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COMMITTEE ON PATENTS,
Friday, April 25, 1924. The committee met at 10 o'clock a. m., Hon. Florian Lampert (chairman) presiding.
Mr. LAMPERT. The committee will come to order. This hearing is called on H. R. 6250.
Mr. HAMMER. I move that the proponents of the measure be heard first.
Mr. Bloom. I second the motion.
(Upon request of Hon. Albert Johnson, a Representative in Congress from the State of Washington, which was considered and discussed off the record, Mr. Johnson was permitted to make the following statement before the committee proceeded with further consideration of H. R. 6250 :)
STATEMENT OF HON. ALBERT JOHNSON, A REPRESENTATIVE IN
CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF WASHINGTON
Mr. Johnson. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, I have paid some attention to the matter that is the meat of the several bills introduced and referred to this Committee on Patents. !! all know that it is a very important subject. I introduced a bill on the first day of this session of Congress and have reintroduced the bill, now known as H. R. 8734, which has been broadened and somewhat perfected as best I could with the aid of advisers and friends.
I would like to have H. R. 8734 printed in these hearings for the information of those who will study this matter.
(The bill referred to follows:)
[H. R. 8734, Sixty-eighth Congress, first session)
A BILL To amend section 1 of an act entitled "An act to amend and consolidate the
acts respecting copyright," approved March 4, 1909
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United. States of America in Congress assembled, That section 1 of the act entitled “An act to amend and consolidate the acts respecting copyright," approved March 4, 1909, be amended to read as follows:
“ SECTION 1. That any person entitled thereto, upon complying with the provisions of this act, shall have the exclusive right
“(a) To print, reprint, publish, copy, and vend the copyrighted work;
"(b) To translate the copyrighted work into other languages or dialects, or make any other version thereof, if it be a literary work; to dramatize it if it be a nondramatic work; to convert it into a novel or other nondramatic
work if it be a drama; to arrange or adapt it if it be a musical work; to complete, execute, and finish it if it be a model or design for a work of art;
"(c) To deliver or authorize the delivery of the copyrighted work in public for profit if it be a lecture, sermon, address, or similar production;
“(d) To perform or represent the copyrighted work publicly if it be a drama or, if it be a dramatic work and not reproduced in copies for sale, to vend any manuscript or any record whatsoever thereof; to make or to procure the making of any transcription or record thereof by or from which, in whole or in part, it may in any manner or by any method be exhibited, performed, represented, produced, or reproduced; and to exhibit, perform, represent, produce, or reproduce it in any manner or by any method whatsoever ;
“(e) To perform the copyrighted work publicly for profit if it be a musical composition; and for the purpose of public performance for profit, and for the purposes set forth in subsection (a) hereof, to make any arrangement for setting of it or of the melody of it in any system of notation or any form of record in which the thought of an author may be recorded and from which it may be read or reproduced : Provided, That the provisions of this act, so far as they secure copyright controlling the parts of instruments serving to reproduce mechanically the musical work, shall include only compositions published and copyrighted after this act goes into effect, and shall not include the works of a foreign author or composer unless the foreign State or nation of which such author or composer is a citizen or subject grants, either by treaty, convention, agreement, or law, to citizens of the United States similar rights: Provided further, That as a condition of extending the copyright control to such mechanical reproductions, that whenever the owner of a musical copyright has used or permitted or knowingly acquiesced in the use of the copyrighted work upon the parts of instruments serving to reproduce mechanically the musical work, any other person may make similar use of the copyrighted work upon the payment to the copyright proprietor of a royalty of 2 cents on each such part manufactured, to be paid by the manufacturer thereof, and the copyright proprietor may acquire, and if so the manufacturer shall furnish, a report under oath on the 20th day of each month on the number of parts of instruments manufactured during the previous month serving to reproduce mechanically said musical work, and royalties shall be due on the parts manufactured during any month upon the 20th of the next succeeding month. The payment of the royalty provided for by this section shall free the articles or devices for which such royalty has been paid from further contribution to the copyright: Provided further, That it shall be the duty of the copyright owner, if he uses the musical composition himself for the manufacture of parts of instruments serving to reproduce mechanically the musical work, or licenses others to do so, to file notice thereof, accompanied by a recording fee, in the copyright office, and any failure to file such not ce shall be a complete defense to any suit, action, or proceeding for any infringement of such copyright: And provided further, That when any author or composer or his or her administrator, executor, or assign shall publish or cause to be published for sale to the public copies of any copyrighted musical composition, the sale of any such copy shall free the same from further contribution by the holder thereof to the author or composer or his or her administrator, executor, or ass gn in case of public performance for profit.
“In case of the failure of such manufacturer to pay to the copyright proprietor within thirty days after demand, in writing, the full sum of royalties due at said rate at the date of such demand the court may award taxable costs to the. plaintiff and a reasonable counsel fee, and the court may, in its discretion, enter judgment therein for any sum in addition over the amount found to be due as royalty in accordance with the terms of this act, not exceeding three times such amount.
“ The reproduct on or rendition of a musical composition by or upon coinoperated machines shall not be deemed a public performance for profit." SEC. 2. That this act shall take effect immediately.
Mr. JOHNSON. I have a written statement here covering four pages of typewritten matter explaining this bill and the amendment. I think this statement will need to be studied by the committee rather than to be heard. With the committee's permission, I would like to insert this statement.
Mr. REID of Illinois. Does it bear on this bill?
Mr. JOHNSON. Yes.
Mr. JOHNSON. I shall be pleased, then, to go ahead. I am anxious to save time. It must be apparent to all that since the enactment of the act approved March 4, 1909, entitled “An act to amend and consolidate the acts respecting copyright,” conditions have arisen whereby the object and purpose of that law has been and is being subverted. To afford relief to the American public from this subversion of the intent of the law two amendments in the forms of bills have been proposed by me.
After introducing on December 5, 1923, H. R. 713, I discovered that the provisions of that bill would afford relief to only a small part of the public—that part using disks or records serving to reproduce music on mechanical devices in public places. Thereupon I introduced H. R. 8734, which is designed to afford complete relief to the entire American public, and it is this latter bill that I will ask the committee to consider.
The amendments proposed relate exclusively to subsection (e) of section 1 of the act approved March 4, 1909. The first section of that act confers upon any person who complies with the provisions of the act with reference to copyright the exclusive right
(a) To print, reprint, publish, copy, and vend the copyrighted work.
(e) To perform the copyrighted work publicly for profit if it be a musical composition and for the purpose of public performance for profit; and for the purposes set forth in subsection (a) hereof.
The above-quoted provisions of the law relate to sheet music, and it will be observed that the person, not necessarily the author or composer, who takes out the copyright is given the exclusive right, first, to print, reprint, publish, copy, and vend the copyrighted work," and, second, the further exclusive right to use it for public performance for profit.
In the case of disk or record music reproduced on a mechanical device the person, not necessarily the author or composer, who takes out the copyright is given an exclusive right under subsection (e) to the royalty to be paid by the manufacturer, and also the further exclusive right to control the use of the disk or record in any place of public performance for profit.
The rights thus conferred are statutory and retain in the copyright holder, who in many instances is the assignee of the composer, the exclusive control of sheet or record music after sale of the sheet or record to the public when played in places of public performance for profit. This, it is claimed, has produced a monopoly.
The object and purpose of the law as stated in the report of the committee (H. Rept. No. 2222, 60th Cong., 2d sess.) on H. R. 28192, which became the act of March 4, 1909, was to afford adequate protection to the “composer” and to at the same time afford adequate protection to the public.
The committee in its report (p. 7) with reference to subsection (e), which deals with musical compositions, says:
The main object to be desired in expanding copyright protection accorded to music has been to give to the composer an adequate return for the value of his composition, and it has been a serious and a difficult task to combine the protection of the composer with the protection of the public, and to so frame an act that it would accomplish the double purpose of securing to the com