« iepriekšējāTurpināt »
he has had to retire to a modest place, which is not nearly big enough for him, just on that account. That was before the 1909 law. Could he have brought suits for plagiarism and gotten the first few of them off of the market, he could have been saved. Now, we can do that with the present law, but we need more than that. That was a general thing; we need something to protect the artist from continual imitations. It is really a business; they watch everything that comes out and is a success. Maxfield Parrish's work is being imitated off of the market. The publishers have put an enormous amount in it; they have paid Maxfield Parrish well. They think very highly, indeed, of him and consider him one of the best things ever created, and they pay him well; but it is simply going to stop the sale of his work if he can not stop some of the imitations they are making. This will give him an opportunity to live. I am using this as a test case; this is Maxfield Parrish's big picture of Daybreak, as you all know; you have probably seen it in the art stores [exhibiting]. Now, as you see, that is a beautiful picture. This is reproduced by an expensive process, an offset process on aluminum plates. It is expensive, requires effort on the part of the engravers and publishers. No artist can do that sort of work without years of creative effort and every artist who does that sort of work must have long effort, long training, and expend a great deal of effort, before he can produce it.
Now, here is one of the imitations [exhibiting]. They paid $25,000 at least for the original. For this imitation they probably paid $250 and kicked probably at the high price. Now, you know if two books were brought out and they were so similar, you would say that was an imitation.
Now, here is one of the worst atrocities sprung on the public [exhibiting). This is sold as an imitation of Maxfield Parrish's Daybreak, plainly and frankly. The publishers have told me it
. was coming out.
The CHAIRMÅN. Do I understand the picture on the right is the original ?
Miss HUNT. That is the original.
Miss Hunt. Oh, no; it is a reproduction of the original. I mean it is the original copyright by Maxfield Parrish. The original painting, of course, is a very large painting. This is a reproduction by the offset process. They use about 15 to 20 aluminum plates for a thing like that. It is an expensive reproduction and fine in every way. That takes a great deal of effort. This is almost a fair reproduction [exhibiting]; it is not so cheap. They have taken the idea of a robin or something from another picture, published by the same firm, or rather imitated by the same firm. In other words, they took two good sellers Maxfield Parrish had gotten out and combined them, and there is the result. Suppose you had done that picture there [indicating], and found the other one coming out against you and, according to the present copyright law, that could not be gotten off of the market?
Here is the worst atrocity [exhibiting] they sprung on Maxfield Parrish. That is a cheap thing. I do not know how much the artist got, but he was well paid if he got $100 for that, and that is a very cheap printing. But that was sold as an imitation of Maxfield Parrish and the retail dealers were hired to carry it by being given a very much larger percentage than we can afford. They give a good percentage, 40 per cent and 40 per cent. Mr. BLOOM. Is that an exact reproduction? Miss Hunt. This is what we call a reproduction (indicating]. Mr. BLOOM. Was the original just like that? Miss HUNT. No; this was a reproduction. Mr. OSBORNE. This is an authorized copy?
Miss Hunt. This is an authorized copy [indicating]; the others are not.
I want to show you what they are doing to Maxfield Parrish.
Mr. GOODWIN. Is this intended to be a reproduction or an imitation?
Miss HUNT. This is an imitation of that, too, but this has some points taken from other pictures of Maxfield Parrish; that is a steal to get the thing as much like Maxfield Parrish as possible.
Mr. BLOOM. That is what you would call a colorable imitation?
Miss Hunt. That is a colorable imitation; it is sold as an imitation. That is a colorable imitation; it is something between a colorable imitation and an infringement. But these are all sold as imitations of Maxfield Parrish. There is the advertisement that that bold and happy publisher gets out [indicating]. Now, that, at a distance, looks exactly like the advertisement of the one of Maxfield Parrish.
Here are some other things. I bluffed that off of the market, but the dealers who had stocked up with it and were carrying it, I could not bluff them and I did not have any money and, as I told the lawyer, you can not get money out of a person who has not got it, so why bring damage suits?” That is what they did to me. I could not bring suit after that was all over the country, and Joe Salona has no money whatever. That is the one they put on the market without a name, without anything by which I could identify it. I had a good detective going around and trying to locate it; it was all concealed. That is an imitation of Esther Hunt's heads. The Esther Hunt head sells for $20 at good dealers. You can get one of these imitations for from $2.50 to $6--whatever they can get out of the customer, and they won't know the difference. It is an imitation of the Esther Hunt head. I told them I was going to bring a suit and they said, “ Just as you like; we are in no danger; we will take the blame.” Of course, as they were not in sight, they could not take the blame, and when I found out about it, it was too late to sue, and this Joe Salona has absolutely nothing. If you have ever sued an Italian in the statuary business, you will know their assets are transferable over to some one over night. If we had had the law I am asking for, I could have gotten all those off of the market pretty quick, because, just as under the English law, I could have traced it to the dealers and said,“ You are responsible; it does not make any difference whether I catch this unknown infringer or not; you do not need to tell me who he is; I can sue you," and not a single dealer would have carried that.
Mr. LANHAM. In what respect does this bill fail to give you relief which you think is adequate, and, if it does not give it, what amendment do you suggest to cure the defects ?
Miss Hunt. We are suggesting you put these amendments in and we are going to discuss them.
Mr. LANHAM. I say, what are the amendments?
Miss HUNT. This is what we want put in to relieve our situation. I am going to read you a letter from a San Francisco artist who has suffered particularly, only one of manw artists all over the country who rae suffering, especially the artist who sells through the art dealers and those who sell in the galleries. This is what we want; however, it is open to improvement in phraseology. We are going to consult with the Authors League and Mr. Wile, the motion-picture attorney, to change the wording, if necessary.
Mr. LANHAM. Where in the bill does this come?
Miss Hunt. Section 16, page 14. We want that changed. As it is it hampers us. If you had left out all that and said $10 for every infringement it would have been better.
Mr. LANHAM. What part of it do you want changed? Indicate the line.
Miss HUNT. Section 16, page 14, we want it changed to this language.
Mr. LANHAM. I say, indicate it by the page and line.
That should be drawing also, I think$10 for every infringing copy or colorable imitation, and in the case of a reproduction of a work of art, $1 for every infringing copy or colorable imitation made or sold by or found in the possession of any person, firm, or corporation.
The copyright proprietor shall have the power to proceed jointly or severally against any person, firm or corporation producing, selling, exhibiting, or publishing such infringing copies or colorable imitations.
But these provisions shall apply to specific material reproductions only and shall not limit the right of the coypright proprietor to bring any suit for infringement or plagiarism under the general provisions of this act.
I think we will have to change that last line, because plagiarism is not necessary to get into the law. Now this right to sue jointly or severally any one producing, selling, exhibiting, or publishing such infringing copies or colorable imitations, is mostly taken from the English law. It is not taken verbatim, but that is the protection they have. That makes all the difference in the world in the art business. We can not do it with the present law; we simply can not; we have tried. It sounds that way, but it does not work that way. It does not even sound that way to me, but some people say it means it.
Mr. LANHAM. Can not a dealer be imposed upon and be entirely innocent ?
Miss Hunt. Not in the art business; because in the art business we must begin with the retail end. The art business is run the other way; it is a little bit Chinese that way, in that it is run backwards. The person who does it may never be heard of in the art business, as he can easily conceal his name, and he can vanish off of the earth. But the retail dealer is the first man and after him the wholesale dealer, in the art business, almost on all art things, except paintings. In the art business, it is all the wholesale dealer and the retailer, and if you make the retail dealer be responsible, he can make the wholesale dealer responsible. This is what is done in England.
Now, the men in the art business claim there is no such thing as an innocent infringement in the art business; they have never known of an innocent infringement. However, there is an innocent infringement clause in this bill, which protects them in case they are innocent. They can be very easily protected. Also, according to this bill, if they cease to put out these—we can only bring the suits if they continue the infringement after receiving notice by registered mail, or the attorney's notice, or in any other way; so that they are protected by this, and the law works wonders for the art business in England. It simply means that the artist is protected there, and here they simply are not.
I think it is best to get something practical. I am going to read you a letter from an artist who has suffered praticularly, Miss Maxine Albro, a very talented artist in San Francisco. She says:
DEAR Miss Hunt: I sincerely hope that the Vestal copyright bill will be successful in securing a section which will protect the artists against having near imitations of their work put upon the market without the dealer being directly responsible. I understand that in England there is such a law. Why should there not be one here in this country?
As it is now every work of art that is popular, sooner or later, is copied and imitated by impingers who make near imitations of it or who conceal their identity when the infringement is too close and they feel doubtful as to the outcome of a lawsuit. In San Francisco, the artists have had a hard fight.
We have been fighting that out there for the last seven years, fighting furiously until the whole art business is like a can of gasoline with a match being held under it, almost. Continuing, she says:
The market is over run with near imitations since the dealers feel fairly safe in not being held responsible. As a consequence, the good works of art drop off the market on account of larger expense of production and, too, the public loses its desire for a beautiful object when it has been cheapened by copies.
That is, of course, one of the great points of the art business, particularly.' When you are appealing to the public and taking your risk and publishing pictures, you lose the normal life of that picture on the market to have it run off by degrading imitations. You simply lose your investment. My income from my small busts, the Esther Hunt heads--they have been very well known in the West; these, of course, are artist's figures; we only deal in small sums compared to the authors, etc.--I received for that from the dealers $10,000 per year. Because of these infringements, they have dropped to $1,500 a year. If I get that, I am lucky, and that at the end of two and a half years. Miss Albro continues :
I, for one, have suffered large losses in this way and I am only one among many. To state, as an example, my own particular case: I placed upon the market a few years ago a little painted plaster figure of a Dutch girl. She was popular.
By the way, Miss Albro's work is of a very high artistic quality, as well as being charming.
People loved her for an ornament and she sold well until copied in a most inferior way by Mrs. Sherer, of Palo Alto, and sold for half my whole. sale price. The only change Mrs. Sherer made was to make her walk toward the right instead of the left, also digging a hole in the Dutch girl's bundle large enough to hold matches or toothpicks.
To make it useful, as it were. This designer she mentions is one that exists almost entirely to copy other artist's work; because, it would cost them a great deal to hire a good designer.
Later, after my attorney convinced Mrs. Sherer she must remove her imitation from the market (but it afterwards appeared in many shops reproduced and sold for a low price by parties we could not locate and as the dealers were not responsible directly nothing could be done about it. Mrs. Sherer could not get it off the market, nor could it).
Somebody had taken one of her copies and distributed it all over San Francisco. Miss Albro's figure sold at $12.50. These miserable little inferior things which, at a distance, looked just the same and, of course, were cast from Miss Albro's, sold for $6.
The Italian Art Co. of San Francisco took my figure with no changes at all, cut her in half and made a powder box of her.
That is another company.
I have now stopped manufacturing this little figurine for the same reasons I stated above.
The Imporium in San Francisco is a large and important store and yet owing to present laws they resort to such methods by encouraging the imitators and handling their productions.
They have a great department handling these imitations. I have had the pleasure of seeing my work handled there and we can not do anything with them. They look up the law.
Their art department is stocked with white, unpainted plaster casts of all these imitations (the powder box included), which they sell for about $1.50 and give lessons in painting them.
This bill should be passed so that the artist can feel assured of being able to earn a living. With every wish for its success, I am sincerely,
1228 Capuchino Avenue, Burlingame, Calif. Miss Albro had to give up. She had put on the market, besides this Dutch girl, a dozen beautiful statues. She was making a good living out of them on the side and working at her other work. She is going to be an awfully well-known sculptor before long. She has also been run off the market on account of all this, she had all that money taken away from her and the dealers would not take her work. They said "Why advertise and push your work, when just around the corner they have an imitation that is selling for half?” In England, they could not have done that. I looked into that in 1922; I went around to the good shops and noticed the statues, pictures, etc., and then went to the cheaper shops to see if it was being done, and it was not. The Italian casters over here are copying everything that comes out; they live on it here. Now our difficulty is not that there is any interest that opposes ours; it is simply that the Authors League and one or two others are worried for fear our definition of infringement, such as the English have, would do damage if fitted into our law. I do not believe it will. I believe we have brains enough to arrange that; I am sure these are parties who are discussing it who have brains enough, and there are attorneys enough to arrange that. It does not do any damage in England to the rest of the law; it certainly does not do any damage to the authors there to have the artists protected. We ought to be able to arrange it.