Mr. BAKER. Sir, as I interpret the several bills that are now in the Senate committee, that is virtually what is being done in regard to radio regulation.
Mr. BLOOM. Those bills in the Senate have nothing at all to do with it. I would like to know whether the broadcasting companies you represent, the American Telephone & Telegraph and the other companies--whether your association would be willing, and the broadcasters you represent would be willing, to have in this bill a reciprocal clause fixing the price on everything pertaining to broadcasting, radio listening-in, or advertising or anything else? Would you want us to do the same thing with you-put a price on your products the same as you wish put upon the products of other people?
Mr. BAKER. I might answer your question by using your own words. As far as radio regulation, wave lengths, etc., broadcasting of programs, etc., are concerned, they have nothing to do with copyrights; so that those things would not go into this bill.
Mr. Bloom. They have something to do with the same law, the constitutional privilege that is given copyright owners. Is it not the same Constitution that provides for one as the other?
Mr. BAKER. Yes, sir; but we could go back
Mr. BLOOM. If we have the right to do that to the copyright owners, why not to the broadcasters?
Mr. BAKER. Perhaps you have; and, again, I would prefer to have the argument taken up by our attorney.
Mr. Bloom. You are representing the broadcasters now. Would you say that the association that you say you represent would want this committee to fix the price on your patented articles in radio and broadcasting, and the amount that you charge for advertising and broadcasting, and everything else pertaining to broadcasting?
Mr. BAKER. If it is within the jurisdiction of the committee, we would like to see the bill.
Mr. Bloom. If it is within the jurisdiction of the committee to do it, and within the jurisdiction of Congress to do it, would you agree to that?
Mr. BAKER. To what—to your including in this bill, sir, the regulation of radio?