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say they have been denied the same privilege, without any evidence of that kind, and when you hear the fact, that you will come to the conclusion that they have not been denied, and that it seems that this is an admirable smoke screen, and it is their camouflage.
Representative BLOOM. Do you wish to say that these broadcasters you represent will be willing to give to Mr. Buck and the other representatives the privilege of addressing the same listeners-in from the broadcasting stations?
Mr. KLUGH. The difficulty there is that you constantly think of this loosely bound together broadcasting membership as a gigantic organization that controls its members. Now, I assure you, and you can learn from our constitution and by-laws that are already in the record, that we have no interest in these broadcasting stations, and no control over them, and I can not make you any promises on behalf of the broadcasters.
Representative BLOOM. You could use your influence, could you
Mr. KLUGH. I would be glad to do that.
For the correction of the record, it was brought up here by someone that we were the ones who requested the Department of Commerce to bring the copyright matter into the fourth radio conference. I do not know whether you brought that question up, Mr. Bloom, or not, but it was somebody here, and at the time I was not sure just who did it, and I fear that the record will show that my answer was not as straight as it should be.
Representative BLOOM. You mean committee No. 9?
Mr. KLUGH. Yes.
Representative BLOOM. You mentioned it, yourself, and then I read into the record Mr. Hoover's statement with reference to committee No. 9.
Mr. KLUGH. Yes; but the question arose as to who asked the conference to consider it.
Representative BLOOM. Mr. Hoover said, himself, that he had received many requests that this should be brought up at this conference, and Mr. Hoover stated to committee No. 9, and that is in the record
Mr. KLUGH (interposing). That is true.
Representative BLOOM (continuing). That he did not believe that should be brought up, but he would allow it to be brought up, but not permit it to be acted on.
Mr. KLUGH. That is correct. Now, to correct the record, I would like to say that the Broadcasters' Association never asked Mr. Hoover to bring that up in that meeting, and to the best of my knowledge no broadcaster asked that. But the one who did request it was the American Society of Authors, Composers and Publishers, as I am going to prove to you, just taking a minute. This letter is from Mr. Mills, addressed to all broadcasting stations, dated October 24. [Reading:]
We recently suggested to the Department of Commerce that the subject of use of copyrighted music in broadcast programs be made a topic for discussion at the forthcoming Fourth Annual Radio Conference which convenes at Washington on November 9.
Now, I went over to the Department of Commerce, Mr. Chairman, in order to verify that, and I find that the request for that came
from the American society, and the record of the hearing is that it came from us. It did not, and I am very glad to correct that. Now, to conclude this, gentlemen-I am sorry that I can not go into the correction of so many misstatements that were made, but I shall have to leave that to the others to do the best they can with it; and they will probably do better than I can. I did not mean to intimate that.
But to remove all of these smoke screens, and getting down to the real justice, what do we want? It is this, in a nutshell: We want simple justice. We realize that we have to have this music. We realize that this American society controls 90 per cent of the music the public wants to hear. We believe we ought to pay fully and fairly for it. So that you have the novel situation of these men holding material wanting to be paid, and ourselves over here perfectly agreeable to pay.
The next point is, what should be paid? We say we will pay what they want, and ask them to write it into the bill. So that the question of rates does not apply at all.
Now, then, when you have a simple proposition put up to you of that kind, your mind immediately turns to what motive can these men have for opposing the bill. It almost looks as though it were drawn for them, and that is the construction we really do want. I think Senator Dill will recall that when the matter was first discussed be believed that the American society would become the chief proponents of this bill. That is several months ago, and in those months, Mr. Chairman, we have searched in vain for a real motive for opposition to this bill. A real motive, until we came here. We make the simple request that the present law be modernized and write into the law broadcasting. Write anything you want. We are not asking for anything new. And then we find a most carefully prepared defense to the mechanical paragraph, and then for the first time we learn why this bill is opposed..
Why, the reason is, gentlemen, to remove from the present law of 1909 your mechanical paragraph. Obviously, they are spending this great amount of time and endeavor to lay the groundwork right in this committee here, not so much for this bill, but to get your mechanical paragraph out of the law if they can.
Now, of course, they will encounter in the committee in the House where these hearings are held-they will encounter great opposition to the removal of that; and it will be shown why that is a good thing for the American public. It will be shown why it is a good thing to have the music available to all the owners of phonographs and player pianos, instead of creating a situation which would make it possible for a certain number to be produced on the piano-player roll or record and it could not be played on the others. The universal use of the record would be destroyed there.
Now, the same thing pertains to broadcasting. There is only one way to settle it, and that is for Congress to regulate these rates. Make them five times as high as we believe we ought to pay, but regulate these rates. Write it into the law. And I have one final suggestion to make.
Representative BLOOM. Pardon me.
Before you make that sug
Mr. KLUGH (interposing). This is right on this line, Congressman, and then I will be glad to yield. And that is this, that there may be some truth in their feeling that to draw a law that sets a rate for all time would be unfair, and I want to offer this as a suggestion of our desire to settle the matter rather than pull for something that would oppress anyone. There may be something in that. And if there is, I hope you will write into the law, if you approve of it, a provision whereby these rates would be renewed at certain periods, say five years, or three-year periods, by some constituted authority. If the radio commission that is being discussed is not formed, then by the Interstate Commerce Commission, or any other competent body. We have no desire-and I mean this for those who are interested in the writing, for you, sir—we have no desire to permanently place this business of broadcasting upon a basis where you would not be fully and fairly paid. If there is merit in your argument, and if this suggestion for amending it would not seem to meet your objection, I hope the committee will take cognizance of it.
Now, I can only close by expressing, on behalf of the association, our appreciation of the courtesy you have extended to us. And I want to take this opportunity to publicly express to Senator Dill and Congressman Vestal, the drawers of the two bills, our appreciation for their sincere efforts to find some solution of this problem which has irritated and harrassed both sides for a period of three years, and for which there seems to be no satisfactory settlement, excepting a permanent and fair settlement which may flow from this legislation.
Representatove BLOOM. Now, one question: Was it your thought that since this bill was presented, the Dill bill, that then the authors, composers, and publishers came in with the idea of doing away with the compulsory licensing clause? That is what you said, that they thought you said this was a good idea to eliminate that. Do you not known, Mr. Klugh, that for years back the authors, composers, and publishers have been before the Patents Committee of both the Senate and House trying to do away with the compulsory licensing system with reference to phonographs? This bill had nothing to do with that. So you are wrong when you say this gave them the thought that this was a good opportunity to do away with the compulsory licensing clause.
Mr. KLUGH. May I answer that?
Mr. KLUGH. The first effort of which I am aware to eliminate that mechanical clause was in connection with the Perkins bill last fall, and your Authors' League bill is an outgrowth of that.
Representative BLOOM. But you said that was the opportunity Mr. Klugh. And since this Dill bill was put in that these people came in to eliminate it. That is not a fact, and you know it. Please be fair.
The CHAIRMAN. I think perhaps the committee should conclude for to-day, and if there is no objection we will meet here to-morrow morning at 10 o'clock. I think Mr. Harkness desires to make a statement, and Mr. Buck, and we will close to-morrow.
We will adjourn now until to-morrow morning at 10 o'clock. (Thereupon, at 1.05 o'clock p. m., the committee adjourned to meet on the following day, Thursday, April 22, 1926, at 10 o'clock, a. m.)
TO AMEND THE COPYRIGHT ACT
THURSDAY, APRIL 22, 1926
COMMITTEES ON PATENTS OF THE UNITED STATES SENATE AND HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, Washington, D. C. The committees met, pursuant to adjournment, at 10 o'clock a. m., in room 412, Senate Office Building, Senator Jesse H. Metcalf presiding.
Present: Senators Metcalf, Dill, and Shipstead, and Representatives Blooom, Bowles, and Wefald.
Senator METCALF. The committee will please come to order. Is there another witness ready?
Mr. HARKNESS. Shall I proceed, sir?
STATEMENT OF W. E. HARKNESS, ASSISTANT VICE PRESIDENT, AMERICAN TELEPHONE & TELEGRAPH CO., AND CHAIRMAN OF THE COMMITTEE ON COPYRIGHT CONFERENCE FOR THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF BROADCASTERS
Mr. HARKNESS. I wish to say that while I am associated with the American Telephone & Telegraph Co. I have not appeared before this committee in their behalf asking for anything in their favor. We are not asking for anything to be taken away from any person. We wish to treat all fairly; we have done so in the past and we propose to continue to do so. I have simply appeared before you to give you such information as I have on this subject as chairman of the committee on copyright conference for the National Association of Broadcasters.
The telephone company is a large corporation, and is a target for mud slingers, and is easy to hit in that way. It is like a poor marksman going in a shooting gallery; the first thing he picks is the largest target, with the hope that he will make a bull's-eye.
Mr. Burkan, the counsel for the opponents to this measure, has called to the attention of the committee his extensive experience in appearing before committees of Congress and my lack of experience in this respect. His statement regarding my limited experience in this respect is correct as throughout my business experience I have not been associated with enterprises which have found it necessary to appear here to explain or defend their actions.
I have been surprised at many of the statements made by the distinguished counsel for the society on matters outside of the bill being considered which are not founded upon fact and have been distorted and presented in a manner which is misleading to say the least.