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GENERAL TERM OF COPYRIGHT IN VARIOUS COUNTRIES.
1. Fifteen years from publication: Greece.
2. Forty-two years from registration, in two terms of twenty-eight years and fourteen years: United States, Canada, Newfoundland (copied from the United States legislation).
3. Forty-two years from publication, or life of author and seven years: See No. 7 below.
4. Fifty years from publication: Brazil, The Netherlands. 5. Life of author, or at least forty years after publication: Italy (with a second period of forty years' enjoyment of royalty of 5 per cent on publication price), Turkey.
6. Life of author and five years: Cape of Good Hope (or thirty years from publication), Chile (with possible special extension to ten years).
7. Life of author and seven years after his death, or forty-two years from publication, whichever is longer: Great Britain—Australia, India, Natal, New South Wales, New Zealand, South Australia, Victoria, Western Australia—also Siam.
[The Énglish copyright commission of 1878 recommend a term of life of author and thirty years, and that has been the term proposed in subsequent English copyright bills.
8. Life of author and ten years after his death: Roumania. 9. Life of author and twenty years after his death: Peru, Haiti (life of author, and life of his widow, their children for twenty years, or, if nó children, heirs or assigns for ten years).
10. Life of author and twenty-five years after his death: Salvador.
11. Life of author and thirty years after his death: Austria, Germany, Japan, Switzerland.
[This term of life of author and thirty years was recommended by the English copyright commission of 1878, and has been the term proposed in subsequent English copyright bills.]
13. Life of author and fifty years after his death: Belgium, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Denmark, Ecuador, Finland, France, Hungary, Luxembourg, Monaco, Norway, Portugal, Russia, Sweden, Tunis.
13. Life of author and eighty years after his death: Colombia, Spain.
AMENDMENTS TO COPYRIGHT BILL.
[Approved by American Copyright League or acceptable as in line with its action.]
Section 1 (a), or any material part thereof.
(f), to publicly perform for profit . . . [and add] or form of record; [in which case cancel clause (g)].
Section 6. [Add] or to secure or extend copyright in such original works.
Section 18 (b), by a corporate body otherwise than as assignee of the individual author or authors.
(c), but not including any work specified in sub-sections (a) or (b) hereof, except that the copyright as a whole of a composite work or periodical shall not preclude the right of an individual author of any separable copyrightable component part thereof to obtain sepurate copyright for his individual work for the term of life and fifty years;
(Last paragraph). [Add] provided, that within fifty years from the date of publication and before the death of the author his true name shall be registered in the Copyright Office.
Section 19, and provided further, that if such subsisting copyright shall have been assigned or a license granted therein for publication, and if such assignment or license shall contain provision for payment of royalty, and if the renewed copyright for the extended term provided in this act shall not be assigned nor license therein granted to such original assignee or licensee or his successor, said original assignee or licensee or his successor shall nevertheless be entitled to continue to publish the work on payment of the royalty stipulated in the original agreement; but if such original assignment or license contain no provision for the payment of royalty, the copyright shall be renewed and extended only in case the original assignee or licensee or his successor shall join in the application for such renewal and extension.
Section 20. Omit altogether, so as to make rights of translation and dramatization co-terminal with copyright; or at least omit the words dramatize or and dramatization or and in the case of translation so as to secure co-terminal rights of dramatization.
Section 38, or any other separable right shall each be deemed a separate estate subject each in whole or in part. [Also] replace the words “to make any mechanical device by which music may be reproduced to the ear” with the words to make any form of musical record.
MEMORANDUM OF THE COMMITTEE ON COPYRIGHT AND TRADEMARK OF THE ASSOCIATION OF THE BAR OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK. PREPARED FOR THE JOINT COMMITTEE OF THE SENATE AND HOUSE IN REFERENCE TO THE PENDING COPYRIGHT BILL.
[S. 6330; H. R. 19853.]
It is a mistake to assume that the present copyright bill is an effort of any particular industry or interest to secure protection for itself at the cost of the protection due to others; in the draft as presented, no interest dominates; the draft is the result of compromise and concession made and yielded by all the various inte rests concerned in the perfection of the copyright laws.
As the distinguished writer, Mr. Walker, who has opposed certain portions of the bill, has himself attested, "It is high time that the whole system of legislation upon the subject should be put upon a scientific basis and should be developed in a scientific form. This bill is a sincere attempt to accomplish that result.”
The need of such revision has been called to the attention of Congress by the President's message, and there is no dispute as to the timeliness of the effort now being made.
The committee of the Association of the Bar of the city of New York, which has taken part in a number of the conferences, has no other desire than to see an intelligible, fair, and liberal legislation upon the subject.
Some of the provisions in the bill were not entirely satisfactory to that committee; such provisions were accepted purely in the spirit of compromise and because they were pressed very earnestly and very intelligently by respectable bodies and were acceptable to a large body of the interests concerned in the proposed legislation.
In view of the full discussions had before this committee and the criticisms upon various features of the bill, the committee now begs to present, at the suggestion of the honorable Librarian of Congress, its views upon the most important of the suggestions made.
SECTION 1.- Subdivision (f).
The public performance of a copyrighted musical work without permission of the copyright proprietor and for profit seems to this committee an obvious invasion of the rights of the composer. The words " for profit” should be inserted in this subdivision, and its insertion will answer all the objections made to this section. There might be some question as to whether a performance of a musical work to a large number of invited guests was or was not a public performance. Or the rendering of some musical work in a public hall to charity; children, for example, and the real purpose of the law will be accomplished by inserting the words.“for profit.'
SECTION 1--Subdivision (6).
This subdivision provides that the copyright secured by the act shall include the sole and exclusive right:
“To sell, distribute, exhibit, or let for hire, or offer or keep for sale, distribution, exhibition, or hire, any copy of such (copyrighted) work.”
It is insisted that this section, strictly construed, would prevent the purchaser of a copyrighted book from reselling it, or lending it, or giving it away, and the letting for hire of any such book, thus putting an end to circulating libraries—a concededly valuable and important factor in the education of the people.
It seems clear to this committee that this section merely intended to give to the author or proprietor of the copyright an exclusive right which would prevent others from selling, distributing or letting for hire an uncopyrighted book, in violation of the author's exclusive privilege.
But a strict construction of it, especially in connection with section 23, which defines an infringement of copyright to be the doing of “any act, the exclusive right to do or authorize which is by such laws reserved to such proprietor," would, in the opinion of this committee, include as an infringement a fair and proper use of a copyrighted book duly purchased and paid for.
It would be advisable to substitute for this subdivision (b), of section 1, the provisions of the present law (R. S., section 4952) and have it read as follows:
“The sole liberty of publishing, printing, reprinting, reproducing, completing, copying, executing, finishing, and vending the copyrighted work."
SECTION 1.–Subdivision (g). The subdivision covers the manufacture, sale, or biring out of musical contrivances for reproduction of music. The committee is clearly of opinion that this should not be covered. There is no infringement of any person's copyright by the making or selling of a machine that may reproduce sounds of copyrighted music. The only thing to which the owner of copyrighted music can object is that his copyrighted music shall be made use of in such machines without compensation.
That such compensation is proper is admitted by the most strenuous advocates of the talking-machine interests; notably, Mr. Barhn, whose draft of a proposed bill (section 39) proposes a rate of royalty fixed by law, and Mr. Low, who, at page 133 of the arguments before the joint committee, suggests that the use of copyrighted music by mechanical appliances shall be permitted upon payment of a royalty. Of course, the payment of a royalty for the use of copyrighted property is a matter which concerns the liberty of individual contract, and should be left where it belongs. The suggestions mentioned are a dangerous innovation which, if allowable, would be applicable to all classes of property protected by the copyright or patent laws, and would, as a natural sequence, soon involve the liberty to any publisher to republish a work upon payment of some royalty, the rate of which should be fixed by the lawmakers, and the liberty to any manufacturer to use any patent upon similar terms.
This subdivision should not make it an infringement of a copyright to make or sell the machine capable of reproducing music, but only the unauthorized use of copyrighted music on such machines, and should therefore read:
"To reproduce to the ear the whole or any material part of such copyrighted musical work by means of any device, contrivance, or appliance adapted to that purpose.
With reference to the protection of musical compositions against their reproduction by mechanical contrivances, it has been suggested that Congress, under the constitutional permission, can only protect “ writings.” In the very first copyright act of 1790“ maps and charts” were added to the words book or books.” As early as 1802 “prints” were protected by act of Congress, and as early as 1831 “musical compositions” were so protected. And the protection extended to these various works has been upheld by the courts from that time to this.
We have, therefore, a contemporaneous and continuous interpretation by Congress and by the courts that the word "writings" is not to be limited to printed matter, but can cover designs, prints, works of art, and musical compositions. It seems obvious to this committee that if the musical composition is entitled to protection it is not only against the reprinting of a musical score, but against any publication or reproduction of the composer's work. The musical composer's work is meant to be uttered in sound, and if science has discovered a method of reproducing that sound, thus taking possession of the very soul and essence of a musical composer's work without the medium of actual printing, the musical composer is entitled to protection against this new and more complete form of appropriation quite as much as he is entitled to protection from a stage performance of his opera or an orchestral performance of his symphony.
The inventors and manufacturers of this new sound-producing machine may, as indicated by several critics, purchase the right to use musical compositions by payment of a royalty, precisely as musical publishers do.
Criticism has been made that the simple term “works of an author" is too comprehensive, and might, in the language of one critic, include the work of a pastry cook.
If the honorable Joint Committee see any force in this suggestion, the mischief might be remedied by making the section read all the intellectual works of an author.” This would be in accord with the Supreme Court decision in Higgins v. Keuffel (140 U. S.), in which the constitutional provision is said to have “reference only to such writings and discoveries 'as are the result of intellectual labor,' and "such (designs) as are original and are founded in the creative powers of the mind.""
SECTION 5.–Subdivision (g).
Objection has been made to the term “works of art” as being more comprehensive than “writings.”
We have already seen that the term “writings” has been broadened so as to include works of art almost from the beginning of copyright legislation.