« iepriekšējāTurpināt »
Fair use. The bill would add a provision to the statute specifically recogniz ing the doctrine of fair use, but without any attempt to indicate the application or define the scope of the doctrine.
Compulsory license.-The bill would modify the present compulsory license for the recording of music. It would, among other things, increase the statutory royalty ceiling and provide a broader recovery against infringers.
Exempt performances.-The bill removes the present exemption of public performances of nondramatic literary and musical works where the performance is not "for profit." Instead, it provides specific exemptions for certain types of nonprofit uses, including performances in classrooms and "in school" educational broadcasting. The revised bill would give broadcasting organizations a limited privilege of making "ephemeral recordings" of their broadcasts.
Jukebox exemption.—The bill includes the text of the jukebox bill which was favorably reported by the Judiciary Committee of the House of Representatives in 1963 and has been reintroduced in the 89th Congress. It would repeal the present exemption of jukebox operators from payment of performance royalties. Notice of copyright.-The statute now requires, as a condition of copyright protection, that the published copies of a work bear a copyright notice. The bill calls for a notice on published copies, but omission or errors would not forfeit the copyright. Innocent infringers misled by the omission or error would be shielded from liability.
Registration.-As under the present law, registration would not be a condition of copyright protection but would be a prerequisite to an infringement suit. In general, the extraordinary remedies of statutory damages and attorney's fees would not be available for infringements occurring before registration. Manufacturing clause.-Certain works must now be manufactured in the United States to have copyright protection here. The bill proposes several modifications that would narrow the scope of this clause and would permit the importation of 3,500 copies manufactured abroad instead of the present limit of 1,500 copies.
Mr. KASTEN MEIER. The members of the subcommittee congratulate the Librarian of Congress and the Copyright Office on having advanced the revision program to this new level. We regret the absense of Mr. Kaminstein, the Register of Copyrights, because of illness, and hope that he will very soon be back at the helm. Meanwhile the Deputy Register, Mr. Cary, and his associates are to be commended on the manner in which they have carried on the project in the absence of their chief. We have invited the Librarian and the Copyright Office to discuss the measure and to assign representatives to remain available throughout the hearings.
At this time I would like to ask the gentleman from New York if he has any statement he would like to make.
Mr. LINDSAY. Mr. Chairman, I thank you for permitting me to speak very briefly on this subject. I would ask, if I may, that my more formal statement on the Copyright Revision Act be placed in the record at this point.
Mr. KASTEN MEIER. Without objection it is so ordered. (The statement referred to is as follows:)
STATEMENT BY REPRESENTATIVE JOHN V. LINDSAY, (REPUBLICAN, NEW YORK) Mr. Chairman and members of the subcommittee, I am grateful for the opportunity to testify today on H.R. 4347. As a Representative from the city of New York, I hold a vital interest in the copyright laws and have long felt that a comprehensive revision was badly needed. This bill will effect the first such thorough revision of the copyright laws since 1909.
New York City is one of the world's great centers for literature, music, drama, and the creative arts. The copyright laws directly or indirectly affect thousands of people and innumerable activities in the city. New York City is the heart of the legitimate theater in America. The New York Philharmonic, the Metropolitan Opera Company, and the New York City Ballet Company are just three
of the great cultural performing groups which make their headquarters in the city. New York is also the home of many of the great publishing houses, newspapers, motion picture companies, recording studios, and television and radio networks. Thousands of authors, composers, performers, and other persons associated with the creative arts live within the city. This bill is of great importance to each of these individuals and each of these enterprises.
The creative arts enrich and energize the city. They can be further enhanced by enactment of a new copyright law which will recognize the changes that have taken place in the performing and written arts over the past half century.
I should like to state at the outset that I strongly favor this bill. It is essential to promote and strengthen the motivation of persons engaged in the creative arts in the United States. It is essential to harmonize the copyright law of the United States with that of other nations. It is essential to bring about a fair balance between the private economic interests of the creative individual and the public interest in the product of his work.
Three sections of the bill are of particular interest and substantial importance. First, the elimination of the so-called jukebox exemption. Based on purely economic considerations, there is a deep division here. The performing rights societies and the individual composers they represent favor the measure. believe there is substantial merit in their position. Permit me to quote from a letter I received from one songwriter:
"By actual count last week, I have taken tab on 4 jukeboxes in my home area and here are my findings ** my songs have been played in these jukeboxes exactly 128 times. The jukebox operator, at 10 cents a record play, netted $12.80 *** while these spins netted me exactly nothing * ** do you call this fair?"
No, Mr. Chairman, I do not think that is fair. I think the coin-operated music machine has reached such proportions today that the individuals responsible for that music are entitled to a fair share of its prosperity.
But there are two sides to this story. A letter from one of the major operators guilds states:
"The provisions in section 114 of the general revision bill would subject operators to license fees in unlimited amounts without any protection whatsoever. The owners of musical copyrights would have the power and authority under this new legislation to impose fees without any maximum limit or other standards in the law. In addition, operators would also be exposed to exorbitant penalties for infringements of musical copyrights, even if the infringements were not intended and were accidental."
These are aspects of the situation which I believe the committee may wish to consider in the course of its hearings. Depending upon the expert testimony which the committee receives, it may be desirable to write into the bill statutory fees for the licensing of jukebox performances.
There is precedent for this in section 113 of the bill, which prescribes fees for making and distributing records under a compulsory license. I believe the testi mony may also indicate that it is prudent to modify the penalty for accidental infringement under these circumstances, so as to limit the recovery to actual damages.
A related matter which I also believe deserves some attention is the fee for a compulsory license to make and distribute phonograph recordings. The bill would increase this basic fee from 2 to 3 cents per copy. There is considerable feeling that this increase, while highly welcome, is grossly insufficient to give the songwriter a fair share of the profits which his work produces. A letter from a leading music publisher in my city makes this point very well:
"My business has taken me to Europe, South America, and other spots in the world and I have been shocked to learn that the songwriter or music publisher there usually fares much better as regards public performances than we do here in the United States. When one considers that the rate of payment on mechanical instruments dates back to July 1, 1909, without any increase, and that record companies are taking more and more advantage of this old law, it is certainly clear that greater income and protection should be given to those who produce the songs of our country."
In brief, Mr. Chairman, I believe the question of compulsory licensing fees, together with the termination of the jukebox exemption is deserving of the closest attention by this committee.
Second-and affecting the general public more deeply than the jukebox matter-is the effect of the bill on educational uses of copyrighted materials. I be52-380-66-pt. 1—3
lieve in this area, Mr. Chairman, there is substantial misunderstanding within the educational community. This concern should be alleviated by an abundantly clear legislative history of just what changes the bill is intended to make in existing law, and what changes it is not intended to make.
As I read the bill, the fair-use doctrine-with all its judicial ramifications-is protected by the proposed statute. Similarly, performance or exhibition, or educational television transmission of a copyrighted work in a classroom situation, is not an infringement. While copying of a copyrighted work in its entirety is not permitted under the bill, even for educational purposes, I think the record must show that such copying is an infringement under existing law as well.
On the other hand, I do feel that the legislative history should leave no question that certain types of limited copying, for educational purposes, are definitely protected by the fair-use doctrine. There is a very strong public interest involved here of which this committee must be constantly aware.
I think it is important to realize, however, that the educational community shares a common interest with the authors whose work is used. It is as much to the benefit of scholars and educators to have a strong copyright law to encourage the creation of valuable source materials as it is to the authors themselves. I am also impressed by the number of educators with ambivalent feelings toward this bill resulting from their dual role as authors.
One aspect of the impact of the bill on education deserves particularly careful study. That is the provision which appears to limit the exemption for the educational television industry to broadcasts for classroom use. I refer to section 109 (2). I think the committee should hear considerable testimony as to the effect that the limitation will have upon educational TV stations. The noncommercial and infant status of this industry may well be deserving of additional protection.
A third part of the bill appears to be of special interest to my constituents. That is the broader protection afforded to those working in the performing arts. I speak in particular of choreographic and dramatic works. My mail strongly indicates that pirating of choreography is now a widespread practice. This type of work would seem to be well within the protection of the proposed statute. It is not so clear, however, that the work of a stage director is also within the scope of the bill. A letter from a theatrical manager in my district makes this point very well, and I quote:
"Whereas the bill specifically protects the work of choreographers, it speaks only in general terms of 'dramatic works,' and does not specifically protect the work of a director of plays. I recognize that the work of the choreographer is more readily apprehended but since the burden of proof is upon the person protected by the law, a director would naturally have to be able to prove that his work was something special and unique to him. It would be a good thing if the word, 'director' would be included."
I think the committee could well explore, Mr. Chairman, the possibility of further definitive work in this area.
In conclusion, Mr. Chairman, I would like once again to stress my strong support for this bill. Reform and revision of our copyright laws are long overdue. I realize that there are several aspects of this bill about which some people feel very deeply. I have touched upon some of these. It is my most sincere hope that these areas of disagreement can be equitably resolved in committee, and that a fair, reasonable, and sensible bill can be reported for prompt House action. Mr. LINDSAY. To summarize what I have said in my prepared statement, I regard this reform and revision of the copyright laws as one of the most important matters that our Committee on the Judiciary has considered in a long time. As a Representative from New York City, I, of course, have a particular interest in this bill because New York City, and especially my 17th District, is in so many ways the copyright center of the world.
My hometown is the heart of our greatest efforts in literature, music, and drama. The copyright laws affect, directly and indirectly, the jobs, the opportunities, and the general welfare of thousands of our people. New York is the center of the legitimate theater in America. The New York Philharmonic, Metropolitan Opera, and New York City Ballet are but three of our many resident groups of worldwide
fame. New York is also the home of the great publishing houses, newspapers, motion picture companies, recording studios, and television and radio networks.
The creative arts are a great energy in our city and our community, and this affects the entire country. I am delighted, therefore, that this measure will bring up to date and modernize a body of law which has become increasingly archaic.
There is no reason why the length of the copyright should not be a lifetime plus 50 years as is the case in most Eupropean countries. This bill proposes that we change our present system of 28 years renewable for 28 years, to the accepted European standard of the creator's lifetime plus 50 years.
I think it is high time, too, that we have clarification on some of the other problems. The fair-use provision, for example, is a reasonable proposition, but there are uncertainties about it, and a lot of the testimony here will go to that, I am sure.
There is no reason, in my judgment, why the jukebox exemption should continue. Copyright protection should extend to the work of composers at all performances for profit, including coin-operated machines.
The whole community antenna question is another very difficult subject. All of these problems, I think, have to be faced. I know it is my hope, and I am sure it is the chairman's hope as well, that, as to the more difficult questions such as fair use, where there is a tug of war between schools and libraries on one hand, and book publishers and authors' associations on the other, that reasonable compromises can be reached when the hearings are over so that we can get a bill out.
I would hope, too, that our subcommittee can take up the question of books for the blind. There is nothing in the bill at this point. The Library of Congress now makes available recordings of books to those who are technically totally blind. However, there are many, many citizens in the country who are de facto blind; they cannot read because of one disability or another. It seems to me that provision should be written into this law for these people, and I hope it will be.
I would like to express my thanks to Mr. Kaminstein, Register of Copyrights, for the superb job he has done in drafting the bill introduced by the chairman, Mr. Celler. This is a first-class, professional work. I deeply regret that Mr. Kaminstein has been sidelined by illness and is unable to appear, but we welcome Mr. Cary, his associate. Mr. KASTEN MEIER. Thank you, Mr. Lindsay.
Our first witness today was to have been Representative Monagan but he will not be heard today. He asserts he will definitely testify at a later time.
Mr. HUTCHINSON. Mr. Chairman, might the record show, if no mention has yet been made of it, that Mr. Poff asked me to say his absence this morning is due to a necessity for his attending another meeting in connection with Judiciary Committee activities. Otherwise he would be here and he will be here at a later time. If we meet this afternoon he will be here.
Mr. KASTENMEIER. We appreciate that explanation. Thank you. Now at this time we will begin by hearing from the Librarian of Congress, Mr. Mumford.
STATEMENT OF HON. L. QUINCY MUMFORD, LIBRARIAN OF CONGRESS
Mr. MUMFORD. Mr. Chairman, members of the subcommittee, my name is L. Quincy Mumford, and I am the Librarian of Congress. The bill that you have before you, for the general revision of the copyright law, is one that I believe to be of urgent national importance. It is a great honor for me to appear as one of the opening witnesses on this bill, and to urge its enactment.
The copyright law of our country was originally passed by the First Congress in 1790, and has been completely revised only three times in the century and three-quarters since then. Ninety-five years ago, in the second general revision of 1870, administration of the copyright laws of the United States was entrusted to the Librarian of Congress, and the administration of the American copyright system has been an integral part of the Library's functions ever since.
As most people realize, the copies deposited for copyright registration have furnished the backbone of the Library's collections. What is not generally realized, however, is that the copyright law is directly responsible for the very creation and publication of our country's literature, art, and music. As a symbol of America's cultural life, it is fitting that the Library of Congress is also the focal point of its copyright activities.
As Librarian of Congress I am confronted daily with what are now being called the "information explosion" and the "comunications explosion." It is obvious to me that these revolutionary developments carry with them a profound challenge to creative endeavor, and that our antiquated copyright law must be revised to meet this challenge. The longer this task is delayed, the harder it will be to accomplish, and the more serious will be the loss for future generations.
The present bill reflects 10 years of concerted effort on the part of the Copyright Office of the Library of Congress and the representatives of the many groups and interests directly concerned with copyright, to reconcile differences and seek solutions to the multitude of problems in this field. The bill is a tribute to the patience, persistence, and hard work of Arthur Fisher, the late Register of Copyrights, who planned the revision program and who died in 1960, and of Abraham L. Kaminstein, the present Register, who has carried these plans forward and whom, I greatly regret, illness prevents from being here today.
In the weeks to come you will hear sharp conflicts and further disputes on particular issues, but do not let them obscure the progress that has been made so far. Mr. Kaminstein has said that in his experience there are no irreconcilable issues in copyright, and the bill reflects not only his belief in this principle but also the truth of it.
Copyright law is by nature a difficult and complex subject, and my understanding of its details is imperfect, to say the least. But, like any other intricate field of knowledge, there are certain simple and fundamental principles underlying our copyright system, and their importance cannot be overemphasized.
If, as I believe, a civilization lives on in future generations through the works of its creation, and if, as I also believe, an effective copyright law is essential to promote creative activity, then the revision of the copyright law may well represent one of the most important