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ered since the law of July 19 and 24, 1793, and the Code of 1810, and as nothing prevents its extension, in consequence of scientific progress"; and it therefore concluded that literary works either by themselves or associated with music were practically under the law of 1793 and not exempted by the law of 1866. A more recent case, in the Court of Commerce of the Seine in 1905, resulted, however, in the dismissal of a suit for infringement. France accepted the Berlin convention, June 28, 1910; but its provision in article 13, that "the limitations and conditions" as to mechanical music protection "shall be determined by the domestic legislation of each country in its own case," makes uncertain whether protection becomes effective in the absence of specific legislation.
In Belgium in 1904, in the suit of Massenet and Belgian Puccini v. Compagnie Générale des phonographes, et al., precedents it was held by the court of first instance of Brussels that the introduction for sale of discs and cylinders reproducing the musical compositions of the plaintiffs was illegal and liable for damages and punishable as an infringement. This decision was, however, overruled by the Court of Appeals of Brussels in 1905. Belgium accepted the Berlin convention, May 23, 1910, has since protected mechanical reproduction, and was proclaimed as in reciprocal relations with the United States, June 14, 1911.
In Italy the copyright law was considered in rela- Italian tion to mechanical instruments by several court deci- precedents sions of which the latest and most important seems to be in the case of the Società Italiana d. Autori v. Gramophone Co. of London, in which, in 1906, the Royal Court of Milan held that reproductions of music by gramophone constituted infringement. This decision held that article three of the Berne convention of 1886 could not derogate from or modify the domestic
private law of 1882, and as the Italian law specifically covers publication and reproduction "by any method,” it includes gramophone discs. “Publication means a process by which the intellectual concept of the artist is revealed, and brought to the knowledge of others." "What the legislature wanted has been this: that the author be the exclusive owner of the external form in which the creation of the mind has been fixed, and, so to speak, materialized; and that the right be reserved to him to get from his studies and his exertions all the economic benefits which he could derive therefrom."
In the laws of Switzerland of 1883, and Monaco and Tunis of 1889, the fabrication and sale of mechanical instruments or devices for reproducing musical airs were excepted from the definition of piracy. But all these countries have ratified the Berlin convention "without reservation." Luxemburg and Norway have applied the Berlin provision and were proclaimed as in reciprocal relation with the United States on June 14, 1911. Russia has followed American precedent in the new law of 1911, but has no reciprocal relations with the United States.
As the opposition to the control by musical composers of mechanical reproductions of their works is still strong in the United States and in several countries, notwithstanding recent conventions and legislation, and is based largely upon restrictive definitions of the words "writings” and “copies" or their equivalent in other languages, it may be well to include here the argument made by the writer as Vice-president of the American (Authors) Copyright League, at the Congressional hearings on the new American code, of which the essential portions are as follows:
“The American Copyright League stands, as it has stood for a quarter of a century, simply and
Argument for inclusion
solely for the protection of authors' rights to the fullest extent, and it asserts that a musical composer is as fully entitled as is the author of any other creative work to the exclusive and full benefits of his compositions, in whatever manner reproduced. The opponents of the bill base their objections largely on a restrictive definition of the word 'writings,' and criticise the bill because this word 'writings' is interpreted throughout the bill by the word 'works,' although this accurately reflects the understanding of Congress and the interpretation of the courts. They would, in fact, confine copyright protection specifically, it may be said, to e-y-e-deas, that is, visible records, and exclude as not visible or legible by the eye, copies of musical compositions mechanically made and interpreted.
“The earliest writing which remains to us is in the Inscribed Assyrian wedge-shaped inscriptions, made by press writings ing the end of a squared stick into a soft clay cylinder; the phonograph point inscribes its record in exactly the same manner upon the 'wax' or composition of the cylinder or disc, for the mechanism only revolves the roll, and the point is actuated by the sound vibrations. The words 'phonograph,' 'graphophone' and 'gramophone' literally mean ‘soundwriting,' for the Greek form graph-, the Latin form scrib-, and the Saxon form write, equally parts of our language, denote exactly the same meaning. It is even probable that a future development of phonograph impressions (the third dimension being translated into breadth of stroke as can be mechanically done) will give ultimately a visual phonograph alphabet even more natural and logical than Professor Bell's remarkable system of 'visible speech,' which, of course, like all alphabets, can be read only when the reader has mastered the significance of the
symbols. Mr. Edison has himself made some experiments in this direction, though the confusion from
the overtones, which give quality of speech, has so Direct far prevented result. A large share of literary prosound-writ- ductivity to-day is by voice-dictation recorded me
chanically by a stenographer on the typewriter or directly on the phonograph disc, and I may instance from personal experience a further step. As one of the committee for the Edison birthday dinner, commemorating the twenty-fifth anniversary of his invention of the incandescent lamp, I was asked to supply some original verse, and it occurred to me to put this in shape by help of Mr. Edison's inventions, without direct or indirect hand- or type-writing. Accordingly I completed the verses mentally without use of paper and voiced them into an Edison phonograph, verifying this through the telephone, and the lines were set in type by the printer from the soundrecord, and thus printed on the menu for the dinner. Thus my formulated ideas were recorded through the nerves and other mechanism of the vocal organs, instead of through the nerves and other mechanism of the hand, directly by the phonograph point on the phonograph cylinder; and it seems a common-sense inference that if I had caused copies of the phonograph cylinder, though not legible in the ordinary sense, to be published instead of the secondary copies in print, I should be as much entitled to copyright protection in the one case as in the other. The 'telegraphone' directly records on a steel tape the sounds of the human voice as sent through the telephone, and by an absolutely invisible re-arrangement of the magnetized particles of steel, makes a writing in
which there is no possibility of visual legibility. Music trans- “Moreover, invention is now developing a series of missal
reproducing mechanisms such as Dr. Cahill's 'telharmonicon' or 'dynamophone,' in which musical compositions will be translated to the ear without the interposition even of a cylinder or disc sound-record; and it seems a common-sense inference that the musical composer should have as full rights in this as in other forms of copying or reproducing his thought. Buda-Pesth is said to have not only a telephone 'newspaper,' but a system of reading novels and other works of literature to telephone subscribers, and if this should reach such proportions as substantially to reduce the sale of the printed copies of a new novel from which the author would receive benefit, it would also seem a common-sense inference that the same or an equivalent royalty should be paid him.
"In music writing or notation there are two and Music only two essentials: relative vertical position, show- notation ing pitch, and relative horizontal position, showing duration of notes. The earliest form of our present music writing is the system of the ‘large,' 'long,' 'breve' and 'semi-breve' notes, in which the pitch was shown by the vertical relations of the notes, and the length of the note by the length of the black mark, the ‘large' mark being twice the length of the ‘long' mark. This corresponds closely to the perforated music roll of to-day, which could be read by a practiced eye with and probably without staff lines, to the extent that if every other form of reproduction were destroyed, the melody and harmony of a musical work could be reproduced into the ordinary notation of music writing. I speak from personal knowledge of these music rolls, having had a mechanical instrument for some years. The different kinds of rolls differ in the relative spacing and in distance from the edge of the roll, which gives the standard, but a foreshortened photograph of any, bringing them to the same scale, would pattern closely the