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bill which they intended immediately to take to Washington for its presentation to Congress, and that it embodied the result of as many conferences as they had been able to arrange and as many agreements as these conferences had brought forth. The Music Industries Chamber of Commerce, the Committee of Artists, Art Publishers and Art Dealers, the National Publishers Association, the American Hotel Association, and the National Association of Broadcasters stated that, as far as they were concerned, the bill did not represent conferences, or complete and satisfactory conferences, and that they reserved all their rights in connection therewith. The Authors' League announced that it felt that it was imperative for their interests that a bill should be introduced in this Congress, that its introduction would not prevent further adjustments, and that they themselves would be open-minded to do their part to make such adjustments possible.
It was then agreed that there should be sent down to the Committee on Patents of the House of Representatives a history of what had happened in the past 12 months. A subcommittee to draft such a statement was organized, this committee to bring in its statement at a meeting called for Monday, March 15, 1926, at the same time and place.
This statement constitutes the official report of the committee on copyright revision. The positions of the members comprising the committee will be presented in detail to the Committee on Patents in the usual manner at such hearings as may be held.
COMMITTEE ON COPYRIGHT REVISION,
F. A. SILCOX, Chairman. MARCH 23, 1926.
Mr. OSBORNE. There are three people, Mr. Chairman, that I want to put on, one after the other, if possible.
One of them is Gene Buck, who will talk from the standpoint of the Authors' League. Mr. Buck is president of the Composers? Society, but he is also a member of the council of the Authors' League and a member of the copyright committee of the Authors' League. And Mr. Buck will talk from the standpoint of the author.
After he is through, I want to put on Mr. Carl W. Kirchway, who is the counsel for the Hearst interests--newspapers, magazines, books, and motion pictures.
And after him I want to put on Mr. Seligman, of the firm of Sullivan & Cromwell, representing the National Association of Book Publishers,
And I would like to reserve the right to put on, at a future time, Mr. Joseph Bickerton, who represents the Producing Managers Association, the theatrical interests in New York, and who will support this bill.
Now, I will introduce Mr. Buck.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Osborne, I want to say this to the members of the committee. I had forgotten it; but I am just reminded that I promised two or three gentlemen who are here from a distance, who are opposed to certain provisions of this bill, that they might be heard this morning at 10 o'clock; and if it will not interfere too much with Mr. Buck and the other gentlemen, we will hear those gentlemen at this time.
Mr. OSBORNE. Very well.
Mr. OSBORNE. I think that will undoubtedly leave time for Mr. Kirchwey and Mr. Seligman, who come from New York, to speak sometime to-day.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Raney, I wish you would make your talk just as brief as you can.
I do not want to limit you as to any important things that you want to say; but I wish you would go on
to that portion of the bill that you are opposed to; or if you are opposed to all of it, I wish you would discuss it as briefly as you can, so that we can get through just as quickly as possible. Please state for the record your name and whom you represent.
STATEMENT OF M. L. RANEY, REPRESENTING AMERICAN
Mr. RANEY. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen, the gentlemen with whom I have the honor of being associated at this morning's hearing wished me to express their views to you, if that is agreeable to the committee, so that they may get out of town. They are the spokesmen of organized education, art, science, and scholarship in the country, and they left executive offices, class rooms, and laboratories to be here.
It is the agreement of the group, since we find much in common, that I shall make just a single extended statement and they will follow along more to tell you what their organizations stand for than to make an actual discussion of their views.
In view of the fact that I understand from you that the Register of Copyrights will be heard in due season with reference to the present measure, in comparison with H. R. 5841, I can be still more brief than I would otherwise, and I shall proceed at once to that particular section of the measure-namely, sections 30 and 31, that this group of gentlemen in our organization are chiefly interested in.
However, I do want to say this, that is not likely to be said by the register: That is, that the measure which was introduced by Mr. Perkins last year, and has been sometimes referred to as the “Librarians' bill," has no official connection with us whatsoever. It was a measure drawn on request of a variety of interests-ours included-and none of us, I think, made a single suggestion as to what should in that measure; and I think it is true that none of us saw a single line of it until it appeared in print as a bill.
We considered it an honor to fall in behind what we regard as about the best copyright measure that has ever been presented to Congress; and our opinion regarding that measure has not materially changed as a result of studies during the recent months.
Both these measures are without question momentous measures; and they have in common the great purpose, which we seem at last to have a chance to accomplish, of getting us into the International Copyright Union. All of our group heartily second that main purpose.
In general, I think that the arrangement of the Solberg measure (H. R. 5841) is a superior measure for consultation purposes. The chapters follow in natural order of sequence. When a thing has been said, it is said for all; it is not returned to. You can easily follow your chapters one after the other; and it would certainly be a measure very easily consultable in the future.
Again, I think, putting the two measures into parallel columns, as I have done, that where you find divergences of principle, the register is far more apt to be right, no matter what may be the practical necessities of the case, than the other measure is.
When they come to saying the same thing, I think the honors are about even.
Sometimes the later measure has the advantage, and sometimes the earlier.
In general, I think we would agree that, which ever can say the same thing the briefest way should be the one that should be the author of that particular statement in the ultimate bill.
So that I think it would be a capital thing for you to do the same thing I have done-and even to have the Copyright Office prepare (as was done in the case of the bill in 1909) these rival measures in parallel columns, so that you can see how they say the same things, which things are common and what they do not have in common.
I find, for example, in these parallel columns, that there are no less than 15 sections in H. R. 5841 that are dropped out entirely in H. R. 10434.
I think you might want to know what those numbers are. It would certainly be worth the committee's time to examine those sections seriatim.
I will not do it this morning; but the numbers themselves are highly interesting. Read, then, by themselves, in sequence, the following sections of H. R. 5841 which have been omitted entirely in H. R. 10434: Sections 5, 6, 7, 8, 13, 22, 23, 25, 34, 35, 36, 38, 71, and 72.
This initial group that begins with three and concludes with eight will be highly interesting, for in these first eight numbers, Mr. Solberg has answered the question which he has put at the head of his measure: “Who may secure copyright as first owner of the work ?"
Of course, it is the author. But that is not a simple question, who the author is, in many difficult cases. He answers in a clear, logical fashion, and under eight different headings in those first sections, who the author is, under a variety of circumstances.
That question, you see, fails of answer in more than half the cases in the other measure. The authorship, in other words, is not so clearly defined in the second measure as in the first.
Without going into details, there is another omission, in addition to that group, of a partial section that I think you may be interested in. Compare the Perkins bill, Sec. 12–1 with the Vestal bill, Sec. 1-i. The earlier bill (H. R. 5841) concludes with this provisothat is the section that deals with the public performance of musical compositions:
Provided, however, That nothing in this act shall be construed to prohibit the performance of copyright musical works by churches or public schools, provided the performance is given for charitable, or educational, or religious purposes, unless a fee is charged for admission to the place where the music is so used.
That is omitted entirely from the other bill. If that were widely known, it would awaken a great deal of criticism, for the result would be, apparently, that a church choir could not give copyright music, after having bought the copy at the music store, without having traced down the owner of the copyright and gotten his consent.
Mr. Bloom. Well, is that performance given for profit! The church choir does not sing for profit, does it?
Mr. RANEY. It is not given for profit.
Mr. Bloom. Well, what objection is there, then? Have you ever known of anyone having charged for that? Mr. RANEY. Well, that exception is not in the new measure.
It ought to be. They ought to be excused from the necessity of paying for the performance of copyright music, whether in church or in school, where there is no admission fee charged.
You will find, in running down through these sections in general, that there is a loosening up, in the later measure, of control. For example, upon the newspaper in engaging an author for hire.
You will find likewise that there is a loosening of control in the motion picture sections.
The infringement and assignment sections have been largely expanded.
Without going into this comparison in detail, as the register will doubtless do so in his statement, let me, with this general hint, proceed to a little detailed discussion of sections 30 and 31, which control the moot question of importations.
It was said yesterday that by the act of 1891, the library secured a privilege not posessed before-improperly so—and that it should be discontinued. That has been quite effectively covered by the register of copyrights, in his testimony before the committee at the hearing of January 22, 1925, on page 24, where he said:
Prior to 1921 our copyright laws contained no provisions for the free importation, except in the case of pirated copies. The prohibition of importation of unauthorized copies is essentially a copyright protection, and the bill so provides, and that such illegal importation shall be deemed to infringe the copyright.
When the requirement of manufacture in the United States was inserted in the act of March 3, 1891, it was provided, in order to give force and full effect to such compulsory remanufacture, that the importation into the United States of any books, chromo, lithograph, or photograph so copyrighted, or any edition or editions thereof, or any plates of the same not made from type set, negatives, or drawings on stone made within the limits of the United States, shall be, and it is hereby, prohibited.
The articles enumerated in sections 512 to 516, inclusive, of the free list of the tariff act of 1890 were made exceptions to this inclusive prohibition of importation.
In 1909 the compulsory manufacturing provisions were reenacted. But the prohibition of importation of copies of the authorized original edition was confined to books. The original proposals for such prohibition met with strong opposition, and modifications were finally incorporated permitting the importation for individuals and libraries, etc., of one copy for use and not for sale.
In the present bill all these restrictions on the importation of copies of the authorized edition of the foreign author's book are eliminated. The prohibitive provisions are corallary to the requirement of American manufacture, and when that is abrogated, logically there restrictions should also be abrogated.
From 1790, therefore, until 1891, you will recall that we did not grant copyrights to anybody except a resident in the United States not a citizen only, but a resident of the United States.
That meant that any foreign issue of a work originally printed here was a piratical edition, and there was a general prohibition, therefore, against these copies coming in.
Now, if that section were to stand just as it was in the act of 1790, with the abrogation of the requirement of residence, but still with the requirement of manufacture here, there was the possibility that the same prohibition that heretofore operated against reprinting of
American works abroad might be counted as holding against the importation of the original which was now here going to be reprinted. That was regarded as being a hardship, for during all the time from 1790 to 1891 we, as individuals, as institutions, and as trades, had had the unlimited right to import the original. There had never been any time when there was anything in the way of securing the original. Now, here was why that original might be not securable if the antiimportation section was not changed : When the McKinley Tariff Act was passed in 1890, books were to come into this country for institutions without paying a duty; and it was seen that it would be canceling that privilege or importation free if, under the copyright law, they should be prohibited from coming in at all. Therefore, that free list was included in this copyright measure. Whatever in the tariff act of the preceding year had been allowed to come in freely to institutions without duty was, under the copyright act, allowed to come in without let to institutions of learning and to individuals for use and not for sale. We still kept the requirement which will be a prohibition against importation of the original reprinted here for sale purposes; the trade could not stock up from abroad, but education was given its usual privilege, as well as the individual, of importing for use and not for sale.
That was kept going in the same fashion in the act of 1909, except that, as you will recall, the change made in that act in this particular was that the requirement for manufacture as incident to copyright was abrogated, so far as works in languages other than English were concerned.
Now, there is much of interest in the English situation, of course. What this, a parallel country, with a language like our own, does in this particular is of importance to you; and I think it is worth while to get that very clearly in mind what the English enactment is, and what the practice under it is, and what the history of that enactment has been.
Here is what the English law for 1911 actually says: 2. (2) Copyright in a work shall also be deemed to be infringed by any person whom
(d) imports for sale or hire into any part of His Majesty's dominions to which this act extends any work which to his knowledge infringes copyright or would infringe copyright if it had been made within the part of His Majesty's dominions
into which the
importation took place.
Under the heading of “Summary remedies," 11 (1) (e), the same act provides:
If any person knowingly imports for sale or hire into the United Kingdom any infringing copy of any such work, he shall be guilty of an offense under this act.
In the same act, in section 14 (1), we read the following under the heading of “Importation of copies”:
Copies made out of the United Kingdom of any work in which copyright subsists which if made in the United Kingdom would infringe copyright, and as to which the owner of the copyright gives notice in writing by himself or his agent to the commissioners of customs and excise, that he is desirous that such copies should not be imported into the United Kingdom, shall not be so imported.