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Wages and hours of labor in leading occupations in the United States and in Europe,
1890 to 1903— Compositors.
a The wages and hours of labor shown for the United States are for compositors, newspaper, only.
I wish to say, Mr. Chairman, further, that we have followed copyright legislation and copyright matters for fifteen years very closely and have found it necessary to do so. We participated in all the conferences; we took an active part in the debates and in the discussions. It was generally understood that there would be no amendment or objection to our manufacturing clause. I wish to say that the only thing that we have offered in the entire draft of this bill is a clause or an addition to the manufacturing clause of the law which requires that with the time of the deposit of the two copies an affidavit under the seal and register of a notary public of the United States must accompany those two books, specifying that the law has been complied with and that the manufacture of those books has been done in the United States. To-day it is the simplest matter to get a copyright, and I say this with all due respect to the Librarian of Congress and to the Copyright Office, for I have great respect for both, but simply upon a printed statement made by John Doe, of Park Row, who is not known and perhaps never was seen and who can send in an application on that blank and register the copies of his work and that grants him a copyright. He does not state that he has complied with the law; he simply gives his name and address and says that he is the author of a work called “ The Great West," or something of that kind. Now, we have found it necessary, following closely this law for a number of years—we do know positively from information that comes to us from reliable sources that the law is violated by the introduction into this country of old plates, metal allowed to come in here free of duty. We have therefore under taken to strengthen the manufacturing clause, requiring that before a person secures a copyright he shall testify under oath that he has complied with the law and that those books have been manufactured in the United States.
Mr. BONYNGE. Didn't we have a bill of that kind before the House committee?
Mr. CURRIER. It passed the House. Mr. Sullivan, in view of what you state about the printing of those books in Japan from plates made in America, don't you think it is vital to the interests of the people you represent.that the law should provide that the printing should also be done in the United States?
Mr. SULLIVAN. Most assuredly.
Mr. CURRIER. I would suggest that you and your conferees formulate an amendment there.
Mr. SULLIVAN. I want to suggest right here, before it gets away from me, in regard to section 13, on page 25, that on the sixth line four words be added. It now reads, “ either by hand or by the aid of
any kind of typesetting machines, or from plates made from types set within the limits of the United States; " and I desire to have four words added : “From plates made within the United States."
Mr. LEGARE. You want to put " within the United States" after the word "made?"
Mr. SULLIVAN. Yes.
Mr. CURRIER. That does not cover at all the point you complain of, with reference to this Japanese importation.
Mr. SULLIVAN. No; I understand that. It was drawn out here yesterday in the argument of Mr. Ogilvie. He could comply with the law in that respect.
Mr. CURRIER. I understand you take care of that, but your amendment does not take care of the further objection that in order to protect your people you need to have the book printed here. I suggest that you offer such an amendment.
Mr. SULLIVAN. Yes, we will do that; but at the same time I respectfully suggest that those four words be added in now. We believe that will minimize the danger, and where the type is set and the plates made here I can not conceive that it will be advantageous to the American publisher to then send the plates abroad and have the printing done and then pay the duty of 25 per cent ad valorem on the books so printed.
Mr. CURRIER. Oh, that could be easily done in the instance of Japan. I understood you to say that that practice, if persisted in, would put the American publisher out of business.
Mr. SULLIVAN. Yes.
Mr. CURRIER. Twenty-five per cent ad valorem on books that are manufactured for one-eighth of what they cost here is very low.
Mr. SULLIVAN. Yes. We will, therefore, thanking you for the suggestion, offer an amendment covering the entire manufacture of books, leaving the entire text as it is with that exception.
I do not wish to take up any more of the time of your committee, but I do believe, and the organization and interests which I represent believe, that you have the interest of the American workers so well at heart, and your interest in their welfare is a sufficient guarantee that this manufacturing clause of the law will be neither modified nor weakened in any manner, but that you will strengthen it in every possible way so as to forever protect us from the competition of European typographers, and with the expression of that belief I respectfully submit to you our amendment.
Amendments proposed by International Typographical Union, International
Brotherhood of Bookbinders, and International Printing Pressmen and Assistants' Union of North America.
Section 11. Amend by inserting after the 'word edition,” page 7, twentieth line, the words “ which have been produced in accordance with the manufacturing provisions provided for in section 13 of this act."
Section 13. Amend by inserting after the word “made,” page 8, fifteenth line, the words “ within the limits of the United States,” and by inserting after the words “ United States,” page 8, eighteenth line, the words “and that the printing and binding of the said book have been performed within the limits of the United States;" also by inserting after the word “made,” page 9, tenth line, the words “within the limits of the United States ;" also by inserting after the words “ United States,” page 9, thirteenth line, the words “and that the printing and binding of the said book have also been performed within the limits of the United States;" also by inserting after the word “ establishment,” page 9, twenty-second line, the words “or establishments ;” also by inserting after the word“ process,” page 9, twenty-third line, the words “ or printing or binding."
Section 17. Amend by striking out after the word "published,” page 13, fifteenth line, the words to and including “ therefrom," in the sixteenth line, and inserting the words “in accordance with the manufacturing provisions specified in section thirteen of this act."
Section 30. Amend by striking out after the word “proprietor,” page 23, sixth line, the words to and including " United States," in the ninth line, and inserting the words “ which have not been produced in accordance with the manufacturing provisions specified in section thirteen of this act.” Also by striking out, after the word “produced,” page 24, fifth line, the words to and including “therefrom ” in the seventh line, and inserting the words “in accordance with the manufacturing provisions specified in section thirteen of this act.”
STATEMENT OF MR. GEORGE HAVEN PUTNAM.
Mr. G. H. PUTNAM. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, I would simply remind you, knowing, as I do, that the time of the committee is valuable, that the Book Publishers' Association have not yet had an opportunity to be heard in regard to the general matter of the bill. I was called upon to speak in regard to two specific propositions pending, concerning matters of which I had knowledge, but I desire to state that book publishers have in this proceeding, as in all previous copyright undertakings, had much to do with the shaping of copyright legislation, and I may say for myself that for twenty years I have had the honor of coming before the committees of the House and of the Senate in regard, first, to the copyright bill introduced in 1886; in regard later to certain amendments connected with that bill and in regard to the heading off of amendments inimical to copyright. I have labored for the strengthening, as far as might be possible, of the defense of literary and artistic property. I want here in the first place, on behalf of those interested in copyright property, and particularly on behalf of the publishers of this country, to express my very cordial appreciation of the patient and discriminating attention which the committee has given to its rather perplexing task. I have been before many committees of Congress, but I have never been before any in which we had such substantially full attendance as we have had from this committee. I have not before met Senators and Representatives who were prepared to go into the subject so thoroughly—may I say so intelligently? We realize that a very full measure of intellectual capacity is being given to the perplexing problems before the committee.
In one or two of the suggestions and questions submitted yesterday it seemed to me there was in the minds of one or two of the legislators, and possibly of others, an idea that there ought to be and that there could be a separation in the matter of the defense of copyright between the interests of authors and the interests of the publishers. I desire to emphasize the fact that no such separation is practicable if it should be desirable, or could be desirable if it were practicable. It is said that the law is no respecter of persons. If copyright has been given to a producer, he has under that copyright a certain protection of law. The assignment of that copyright could not and should not interfere in any way with the fulfillment of the obligations under the law to the assignee, or of securing for such assignee the same full measure of protection that belongs to the original owner of the copyright. The assignee ought to be, and should be under the law, in exactly the same position as the original producer. If an architect and builder together have built a house, the buyer of that house is entitled to the same kind of protection to his property as the original producer. But if the house is to be turned over to him by the original producer with a word like this, " this is your house, but there are certain special liens behind it-liens provided for by law—that is, some people can come in and without paying rent may occupy this or that room, possibly for a library, and you, the present owner, will get no rent," in such a case the law would be a respecter of persons. That would not be equitable; it would certainly not be justice. It is no better law, it is no better justice, for a copyright than for a house, and the assignee of the copyright, on that ground of equal justice under the law, must secure all that the law originally gives to the original owner of the copyright and under the provisions which you gentle
But apart from all that, we publishers are the business advisers and representatives of our authors. I have in my own safe some 950 copyright contracts. In those contracts I am given the responsibility of looking after the copyright interests of the authors who have retained a continued royalty interest in their property; and that is distinctly true of each publisher who publishes a copyright book. We publishers are as truly the representatives of the authors as are our ol friends who are ere to represent the authors' league. We represent the authors who have assigned their property interests to us, because it is our business to do so; because they are our clients, and also because our property interests are identified with theirs and can not be separated from theirs. There is the further consideration that for a large proportion of the literary property produced in this country-publications which make for the higher education of the country-the originator is the publisher himself. They are the works that the publisher has suggested; sometimes single books, such as historical works; sometimes composite works, such as encyclopedias, and always magazines. The publisher is himself the originator of such work, and whatever copyright you gentlemen decide upon under the present bill you will give to publishers as producers of literary property. On that ground also we stand before the community and before you gentlemen in exactly the same position as the author stands. There can be no separation of interests. I have been permitted during the twenty years since the organization of the Publishers' Copyright League to represent authors, just as my good friend, Mr. Johnson,
does, and particularly from year to year since the passage of the act of 1891. I have represented the authors before your committees, just as I have represented the publishers. I may say in this connection that practically all the copyright laws of Europe were originated under the initiative of the publishers, and that is equally true for this country.
I desire to call attention also to the impression that obtains from time to time in this country that a copyright with provisions and penalties against infringement necessarily works to the detriment of the reader of books. In the countries in which there has been copyright protection, absolutely well enforced, with international copyright provisions, such as France and Germany, it is a fact that books are cheaper than anywhere in the world. The German reader gets his books at the least possible price at which they can be sold; the very best books, well written and well illustrated; and I want to emphasize that the copyright law does not stand in the way of cheap books. In fact it is only when the author and the publisher have a sure market that they can make the books cheap, and in this country he makes them as cheap as possible. We can make money by selling cheaper books, but we can not make money by selling the expensive books, as our English friends can do. That is, therefore, a' further reason why you gentlemen, in giving consideration to this bill, should not think that because you are going to do justice only to the producers you are going also to further the production of literature and you are in so doing serving both producers and consumers.
In the attempt that has been made to impair the interests of authors and publishers in regard to the importation into this country of European editions of American copyrighted books I want to recall to you the essential interest of the author as well as that of his assign in having the copyright cover this market. If that author sells for a small price the right to publish his book in, say, Australia, and sells for a large price the American market for that book, it is contrary to the interests of that author that the book from the small market should invade the large market, even if he has gotten his purchase price for the book in the small market, and if he is publishing in America under royalty, the smaller price secured from the Australian copy would leave him out of pocket through the importation. There is and there can be no distinction between the owner of the copyright and the assignee of the copyright. They must act together, and of necessity so.
I should like to say just one word in regard to a detail which I think has made a little confusion in the text of the bill as here printed, and that is with reference to section b. There was a suggestion that there might be under this bill some interference with the use made by the purchaser of the book of the actual copy of the book so purchased. In this respect the phraseology of the pending bill makes no change in the actual purport. of existing law—the law as it has existed in this country since 1789. There have never been difficulties in the way of any individual doing what he chooses with that copy of the book that he has purchased, as far as the actual physical substance of the book was concerned. The further suggestion made by one gentleman here to me, unofficially, that this bill might interfere with the sale of books at second hand is absolutely without foundation. I, speaking as a publisher and a bookseller, selling