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by the U.S. Senate, February 16, 1911, has the effect Buenos Aires of authorizing the President to proclaim reciprocal convention relations with other countries which are parties to that treaty, as each ratifies the convention.

The new British measure specifies that "the author The new of a work shall be the first owner of the copyright,” British code except where an engraving, photograph, or portrait is ordered for valuable consideration or where work is done in the course of employment. The owner may assign the copyright in writing, “either wholly or partially, and either generally or subject to limitations to any particular country, and either for the whole term of the copyright or for any part thereof, and may grant any interest in the right by license"; in case of partial assignment, the original owner and the assignee become respectively the owners of the residual and assigned portions of the copyright. But any assignment, except by will, becomes null and void twenty-five years after the death of the author when the entire rights revert to his heirs.

In general the statutes of most of the copyright Foreign countries designate "authors" and their "assigns practice and heirs" as the persons who may obtain copyright. The Australian law of 1905 defines "author" to include“ the personal representatives of an author." In certain countries the laws specifically mention as persons who may secure copyright "joint authors,” "proprietors" in some countries and “publishers" in other countries of anonymous and pseudonymous, posthumous or unpublished works, periodicals and composite works, "corporate bodies," "translators," 'editors, compilers or adapters” and “persons who give a commission for a portrait or photograph."

VIII

DURATION OF COPYRIGHT: TERM AND RENEWAL

Historic precedent

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The duration of copyright was in the early printers'
privileges for a short term, as for seven years, except
in France, where copyrights were in perpetuity until
the act of the National Assembly; in modern times the
copyright term has been lengthened until a term ex-
tending through and beyond the life of the author has
been adopted by thirty-seven countries, or more than
half of those which have copyright laws, of which
four assure perpetual copyright. The Constitution
imposes only one limitation on the comprehensive
rights of authors, in the provision that protection
shall be "for limited times” only. This provision
has made the discussion of perpetual copyright purely
academic in this country. The new American code
adopts the double term of twenty-eight and twenty-
eight years, making fifty-six years in all, without
reference to the life of the author.

The American law previous to 1909 provided for a
uniform term of twenty-eight years, dating from the
time of recording the title, with a renewal of fourteen
years, securable only by the author, or, if he be dead
at the expiration of the term, by his widow or chil-
dren. No other heirs or persons could renew. The
new code differs in making the renewal period a sec-
ond twenty-eight years and extending the right of
renewal to the executors or next of kin and to the
proprietors of composite or other impersonal works;
but it still denies renewal to assignee proprietors of
personal works.

Previous American practice

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The American code of 1909 provides (sec. 23) Term in “that the copyright secured by this Act shall endure code of for twenty-eight years from the date of first publica. 1909 tion, whether the copyrighted work bears the author's true name or is published anonymously or under an assumed name," and makes provision also in the cases specified for renewal for a second period of twentyeight years, provided that renewal application is registered in the Copyright Office “within one year prior to the expiration of the original term of copy right."

The provisions as to renewal are in full as follows, Renewal (sec. 23): Provided, That in the case of any posthumous work or of any periodical, cyclopædic, or other composite work upon which the copyright was originally secured by the proprietor thereof, or of any work copyrighted by a corporate body (otherwise than as assignee or licensee of the individual author) or by an employer for whom such work is made for hire, the proprietor of such copyright shall be entitled to a renewal and extension of the copyright in such work for the further term of twenty-eight years when application for such renewal and extension shall have been made to the copyright office and duly registered therein within one year prior to the expiration of the original term of copyright: And provided further, That in the case of any other copyrighted work, including a contribution by an individual author to a periodical or to a cyclopædic or other composite work when such contribution has been separately registered, the author of such work, if still living, or the widow, widower or children of the author, if the author be not living, or if such author, widow, widower, or children be not living, then the author's executors, or in the absence of a will, his next of kin shall be entitled to a renewal and extension of the

copyright in such work for a further term of twentyeight years when application for such renewal and extension shall have been made to the copyright office and duly registered therein within one year prior to the expiration of the original term of copyright: And provided further, That in default of the registration of such application for renewal and extension, the copyright in any work shall determine at the expiration

of twenty-eight years from first publication." Extension of

The extension of copyrights subsisting July 1, 1909, subsisting is provided for as follows (sec. 24): “That the copycopyrights

right subsisting in any work at the time when this Act goes into effect may, at the expiration of the term provided for under existing law, be renewed and extended by the author of such work if still living, or the widow, widower, or children of the author, if the author be not living, or if such author, widow, widower, or children be not living, then by the author's executors, or in the absence of a will, his next of kin, for a further period such that the entire term shall be equal to that secured by this Act, including the renewal period: Provided, however, That if the work be a composite work upon which copyright was originally secured by the proprietor thereof, then such proprietor shall be entitled to the privilege of renewal and extension granted under this section: Provided, That application for such renewal and extension shall be made to the copyright office and duly registered therein within one year prior to the expiration of the

existing term." Assignee of In holding with the Attorney-General that an unpublished assignee cannot obtain renewal, Judge Brown in the manuscripts

U.S. Circuit Court in Rhode Island, in White Smith v. Goff, in 1910, raised but did not decide the “difficult" question whether, if an author sells his unpublished manuscript with right to publish and copy

renewals

right, the new owner as the original copyright proprietor may claim renewal, or whether the author might reclaim the right.

Under the provisions of the renewal clauses (sec. Extension of 24), not only may the original copyright term of a subsisting subsisting copyright be renewed for the longer term of twenty-eight years instead of fourteen years, but a subsisting copyright renewal may be extended from the added fourteen years to the full renewal term of twenty-eight years, and a separate application form for this latter class of cases is provided by the Copyright Office.

In the copyright conferences, it was pointed out Publishers' by publishers that the right of the author to re- equities newal, and the implied denial of that right to an assignee proprietor, placed at serious disadvantage a publisher who had made investment in plates of an author's works, and would be deprived of the use of his investment at the end of the original term in case the author preferred to make arrangements with another publisher for the renewal term. The Congressional Committee failed, however, to provide a remedy for this through the proposed Monroe-Smith amendment, requiring that in such case author and publisher should unite in the application for renewal. No contract on the part of an author can give a publisher the right to claim copyright renewal under the new code, although a contract to make claim for the renewal period and transfer the copyright for the renewal period to the publisher, might be enforced by the courts through a writ requiring the author to enter such claim and assign the renewed copyright in accordance with the contract. When a copyrighted work is sold “outright,” it therefore does not include renewal of the copyright, and unless the author registers his renewal claim, the right to renewal lapses.

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