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proprietor of the copyright” indicate the owner of the English rights, and that if he had to "submit to an unlimited importation of books lawfully printed in any part of Germany itself," the British copyright “would be absolutely worthless, and the beneficial object frustrated," and protection by covenant with the original proprietor is by no means adequate.
The colonial copyright act of 1847, usually known Foreign as the foreign reprints act, authorized suspension by reprints the Crown of the prohibition of importation of foreign reprints, in any colony enacting “reasonable protection to British authors" — which protection, in the twenty colonies in which the act was availed of, usually took the shape of a stated duty to be paid as royalty to the British copyright proprietor. The customs consolidation act of 1876 continued the general prohibition, on condition of notice by the proprietor of the British copyright to the Commissioners of Customs.
Thus the British copyright and customs law recog- Divided nizes the subdivision of copyright territory for the market exclusive control of a market, and excludes accordingly foreign reprints whether piratical copies or authorized foreign editions like the Tauchnitz series, and the original foreign edition as well. In theory, if not in practice, a Tauchnitz copy in the pocket of a traveler is subject to seizure, and written authority from the copyright proprietor is technically necessary for the importation of a single copy, apparently without exception in favor of the British Government or the libraries.
The new British measure continues these provi- The new sions as embodied in the customs consolidation act of British code 1876 and the revenue act of 1889 and in the text of the new act. Copyright is infringed by any person who "imports for sale or hire any work ... which to his
knowledge infringes copyright.” Importation is
Canada had, in an act of 1850, availed itself of the
with the proviso that Canadian reprints should be prohibited importation into the United Kingdom except with assent of the copyright proprietor. It has since provided in the Fisher act of 1900 for the prohibition of importation of an original edition of an English work licensed for reprint in Canada, except two copies for libraries and one copy through demand on the Canadian licensee by an individual for use and not for sale - a provision considered ultra vires by English authorities.
The Australian code of 1905 prohibits the impor- Australian tation of all pirated books or artistic works in which provision copyright is subsisting in Australia, "whether under this act or otherwise," and provides for the forfeiture of such works, on condition of written notice by the owner of the copyright to the Minister, directly or through the Commissioners of Customs of the United Kingdom, of the existence of the copyright and of its term. These provisions do not seem to make clear whether original editions of English works, of which an Australian edition is copyrighted, are held to be contraband.
The legislation of France and Germany and other Foreign countries seems to provide against importation in- practice ferentially rather than specifically, Russia and Peru being exceptional in their specific prohibitions. But the treaties and conventions between the several countries are for the most part specific on this point, as are those of France providing that “when the author of a work of which the property rights are guaranteed by the present treaty shall have assigned his right of publication or of reproduction to a publisher in the territory of either of the high contracting parties with the reservation that the copies or editions of this work thus published or reproduced cannot be sold in the other country, these copies or editions
shall be considered and treated, respectively, in that country as illicit reproductions”; and the treaties of Germany are especially specific with respect to musical compositions.
The authorities as to the prohibition of importation in other countries are fully given in a statement from the Librarian of Congress made part of the printed record of the third hearing before the Patents Committees at Washington, March 26-28, 1908, which includes the text of the opinion in Pitt Pitts v. George as the leading English case.
The Berne convention of 1886 provided (art. XII) that “every infringing (contrefait) work may be seized on importation into those countries of the Union where the original work has right to legal protection," which was modified by the amendatory act of Paris, 1896, to read “may be seized by the competent authorities of the countries of the Union." The Berlin convention continues in article 16 the later phraseology, and adds, “in these countries seizure may also be made of reproductions coming from a country where the work is not protected or protection has ceased.” All three conventions include also the proviso that the seizure shall take place conformably to the domestic legislation of each country. This phraseology apparently leaves the prohibition of editions authorized for other countries as an open question to be determined under the domestic legislation or practice of each country. The Pan American convention of Buenos Aires, 1910, provides (art. 14): “Every publication infringing a copyright may be confiscated in the signatory countries in which the original work had the right to be legally protected, without prejudice to the indemnities or penalties which the counterfeiters may have incurred according to the laws of the country in which the fraud may have been committed."
COPYRIGHT OFFICE: METHODS AND PRACTICE
UNDER the early American copyright laws, copy- History of right entries and deposits were made in the clerk's Copyright
Office office of the respective District courts and there was no central copyright office. The deposit copies were not properly cared for, but what remained were collected into the vaults of the national Capitol when copyright administration was centralized in the Library of Congress. Under the law of 1870, the Librarian of Congress was made the copyright officer, and for many years Ainsworth R. Spofford, occupying that position, personally recorded entries and did much of the work. Before the close of his administration of the Library, and while it was still housed in the Capitol, the copyright business required the services of a staff including at the last twenty-four persons. By a special act of 1897, the office of Register of Copyrights was created, subject to the authority of the Librarian of Congress, who remains the ultimate administrative authority. The code of 1909 provided also for an assistant register of copyrights. The Copyright Office now occupies the southern end of the ground floor in the new Library building and the staff has increased to eighty-four persons.
When a book is deposited for registration, accom- Routine of panied by the claim for copyright, preferably on the registration application form gratuitously provided by the Copyright Office, its class designation, with its accession or sequence number in that class, is at once stamped upon the deposit copy or copies, with the date of receipt, and also upon a green record slip on