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There we have something to play with: 1936, Great Britain, 16,572 titles, United States, 10,436 titles; 1937, Great Britain, 17,286 titles, United States, 10,912 titles. (United States figures do not include pamphlets.)
Let's go a step further. You have heretofore been informed by us of the proposed trade pact with the United Kingdom. On page 33 of the “List of products on which the United States will consider granting concessions to the United Kingdom, Newfoundland, and the British Colonial Empire" we find these items:
rate Unbound books of all kinds, bound books of all kinds except those bound
wholly or in part in leather, sheets or printed pages of books bound
-percent.. 15 All other
-do.--- 25 Blank books, slate books, engravings, maps, and charts (except diaries, notebooks, and address books)
percent 25 Book bindings or covers wholly or in part of leather, not specially provided for.--.
-- percent.. 30 The entire 17,000 English titles, if the pact is signed, will be eligible to free importation and competition with our own 10,000 titles.
It requires no argument to realize that with manufacturing costs much lower abroad, and quality of work improving, a number of our own titles would be taken abroad for manufacture and brought back completely protected with no tariff hindrance unless we can manage to defeat ratification of the copyright treaty and Senate bill 7 and take books and printed matter out of the proposed pact.
If this pact is signed, and it will be, it may very well be that the existing tariff on books, etc., will be removed in whole or in part, so give up any idea that the · tariff laws will protect the industry. Remember that Mr. Hull, our Secretary of State, is a great believer in these free-trade agreements and his outlook on international relations is not favorable to protective tariffs. We now have 16 trade pacts in effect and most, if not all, include the favored-nation clause whereby any concessions made to one nation automatically become available to the others.
It is one thing to talk about Great Britain having approximately 7,000 more titles in 1937 than the United States, but let us look at some Government figures as to the dollar value of the volume involved in exports and imports.
In 1936 the United States imported from the United Kingdom (dutiable and nondutiable) books, maps, music, etc., 20 years old, to the value of $770,000, other books and printed matter $2,914,000. But in 1929 the figures were $3,414,000 and $8,493,000 respectively. England wants to regain her export business to the United States. She has the capacity to produce acceptable books to a far greater extent than she is now doing. Forget not that these overseas brethren are slick traders, their statesmen and diplomats are farsighted. They need our markets.
On the other side of the picture, the total exportation of books, maps, pictures, and other printed matter, from the United States to the United Kingdom in 1936 was valued at $2,907,000 and only $3,920,000 in 1929.
It does not require deep mental effort to realize that labor and the manufacturers in the United States will not be the gainers by the elimination of the manufacturing clause.
Mr. A says, “The United States has gained over England in exports to Canada, and our exports to England have increased.” The above authentic figures show a very substantial decrease in exports to England of over $1,000,000 since 1929. ppose that Er land does export more books to Canada than we do. We have shown the situation in Canada and its possibilities. Let us not jeopardize our own market at home for a will-of-the-wisp affair in Canada or elsewhere.
In view of the above, it is slightly more than interesting to note what may be expected in the way of competition if we let the bars down as to tariff and copyright. Our own Government report (Department of Commerce) has this to say of the increased efficiency of book manufacturing in other countries—mostly substandard as to wages and living conditions:
Japan: “Foreign modes of printing technique were eagerly adopted. There is abundant evidence at the present that Japanese printers are doing excellent color work for commercial use, that books published in the English language are beginning to compare favorably with those produced in Europe and the United States and that Japan has a graphic arts industry featured by the latest technique and equipment, relatively high quality output, and remarkably low prices.
Germany: “In 1936 the export of books amounted to 23,298,000 reichsmarks and the imports to 7,251,000, or 21.1 of the amount of exports. Normally, the United States holds fourth place in imports from Germany, and sixth place in exports to that country. German book exports to the United States in 1936 were valued at 1,809,000 reichsmarks and her imports from this country at 229,000 reichsmarks.”
France: The imports by France from the United States are negligible but she exported to the United States in 1936 books to the extent of 1799 in metric quintals or about 200 tons.
Belgium: “Because of the low cost of living in Belgium and the resultant index of production charges, foreign firms have frequently resorted to Belgian publishing houses for the printing of books, periodicals, and editions of music. In 1935 the foreign orders drove the export of books higher than t.he import.
“In 1936 her imports from the United States were of no moment, but the exports were valued at 2,002,000 francs."
Sweden: “Books published in this country are generally high in quality of printing and paper. The foreign trade is substantial as to imports but 'the United States is an unimportant supplier of books.' The imports from the United States in 1936 amounted to 29,564 crowns as against exports to the United States in the same year of 59,258 crowns.
You noticed that Mr. “A” spoke of the coming possibilities in the markets of the far distant lands of Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. We will look at that picture but before doing so let me say that it does seem strange that the American publisher should be so concerned about the small markets for books of local origin in Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa when publishers have not scratched the surface of their domestic market. How green the other fellow's grass doth appear: And then if we are going into the union on the plea of ethics and idealism, why talk about such mundane advantages as increased exports?
When we look at the trade in these far away countries, we find that the industry is so developed there that our export possibilities to such countries are not very bright.
Australia: Practically all textbooks used in grammer and high schools are produced in the country. The imports from the United States equalled £77,530 in 1936, of which about 75 percent were periodicals. Practically all of its books are of British origin. There is no duty on such imports at the time, so the trade pact and the copyright law will not assist us in Australia. It is a practice for American publishers to sell the Empire rights to British publishers, and the British editions are usually less in price than American editions.
New Zealand: Here the graphic arts industry is highly developed, employing 10.6 percent of the workers, and paying 11.9 percent of the wages. The book manufacturing end of the business is in its infancy, but every printing establishment in the country is engaged to some extent in printing books. The great bulk of books sold are imported. The total import value in 1936 was New Zealand £518,018, of which the United States furnished New Zealand £54,672 worth (about 10 percent with 72 percent from Great Britain, New Zealand £373, 104, and Australia 16 percent or New Zealand £83,140. Many books by American writers have a market in this country, but the bulk are manufactured in English houses due to lower printing cost. "There is no tariff discrimination against American books. Books from other countries are admitted duty free except for a primage tax of 3 percent ad valorem.”
South Africa: The art is in "a high state of development and most printing processes used in other parts of the world can now be satisfactorily done in South Africa."
Most books are presently imported chiefly from the United Kingdom, with the United States as a poor second. The value of imports of books, music, newspaper, etc. (figures are not available for books alone) in 1935 from the United Kingdom was £383,677; and from the United States £25,391.
The market abroad is absolutely insignificant compared with the potential possibilities at home. The records not only fail to disclose any possible good which may result to American manufacturers from export trade, but on the other hand disclose a positive threat to our own market by reason of importation from low wage, cheap production centers.
In the United States, during 1935, there were 22,606 establishments engaged in printing, publishing, and allied industries, affording employment to 475,123 persons, with a production output value of $2,164,995,207. As above stated, the total annual exports from the graphic-arts industry amounted to a very small percentage of the entire production; in fact, to only an average of $17,000,000 per annum during the years 1934, 1935, and 1936.
It was estimated that the total 1934 net sales of the edition book manufacturing portion of the graphic-arts industry exceeded $30,000,000, with mechanical pay rolls involved to the extent of $13,435,000 and approximately 12,600 persons were engaged under the heading of “Mechanical employees.”
It is this industry that is threatened directly by the proposals here under discussion and we submit that there has been no demonstration in connection with the above bill, treaty or pact, of such benefits to any other comparable group as will justify the harm which must be occasioned the book manufacturing industry if affirmative action is taken on the proposals.
Insofar as the graphic arts is affected the proposals will not be of benefit. We believe they will be a decided detriment.
We do not agree with the quoted statement supra (page 6) that "the printers would make great gains (because) the proposed drafts for revision provide that unless the American publisher shall manufacture his edition in this country, he will not be protected at the customhouse from importations through other agencies. That is, although an English author has a copyright here, his American representative is forced to manufacture here in order to have protection from competition.” The proposed draft is Senate bill 7. Read section 15 supra. Not a thing is stated about “the American publisher” being obliged to manufacture his edition in this country or that the American representative of an English publisher is forced to manufacture here in order to get protection. It merely says, "that all copies of any copyright material created by a citizen of the United States
shall be printed from type set within the limits of the United States, etc." This is vastly different from our friend's construction.
Then look at section 31 as proposed:
“Sec. 31. That during the existence of copyright under this Act in any book in the English language, when an authorized edition thereof shall have been produced, or shall be in process of production, in accordance with the provisions of section 15 of this Act, as amended, irrespective of whether compliance with those provisions wes essential to obtain copyright for the work under this Act, the importation into the United States of any copies cf such book not so produced (although authorized by the author or proprietor) or any plates of the same not made from type set within the limits of the United States shall be, and is hereby, prohibited: ****
How simple it will be to evade these provisions and manufacture abroad.
Note too that while the proposed manufacturing clause is limited “to any copyright material created by a citizen of the United States,” the copyright protection extends to the work of all authors or proprietors who are citizens or subjects of any foreign country party to the convention and to any alien author or proprietor who is domiciled within the United States at the time of the creation or first publication of the work and to others whose countries have reciprocal agreements with the United States. These aliens so domiciled in the United States would not have to manufacture their works appearing in English or foreign languages, in the United States.
We could go on adding argument upon argument, but what's the use?
It may well be that the present law does need some strengthening to cover further protection to the American manufacturer and publisher. It does not need weakening or complete impairment. We would applaud an effort to enable our publishers to bring to this country an experimental edition of a limited number of copies to test the market but we fail to see the wisdom of throwing American labor and manufacturers into the suppressive competition of countries whose standards are definitely lower from every angle. We understood the aim of our economy to be heightening in all of its aspects. Then why subject the industry and its employees to competition from Japanese and nationals of other substandard industrial countries?
It is obvious to all but those who do not want to see that the proposed treatythe proposed pact, insofar as it pertains to books and printed matter and Senate bill 7 are detrimental to the book-manufacturing industry.
We suggest that you consider the matter and if you agree with us, that you protest each proposal.
Ratification of the treaty thus placing the United States in the International Copyright Union means the elimination of the present manufacturing clause.
Passage of Senate bill 7 means an emasculated manufacturing clause.
Inclusion of books and printed sheets in the proposed trade pact with the United Kingdom means the elimination of existing tariff protection.
Each of these measures affords a definite threat to the welfare of the book manufacturing industry and to American labor at a time when the industry cannot afford further burdening.
FEBRUARY 4, 1938.
(Reprinted from the May 1938 issue of Graphic Arts Monthly, Chicago)
INTERNATIONAL COPYRIGHT AND THE AMERICAN PRINTER Our forefathers placed in the Constitution a provision granting to the Congress power “To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries." (Art. 1, C1: 8)
Obviously, those who permitted this delegation of power to Congress were legislating for American authors and inventors. They were not concerned with “foreign" authors and inventors, nor with foreign industries.
In 1891, an amendment to the copyright law extended its privileges to foreign authors when the Government of their country granted the benefit of copyright to our citizens on substantially the same basis. This constituted fair reciprocity as to protection without surrendering our markets to foreign-made books. The existing copyright law contains the following manufacturing requirement: the text of all copies accorded protection
shall be printed from type set within the limits of the United States
or from plates (or) by a process wholly performed within the limits of the United States, and the printing
and the binding
shall be performed within the limits of the United States."
The provision does not apply to books of foreign origin in a language or languages other than English. (Ch. 743 44 Stat. 818)
There is absolutely no sound reason for any change which will open the doors of our home markets to a flood of foreign made, English language books.
Let us see what is proposed.
First, a small group of publishers with foreign interests, some college professors, a few authors, and some others, want to put the United States into the so-called Bern Convention to obtain automatic copyright privileges. This they propose to accomplish through a treaty, the ratification of which will make it necessary to do away with the existing manufacturing requirements. Senate bill No. 7, pending in the present Congress, amends section 15 of the law so that it will read
“That all copies of any copyright material created by a citizen of the United States which shall be distributed in the United States
shall be printed from type set within the limits of the United States
or from plates or if the text be produced by lithographic
or any kindred process
then by a process wholly performed within the limits of the United States *, and the printing and binding
shall be performed within the limits of the United States
Now, let us see just what that provision of the bill, if enacted, would do.
Section 8 thereof would extend copyright protection to the works of any author who is a citizen of a foreign country which is a party to the convention and to "domiciled” alien authors and citizens of those foreign countries which grant like privileges to citizens of our own country.
To all intents and purposes the act would apply to everybody whether citizen or alien, resident or nonresident.
Next, the manufacturing requirement would apply only to copyright material created by a citizen of the United States and, further, only to that material which shall be distributed in the United States.
It is ridiculous on its face. Such a law would not only kill our printing for export, advertising matter, etc., but would constitute a definite handicap to citizens of the United States in that copyright material created by aliens domiciled within the United States could be manufactured in any substandard country and sold in competition with material created by United States citizens who in order to obtain copyright protection therefor must manufacture the same in domestic plants at higher costs.
The proponents of the bill will say, “Impossible-see section 31.”
But a careful reading of that paragraph makes the picture even darker.
It provides that “during the existence of copyright under this act in any book in the English language, when an authorized edition thereof shall have been produced or shall be in the process of production, in accordance with the provision of section 15 of the act
the importation into the United States of any copies of such book not so produced or any plates
not made from type set within the United States shall be
* prohibited.” We pause to ask: What about any book in the English language not produced as required by section 15—books in English created by aliens, copyrightable under the terms of the treaty in the United States but manufactured elsewhere at lower ieosts?
Section 31 affords no help to American industry.
Boiled right down, the proposal resolves itself into legislation where, in return for “automatic” copyright privileges, United States citizens are “put out on a limb” while aliens may bring their foreign manufactured books into the United States for sale, with the result that American bookmakers and authors will be forced into disastrous competition with foreign made, English language books.
As to the need, there is none.
Mr. John 0. Ziegler, vice president of the John C. Winston Co. of Philadelphia, testifying before the Committee on Patents, in 1931, said of a similar measure:
“As to the automatic copyright, that is the worse feature of this bill, as we see it.
This bill is not in the interest of the authors; they think it is, but it is not." At page 134, he said, “As to this automatic copyright,
this is the way we do it.
We have connections in England and France, in Germany, Scandinavia, and so on. We register our copyrights in Canada. That gives us British copyrights. Then we register them in Newfoundland.
That gives us international copyrights. That is a simple procedure and it is not very expensive; it does not cost very much. That copyrights our productions the world over. It copyrights those productions we think worth while enough to get international copyrights on in every country in the International Copyright Union.”
Do American authors need the protection?
Mr. Louis G. Caldwell, a lawyer from Chicago, testified at the above hearing:
“You must not get the impression that the American author is not now getting protection abroad. His present method is to publish simultaneously in Great Britain and the United States, since Great Britain is a member of the union, and he has succeeded in obtaining copyright protection throughout the union. I do not know of any serious abuses of the protection which he thus obtains; that is, abuses due to the lack of our being members of the union as distinguished from piracy and plagiarism which would occur if we were members of the union.”
It is therefore quite evident that existing law is sufficient for the purposes of our American authors and publishers. There is no need so great as to require us to enter the convention on any basis that makes mandatory the elimination of the manufacturing protection afforded the printing industry. We are in dire need of such protection. If you question the need, visit any of our printing establishments and see the idle composing rooms, the dusty presses, the covered bindery machinery.
So, who seeks this change in the manufacturing requirement?
Two groups desire membership in the International Copyright Union irrespective of the costs to American industry and labor: (1) Those who seek changes for purely selfish reasons--I have in mind one of the largest publishers in the country; it would be just "hotsy-totsy” for this and similar publishers to be able to import English language books, and they would do so; (2) Professed internationalists who would expose American industries to any form of competition because their ideology embraces an ever increasing international trade. Well, I am for that also, provided it can be accomplished by some method that will not break down our standards, admittedly higher than those of any foreign country. Any international ideology that can be realized only by lowering the higher planes is unsound. We are being compelled to raise our standards at home-shorter hours, higher wages, better working conditions, social security. If our ideology is sound, and I believe it is, on what basis can we justify exposing the very basic structure thereof to the industrial termites of substandard countries? Let the other nations meet ours.
It would appear that the treaty will be ratified at this session of Congress. Many have done their best to block such action unless the treaty contained a