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COPYRIGHT OFFICE

THE

COPYRIGHT LAW

OF THE

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

BEING THE ACT OF MARCH 4, 1909

(IN FORCE JULY 1, 1909)
AS AMENDED BY THE ACTS OF AUGUST 24, 1912,

MARCH 2, 1913, AND MARCH 28, 1914

TOGETHER WITH

RULES FOR PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE

UNDER SECTION 25

BY THE SUPREME COURT OF THE

UNITED STATES

Copyright Office Bulletin No. 14

(2,000, November, 1916.)..

WASHINGTON
GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE

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The Act here printed passed both Houses of Congress on March 3 and was signed by the President on March 4, 1909. (Statutes at Large, vol. 35, part 1, pp. 1075-1088.) The Act went into effect on July 1, 1909.

As stated in its title, it is “An Act to Amend and Consolidate the Acts respecting Copyright,” and it takes the place of the copyright enactments formerly in force, the repealing clause reading as follows:

“That all laws or parts of laws in conflict with the provisions of this Act are hereby repealed, but nothing in this Act shall affect causes of action for infringement of copyright heretofore committed now pending in courts of the United States, or which may hereafter be instituted; but such causes shall be prosecuted to a conclusion in the manner heretofore provided by law.” (Section 63.)

Section 25 provides that “Rules and regulations for practice and procedure under this section shall be prescribed by the Supreme Court of the United States.” In compliance with this requirement “Rules for Practice and Procedure” were adopted and promulgated by the Supreme Court on June 1, 1909, and they are, for convenience, reprinted in this edition of the law, pages 37–39.

The first Act amendatory of the new copyright law was approved on August 24, 1912. This Act, known as the “Townsend Bill,” amends section 5 by adding two new classes of copyright works, namely, “(1) Motion-picture photoplays,” and “(m) Motion-pictures other than photoplays.” It amends section 11 by including express directions for the deposit of the title and description and of a certain number of prints from the scenes, acts, or sections of each motion picture; and also by adding “dramatico-musical compositions” to the list of unpublished works enumerated in section 11 as subject matter of copyright. The Act further amends section 25 by providing special limited damages in the case of infringement by means of motion pictures, where the infringer shows that he was not aware that he was infringing and that such infringement could not reasonably have been foreseen.

The Act approved March 2, 1913, amends section 55 to require certain changes in the certificate of copyright registration.

The Act approved March 28, 1914, amends section 12 so as to require the deposit of ONE copy only, in lieu of two copies, in the case of all works by an author who is a citizen or subject of a foreign state or nation and has been published in a foreign country.

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In this issue of the law the provisions of the new amendatory Acts have been substituted and the change in text is shown by using italic type in sections 5, 11, 12, 25, and 55 to show the new language.

This print also contains notice (pages 35–36) of the Presidential proclamations issued under provisions of law in relation to copyright in the United States for works of foreign authors, and the special proclamations under section 1 (e) of the act of March 4, 1909, securing copyright controlling the parts of instruments serving to reproduce mechanically a musical work, namely for Belgium, Cuba, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Luxemburg, and Norway. The copyright convention with Hungary, in force October 16, 1912, also includes protection of music under section 1 (e). The full text of the convention will be found on pages 42–43.

The text of the Fourth Pan American Copyright Convention, proclaimed on July 13, 1914, is printed on pages 44–48. It is now in effect between the United States and Bolivia, Brazil, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, and Salvador.

THORVALD SOLBERG,

Register of Copyrights. NOVEMBER 1, 1916.

NOTE.-According to the opinion of the Attorney General, of December 22, 1909, section 3 of the act of 1874 is still in force; see page 54.

Constitutional provision respecting copyright (art. 1, sec. 8).
Schedule of copyright acts in force...

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