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XXIII

THE LITERATURE OF COPYRIGHT

The literature of copyright is extensive and its bib- Bibliographliography would now make a volume in itself. The bib- ical materials liography of literary property prepared by Thorvald Solberg, now Register of Copyrights, for the BowkerSolberg volume of 1886, occupying sixty pages, covered approximately fifteen hundred titles, besides analytical indexes to several periodicals. The bibliography to the present date, inclusive of that material, which Register Solberg has continued, would increase this record at least twofold. The copyright campaign resulting in the code of 1909 was especially prolific of drafts and bills, Congressional and other reports and private publications, of which "dry as dust” indication is given in the earlier chapter containing the record of that campaign. Nothing more can be attempted in this chapter than a brief glance over historical material and leading works.

The early history of copyright is to be traced only Early through incidental references in classical and medieval history works. Among these may be instanced Montalembert's "Monks of the West" and Brown's "History of the printing press in Venice," previously cited. George Haven Putnam's work on “Books and their makers in the Middle Ages" (New York, Putnams, 1896-97,8vo, 2 V., 459, 538 p.), though dealing chiefly with publishing relations, incidentally gives much information on the early history of printing privileges and copyrights proper. Several of the law book writers,

notably Copinger, summarize in some measure the

early history of copyright. Early Ameri Perhaps the earliest American publication discan contri

tinctively on copyright was the "Remarks on literbutions

ary property,” by Philip H. Nicklin, in 1838, in which he included as an appendix a reprint of Joseph Lowe's summary of copyright history and practice up to 1819, from the Encyclopædia Britannica supplement, and argued for longer, if not perpetual copyright for our own authors, on the plea that “charity begins at home,” as well as for international copyright throughout a world-wide republic of letters. The later movements in America for international copyright brought out much writing, though largely in periodical articles and pamphlets, among the most noteworthy of which were Dr. Francis Lieber's letter "On international copyright," of 1840, Henry C. Carey's "Letters on international copyright,” of 1853, and "The international copyright question considered, of 1872, George Haven Putnam's monograph on “International copyright," of 1878, and Richard Grant White's "American view of the copyright

question,” of 1880. Later

During the copyright campaign leading to the American

act of 1891, several pamphlets were issued on be half of the American (Authors) Copyright League, notably Rev. Dr. Henry van Dyke's “National sin of piracy," of 1888, and Prof. Brander Matthews's

Cheap books and good books," on the texts of James Russell Lowell's epigram, “There is one thing better than a cheap book, and that is a book honestly come by," and George William Curtis's words, "Cheap books are good things, but cheapening the public conscience is a very bad thing," which last paper is reprinted in Putnam's “Question of copyright."

The leading American law book writer has been

pamphleteers

Eaton S. Drone, later editor of the New York Herald, American whose valuable “Treatise on the law of property in treatises intellectual productions in Great Britain and the United States" (Boston, Little, Brown & Co., 1879, 8vo, 774 p.) covered comprehensively the general copyright legislation of 1870–74, and superseded the earlier standard American law book, George Ticknor Curtis's work of 1847, “Treatise on the law of copyright ... as enacted and administered in England and America.” The volume on “Copyright, its law and its literature," by R. R. Bowker and Thorvald Solberg (N. Y. Publishers' Weekly, 1886, 8vo, 136 p.), the latter furnishing the bibliography of copyright, included fac-simile of the autograph signatures in the memorial of American authors of 1885, and a reprint of Sir James Stephen's digest of British copyright law, as well as the revised statutes, constituting the copyright law of the United States at that time. “The question of copyright,” by George Haven Putnam (N. Y., Putnams, 1891, 12mo, 412 p.), brought into one compilation many of the important documents and articles, including the text of the act of 1891. A valuable digest of “Copyright cases, 1891–1903," American and English, was compiled by Arthur S. Hamlin for the American Publishers Copyright League (N. Y., Putnams, 1904, 8vo, 237 p.).

The most valuable series of current publications Copyright on copyright are those issued from the Library of Office publiCongress by the Copyright Office, under Register Solberg's administration. The most important of these series is that of Copyright Office Bulletins issued at irregular intervals, of which No. 14 presents the current copyright law and No. 15, issued in 1910, gives the “Rules and regulations for the registration of claims to copyright" under the new law. No. 3, as issued in a second edition in 1906, contains the full

cations

text of "Copyright enactments of the United States, 1783-1906," and No. 8, issued in 1905, “Copyright in Congress, 1789–1904,” contains a bibliographical and chronological record of all proceedings in Congress. Several bulletins were issued during the preparation of the law of 1909, of which the most important was No. 9, giving the “Provisions of the United States copyright laws with a summary of some parallel provisions of the laws of foreign countries." No. 5 covers copyright in England, presenting the full text of copyright acts from 1875 to 1902, including and supplementing Sir James Stephen's digest of British copyright law; No. 6, “Copyright in Canada and Newfoundland” up to 1903; No. 7, "Foreign copyright laws now in force" up to 1904; No. 11, “Copyright in Japan" up to 1906; and No. 13, the documents of the International Copyright Union, including the Berlin convention of 1908. Bulletins No. 1 and 2 cover the former copyright law and directions for registration under it. Many of these bulletins are already out of print. A minor series is that of Information circulars, of which forty-five have been published, many of them now out of date and superseded, covering from time to time current information as to laws, proclamations, treaties, etc., domestic and foreign, as well as opinions of the Attorneys-General, custom

regulations and the like. Labor report

A report on the effect of the international copyright law by the Commissioner of Labor, Carroll D.

Wright, was presented to the Senate in 1901. English con Copyright literature in England is too extensive tributions

for more than brief reference here. “The great de about 1840

bate,” led by Serjeant Talfourd on one side and Lord Macaulay on the other, is recorded in Hansard's Parliamentary Debates (third series, volume LVI of 1841), and the speeches of the two combatants are

reprinted in their respective works. John James Lowndes's "Historical sketch of the law of copyright” was printed in 1840, with especial reference to Serjeant Talfourd's bill, and contained an appendix on the state of copyright in foreign countries — America, France, Holland and Belgium, the German states, Russia, Denmark, Norway and Sweden, Spain, and the Two Sicilies. “A plea for perpetual copyright," by W. D. Christie, was also put forth in 1840. Carlyle's caustic “Petition on the copyright bill" is included in his “Critical and miscellaneous essays."

Among the later noteworthy contributions to the Later Engsubject were the caustic denunciation of interna- lish contri

butions tional piracy by Charles Reade, the novelist, under the title “The eighth commandment,” reprinted in America by Ticknor & Fields, in 1860; Matthew Arnold's Fortnightly article of 1880, on “Copyright,” printed in the volume of his collected works containing his “Irish essays"; John Camden Hotten's seven letters on “Literary copyright,” in a volume of 1871; and Walter Besant's volume “The pen and the book," of 1899, containing a special chapter on copyright and literary property by G. H. Thring, Secretary of the British Society of Authors. Herbert Spencer made several contributions to the subject, some of which were reprinted in his “Various fragments.

There had been published, so early as 1823, the English legal first edition of Richard Godson's “Practical treatise treatises on the law of patents for inventions and of copyright,” which was immediately translated into French and became the standard English work, being supplemented in 1832 with an abstract of the laws in foreign countries and republished in a second comprehensive edition in 1840 by Saunders & Benning, London; in 1844 this second edition, with a supplement covering the recent laws, was reissued by W.

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