Lapas attēli

negative or the original plate. Existing copyrights are extended through the new period; but for the extended term the rights revert to the author, though an assignee may require continuance of the assignment or continue to publish on royalties, as determined by agreement or arbitration. Assignments, except for parts of collective works, terminate in twenty-five years, when rights revert to the heirs.

The Crown has held an exclusive and perpetual right Perpetual to license the printing of the Bible, Book of Common copyright Prayer, ordnance surveys, and possibly the Acts of Parliament; and specified universities and colleges were assured perpetual copyright in works given or bequeathed to them unless given for a limited term, but the right lapsed into the usual copyright term unless the work were printed on their own presses and for their own benefit. Under the new code, "without prejudice to any rights or privileges of the Crown," any work prepared or published for His Majesty or any Government department has copyright for fifty years from first publication — the effect of which provision on Crown perpetual copyrights is not clearly evident. A saving clause protects the universities “in any right they already possess," inferentially limiting their future copyrights to the statutory term. After the death of the author of a literary, dramatic or musical work, on complaint of the withholding of the work from publication or performance, the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council may require the owner to grant a license to reproduce or perform the work in public under conditions determined by the Committee. After twenty-five years, or in the case of existing copyrights thirty years from the author's death, the work may be reproduced by any person on prescribed notice in writing of his intention and payment of ten per cent on the published

Other countries

International standard term

price in accordance with regulations by the Board of Trade.

Perpetual copyright is granted by the laws of other countries, Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Venezuela, while in Montenegro, Egypt, Liberia, Honduras, the Dominican Republic, Paraguay and Uruguay, which give copyright protection without specific legislation under a crude civil or common law enforced by the courts, the term is indefinite. A copyright term extending eighty years beyond the death of the author is granted by Spain, Cuba, Colombia and Panama. The French precedent of fifty years after the author's death was followed by Belgium, Russia and the Scandinavian countries, Hungary, Portugal and some others, and was adopted by the Berlin convention as the international standard term; the German precedent of thirty years beyond death was followed by Austria, Switzerland and Japan, while the British precedent of seven years beyond death or fortytwo years from publication, whichever the longer, was followed in many of the English colonies and in Siam. Italy has a curious term of life or at least forty years after publication, with a second period of forty years during which, though the exclusive rights lapse, the author enjoys a royalty of five per cent on publication price. Haiti has the curious term of the life of the author and twenty additional years for widow or children, or ten years for other heirs. In Holland fifty years or life, in Brazil fifty years from the preceding January ist, and in Greece fifteen years are specified.

In many countries there are special terms for special categories of works, as for anonymous, pseudonymous, and corporate works, translations, photographs and telegraphic dispatches - the latter for a stated number of hours.

Special categories




COPYRIGHT may inhere as a natural right, as under General English common law before the statute of Anne, principles without record or formalities, but also without statutory protection; or formalities may be required only as a prerequisite to protection by actions at law; or formalities may be required to validate and secure the copyright. English formalities belong to the second class. American formalities are of the third class, and without them copyright does not exist.

The American copyright law of 1909 prescribes Previous exactly the method of securing copyright, and makes American clear the cases in which non-compliance invalidates requirements copyright. Previous to 1909 copyright was secured by complying exactly with the statutory requirements of (1) the delivery to the Librarian of Congress on or before the day of publication, in this or any foreign country, of a printed (including typewritten) copy of title or description of the work, (2) the insertion in every copy published of the prescribed copyright notice, and (3) the deposit not later (under the law of 1891) than such day of publication (earlier law allowing ten days after publication) of two copies of the best edition of a book or other article, or a photograph of a work of art (as to date of deposit of which last the law was not explicit); and any failure to comply literally and exactly with these conditions forfeited the copyright.

The American code of 1909 substitutes an entirely different basis for securing copyright. Copyright

Present American basis


of 1909

[ocr errors]

now depends upon (1) publication with the notice of
copyright, and (2) deposit of copies, these copies in
the case of books and certain other works to be man-
ufactured within the United States. The accidental
omission of the copyright notice from "a particular
copy or copies" does not invalidate the copyright
though it may relieve an innocent trespasser from
penalty as an infringer; but failure to deposit within
a specified time, or false report as to manufacture,
makes the copyright not valid.

The general provisions as to formalities are as
follows (sec. 9): “That any person entitled thereto
by this Act may secure copyright for his work by
publication thereof with the notice of copyright re-
quired by this Act; and such notice shall be affixed
to each copy thereof published or offered for sale in
the United States by authority of the copyright pro-
prietor, except in the case of books seeking ad interim
protection under section twenty-one of this Act";
and (sec. 10): “That such person may obtain regis-
tration of his claim to copyright by complying with
the provisions of this Act, including the deposit of
copies, and upon such compliance the Register of
Copyrights shall issue to him the certificate provided
for in section fifty-five of this Act."

The definition in the act (sec. 62) of "the date of publication" as “the earliest date when copies of the first authorized edition were placed on sale, sold, or publicly distributed by the proprietor of the copyright or under his authority" defines publication, and the clause (sec. 9) requiring the copyright notice to be affixed to each copy "published or offered for sale in the United States by authority of the copyright proprietor" confirms the principle that the copyright proprietor cannot be held responsible, nor can copyright be voided because of copies" published," offered,

[ocr errors]


sold or distributed without his authority. The Copyright Office Rules and Regulations (23) add to the definition of publication the parenthetical explanation: "(i. e., so that all persons who desire copies may obtain them without restriction or condition other than that imposed by the copyright law).” It is questionable, however, whether this explanation does not go beyond the letter of the law. In Stern v. Remick, in 1910, the U.S. Circuit Court protected the copyright of a song, though only one copy had been offered for sale and sold. Advance distribution to the trade or of review copies would not constitute publication. While the law does not prescribe first publication in this country, it is at least doubtful whether a book published in another country prior to publication here, unless protected by international copyright relations, has not fallen into the public domain and thus forfeited copyright protection here.

The first step in securing copyright, being publica- Copyright tion with the notice of copyright" "affixed to each notice copy published or offered for sale in the United States by authority of the copyright proprietor," the method and form of this notice is of first importance. The act of 1909 provides (sec. 18): “That the notice of copyright required by section nine of this Act shall consist either of the word 'Copyright' or the abbreviation 'Copr.,' accompanied by the name of the copyright proprietor, and if the work be a printed literary, musical, or dramatic work, the notice shall include also the year in which the copyright was secured by publication. In the case, however, of copies of works specified in subsections (f) to (k), inclusive, of section five of this Act, the notice may consist of the letter C inclosed within a circle, thus: ©, accompanied by the initials, monogram, mark, or symbol of the copyright proprietor: Provided, That on some accessible

« iepriekšējāTurpināt »