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ing a work of that kind would have tended to discourage its dramatization. We respectfully submit that that section should be eliminated.
STATEMENT OF MR. THOMAS NELSON PAGE.
Mr. PAGE. Without desiring to speak to the general merits of the bill, for myself and for some other of my friends who are authors I feel that we should be very unhappy if any provision were made for copyrighting our works abroad that should interfere with the interests of the publishers on this side. We read, in the newspapers of the day, of the success of American authors abroad and the large amounts of money they make, but I have never happened to meet one who did not say that his contracts with publishers on the other side were little more than a farce, unless he happened to live on the other side.
Once it was said, “Who reads a Yankee book?” I might mention Mr. Warner, now dead, and many others now living, whom I do not wish to bring into this matter; but I can say for myself that my dealings with publishers on the other side have been very disheartening. The first time I wrote a book and had it published I was full of enthusiasm. I was told it was published by an old and wellestablished firm in London. It happened that I went over there on a visit, and I took occasion to visit those publishers. The title of my book was “In Ole Virginia," and it had a story in it called “ Marse Chan.” I asked the publisher how it was selling. He said it had not gone very well. “ Have there been any
notices?" “ I think so.” He rang the bell. The young man appeared, and the publisher requested him to bring in the notices of the book. Presently the messenger came back and said, “No notices of that book.” No copies of that book had ever been sent out, and they were awaiting orders. The book had then been out six or eight months. I said I would like to see a copy of it myself. So he brought me a copy.
I may mention that the story I refer to is a negro dialect story, undertaking to celebrate a young Confederate soldier and the fidelity of his body servant, who wrapped the body of his dead master in the flag which he held when he died, and that servant finally brought him home. When the copy of the book was produced, on the back of it was an illustration which was presumed to aid in the sale of it. Marse Chan in that picture was dressed in Union uniform and grasped a Union flag, the flag to which I myself am very loyal, gentlemen, but which Marse Chan at that time was not engaged in defending
We have here to-day, perhaps, .one of the most distinguished authors in the United States, and I would like very much to hear his experience. I can say from my own experience from that day to this that while we are treated with civility by English publishers that is all we get out of them. Personally, I can say that I have been treated with the greatest consideration always by American publishers. A distinguished English author told me not long ago that he considered that the author and publisher were sworn enemies, enemies to the death. That is not the case on this side. An American author who gets a good American publisher is very likely to stick to him, because that publisher will do much better for him than he can do for himself. The courtesy of magazine publishers and their sympathy for rising young authors and for the writing public generally is such as to be a great stimulus to American authorship, and I think through them they confer a great benefaction upon the American public. If it had not been for the benefit arising from copyrighted books I think there are but few of us who would be here to-day.
I thank you very much.
The LIBRARIAN. As Mr. Bowker and others have indicated, there are other authors here-Doctor Hale and Mr. Howells, and Mr. Clemens is to be here at 4 o'clock. Doubtless some of these would be glad to submit some suggestions to the committee. In the meantime, by way of checking off those whom it might be more convenient to hear now than later, may I ask for the names of any other representatives of the creating class who would like to be heard at this time? The composers are in that group, but, of course, their statements would naturally come in connection with paragraph g. Mr. De Koven applied for fifteen minutes. I believe he is ill and unable to be here but has asked Mr. Walter V. R. Berry, of the District bar, to submit his statement. I assume, though, that Mr. Berry would prefer that that statement should come in at its appropriate time.
I will now introduce Mr. Frank D. Millet, representing the National Academy of Design.
STATEMENT OF MR. FRANK D. MILLET.
Mr. MILLET. I will only take one moment. I wish to call attention to the fact that the artists are satisfied with the bill because it helps them in two ways: First, as to the notice which by a compromise, apparently necessary under the circumstances, was reduced in the conferences to the simplest possible identifying mark; second, in regard to the means of securing relief from infringement.
The copyright of the picture is often more valuable than the picture itself. I have taken out copyrights in America of all my important pictures, and I have never made any profit to speak of out of these copyrights. I may confess, as this is a heart-to-heart talk, that since I have never had a picture of mine reproduced in England without my consent, public sentiment being opposed to such a proceeding, I have not yet found it necessary to register a copyright there; but in this country, in spite of the disfiguring notice, nearly every one of my copyrights has been infringed and I have had no redress.
In the bill proposed by the conferences the disfiguration of the notice is very slight, and it consists of a C in a circle or the abbreviation “Copr.” placed upon some accessible part of the work of art. The artists object to placing the notice upon a visible portion of the work of art for many reasons, too numerous, indeed, to be explained here. As an illustration I will call your attention to the fact that the photograph miniature or portrait of the wife of any one of us would be comparatively valueless to us if it were disfigured in this way, and yet, according to the present law, unless the notice is placed in full sight on the work of art, anyone, say the reporter of a newspaper,
may kodak the picture and reproduce it and distribute it by the hundreds of thousands. The artists earnestly desire to get rid of the disfigurement of the notice and this the proposed bill practically does.
The LIBRARIAN. How about the date?
Mr. MILLET. We do not want the date at all. We only want to put the required notice in some place where it can be found by a person who cares to find it. We do not see why a person should not write to the artist for information in the case of a picture as well as write to a publisher in the case of a book. By the expenditure of 2 cents a man can find out from me whether my picture is copyrighted or not. That is very simple.
I thank you very much.
STATEMENT OF MR. W. A. LIVINGSTONE, REPRESENTING THE
PRINT PUBLISHERS' ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA.
Mr. LIVINGSTONE. I would prefer to speak to-morrow morning, if agreeable to the committee. I shall not ask more than fifteen minutes.
The CHAIRMAN. I think you had better proceed this afternoon. We have some time. To-morrow morning seems to be engaged.
The LIBRARIAN. Mr. Livingstone, as I understand, desires to emphasize two or three particular points that concern his particular industry, but which would come under criticism in connection with subjects that might be assumed to be more general.
Senator MALLORY. Please state what you represent, Mr. Livingstone.
Mr. LIVINGSTONE. I represent an association known as the Print Publishers' Association," which has been represented at the various conferences, and which, in a general way, indorses this bill. This association is composed of a majority of the leading print publishers of the country. Its members are primarily engaged in the reproduction of works of art, but some of its members are also engaged in the production of written matter, and some are concerned with commercial advertising. I cite these facts to show that our interests are varied, and consequently within our own membership we have been compelled to study this question from a number of different standpoints.
We are both producers and reproducers, and consequently we have had to do with both sides of that question. The matters I shall speak of are only the several points that have been specifically attacked by written matter filed with the Librarian.
Mr. GILL. You are in favor of the bill as it now stands?
The objection in the present copyright law to our particular interests have become more and more intolerable until we are suffering very great hardship indeed. The handicap to the American publisher, particularly in our field, is such that we can never hope successfully to compete with the publishing houses abroad unless you give us relief in that field.
This particular bill did not give us all that we want, but it did give finally what we consider the most equitable compromise that is practicable at this time, and therefore we support it.
Mr. Gill. What particular section of the bill do you object to?
Mr. LIVINGSTONE. There are several things. To illustrate, we do not think that notice upon art reproductions should be required at all. We do not think that limitation of action should be restricted to three years. Still, we accept it, because we think it the best compromise that could succeed at this time. There are a number of other details of that kind.
Mr. GILL. How do they affect you?
Mr. LIVINGSTONE. In the case of limitation of action, if you do not discover the infringement—and in our domain that occurs—until after three years, you are estopped by the section relating to limitation.
In the same way, notice of any kind is a very great hardship to us. Notice of any kind is not required in a great many of the leading countries, such as Germany, Austria, Belgium, France, and even England only requires a very limited notice in the single case of engravings. There is no other country, save Canada, which imposes the hardship of notice in the like degree with the United States, and Canada does so on account of her law being modeled upon that of the United States. I can give a number of examples which would illustrate that better, but will not take the time unless you wish it.
Mr. GILL. You may go on in your own way, so far as I am concerned.
Mr. LIVINGSTONE. I wish to give all possible information desired without unnecessarily taking time, of course.
I wish also to point out that in this particular class of property many other countries do not base title to the property upon formalities. A great many of these countries do not require any formalities at all, for example, Germany and France. The result of a copyright law, such as exists at the present time in this country, in which if there is the slightest breach or omission of any one of its technicalities causes confiscation of the entire property, works very great hardship indeed.
We submit that in your consideration of this bill, when any of these points arise, the consideration of the bill should be based upon the protection of that property in the same or in equal degree to other forms of property.
Section 3 is one that we are particularly interested in. That aims to make the copyright protect all forms. I wish to insist that if it does not do so, where you have a plate from which you publish in different forms, you would have to take out a separate copyright for each different form, and sometimes one plate is used in a great many different ways. There are other reasons why we object to any change in this section, and we respectfully refer you to a case which I shall file as a court citation.
Section 5. Some criticism has been made to this section because the descriptions did not specify the particular names of processes. The fact is that we are continually getting out new forms, so that at the time the bill becomes a law we can not give the name of a new process which may be originated very shortly after that time. Also, we make use of secret processes. So you can see that if you required us to name these processes it would result in great hardship to us.
Regarding section 11, which allows thirty days in which to deposit copies, the original law in this country allowed six months to do
that; the time was subsequently reduced to one month, and later it was reduced to ten days, and still later it was cut out altogether. These reductions have always been urged by interests inimical to copyright. A practical case is this: Suppose we are conducting a pictorial news publication; it sometimes happens that the incident we are illustrating happens on the very day the illustration is made and before it is possible to make the deposit in Washington or complete registration.
Mr. GILL. But this bill gives you thirty days.
Mr. LIVINGSTONE. Yes; and we are satisfied with that; but there are others who protest against it. I hope that that feature will be retained.
Now I wish to speak very briefly on the manufacturing clause. There seems to be some desire to extend that beyond the present limitation.
Mr. GILL. Which section of the bill is that?
Mr. LIVINGSTONE. Section 13. This manufacturing clause removes the limitation existing on certain classes. The present law requires that a negative, to obtain
copyright, must be made within the limits of the United States. The ostensible purpose of that particular clause was to help the American photographic manufacturing houses, but, as a matter of fact, it had just the contrary effect, for this reason: It limited their operation entirely to this country. There are frequent instances where you can not take the negative within the United States, such as of a painting in a foreign gallery, or of the architecture of a foreign building, or of some scientific phenomena occurring without the country, and the American publisher can get no protection in such case. As a result, he does not undertake the expense of procuring the negative, and thus we are shut out of that field. Therefore we protest against any extension of the manufacturing clause beyond the provision now existing in the bill.
Mr. GILL. The provision of the pending bill will meet that objection ?
Mr. LIVINGSTONE. It does; subject to that, yes.
Mr. LIVINGSTONE. We are simply wishing to protest against those objections and citing one or two examples.
There is another point which is of the utmost importance to us and which has been alluded to—the question of “notice.” Aside from remedies for infringement there is no subject of so much importance to us as that of “notice.” This matter is one that bears with peculiar hardship on the art interest and the print publishing interest. You do not find anybody objecting to buying a book because there is a notice of copyright in the book. You frequently find purchasers of works of art, either original or reproductions, sometimes declining to buy the original or the copy simply because there is notice on it. I could cite many practical difficulties resulting from that. Not only does this notice affect us in a commercial way, but it debars us from procuring subjects we could otherwise get, because the artist will not submit to the present exactions.
We also refer particularly to the provision that has been introduced by which if a copy gets out inadvertently without notice. you