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Relation with importation provisions

its submission for ratification, especially with reference to the act of 1891. Acting Attorney-General Hoyt replied in a confidential report of June 3, 1902, since made public, after quoting the prohibition of importation in section 3 of the act of 1891: "In the convention now in question there is no inhibition against such importations as are prohibited by said section 3, unless it can be said that such convention is 'an international agreement which provides for reciprocity in the granting of copyrights, by the terms of which agreement the United States of America may, at its pleasure, become a party to such agreement,' as provided in section 13 of the same act. It is a matter of grave doubt whether this convention, made by the United States originally, is such an 'international agreement.' It is therefore quite probable that its ratification would except the authors of the nations signing it from the provisions of said section 3 of the act of March 3, 1891, leaving the authors of other countries still subject to such provisions. Your attention is directed to the fact that an affirmative answer to article 16 of the convention would also except from the provisions of said section 3 all countries that might hereafter adopt said convention. There appears to be no legal impediment to the ratification of this convention, nor would it constitute a breach of faith toward other countries; and in pointing out the probable effect of some of its provisions I do not intend thereby to express or intimate an opinion that it ought not to be ratified." The question of the relation between treaty provisions and domestic legislation especially affects copyright arrangements and has been the subject of discussion and a matter of difficulty in England and other countries as well as in the United States. The Senate did not act finally upon the Mexico convention until 1908, when it was duly

ratified, and this precedent opened the way for more prompt ratification of the Buenos Aires convention.

The United States, as a party only to the Pan United American Union and not a member of the Inter- States in

ternational national Copyright Union under the Berne-Berlin

relations conventions, has not secured for its citizens general rights of copyright in other countries, without repetition of formalities, and such rights are secured only in the countries designated by Presidential proclamation and according to the formalities of their domestic legislation. It seems, however, that citizens of the United States may obtain general protection throughout the unionist countries by publishing in a unionist country simultaneously with first publication in the United States, and thus coming under the protective provisions of the Berlin convention. The Mexico convention permits citizens of the United States to obtain copyright in other countries ratifying that convention, by deposit at Washington of extra copies for transmission to countries designated, with certified copy of the registration. When the Buenos Aires convention is ratified by other powers nothing more will then be required than the usual application and deposit at Washington and notice of the reservation of rights, preferably in connection with the copyright notice, of which “all rights reserved for all countries" is the most comprehensive form.

Under section 8 of the act of 1891, the President "Pro"proclaimed" from time to time the existence of recip- claimed” rocal relations with other countries, which permitted their citizens to obtain copyright in the United States under the act, and American citizens to obtain protection under their respective copyright laws. The question of the status of these countries under the act of 1909 was solved by the proclamation of the


President on April 9, 1910, stating that "satisfactory evidence has been received that in Austria, Belgium, Chile, Costa Rica, Cuba, Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain and her possessions, Italy, Mexico, the Netherlands and her possessions, Norway, Portugal, Spain and Switzerland, the law permits ... to citizens of the United States the benefit of copyright on substantially the same basis as to citizens of those countries," and proclaiming “thạt the citizens or subjects of the aforementioned countries are and since July 1, 1909, have been entitled to all the benefits of the said Act other than the benefits under section 1, (e), thereof, as to which the inquiry is still pending' - the exception being as regards mechanical music. To this list of countries, Luxemburg was added by proclamation of June 29, 1910, and Sweden by that of May 26, 1911.

Under date of December 8, 1910, the first proclamation with respect to the international protection of mechanical music was made by the President, declaring the existence of reciprocal relations with Germany. Belgium, Luxemburg, and Norway were added by proclamation of June 14, 1911.

It may be repeated, to make the list complete, that by the ratification in 1908 of the Mexico City convention of 1902, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Salvador, as well as Costa Rica, have reciprocal copyright relations with the United States, making in all twenty-four countries (including Japan under the treaties excepting translations, and China under the limited provisions of the treaty of 1903) with which the United States has international copyright relations.

Mechanical music reciprocity




SIMULTANEOUSLY with the earliest legislation for in- Initial enternational copyright among European states, there deavor in

America, was a movement in the same direction in the United

1837 States. In the Twenty-fourth Congress, February 2, 1837, Henry Clay presented to the Senate an address of British authors asking for copyright protection in this country. This petition was signed by Thomas Moore and fifty-five others, and was later supplemented by additional signatures and by an American petition to the same effect.

The text of the address is as follows, the reference The British in paragraph seven being to a letter by Dr. M'Vickar, address printed in the New York American, November 19, 1832:

"The humble address and petition of certain authors of Great Britain, to the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States, in Congress assembled, respectfully showeth —

"1. That your petitioners have long been exposed to injury in their reputation and property, from the want of a law by which the exclusive right to their respective writings may be secured to them in the United States of America.

"2. That, for want of such law, deep and extensive injuries have, of late, been inflicted on the reputation and property of certain of your petitioners; and on the interests of literature and science, which ought to constitute a bond of union and friendship between the United States and Great Britain.

The British address

“3. That, from the circumstance of the English language being common to both nations, the works of British authors are extensively read throughout the United States of America, while the profits arising from the sale of their works may be wholly appropriated by American booksellers, not only without the consent of the authors, but even contrary to their express desire - a grievance under which your petitioners have, at present, no redress.

4. That the works thus appropriated by American booksellers are liable to be mutilated and altered, at the pleasure of the said booksellers, or of any other persons who may have an interest in reducing the price of the works, or in conciliating the supposed principles or prejudice of purchasers in the respective sections of your union: and that, the names of the authors being retained, they may be made responsible for works which they no longer recognize as their own.

5. That such mutilation and alteration, with the retention of the authors' names, have been of late actually perpetrated by citizens of the United States: under which grievance, your petitioners have no redress.

“6. That certain of your petitioners have recently made an effort in defence of their literary reputation and property, by declaring a respectable firm of English publishers in New York to be the sole authorized possessors and issuers of the works of the said petitioners; and by publishing in certain American newspapers, their authority to this effect.

"7. That the object of the said petitioners has been defeated by the act of certain persons, citizens of the United States, who have unjustly published, for their own advantage, the works sought to be thus protected; under which grievance your petitioners have, at present, no redress.

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