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Mr. JOHNSON. Is there any objection to an author controlling the sales of his works?
Mr. CURRIER. It is objected to on the ground that that clause might be given such construction as to prevent a man giving absolute title to a purchaser to make free disposition.
The LIBRARIAN. That it prevents the liberty of resale.
Mr. JOHNSON. It seems to me that that is a question for the Department of Justice. But our attention has not been called to that, and therefore I can not make any declaration in regard to it.
Mr. CURRIER. It is possibly susceptible of that construction. Is it of much consequence to you whether that stays in or not?
Mr. JOHNSON. I confess I am unable to say at the present. I have not considered it. I certainly can not speak in that regard for the league which I represent until it has been considered in its various bearings.
Mr. CURRIER. Will your association kindly give some consideration to that?
Mr. JOHNSON. With pleasure.
Senator Smoot. Has your association any serious objection to paragraph g of section 1 as it now stands?
Mr. JOHNSON. No; we are for that.
We therefore desire to emphasize the fact that one of the largest benefits conferred by this bill is the extension of copyright in accordance with the growing usage of the civilized world in respect of literary property. We are very much interested in the reinforcement which this bill brings to the right of the music composer. Am I exceeding my time! ?
The CHAIRMAN. You have already exceeded your time, but you may proceed.
Mr. Johnson. With the consent of the committee, we firmly indorse that part of the bill which reenforces the rights of the music composer, giving him entire control, and we believe that the inclusion of the composer in the full benefits of the copyright law will do for music in this country what similar provisions have done for literature. We are proud of our architecture, we are proud of our artists, we are proud of our growing and already grown literature, and we are proud of such music as has already been produced in this country, but we need a great school of music here. Our musicians are ready to produce it, and it should have the encouragement of the necessary and legal enactments of Congress, and not be subject to the piracy which, before the passage of the law of 1891, did so much to retard instead of encourage.
The CHAIRMAN. Suppose a provision were practically worked out, a royalty provision, opening copyright to all under the same terms, would you object to that?
Mr. JOHNSON. I think that would be entirely destructive of ownership in the property. That is the stamp system, in favor of which, at the time the act of 1891 was being considered, Mr. Gladstone was quoted; but Mr. Gladstone, in response to a letter from Professor Bryce—a letter which I have in my archives---said he was opposed to that—was not in favor of that system.
The CHAIRMAN. But they do not think that is possible in England, because they exclude from these copyright privileges all productions of music by mechanical means.
Mr. Johnson. I know nothing of that.
The CHAIRMAN. That is, under recent provisions of their copyright law.
Mr. Johnson. I do not know. I must refer you to gentlemen who know all about that.
Mr. Paul H. CROMELIN. There is a provision in the English act (6 Edward VII, chap. 36) to the effect that the expressions - pirated copies” and “plates shall not
” for the purposes of this act be deemed to include perforated music rolls, used for playing mechanical instruments, or records used for the reproduction of sound waves, or the matrices or other appliances by which such rolls or records, respectively, are made.
Mr. Johnson. I believe that is the bill of Mr. T. P. O'Connor, to which reference has been made, and I ask that that act be made a part of the record.
The CHAIRMAN. All right.
6 EDWARD VII, CHAPTER 36.
AN ACT To amend the law relating to musical copyright.
[4th August, 1906.]
Be it enacted by the King's Most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:
1. (1) Every person who prints, reproduces, or sells, or exposes, offers, or has in his possession for sale, any pirated copies of any musical work, or has in his possession any plates for the purpose of printing or reproducing pirated copies of any musical work, shall (unless he shows that he acted innocently) be guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction, and shall be liable to a fine not exceeding five pounds, and on a second or subsequent conviction to imprisonment with or without hard labour for a term not exceeding two months or to a fine not exceeding ten pounds: Provided, That a person convicted of an offence under this act who has not previously been convicted of such an offence and who proves that the copies of the musical work in respect of which the offence was committed had printed on the title-page thereof a name and address purporting to be that of the printer or publisher, shall not be liable to any penalty under this act unless it is proved that the copies were to his knowledge pirated copies.
(2) Any constable may take into custody without warrant any person who in any street or public place sells or exposes, offers, or has in his possession for sale any pirated copies of any such musical work as may be specified in any general written authority addressed to the chief officer of police and signed by the apparent owner of the copyright in such work or his agent thereto. authorised in writing, requesting the arrest, at the risk of such owner, of all persons found committing offences under this section in respect to such work, or who offers for sale any pirated copies of any such specified musical work by personal canvass or by personally delivering advertisements or circulars.
(3) A copy of every written authority addressed to a chief officer of police under this section shall be open to inspection at all reasonable hours by any person without payment of any fee, and any person may take copies of or make extracts from any such authority.
(4) Any person aggrieved by a summary conviction under this section may in England or Ireland appeal to a court of quarter sessions, and in Scotland under and in terms of the summary prosecutions appeals (Scotland) act, 1875.
2. (1) If a court of summary jurisdiction is satisfied by information on oath that there is reasonable ground for suspecting that an offence against this act is being committed on any premises, the court may grant a search warrant authorising the constable named therein to enter the premises between the
hours of six of the clock in the morning and nine of the clock in the evening, and, if necessary, to use force for making such entry, whether by breaking open doors or otherwise, and to seize any copies of any musical work or any plates in respect of which he has reasonable ground for suspecting that an offence against this act is being committed.
(2) All copies of any musical work and plates seized under this section shall be brought before a court of summary jurisdiction, and if proved to be pirated copies, or plates intended to be used for the printing or reproduction of pirated copies, shall be forfeited and destroyed or otherwise dealt with as the court think fit.
3. In this act
The expression “pirated copies means any copies of any musical work written, printed, or otherwise reproduced without the consent lawfully given by the owner of the copyright in such musical work:
The expression “musical work means a musical work in which there is a subsisting copyright and which has been registered in accordance with the provisions of the copyright act, 1842, or of the international copyright act, 1844, which registration may be effected notwithstanding anything in the international copyright act, 1886:
The expression “plates includes any stereotype or other plates, stones, matrices, transfers, or negatives used or intended to be used for printing or reproducing copies of any musical work : Provided, That the expressions “pirated copies” and “plates ” shall not, for the purposes of this act, be deemed to include perforated music rolls used for playing mechanical instruments, or records used for the reproduction of sound waves, or the matrices or other appliances by which such rolls or records, respectively, are made :
The expression “chief officer of police”.
(a) With respect to the city of London, means the commissioner of city police;
(b) Elsewhere in England has the same meaning as in the police act, 1890 ; (c) In Scotland has the same meaning as in the police (Scotland) act, 1890;
(d) In the police district of Dublin metropolis means either of the commissioners of police for the said district;
(e) Elsewhere in Ireland means the district inspector of the Royal Irish Constabulary :
The expression “ court of summary jurisdiction ” in Scotland means the sheriff or any magistrate of any royal, parliamentary, or police burgh officiating under the provisions of any local or general police act.
4. This act may be cited as the musical copyright act, 1906.
•Mr. JOHNSON. Before I come to the point of suggesting one or two amendments of slight character, and which I think will not awaken any opposition, I beg permission of the committee to say that the position of the American Copyright League in regard to the non-importation clause relating to libraries has been signally misunderstood, and unfortunately the impression has gone abroad among librarians that we were indifferent and were rather willing to leave it to be fought out between the librarians themselves and the publishers with whom they deal. This is not the case. That misunderstanding arose from the fact that we were willing to leave the question to be discussed first by those two bodies, the librarians and the publishers, with a view to ascertaining what these parties, not the most in interest, but the parties most in contract, would propose. But I wish to say here, on behalf of the American Copyright League, that I am heartily in favor of the broad text of the bill as it stands.
Senator MALLORY. Permit me to interrupt you for a little information. I understand that the provision under subtitle e, on page 24, for permission to import one book for libraries and other public purposes is limited to books that have been copyrighted in foreign countries by foreign authors. Is not that the case?
Mr. Johnson. No; I think not. I think it is American copyrighted books which are copyrighted also abroad.
Senator MALLORY. That was my first impression, but upon rereading it looks the other way.
But such privilege of importation without the consent of the American copyright proprietor shall not extend to a foreign reprint of a book by an American author, copyrighted in the United States, unless copies of the American edition can not be supplied by the American publisher or copyright proprietor.
That is the provision beginning at line 25 at the bottom of page 24. It seems to me that those two things taken together would imply that the first exception, paragraph e, relates to a book that is copyrighted in a foreign country by a foreign author. Mr. Johnson. I do not think that is the object. It is intended to
JOHNSONI refer back to section 1, is it not? However, I do not care to take up your time.
It occurs to me that there is confusion of thought. At any rate, I may have confusion of thought, and possibly it may be
my fault. I would like to direct your attention to it for future consideration. I do not think there was any intention in the bill to prohibit the importation of books not copyrighted in this country.
À MEMBER. Why are the authors averse to selling their books when they get a royalty on them? Please explain that objection. .
Mr. Johnson. For this reason: The value of the copyright depends on the exclusive control of the work. Therefore if the author can not guarantee to the publisher exclusive control for a specified territory in the United States he offers him something of uncertain value.
A MEMBER. I can see how that would hurt the publisher.
Mr. Johnson. But it hurts the author also, because he has not a secure market and can not get as good a price for his work. He must at any rate keep faith with his publisher. When the author guarantees his publisher, it is a point of honor with him to furnish the publisher with the exclusive right for his work in the home market.
A MEMBER. You mean he guarantees it where?
Mr. Johnson. He guarantees the exclusive right in the American market. If by reason of any act of his there is a situation created by which an Australian edition, a Tasmanian edition, or a Cape Town edition comes into the American market in any considerable numbers, then he has already departed from his agreement with his American publishers. The interests of the two classes are identical.
A MEMBER. I do not see how he departs from duty when it all depends on the law. The author makes a contract with his publisher according to existing law. He does not bind himself not to make a similar or the same kind of contract with an English publisher. He says to the English publisher, “ I will sell you this work and you can not only sell it all in England, but can sell extra copies in America.” It seems to me that that would tend to enhance the value of his
copyright over there.
Mr. Johnson. On the contrary, no English publisher would make such a contract with an American author.
Mr. John P. Sotsa. May I explain? I receive copyright statements from my publisher in that country. He furnishes me with a statement of royalties due me on sales in that country that, say, at the end of six months the royalties on sales of my music and books are so much.
Mr. CURRIER. It matters not to you where your music and books are sold ?
Mr. Sousa. No, sir. But I can see that if large numbers kept coming to America it would seriously interfere with the printing trade.
The CHAIRMAN. Have you concluded, Mr. Johnson?
Mr. Johnson. I desire to present to the committee two amendments, which are very brief.
The CHAIRMAN. You can put those in the record.
Mr. Johnson. I thought it would be due to other gentlemen that public notice should be given.
The CHAIRMAN. Very well, read them, and then we will hear Mr. Page immediately following.
Mr. Johnson. We propose to strike out the proviso at the end of section 19, on page 15, beginning in line 20, and insert the following in lieu thereof:
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.
The next amendment we propose is in line 3, page 11, section 14, to insert the words " or periodical" after the words “In a composite work,” so that the sentence may read:
In a composite work or periodical one notice of copyright shall suffice.
At the present time it is the custom—whether or not it is upheld by the courts nobody knows-that the Century, Harper's, and all the magazines are copyrighted with one notice, which covers the entire contents. Each magazine may contain, say, 75 articles. If each article required a separate notice, that would mean possibly 150 lines in each magazine, and that would mean in the aggregate the withdrawal of that space from the reader.
A MEMBER. I do not see that it would do anybody any good to have the notice repeated for each article.
Mr. Johnson. No; the whole magazine is copyrighted under one notice, and the whole country has become accustomed to it.
One other matter, and then I shall close, and that is the proposed omission from section 20 of everything relating to dramatization. This section provides for the limitation of the right of dramatization and translation to ten years. Whereas it has been thought proper to prescribe a limitation upon the ownership of copyrights, yet certainly there is no sort of precedent for the limitation of ten years for the right of dramatization. The production of a dramatic work is often made at the cost of thousands of dollars. For instance, take Ben Hur, by General Wallace. If that limitation had been operative at the time General Wallace wrote and published Ben Hur, he could never have had any ownership in the dramatization copyright, because it never occurred to him probably that the story had dramatic possibilities, and the extraordinary expense of produc