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which he receives for his copyright, and usually equal to the latter. Thus, if the copyright were calculated at ten per cent., the royalty for plates and copyright would be twenty per cent., or for a book published at $1.50, thirty cents per copy, or $300 per thousand.
There are certain conveniences in retaining the ownership of the plates of a book, which cause many authors to prefer this method. If any changes, corrections, or additions are considered by the author essential or desirable before the printing of further editions, it is much easier for the author to arrange for these to his satisfaction if he is the owner of the plates, than if it is first necessary to decide with the publisher how the cost of such alterations ought to be divided. It is also a convenience for an author who, at the close of a contract with one publisher, desires to transfer his works to some other house, to be in a position to transfer his plates at the same time, instead of being obliged first to arrange for the purchase of them, and possibly to combat some difference of opinion as to their market value. In the event of a publishing firm becoming bankrupt, the stereotype plates belonging to them are of necessity disposed of to the highest bidder, and an author, not owning his plates, might undergo the annoyance of seeing his books transferred to some firm whom he would never of his own option have selected as his publishers.
And finally, an author who owns his plates as well as his copyrights, feels that his literary property is more fully under his control, as part of his estate, to devise and bequeath as seems best to him.
A fifth publishing method, which is not often employed in this country, is what is called the half-profit arrangement. The author contributes the book, in which he has invested his labor, and the publisher invests the capital needed to manufacture the book, and the machinery and business con
nection needed to bring it before the public, and the profits, if any accrue, are divided equally between them. The principal objection to this method is the many occasions to which it gives rise for differences of opinion between author and publisher. It is not easy, in connection with the somewhat complicated machinery for publishing, advertising, and distributing books, to determine with perfect equity and precision just what proportion of the general expenditure properly belongs to any one book; that is to say, just what is the actual cost of publication, and, of course, until this can be determined, it is not practicable to arrive at the sum of the net profits which are to be divided. The proper amount to be expended in advertising and in “pushing” (to use a business term) any one book may also easily be a cause of an honest difference of opinion, the publisher being naturally averse to investing any dollars that do not seem likely to be repaid, while the author is disposed to consider every dollar wisely invested that serves to bring his writings more widely to the attention of the public.
Publishing contracts under all the above methods, excepting the first, are usually drawn for terms of years, ranging from two to ten. These contracts usually provide, among other things, that the author, or the representative of the author who comes to treat with the publishers, is the absolute owner of the copyright of the work in question, and of the right to publish the same, and that he will assume the cost of any lawsuits or other measures which his publisher may be obliged to undertake to defend such copyright or publishing right against infringement. They provide, further, that the work contains nothing libellous, or in any way defamatory, and that the author will make good to the publisher any loss or expense to which he
be put in the event of any thing libellous being found in or charged against the work.
NE of the questions frequently asked by an author in
connection with his first work is : " What steps must I take to secure my copyright?” For the purpose of supplying this information, the text of the United States Copyright Laws, as included in the Revised Statutes, is here given.
THE COPYRIGHT LAWS OF THE UNITED STATES.
(These form a part of the Act relating to Patents, and the numbering of the sections is consecutive to that of the sections relating to Patents.)
librarian of Congress. 4949.
Seal of office. 4950.
Bond of librarian. 4951.
Annual report. 4952. What publications may be entered
for copyright. 4952A. Registration of prints and labels. 4953.
Term of copyrights. 4954. Continuance of term. 4955. Assignment of copyrights and re
cording 4956. Deposit of title and published
copies. 4957 Record of entry and attested copy. 4958. Fees. 4958A. Fee for recording and certifying
assignments. 4959. Copies of copyright works to be
furnished to librarian of Con
gress. 1960. Penalty for omission.
notice of entry. 4964. Damages for violation of copy
right of books. 4965. For violating copyright of maps,
charts, prints, etc. 4966. For violating copyright of dra
matic compositions. 4967. Damages for printing or publish
ing any manuscript without con
sent of author, etc. 4968. Limitation of action in copyright
4969. Defenses to action in copyright
4970. Injunctions in copyright cases. 4971. Aliens and non-residents not priv
SEC. 4948. All records and other things relating to copyrights and required by law to be preserved, shall be under the control of the librarian of Congress, and kept and preserved in the library of Congress; and the librarian of Congress shall have the immediate care and supervision thereof, and, under the supervision of the joint committee of Congress on the library, shall perform all acts and duties required by law touching copyrights.
SEC. 4949. The seal provided for the office of the librarian of Congress shall be the seal thereof, and by it all records and papers issued from the office and to be used in evidence shall be authenticated.
SEC. 4950. The librarian of Congress shall give a bond, with sureties, to the treasurer of the United States, in the sum of five thousand dollars, with the condition that he will render to the proper officers of the treasury a true account of all moneys received by virtue of his office.
SEC. 4951. The librarian of Congress shall make an annual report to Congress of the number and description of copyright publications for which entries have been made during the year.
SEC. 4952. Any citizen of the United States or resident therein, who shall be the author, inventor, designer, or proprietor of any book, map, chart, dramatic or musical composition, engraving, cut, print, or photograph, or negative thereof, or of a painting, drawing, chromo, statue, statuary, or of models or designs intended to be perfected as works of the fine arts, and the executors, administrators, or assigns of any such person shall, upon complying with the provisions of this chapter, have the sole liberty of printing, reprinting, publishing, completing, copying, executing, finishing, and vending the same; and, in the case of a dramatic composition, of publicly performing or representing it, or causing it to be performed or represented by others. And authors may reserve the right to dramatize or to translate their own works.
SEC. 4952A. (Act of June 18, 1874, ch. 301, § 3, 18 Stat. 79.) That in the construction of this act the words “engraving," “cut,” and “print" shall be applied only to pictorial illustrations
or works connected with the fine arts, and no prints or labels designed to be used for any other articles of manufacture shall be entered under the copyright law, but may be registered in the
And the commissioner of patents is hereby charged with the supervision and control of the entry or registry of such prints or labels, in conformity with the regulations provided by law as to copyright of prints, except that there shall be paid for recording the title of any print or label not a trademark, six dollars, which shall cover the expense of furnishing a copy of the record under the seal of the commissioner of patents, to the party entering the same.
SEC. 4953. Copyrights shall be granted for the term of twentyeight years from the time of recording the title thereof, in the manner hereinafter directed.
SEC. 4954. The author, inventor, or designer, if he be still living and a citizen of the United States or resident therein, or his widow or children, if he be dead, shall have the same exclusive right continued for the further term of fourteen years, upon recording the title of the work or description of the article so secured a second time, and complying with all other regulations in regard to original copyrights, within six months before the expiration of the first term. And such person shall, within two months from the date of said renewal, cause a copy of the record thereof to be published in one or more newspapers, printed in the United States, for the space of four weeks.
SEC. 4955. Copyrights shall be assignable in law, by any instrument of writing, and such assignment shall be recorded in the office of the librarian of Congress within sixty days after its execution; in default of which it shall be void as against any subsequent purchaser or mortgagee for a valuable consideration, without notice.
SEC. 4956. No person shall be entitled to a copyright unless he shall, before publication, deliver at the office of the librarian of Congress, or deposit in the mail addressed to the librarian of Congress, at Washington, District of Columbia, a printed copy of the title of the book or other article, or a description of the painting, drawing, chromo, statue, statuary, or a model or design for a work of the fine arts, for which he desires a copyright, nor