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must insist upon what they had asked a year ago, namely, “control
country, ought, by their representatives to meet and try and settle among themselves all the objections they could, so that a bill might be introduced that would have as little opposition as possible, as a basis for the Committee hearings, and I have understood that practically all of the people here had conferences for months and months and months and this bill is the result of those conferences not in the interest of any particular person or interest, but as a basis upon which the committee could hold hearings, to try, if possible, and work out a revision of the copyright law.
Mr. BLOOM. I think that ought to be in the record.
Mr. SMITH. Mr. Chairman, I understand the situation exactly as you do, and, as I said before Mr. Bloom asked me the question, we think that is the practical way to have gone about it. We have not any criticism at all, but I do wish to explain why there are a great many interests who are in a pool on this bill, properly so, while there are one or two interests with what you might call a little private fight on the side. But we do not want you to think that, because there are a number of interests approving this bill, they necessarily take sides one way or the other or certainly oppose us on our ular proposition; because they do not. A great many of them have no interest in it whatsoever.,
Now, if I may just complete the picture of what took place in the summer and the winter in the conferences of which we were a part, I should like to do so. There were these conferences, public conferences, between all of the interests at the Bar Association rooms in New York, and the various interest got together on their own lems. Most of these conferences were between the Authors' League on one side and some faction which disagreed with them last year on the other side and, very happily and fortunately, apparently they have adjusted their differences, which is a good thing. I have no quarrel with that or anything else in connection with the making of this bill. But our difference was not with the Authors' League at least not directly and primarily; our difference was with the owners of musical copyrights and there was another organization representing them and, after one informal conference, they told us that they over my compositions or mechanicals without any restriction.” After that, there was nothing further to confer about.
About six weeks or two months ago the Authors' League came this conference. They very properly said, “We have waited long enough for your differences to be ironed out”; that they had a which they had written and which was shown to us, which they said “We are going to ask the chairman of the Patents Committee to introduce, which bill is a statement of our understanding of the settlements or near settlements we have been able to make based
upon Perkins bill."
Mr. Bowles. You spoke of the Authors' League; is that an organization separate from the Society of Authors, Composers, and Publishers?
Mr. Smith. Yes. You understand the Authors' League, although they are here to speak for themselves, has no connection with the American Society of Authors, Composers, and Publishers. They may have some members in both of them; I'do not know.
Mr. Bowles. What is the Playwriters?
Mr. Smith. It is the Authors' League, I think, has been directly behind this bill and has done a lot of work to get it before you. It is the American Society of Authors, Composers, and Publishers with which we have our difficulties. Let me repeat, then, that this question of mechanical licenses is the controversial question between the makers of phonograph records and music rolls on the one hand, represented in the Music Industries Chamber of Commerce, and the owners of copyrights on the other hand, represented by the Society of Authors, Composers, and Publishers.
Now I do not think I need to say what the mechanical license is. You know what it is. When the owner of a musical copyright elects to permit one mechanical company to use it on records or rolls, then any other company can use it on payment of a two-cent fee for each roll or record produced. That is in the law now and this bill proposes to change the law in that respect. We believe that the burden of proof is on them; we think it has been up to them to prove that there was no necessity for this mechanical provision in 1909; we thing it was up to them to prove that this provision has not accomplished the result sought for in 1909; we think it is up to them to prove that it can now be eliminated without serious consequence; we think it was up to them to prove that its elimination is in the interest of the public—because, after all, it is the public interest that is paramount.
They have talked, I might say, incidentally, it seems to me, entirely about their own interests and we maintain, while we are interested in our own business, naturally, that after all it is the public interest.
In this connection I want to read a paragraph from a sky-high author of one of their societies to show that they believe that, too. I have here a letter dated October 22, 1925, and, inasmuch as it is not mine, I do not want to put it into the record, but I can identify it on the letterhead of the American Society of Authors, Composers, and Publishers, signed by Mr. Mills, chairman of the administration committee, in which he says:
The popular conception of copyright as a patent right is that these monopolies are granted for the benefit of the writers and inventors. Such is not the case. A copyright is granted primarily and fundamentally for the benefit of the public.
That is what we believe. Now, they have not answered these questions which we think are the only issues. They have made their case almost entirely upon the sympathetic appeal. They have talked about mythical rights and their rights under the Constitution, which do not exist. They have asked to be delivered from the wolves and the pirates—I believe we have been characterized as wolves and pirates, although we have paid them, since the mechanical license was put in effect, millions, yes, tens of millions, of dollars, yet we have been accused of robbing the composers in spite of that fact. They have plead for the poor composer who does not get a return for his work. They have brought composers down here to plead with you; they have brought one composer down here, and, while I was not present, I understand that the burden of his plea was that you ought to relieve him of a situation whereby his royalties have declined to only $29,000 a year.
Mr. Bloom. That was not from the phonograph record.
Mr. Smith. The representative from the American Society of Authors, Composers, and Publishers who introduced him in that hearing on the radio bill said this and repeated the same statement in the hearings a week or two ago on this bill
Mr. Bloom. Yes.
Mr. Smith. That that particular composer had never got a cent out of the mechanical royalties.
Mr. BLOOM. Are you going to disprove that?
Mr. SMITH. No; but I am going to say this: Where did that money go if it did not go to him? I will tell you—it went to his publishers.
Mr. Bloom. Are you asking me or are you going to answer your own question ?
Mr. Smith. I am going to answer my own question.
Mr. Bloom. If you are going to answer your own question, go ahead, then.
Mr. SMITH. It went to the publishers of his copyrighted musical publications. Now, the inference was left with this committee that we did not pay anything for that. I do not know how much our industry paid for that particular composer's numbers, but we do know tắis
because I have looked into it-that one company paid the owner of that composer's compositions over $40,000.
Mr. BLOOM. But what was it for?
Mr. Smith. Yes; the Victor paid him. Now, they brought down another composer. I just want to show the type of argument they put in. They brought down another composer a year ago who presented—at least it reads that way from the record—a very pitiable sort of man whose name you all know, and, to read it in the testimony, it sounded like he got $160 from the mechanical companies. But they did not tell you that most of his successful songs were written prior to 1909. We can not be responsible for his financial condition as a result of that. And they did not tell you whether or not his financial condition is a lack of mechanical royalties.
Mr. Bloom. Did not Mr. Sousa say it was on account of the fact that phonograph records reduced the sale of his sheet music; that his royalties were reduced ?
Mr. SMITH. To $29,000.
Mr. Smith. I do not know; probably he did. I imagine that is the reason.
Mr. Bloom. May I ask you: Did you disagree with Mr. Mills in that statement about the property interest in the copyright!
Mr. SMITH. No, sir; not at all.
Mr. Bloom. You agree with him that the copyright law is made for the benefit of the public?
Mr. Smith. Yes, sir, absolutely. Now, another thing: They talk about robbing the composer, limiting it to two cents. They characterize it as a mere postage stamp. But they do not say anything to you about the thousands and thousands and thousands of dollars that the authors of those copyrights collect under that mere postagestamp rate.
Mr. Bloom. Oh, he said $60,000.
Mr. SMITH. Now our fight is not really with the composers; our fight is with the music publishers, because they own the musical compositions—the copyrights. Now, you do not see the publishers down here, they stay back in New York.
Mr. BLOOM. Oh, yes, they are; they are represented by Mr. Mills. Mr. Smith. I am talking about the individuals.
Mr. Bloom. Have you got the individuals here; is Mr. Johnson here?
Mr. Smith. Yes, sir; we will have the individuals here, the representatives of the companies.
Mr. BLOOM. Where are they?
Mr. SMITH. We will put them on in a few minutes, they are all here.
Mr. Bloom. Are they the proprietors?
Mr. Bloom. I do not know what you mean by “proprietors,” I know what I mean by "proprietors."
Mr. SMITH. There are a great many proprietors of the Victor Co.
Mr. BLOOM. We have had them here so often and it is not often we have had the publishers. They have been here for three weeks.
Mr. SMITH. The publishers?
Mr. Bloom. What is the use of his testifying? We have all the testimony. Mr. Mills has testified for the publishers.
Mr. SMITH. All right; I think the record will speak for itself on that anyway.
Mr. BLOOM. Yes; the record will speak for itself.
Mr. Smith. But, anyway, you do not hear much about the American Society; you hear a lot about the Society of American Authors, Composers, and Publishers; they feature the composers, but they do not say but very little about the publisher, who probably dominates the organization.
Mr. Bloom. Did not Mr. Mills say this morning in his speech here that he represented the Authors, Composers, and Publishers—the publishers' association ?
Mr. SMITH. Certainly he did.
Mr. Bloom. Well, then, he represented them.
Mr. Smith. Yes; but his talk is all about the composers. The publishers' society is practically entirely satisfied about the mechanical composition.
Mr. Bloom. Now, Mr. Smith, the publishers are members of the Authors, Composers, and Publishers' Society; they are in that. The people that own the copyright are in the Authors, Composers, and Publishers' Society, so that they are all in there. Besides that, there is another society called the Publishers' Society.
Mr. SMITH. Right.
Mr. Bloom. He represents them also; so that they are doubly represented.
Mr. Smith. The point I am making is that, in our opinion, the American Society of Authors, Composers, and Publishers is dominated by the music publisher members, and they talk about the composers, and the only man whose rights are being talked about is the composer. We maintain that the rights of the composer are minor compared with the rights of the music publishers, who are not brought out at this hearing at all.
Now, we have here representatives of all the big mechanical companies. Each one has been assigned a certain part of the argument. We want to go on as briefly and concisely as we can and, inasmuch as we may mix up more or less, we have assigned to our men to take up different parts of the argument. I want to introduce them all at once so that I won't have to introduce each speaker.
There is Mr. Arthur Garmaize, of the Columbia Phonograph Co.; Mr. George W. Case, jr., of the Brunswick-Balke-Collender Co.; Mr. Henry Lanham, of Thomas A. Edison (Inc.); Mr. John G. Paine, of the Victor Talking Machine Co.; and Mr. D. Beattys, of the Aeolian Co. The first representative of these companies whom I wish to speak to you is Mr. Beattys of the Aeolian Co. He will talk of the situation in 1909, how it was met, and the satisfaction with which those regulations have operated in the trade since then.
STATEMENT OF GEORGE D. BEATTYS, ON BEHALF OF THE
Mr. BEATTYS. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, I represent the Aeolian Co., who are makers of music rolls. While I speak also in the interest of phonograph records, as well as music rolls, I know more about music rolls, and shall devote myself more particularly to those. Now I have no brief to read. I am not going to discuss general principles, except incidentally; I am going to be as frank as I know how, to tell you why we need protection. I am going to try to show you why we believe the composers and publishers should not have the right to bargain; I am going to try to show why, if one concern has access to music, all should have it. I am going to try to show you that the rate should be uniform and fixed, and I am going to be frank and I am going to try to duck nothing.
I want just to make a few brief observations on fundamental rights. For instance, it has been referred to, this point, that the copyright monopoly is to promote the publisher interest. The copy