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Mr. CURRIER. Has not all possible information been given to everybody?
Mr. HEDGELAND. Yes, sir.
Mr. HEDGELAND. No, sir; none whatever. The only complaint I have to make and I believe I am in the right-is in the preparation of the bill and the way the public interests were handled preparatory to its submission to this committee.
Mr. CURRIER. Of course, you understand that during the preparation of it no Member of Congress was consulted ?
Mr. HEDGELAND. I understand that, sir. Mr. CURRIER. No Member of Congress knew anything about the bill until at the time of its introduction.
Mr. HEDGELAND. I fully appreciate that, sir; I appreciate that.
Mr. CURRIER. No member of the Senate, nor any Member of the House.
Senator MALLORY. Will you state specifically what fault you have to find with this bill—what particular parts are objectionable to you?
Mr. HEDGELAND. Paragraph G.
Mr. BonyxGE. What bill are we considering, Mr. Chairman? We have so many different bills here that I do not know which bill we are considering.
The REGISTER OF COPYRIGHTS. It is in this brown pamphlet, arranged as the Librarian has stated.
The CHAIRMAN. We are considering Senate bill 6330 and House bill 19853. It is printed in this book which I hold in my hand.
Senator MALLORY. Is this the paragraph you refer to?
The LIBRARIAN. This paragraph G, gentlemen, is the paragraph relating to the music devices, music reproduced by a mechanical device. It belongs to the set of provisions which had been suggested to be discussed by themselves.
Mr. CHANEY. Yes; I remember. That is it.
Mr. Hinshaw. Now, if you will permit me, will you not explain how section G, to which you refer, would bar all the music-instrument-making houses except one or two from making and selling different kinds of musical devices?
Mr. HEDGELAND. You wish me to explain how that would do that, sir?
Mr. HINSHAW. Yes.
Mr. HEDGELAND. Because a contract 'exists—a thirty-five-year contract-between members of the Music Publishers' Association and the Æolian Company, a corporation of New York City, giving them the exclusive rights under all their musical compositions in perforated-roll form.
Mr. CURRIER. What evidence of it have you?
The LIBRARIAN. Those were put into the record last summer, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. HEDGELAND. They were put into the record the last time, sir; they are already in the record.
Mr. CHANEY. How would you modify this language to avoid what you say is the trouble?
Mr. Bonynge. By striking it out altogether, I suppose.
Mr. HEDGELAND. I should; yes, sir. As far as I can find out, no composer ever asked for it to be inserted. That appears from the pen and is the combined work of the Publishers' Association and their lawyers.
The CHAIRMAN. Have you read the evidence that was given before the joint committee in June last by Mr. Sousa and Mr. Herbert and other composers?
Mr. HEDGELAND. Yes, sir. I am talking about Paragraph G, and how it came into the bill.
Mr. CURRIER. They refer to Paragraph G. Mr. De Koven, I think, is present. He appears in favor of it.
Mr. Hinshaw. I do not yet understand this point, Mr. Hedgeland. How would the inclusion of this section in the bill prevent any other company or organization from making musical devices and having them copyrighted than the ones to which you refer?
Mr. HEDGELAND. Because the music publishers are in association at the present day, and (to use their own expression) all the publishers of any consequence in the country but two are members of the association, and the members have contracts similar to the one that is in the record giving this one concern the sole right to use those musical compositions in mechanical reproduction.
Mr. CURRIER. Mr. Hinshaw, may I say that ample time will be given to this a little later on?
Mr. HINSHAW. All right.
Mr. CURRIER. So that if Mr. Hedgeland has anything further to say on any other line, let him take his time now.
Mr. HEDGELAND. No, sir; not any other line. That is all, thank you.
The CHAIRMAN. Have you any other criticism of the bill except subdivision G of section 1?
Mr. HEDGELAND. That is the only one that I have noticed, sir, that I am interested in.
The CHAIRMAN. Have you anything further that you wish to say at the present time?
Mr. HEDGELAND. No, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. About the bill or the conduct of the Copyright Office ?
Mr. HEDGELAND. At the present time?
Mr. CURRIER. You are not to be heard later; you have been given thirty minutes, and the committee desire you to close your statement to-day.
Mr. HEDGELAND. Well, sir; I am through.
STATEMENT OF HERBERT PUTNAM, ESQ., LIBRARIAN OF
The LIBRARIAN. Mr. Chairman, I must interpolate, not a discussion, but a reflection. It is, I hope, the only period of a few minutes that it will be necessary to take for the Copyright Office in an egotistic capacity.
Immediately after the hearings of June last Mr. Hedgeland was given the freedom of our office files. With an attorney and stenographer he went through them. He went through the four volumes of the records of the copyright conferences; the sixteen volumes of correspondence, which include every letter received by the Register or myself, and copies of every letter written by us relating to the conferences, the bill, or the project. He went through those. What he has found—to his purpose-he has merely indicated to you; but he has extended at greater length in a communication to the President, and at some length, with documents, in communications to the Musical Age.
I answered the communication to the President, because etiquette required me to. I did not answer the communication to the Musical Age, because I do not argue the integrity of my office in the public press. I suggested to the American Musical>Copyright League that if, as indicated by these communications of Mr. Hedgeland, by some remarks of Mr. Cameron at the last hearings and at meetings of the league, and by one or two other evidences, there was a grievance against the Copyright Office we were perfectly ready to have it made a special issue, and to deal with it then. I could not ask that the gentlemen who have come here, this large company, interested not in the conduct of the Copyright Office, but in the merits of this bill, should listen to a discussion of these matters now.
Mr. Hedgeland found a conspiracy—a conspiracy in which the Copyright Office was an accomplice. He has fastened it upon the music publishers. But he has overlooked the book publishers. This bill gives them certain benefits. They were at the conferences. Undoubtedly they were at the bottom of the bill; and there is the more reason to think this, Mr. Chairman, because they had already sought these very benefits in a separate bill introduced before these conferences were thought of; and for the further reason that the Librarian of Congress is brother to the secretary of their league. Undoubtedly the book publishers were at the bottom of this bill. He has overlooked the activities of the directory publishers. This bill for the first time specifies directories as subject matter of copyright. Undoubtedly the directory publishers were at the bottom of it. The print publishers, the photographers, would gain special benefits by it, and certain reliefs. "Undoubtedly they were at the bottom of it. Then, besides the composers there was the whole creative class of authors and artists. They get a longer term, a simpler form of notice, relief from certain fatalities now experienced, and ampler compensation in case of infringement. No doubt they were at the bottom of it.
There is more reason to think this because many of them are friends, and some, intimates, of the Librarian of Congress; and because the Librarian is the son of his father-a publisher noted for
his weakness to the claims of authors (which he recognized in his own business, not always to his own advantage), and quite prominent in promoting protection to literary property: In the case of the authors there were prenatal influences at work upon the Librarian.
But, if suspicion must rest upon these classes, Mr. Chairman, there is one group that can be convicted offhand, and that is the typographers. The typographers gain in this bíll their affidavit clause, which they had sought in a special bill introduced a year before these conferences were thought of; and there is the more reason to think them at the bottom of it because the very interview between Chairman Kittredge and myself at which these conferences were suggested related to that affidavit bill. And the complicity of the Copyright Office in the interest of the typographers is the more shameless, Mr. Chairman, because it is well known that both the Register and myself disapproved of that affidavit bill when introduced. By what illicit influence, Mr. Chairman, were we induced
come around ?” What was the consideration? The record of the conferences shows a unanimous vote on the part of the conferees that the salary of the Register (I shall take but a few moments, Mr. Chairman) should be increased to $5,000. It is clear how the Register was“ brought 'round.” Mr. Sullivan did not introduce that resolution, but that makes the proof perfect. For in a conspiracy the most suspicious circumstance is the result that you suspect, brought about in the way one would not have expected.
Mr. Chairman, if once one gets a clear notion of a conspiracy, many things become significant which the simple-minded might pass. At the outset of the conferences I suggested to the conferees that they had better postpone moral yearnings to a future generation. For
moral yearnings” Mr. Hedgeland reads “moral compunctions”; and what might have been thought an exhortation to them to postpone the ideal in favor of the practicable becomes a suggestion to them to take everything they can get without any regard to the rights of others.—Mr. Bowker invites the Librarian to lunch with him. As they are starting out, Mr. Victor Herbert and Mr. Burkan, as if by accident, drop into Mr. Bowker's office, and the four go along together. Mr. Bowker, you will have to prove that that luncheon was not paid for by the music publishers. (Laughter.]
A meeting was held in this room on June 5, the day before your hearing. It was to be a meeting of participants in the conferences. It was called as such by the Copyright Office, and no other call was authorized by that Office. But the conferees who met here, proceeding as they supposed they had a right to, attempted to pass a resolution with regard to the presentation of the bill the next day. Certain other gentlemen were here, six or eight, who had come on the remarkable supposition that that meeting was for an open public discussion of this bill on its merits. I say "remarkable supposition,” because the hearing before the committee was to be the very next morning. And they blocked the passage of that resolution, which they might perfectly properly hold, of course, could not commit themselves, but which was not intended to commit them.
At the organization of the American Musical Copyright League a description was given of that meeting by Mr. Cromelin, who was present. Mr. Cromelin has since written me that he intended that
description to convey no imputation
upon the Copyright Office—a very friendly, pleasant letter, signed “With the greatest respect”—and that it was meant to be simply a statement of facts. There were some errors of fact, but I do not for a moment intimate that those were intentional. But, Mr. Cromelin, just as I received your reply I was thinking of sending that statement, which was published in the Musical Age, to a daughter of mine at college, as a model of innuendo: by which I mean that gentle art of coloring a fact so as to convey an insinuation. I have not sent it because you say that it was not meant that way.
Mr. Chairman, once grasp the idea of conspiracy and many things become plain. They became plain to Mr. Hedgeland. But one thing is not plain: What was the consideration, the inducement to the Copyright Office to enter into this conspiracy? I am not speaking of an outside trade conspiracy. That is a different matter-this Æolian conspiracy. I mean this conspiracy that has been brought before you, that has been brought before the public, implicating the Copyright Office. What was our inducement ?
Mr. Hedgeland appears not to have found it, but when he does it will create a sensation, because it must have been something very substantial. You can judge that if you will consider for a moment what we had to face in this project. If one result was certain from it, it was that the Copyright Office itself would come out of it with neither glory nor popularity. The bill is a copyright bill. It therefore promotes a monopoly—a legalized monopoly, to be sure, but still a monopoly—and monopolies are just now in disrepute. We could not expect that it would be popular with the general public. Any particular interest, any interest injuriously affected by it, was certain to denounce the bill and would be apt, without careful study of the history of it, to denounce the Copyright Office. Nor were we likely to be compensated by the enthusiasm of the proponents of the bill, because every interest in the conferences is in some measure disappointed in the bill as it stands and may be more disappointed when it is reported. But the worst consequence was that we were certain to lose credit with this committee. We presented the bill without prejudice, and that was to present it without any questions or doubts of our own. Now, the Register, I know, disapproves certain of its provisions. I may, for aught he knows, disapprove others. We can not communicate any doubts of our own to this committee in ad
To do so would be to present the bill with one hand and stab it in the back with the other. The consequence will be that any credit to us for an independent judgment on these matters is not to be hoped from your committee. I say that we can hope for neither glory nor popularity from this
Out of favor with the proponents, denounced by the opponents, unpopular with the public, and probably more or less discredited by the committee—that was the prospect! [Laughter.]
A farmer, returning one day, was told of a succession of disasters that had befallen him in his absence. His barn, his house, his horse, his cow, his wife, his child-all were gone. As the recital proceeded, instead of breaking down, he broke up, and at the last item he burst into a loud guffaw. “What was he laughing at?” “Oh, but it is so (d- complete!” [Laughter.]