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COPYRIGHT IN OTHER COUNTRIES
FRANCE has always been the most liberal of countries in giving copyright protection to foreign as well as native authors publishing within France, and copyright was perpetual up to the abrogation by the National Assembly in 1789 of all privileges previously granted. Though two acts regarding dramatic performances (spectacles) were passed in 1791, it was not till 1793 that the National Convention passed a general copyright act, which still remains the fundamental law of French copyright. The state still has copyright in perpetuity in works published by its order or by its agents, but not in private copyrights lapsing to the state for lack of heirs; copyrights otherwise, by the law of 1866, are for life and fifty years. Playright is protected without deposit, but the printer of a book or play is required to deposit two copies on penalty of fine but not forfeiture of copyright. No formalities are requisite, but to obtain a right of action, deposit of two copies of a book is required, at the Ministry of the Interior at Paris or at the Prefecture or town clerk's office if in the provinces, for which a receipt is given. More than a score of laws modifying the French copyright system have been passed, the latest being that of April 9, 1910, providing that transfer of a work of art does not involve the copyright.
France, which had in general extended the protection of domestic copyright to works published in France, whatever the nationality of the author, specifically protected, by the decree of 1852, from republication (though not from performance) works published abroad, without regard to reciprocity, on compliance with the formalities of deposit previous to a suit for infringement. It early negotiated treaties French with other countries, only those with England (since foreign
relations replaced by relations through the International Copyright Union) and Spain requiring deposit in those countries, while four of the countries which required registration permitted that it should be performed at their legations in Paris.
France, as also its protectorate Tunis, became one of the original signatory powers of the Berne convention of 1886, adopted the Paris acts of 1896, and after some delay and discussion accepted the revised Berlin convention under the act of June 28, 1910, ratified by decree of September 2, 1910, with reservation as to works of applied design, as to which it maintained the stipulations of the previous conventions. It has treaties with Austria-Hungary (1866– 1884), Holland (1855–1884), Montenegro (1902), Portugal (1866), and Roumania by an arrangement on the “most favored nation” basis (1907). It has also still existing treaties with Germany (1907), Italy (1884), and Spain (1880), among the unionist countries, on the "most favored nation" basis former treaties with Great Britain and the Scandinavian countries having been superseded by International Copyright Union relations. It has been in reciprocal relations with the United States as a “proclaimed" country since July 1, 1891; and it has also treaties with the Latin American countries of Argentina (1897), and Paraguay (1900), both under the Montevideo convention, Bolivia (1887), Costa Rica (1896), Ecuador on the "most favored nation" basis (1898, 1905), Guatemala (1895), Mexico through a treaty of commerce on the "most favored nation” basis (1886),
and Salvador (1880), and one with Japan (1909) as to rights in China. Algiers and other colonies are under French law, and French precedent is followed by the protectorate Tunis, though as a separate power.
Belgium, under the law of 1886, grants copyright and playright for life and fifty years, including translations and photographs, or for corporate and like works fifty years. No formalities are required except that corporate and posthumous works must be registered at the Ministry of Agriculture within six months from publication. Notice is required only to forbid reproduction of newspaper articles. Belgium is one of the original parties to the Berne convention, adopted the Paris acts and ratified on May 23, 1910, the Berlin convention. It has treaties with Austria (1910), Holland (1858), Portugal (1866), and Roumania (1910), as also with Germany (1907) and Spain (1880) — all save Austria and Portugal on the “most favored nation” basis; it has been in reciprocal relations with the United States as a “proclaimed"country since July 1, 1891, and as to mechanical music since June 14, 1911, and has also treaties with Mexico on the “most favored nation” basis (1895), and under the Montevideo convention with Argentina and Paraguay (1903).
Luxemburg, under its law of 1898, very nearly a copy of the Belgian law, grants copyright and playright for life and fifty years. The right to translate is protected for ten years from the publication of the original work. Registration is required only for posthumous or official works to be made at the Office of the Government; and notice is required only to reserve playright or to forbid reprint of newspaper articles. Protection is provided against mechanical music reproductions. Luxemburg was an acceding party to the Berne convention, accepted the Paris acts and
ratified the Berlin convention July 14, 1910; it has had reciprocal relations with the United States as a “proclaimed " country since June 29, 1910, and as to mechanical music since June 14, 1911.
Holland, originally giving copyright in perpetu- Holland ity under indefinite conditions, and later applying French law, is now under its law of 1881, the only country in Europe still requiring, in accordance with its ancient practice, printing and publication within the country. Two copies, so printed, must be deposited with the Department of Justice within a month from publication, and playright must be reserved on a printed work. The general term is for fifty years from the date of the certificate of deposit and through the life of the author, if he has not assigned his work, and for unprinted works, including oral addresses, life and thirty years. The protection for unprinted works covers playright and the right to translate, and protects any author domiciled within Holland or the Dutch Indies. For corporate and like works, the term is fifty years. The exclusive right to translate, must be reserved on the original work and exercised within three years; the translation is then protected for five years, provided it is printed within the country. Playright in a printed play lasts only ten years from deposit. Holland is not a party to any general convention, but it has a treaty with Belgium on the “most favored nation” basis (1858) and arrangements with France (1855-1884); and it has had reciprocal relations with the United States as a "proclaimed” country since November 20, 1899. The Dutch colonies, as in the East and West Indies and elsewhere, are generally included under Dutch law. A new copyright code presented by the government in 1910, omitting the printing requirement, has passed the first Chamber, and after it be
comes law Holland, under a concurrent vote in 1911, is authorized to accede to the Berlin convention.
Copyright throughout the German Empire is now regulated for literary (impliedly including dramatic) and musical works and certain illustrations, by the act of 1901,- in which year there was also adopted an act regulating publishers' rights and contracts; and for works of figurative art and photographs by an act of 1907. An act of 1910 amends these in some particulars.
These laws superseded entirely the previous acts, dating back to 1870, when the first imperial copyright act was passed after the realization of German unity under Emperor William I. The original act forming the Germanic confederation in 1815, had authorized the German Diet to protect authors' rights, and after futile decrees in 1832 and 1835, resolutions were passed in 1837 making protection effective for a minimum period of ten years throughout all the states which granted protection to authors. Prussia had meanwhile, under the King's Order in Council of 1827, arranged in 1827-29, reciprocal relations with thirtythree out of the thirty-eight states and free cities in the German confederation, and with Denmark for its German provinces, through which the citizens of other states enjoyed the same privileges as natives; and in 1833 the same reciprocal provisions were extended to cover Prussian provinces outside the federation. Many of the early copyright systems had not extended protection to an author's heirs, but in 1837 Prussia passed an improved law making the term life and thirty years and granting protection to citizens of foreign countries in the same proportion that works published in Prussia were therein protected. Thus, up to the time of the Empire, copyright was protected as a matter partly of federal and partly of state legislation.