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The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Scott, as I understand it, your contention is that you produce a book, for instance; as the author of that book you want to have the right to sell to the motion-picture people, for instance, motion-picture rights in that book and give to thein a clear title to those rights?
Mr. Scotr. Yes.
The CHAIRMAN. And then, if you desire to sell some other rights in the book to somebody else, that you can give those people the same legal right to that particular thing?
Mr. SCOTT. Yes.
The CHAIRMAN. And you think that you do not have that now under the law?
Mr. Scott. We do not have a clear title to all of those things under the present law, and we can not give you a clear title.
The CHAIRMAN. I see.
Mr. Bloom. You do not mean to say that you do not have a clear title to those now?
Mr. Scott. I can not convey it; that is what I should say.
Mr. Bloom. In other words, if you should take a book or you write a play or a story, and you take it to the Saturday Evening Post, if they publish that they copyright that for you, don't they? Putnam Bros. copyright under their own name, don't they?
Mr. SCOTT. Yes.
Mr. Bloom. Now, if you want to sell the moving-picture rights of that, Mr. Putnam has to transfer the right back to you so as to sell it to some one else, doesn't he—the copyright?
Mr. SCOTT. As the thing works out, we do not know-I am frank to say that I do not know the value of certain things that we do. I sell the magazine rights of certain material to a magazine.
Mr. Bloom. He copyrights it?
Mír. Bloom. It holds good. They have either got to assign that copyright back to you, or they have got to assign the right to the moving-picture people. Isn't that the fact?
Mr. Scott. What we are doing in practice—now, Mr. Bloom, I am trying to tell you what we do in practice.
Mr. Bloom. I think that some other witnesses, then, will give us information. I do not believe there is any question about the divisible copyright, Mr. Scott.
The CHAIRMAN. Just as a humble illustration, let me see if I can not get it for you. Take the illustration that Mr. Irwin used about the shoes—you want to have the same right as the man who manufactured a pair of shoes. He could sell the string to one man and the soles to another man, and the top to another man, and the rubber heels to another man, and they would have a title in the parts that they bought.
Mr. Scott. Those are the things we wish, and we are not at all certain that we have a property right to those things.
The CHAIRMAN. I expect we understand the point that is made.
STATEMENT OF HON. WILLIAM N. VAILE, A REPRESENTATIVE IN
CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF COLORADO
Mr. Bloom. Representative Vaile would like to make a statement.
The CHAIRMAN. Congressman Vaile, do you have a statement to make?
Mr. VAILE. Mr. Chairman, I am strongly in favor of this bill. I came in here for instruction rather than to make a statement, but during this discussion I think very slight experience of my own might possibly help to clear up the point the committee has been working on for the last few minutes.
Mr. BLOOM. You are an author?
Mr. VAILE. I think the point that Mr. Scott brought out in colloquy with Mr. Bloom, that the author has a divisible right, is perfectly true, but he has not you might say an abstract of title to that right, he has not a deed to it. Now, if I can presume from my own experience, which, after all, is all I have to go on, to give you two examples, I will be glad to do so.
The practice, I believe, among publishers, varies as to whether the story will be copyrighted in the author's name or in the name of the magazine. I had a story published some time ago in a magazine, in a case where the publisher sent advance copies of the magazine to me, and there appeared under the story the copyright line,
Copyrighted, 1925, by William N. Vaile.” In that case it was copyrighted in my name, but the whole contents of the magazine were also copyrighted in the publisher's name.
Later I had a case of this divisible proposition and sold a storya novel-selling only the first serial rights. That story as published in the magazine was copyrighted in the name of the publisher, but my contract reserved the book right, second serial rights, and motion-picture rights.
It has occurred to me to wonder how I could later dispose of these other rights. I did, as a matter of fact, dispose of the book rights, but to the same publisher, so the question did not arise as to what I would do if I had sold them to any other publisher. It seems to me that some system should be worked out so that the author can be protected in this bill in the rights arising from the product of his labor.
There is still another matter. Mr. Wefald said that this book of Mr. Wells's was fiction. I think that is rather an unfortunate word, because it is going to have some sinister meaning, but he suggested that perhaps that was fiction. Let me suggest that fiction may be the truest thing in the world. It may be as true as a map; it may be as true as a legal description in a deed. It is true, because it presents a true picture of a number of things, or of a particular thing. It presents the picture as it occurs to the mind of the writer, and if the writer is accurate in his observations the picture as it will appear in the mind of the reader will be true; just as a painted picture, if you please, gentlemen, may be even truer than a photograph, because a photograph, with its mathematically accurate depictions of details, does not perhaps actually give the appearance of that thing as it appears to the eye. To the eye it may be more vague than it would be in the photograph, and the artist whose eye gets that real appearance, is able to convey it to the one who sees the picture afterwards.
Mr. WEFALD. May I interject just there to say that to my mind fiction in its best sense is an artistic presentation of the truth? Isn't it?
Mr. VAILE. I think só; decidedly.
Mr. VAILE. I could doubtless cite many, many other instances, great works of what you call propaganda were fiction in the sense that they were effective. Take Uncle Tom's Cabin; I do not suppose there was any greater work of propaganda than that. It was a picture of conditions as they were or as they might be. Take some of the works of Thomas Hardy, Very Hard Cash, which was confessedly written as propaganda against the system of insane asylums in vogue in England, and I think another one is, Put Yourself in His Place.
Mr. LANHAM. Oliver Twist.
Mr. VAILE. Oliver Twist is another. You can cite offhand a number of them, none the less true because they were fiction creations, all the more true because the author's soul went into them and found the thing that he wanted to show.
Mr. PERKINS. Mr. Bloom suggests that you take some of the speeches made in Congress as illustrations.
Mr. VAILE. Sometimes those are not a true picture.
Mr. WEFALD. Propaganda, of course, does not really enter into copyright.
Mr. Bloom. From the letters we have been receiving it certainly enters into it.
Mr. OSBORNE. Mr. Chairman, I wish you would permit me at this time to clear up a matter on which I have been misconstrued in answer to a question of Mr. Bloom, and in my statement I did not intend to state that any principle at stake or at issue in connection with this bill was an unimportant principle. I stated that the issues here would be between the publishers and the librarians, and between the radio and the allied interests, and on small rights. I did not for one instant intend to convey the idea that the matter, that the principle governing either of those was a small matter.
Now, in order that the Authors' League can put itself squarely on this subject, the Authors' League stands here with the publishers on the librarian question, as outlined by Mr. George Haven Putnam. We have taken that stand after due deliberation. We stand here with the American Composers' Society, or the Society of Composers, on the principle that there shall be no compulsory price fixing, no compulsory license. The authors have a very definite interest in that. If that principle is extended, it can be extended to the motionpicture people, to the publishers, to all purchasers of creative material, with the result that if you are going to fix a price, and a low price, on the creation of every genius, then you have no creative geniuses with any incentive, and you will have no literature of any kind.
I want to make that clear, that I do not consider the principle a small principle, but that the rights involved in that controversy are what we call small rights.
STATEMENT OF FREDERICK G. MELCHER
Mr. MELCHER. My name is Frederick G. Melcher, and I represent the R. R. Bowker Co., and I am serving on the copyright committee of the bureau of copyright of the Publishers' Association.
The word "publisher," of course, includes other fields—the newspapers and periodicals. I am speaking for the book publishers. Major Putnam has developed one side of book publishing, and I am sure you want to know that other group, which, like subscription associations, are separate. I would like to introduce this afternoon the reason for the large number of book publishers here who believe that by their presence and by the character and the well-known place of their industry that they can give evidence of genuine interest in this matter; that they believe in a progressive copyright measure and believe that publishing both here and abroad is developing in a way that our industry is now in need of the constructive law embodied in this bill. The parties that have come down from this group are as follows:
Mr. John Macrae, president E. P. Dutton & Co. and president of the National Association of Book Publishers.
Mr. J. W. Hiltman, president D. Appleton & Co.
These gentlemen are all present in the room and are interested in this legislation and are in favor of the Vestal bill.
The CHAIRMAN. The committee will recess until 2 o'clock. (Whereupon, at 12.30 p. m., a recess was taken until 2 o'clock m.)
The committee reconvened, pursuant to the taking of the recess, Hon. Albert H. Vestal (chairman) presiding.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Osborne, who is you next witness?
Mr. OSBORNE. Mr. Chairman, Mrs. Inez Hayes Haines Irwin, who is the wife of Will Irwin, who spoke here a few minutes ago, is an author of note here in America, and is known particularly for her stories called the "Phoebe and Ernest” stories, which appeared in the American Magazine for years and which are known to every household in America. Mrs. Irwin is the president of one of the guilds of authors, of the Authors' League of America, and she is a member of the council. She is as familiar with authorship and authors' rights as is her husband. There is another phase of this bill which is very important, and I ask leave to introduce Mrs. Irwin upon that subject.
STATEMENT OF MRS. INEZ HAYES HAINES IRWIN, PRESIDENT
OF THE AUTHORS GUILD OF AMERICA
Mrs. IRWIN. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, I am going to speak for a very brief time about authorship and the radio. I think you must have gathered, long before this, from all the evidence that has been presented to you, that the trade or the profession or the art of the author is very much like every other trade or profession or art in one thing, in that there are always coming along new and unforeseen inventions which result in a period of great confusion, mainly financial, and ultimately come to some equitable settlement.
There have been many technical phases in the business of authorship. Mr. Scott told you about some of them this morning; but, if you will pardon me, I will recapitulate a little.
Of course, at first, all manuscripts were hand written. Then came the stupendous invention that changed the entire world, the invention of printing. There had to be the adjustment between the handwritten manuscript and the printed manuscript. Books began to flood throughout the world. Presently magazines came into existence and authors were confronted with the proposition of serializing their works and making arrangements equitable to both the author and publisher.
Presently, after the magazine had gotten under way, there came the question in the newspapers of second-serial rights; that is, the selling to newspapers of our serialized fiction or our short stories which had some years before, perhaps, run down in the magazine, finished, and were now ready for a further audience. All this time, too, there was a matter of the dramatized novel, the dramatized short story, making a new relation with the stage. There came up all that time, too, the question of foreign rights. And, perhaps, the thing that most affected us after the invention of printing, as far as real invention goes, was the invention of the moving picture. You have all heard of the confusion that ensued between author and moving-picture producer at that period.
Mr. Osborne has happened to refer to some stories I wrote some years ago and, although I did not happen to mean to mention those,