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Present or- present administration of the Librarian of Congress, ganization
Herbert Putnam, appointed by President McKinley in 1898, and the Register of Copyrights, Thorvald Solberg, the first and only occupant of that post, appointed by the Librarian of Congress in 1897, presents a standard of efficiency, celerity and economy which is a model for governmental departments, or indeed for any administrative business. The enormous amount of detail is systematized and controlled by a remarkable method of record, and blank forms provide in the utmost variety of detail for every feature of the work of correspondence, especially in calling the attention of applicants to defects in their applications, which
are many and various. Efficiency of As the result of this organization, the complex law methods
of March 4, 1909, was put in operation July 1, 1909,
its work, from which it appears that in the year ending Registration June 30, 1910, the first year of operation of the new 1909–1910 copyright code, it had issued copyright certificates to the number of 96,634, representing an equal number of registrations at $1 each. In addition thereto 11,433 registrations were made for photographs at fifty cents each, for which no certificates were issued. This annual summary for the fiscal year ending June 30 is printed as a part of the annual report, for presentation to Congress each December; and a summary for the calendar year is printed in separate form at the beginning of the new year.
In addition to the regular certificates in card form, Certificates the Copyright Office also issues certificates in quarto for court use shape when desired, which are especially utilized in court proceedings as parts of the record.
The Copyright Office makes searches for informa- Searches tion, under the provisions of the new law, at the rate of fifty cents for each full hour of the person employed in such search.
The new Rules provide for such searches as follows:
“(49.) Upon application to the Register of Copyrights, search of the records, indexes, or deposits will be made for such information as they may contain relative to copyright claims. Persons desiring searches to be made should state clearly the nature of the work, its title, the name of the claimant of copyright and probable date of entry; in the case of an assignment, the name of the assignor or assignee or both, and the name of the copyright claimant and the title of the music referred to in case of notice of user."
Question having been raised by the Commissioner Patent Office of Patents whether the act of 1909 did not charge the registry for
labels Copyright Office with the registration as "prints" of labels, etc., the Attorney-General, in an opinion of December 22, 1909, held that the copyright act of
1909 did not relieve the Patent Office of this duty, and it is still required to register all prints which have heretofore been registered therein under the act of June 18, 1874, and in the same manner as they have heretofore been registered.
Many of the features of the Copyright Office, such as the forms for applications, certificates, etc., have been treated in detail in the chapter on formalities, which should be read in connection with this chapter.
In Great Britain there is no official copyright office, but registration has been made at Stationers' Hall in charge of the Stationers' Company, a quasi public institution, while deposit is made primarily in the national library at the British Museum. The records at Stationers' Hall and the printed or other catalogues of the British Museum are public. But there is no printed copyright list except of prohibitions of importations issued by the Commissioners of Customs. Under the new British measure there is no registration at Stationers' Hall or elsewhere.
In France there is no copyright office proper and the deposit copies required from the printer are deposited with the Ministry of the Interior at Paris or at the Prefecture or town clerk's office in the provinces. In other European countries, the registration, when required, is made for the most part in one of the government departments, as Ministry of Interior, Department of Agriculture, etc. In Italy, as in several Spanish-American countries, the registry is provincial instead of central, though in some of these countries provision is made for report from time to time to a central government office. In few countries is there a copyright office proper, distinctively organized and named, except in certain English colonies, as Australia and Canada, which have now a copyright office and a Registrar of Copyrights.
INTERNATIONAL COPYRIGHT CONVENTIONS AND
With the growth of civilization, the practice of pro- International tecting in all countries the property of the citizen of protection of any other country has also grown, until it is now a
property generally recognized principle. This principle, applied to literary property, has resulted in international copyright among most civilized nations.
The first provision for international copyright, Early copyaside from the ancient practice in France of giving right proprotection to authors of other countries who published their works therein, was made by Prussia in 1837, in a law which provided that any country might secure copyright for its authors in Prussia to the extent of reciprocal privileges granted by that country.
England followed, in 1838, with an "act for securing Early Engto authors, in certain cases, the benefit of interna- lish protec
tion tional copyright,” which empowered the Queen, by an Order in Council, to direct that the author of a book first published in a foreign country should have copyright in the United Kingdom, on certain conditions, providing that country conferred similar privileges on English authors. The act of 1844 extended this privilege to prints, sculpture and other works of art, and provided for international playright. It expressly denied the privilege, however, to translations of foreign works, and it was not until 1852 that provision was fully made for translations of books and of dramatic compositions, the latter with the proviso that "fair imitations or adaptations" of foreign plays or music might be made. In this early period Great
Britain negotiated treaties with the German states (1846-55), France (1851), Belgium (1854), Spain (1857), and Sardinia (1860), afterward extended throughout Italy. The treaties generally included a proviso that duties on books, etc., imported into the treaty country, should not be above a stated sum, and in the case of France there was to be no duty either way. The domestic copyright acts had also provided, on the condition of first publication in the United Kingdom, a practical measure of international copyright. The international copyright act of 1875 repealed the exception as to plays, and authorized the protection of foreign plays against imitation and adaptation. Under these international copyright acts, registration at Stationers' Hall, at a fee of one shilling only, was made a condition of the copyright of foreign works, and the deposit of a copy of the first edition and of every subsequent edition containing additions or alterations at Stationers' Hall, for transmission to the British Museum, was required, besides other local formalities, particularly in connection with the limited protection of translations, which was for five years only.
Great Britain became a signatory power of the Berne convention of 1886, and the international copy. right act of 1886, amending and in part repealing the previous international copyright acts, was passed to enable Her Majesty through Orders in Council to become a party to this convention, which was ratified in 1887. This was made effective with respect to the eight other countries which were parties to the original Berne convention by the Order in Council of November 28, 1887, taking effect December 6, 1887. The provisions of 1886 made registration and deposit unnecessary for foreign works which had complied with the formalities requisite in the country of origin,
Adhesion to Beme convention