Lapas attēli
PDF
ePub

2. I do not think it has been made clear that the position of American copyright owners at the present time under the regime of Presidential proclamations presents the following important aspect. At the present time, American copyright owners are entitled in proclaimed countries to the protection granted to nationals of these countries under their law. This means, particularly, two things:

(1) American nationals must comply with any formalities imposed by domestic law in proclaimed countries as their own nationals.

Haiti, Spain, and Siam red ompliance with local formalities as a condition to acquisition of copyright (deposit and registration).

Bulgaria and Greece require notice in respect of some works.
France requires deposit as a condition to instituting infringement proceedings.
Italy requires recordal of assignments.

All these formalities are done away with under the convention and persons claiming the benefit of the convention are not required to comply with any of these formalities.

(2) American nationals are limited to the protection of the national law in the proclaimed countries and cannot claim the broader protection of the convention. To mention only one example.

3. The right of translation is not fully protected under the law of several countries. In Bulgaria, this right is protected for 10 years——subject to two conditions: That the right of translation be explicitly reserved on the first page or in the preface of the work and that an authorized translation in the Bulgarian language appears within 5 years from publication of the original work. In Greece and Jugoslavia also the right of translation is protected for 10 years only. In the Netherlands, Siam, and Japan the right of translation is protected for the full term of copyright provided a translation in the Dutch, Siamese, or Japanese language is published within 10 years from publication of the original work. If no such authorized translation appears, the right of translation lapses.

4. While the above concerns limitations of the translation rights under the domestic law, similar limitations under such law exist on other rights included in the copyright, such as performing rights, rights of mechanical reproduction, rights in articles of newspapers and periodicals, etc.

5. In other words, the law of various countries has not kept pace with the progress made by the stipulations of the International Convention.

6. It follows that by acceding to the convention, we would not only be placing in the hands of our State Department an instrument for the protection of rights of American copyright owners but we would also obtain for our nationals a far broader protection in many respects than that afforded at the present time by the law of the countries which have undertaken to give us reciprocal national protection under the Presidential proclamations.

7. I thought that your subcommittee might wish to have these points before them. Respectfully,

STEPHEN P. LADAS. SPL/CL.

Senator THOMAS of Utah. Dr. McClure, we have already put in the record that you will complete your statement and hand it in to the reporter, since you were not able to go on this morning.

Dr. McClure. I thank you very much, sir. (Dr. McClure submitted the following supplementary statement:)

CONCLUDING STATEMENT OF WALLACE MCCLURE, Assistant CHIEF, TREATY

DIVISION, DEPARTMENT OF STATE

I The necessity for a universal, or as nearly as possible universal, international copyright law to function as a safeguard and regulator of international cultural relations has been set forth by various speakers who preceded me at the present hearing. They have laid before the committee arguments which prove their case. The development of cultural relations, affirmative policies in regard to which form important parts of the general policy of the United States for dealing with external relations in this time of unprecedented crisis, cannot safely be allowed to lack any instrument that will assist and stimulate.

We need the pending copyright convention now, because, in addition to all the other reasons in its favor, we need now the fullest possible attainments in mutual understanding through the exchange of thought between peoples. We need the basis that this convention can provide for us in order that we may most wisely and effectually build up not only international cultural relations in general but particularly inter-American cultural relations. The governments of geographically something like half of the land area of the Western Hemisphere are already parties to this pending instrument. Beginning in the extreme north, Greenland is presumably a party by virtue of the participation of Denmark. Canada and Newfoundland are parties in their own names and in their own right. Going to the extreme south, the Falkland Islands are a party. In the center of the hemisphere, Brazil and the three Guianas enjoy its privileges and are obligated by its provisions. In the Caribbean region Haiti and the numerous British, French, and Netherland possessions are and long have been members. No one can possibly maintain that it is a convention to which our hemisphere is in any sense a stranger. When we ourselves adhere to it we will be following rather than leading our American neighbors. But the adherence of the United States would make it preponderantly the international copyright law of the American countries and could hardly fail to give great impetus to the movement to make it universal in the Americas, while retaining the immense advantage of being the principal convention for governing copyright relations of and with the rest of the world.

This is point one in favor of adherence now.

An interesting illustration of what is being done to cultivate inter-American cultural relations was noted in the press a few days ago, in the statement that the President had asked Mr. Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., who is about to start upon a comprehensive tour of American republics, to ascertain the views and suggestions of their governments and peoples with respect to “improving the role of the theatrical arts as a possible vehicle for bringing about improved inter-American understanding.” It was added that Mr. Fairbanks would attempt to find out how the United States Government and the motion-picture industry of this country could cooperate in making motion pictures “a more effective instrument for conveying comprehensive views of life, not only in the United States, but in the republics of South and Central America.”

It is unquestionably the particular desire of the peoples of the Americas to become better acquainted with one another through a better acquaintance with one another's literature, music, and art. It is, as stated, the particular aim of the United States at this time, in carrying out its inter-American policy, to encourage by all the measures at its disposal, the improvement of this approach to mutual understanding. We shall be impeded in our efforts if the works of the authors, composers, and artists of the several countries is not correctly presented and interpreted. It can best be presented and interpreted if its distribution is subject to the control of its creators. Such control is, moreover, as the Constitution of the United States clearly indicates, well calculated "to promote the progress of science and useful arts." To secure to such creators “the exclusive right to their respective writings" is, accordingly, one of the powers expressly conferred upon the Congress by the fundamental law of the United States. The purpose, emphatically, is the public purpose of stimulating culture for the public benefit.

In order better to carry out the purpose of our fundamental law of copyright with respect to relations with other countries, the pending convention was laid before you.

If we are to develop international cultural relations with protection against misrepresentation on the one hand and deprivation of the author of his rights on the other, we must have adequate international cultural protection. We know that without it perversions occur. We have never had adequate procedure governing the distribution of literary, musical, and artistic works across national boundary lines. The convention now before you furnishes the best basis for such protection that has so far been devised. For the protection of the integrity of our cultural relations, therefore, and as the best foundation upon which we can build and develop our cultural relations policy, the Department of State asks the consent of the Senate to adherence on the part of the United States to this convention now.

The reason is one pertaining to the present emergency, which makes urgent the orderly development of cultural relations with other nations, particularly those of the Western Hemisphere, while recognizing the universal character of culture.

[ocr errors]

II

Secondly, I would recapitulate the need for immediate acceptance of the copyright convention because the present emergency demands the strengthening of law. This convention is an excellent example of how order can succeed disorder in a particular field. To replace chaos with law, even in a limited field, is a good thing to do at any time. It is a vital thing to do in time of war, because it points the way of reciprocal agreement as opposed to armed force. It foreshadows and prepares the way for reconstruction.

When this war has burned itself out and we prepare for a regime of rebuilding, we shall be glad if this particular item in the new structure of law has been accomplished in advance.

We in the United States are not cynics. We do not tolerate such an advocacy as that of "getting” judges as a substitute for adequacy of law. We know that such practice blasts out the basic foundation of democracy. We seek to improve law because we believe in democracy; in a government of law and not of men.

III

The reason for the immediate adherence by the United States to the pending copyright convention is one of public policy in the erest all of the people. It is of importance also, and in different ways to various special interests. However inferior these special interests are as compared with the interest of the general public, it must never be forgotten that special interests are the interests of people, portions of the general public, and as such are worthy of the most careful consideration. Some of these special interests, in connection with the treaty, may now be mentioned.

(1) First, it is appropriate to refer to education. Leading educators have from time to time recognized the importance of the copyright convention and have advocated adherence to it. They realize its importance for the promotion of the progress of science and useful arts."

(2) Similarly, the librarians' national organization has consistently and persistently advocated it.

(3) The creators of literary and artistic works, through their several national organizations, have generally supported and urged that the United States become a party. Individual authors, artists, and composers have, in large numbers, supported it, as have associations and companies owning or controlling copyrights. Their advocacy is that of enlightened self-interest.

(4) The convention is manifestly in the larger interest of motion-picture producers, because they have copyrights to protect all over the world. They, beyond any other special interest, perhaps, need the most far-reaching instrument because of the far-flung character of their business.

(5) Possibly even more far-flung, and certainly much more readily copied without consent are the copyright scenarios and other material of the broadcasters. It may well be that in the near future they, beyond any other special interest in the United States, will need the protection of the convention or of more comprehensive and stringent international law, if they are to control the use of the copyrighted works which they possess.

(6) The publishers, whether of books or periodicals, have also a large stake in the adoption and energetic operation of the convention. Their products more and more circulate in numerous other countries. Piracy of them is on the in

Protection by means of the pending convention becomes more urgent with each passing year:

(7) The publishers' interest is not far removed from the interest of the printing trade unions. An excellent example of all too little noted dangers to American labor arising out of the lack of copyright protection for foreigners occurred last year when a large Chicago publishing house brought out, without consent of the British copyright holder, what was essentially a photographic reproduction of a British produced English dictionary. It was not regarded by its London publishers as a book that would circulate in the United States and, since to maintain copyright here would, by virtue of the manufacturing clause of the national copyright law, entail resetting and reprinting here, it was not copyrighted in this country. Such a dictionary, because of numerous differences between British and American uage, is not suited for American schools and colleges or otherwise; yet it was brought out with little comparative expense and many thousands of American students were induced to buy this almost useless product. The standard

crease.

a

American dictionaries, produced bona fide by American scholarship and American labor suffered from the competition and the result was in all probability a loss of employment for the printing trades as compared with what would have happened if, instead of the photographed British dictionary, a similar number of copies of an American dictionary has been sold.

Had the pending treaty been in force and, accordingly, copyright been accorded to the British dictionary, it would not have been copied and bona fide American dictionaries would presumably have been sold to its purchasers. For want of extension of adequate copyright protection to foreigners, in other words, for want of the pending convention, nearly 100,000 American homes have what must be considered, for their purposes, an utterly ridiculous dictionary (e. g., an aeroplane is defined as "a flying machine driven by a petrol engine”) and the returns to labor resulting from its production has presumably been less than had 100,000 genuine American dictionaries been marketed. (See the Publishers' Weekly, September 28, 1940, p. 1334, November 9, 1940, p. 1834.)

Even more important reasons why American labor should advocate and press for American adherence to the copyright convention are set forth in a recent Senate document and hence need not be repeated here (see S. Doc. No. 99, 76th Cong., 1st sess., July 20, 1939, the Printing Industry and the Proposed Copyright Convention. Presented by Mr. Hayden).

It is important to remember that parts of the public seldom gain by what is to the detriment of the whole and seldom fail to gain by what upbuilds the general welfare and the general economy. All special interests might profitably to themselves as well as to the public interest consider this fact. Not often and not long is the impairment of the general welfare profitable to anyone. The great argument for the pending convention is that it is in the public interest that the United States adhere without further delay. But it seems also to be clearly in the interest of all of the special groups directly or indirectly involved.

(8) The President has sent this convention to the Senate with request for approval. The Department of State has at all times urged that favorable action be taken. The Department of Commerce has just reaffirmed its advocacy. The Librarian of Congress has given and continues to give his consistent support. The Office for Coordination of Commercial and Cultural Relations Between the American Republics adds powerful arguments from the point of view of new and vital policy. In short, all of the branches of the Government of the United States which are concerned with copyright are asking the Senate to approve the convention for the protection of literary and artistic works. They represent not special interests but the public interest.

Senator THOMAS of Utah. I believe that completes the list of witnesses, and concludes the hearing. I desire to thank all of you who have come to take part in these hearings.

(Whereupon, at 12:30 p. m., the hearings were concluded.)

The chairman ordered the following communications inserted in the record:

REPORT OF MAY FUTRELLE, NATIONAL CHAIRMAN OF COPY

RIGHT, NATIONAL LEAGUE OF AMERICAN PEN WOMEN

Madame President, and Members of the National League of American Pen

Women:

At our biennial 2 years ago I announced to you that I had written and sponsored a copyright bill in the Congress and asked your support in getting this legislation effected. This support was unanimously given, and our incoming president, Audrey Wurdeman, appointed me national chairman of copyright.

I have now accomplished my purpose, and our bill, known as S. 547, was passed on March 4, and approved by the President March 15 (1940). It was the first bill signed by the President that day and is so recorded in the Congressional Record.

Our bill, S. 547, is an amendment to section 23 of the present Copyright Act, the renewal clausé. Because of seven words in it authors were losing their right of 28 years' renewal privilege and their property was falling into the public domain. By deleting those seven words, "when such contribution shall be

separately registered,” we can now control and sell our property for term of 56 years.

We of the Boston branch deemed it proper to ask Senator H. C. Lodge, Jr., of Massachusetts, to introduce our bill in the Senate. Hon. Robert Luce of Brookline, Mass., was our choice to introduce the bill in the House. And I know you will join me in thanking them for the speedy passage of S. 547. Also we should thank Senator Bone of Washington State, chairman of the Senate Patents Committee, and Hon. Charles Kramer of California, chairman of the House Patents Committee, for their cooperation in the passage of S. 547. And I should like to extend our appreciation to the Congress and the President of the United States.

Personally I am grateful to our president, Audrey Wurdeman, for giving me the chance to do this important work. I am happy to think it could be brought to a successful conclusion during her administration.

We now have need of a new Copyright Act. According to the Registrar of Copyrights, Col. C. L. Bouvé, in a letter to the Librarian of Congress last year, the present act passed in 1909 is out worn. We have found it to be archaic and inadequate.

Now that we have achieved the passage of S. 547 let us, the National League of American Pen Women, work for a new Copyright Act that will protect our literary property under present-day conditions. And let us ask the Senate of the United States to give immediate and unconditional approval to the Convention of Literary and Artistic Works.

MAY FUTRELLE, National Chairman of Copyright, National League of American Pen Women,

Boston Branch. APRIL 1940.

RESOLUTION

Whereas it is altogether just and proper that creative authorship should receive, in most generous measure, protection of copyright, as contemplated by the Constitution of the United States;

Whereas the Government of the United States is greatly handicapped in its effort to protect American authorship from literary piracy in other countries because the United States lacks sufficient treaty guarantees from other governments;

Whereas the Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works, which has been favorably reported by the Committee on Foreign Relations and is now pending on the Senate Executive Calendar, is the best available instrument for the safeguarding of American authorship from infringement of copyright in other countries;

Whereas the present copyright law of the United States was framed before substantial progress had been made in the revolutionary developments of the present century respecting the utilization of literary and artistic works;

Whereas, among many other alterations, it is necessary for reasonable protection that authors be accorded copyright in all manuscripts, that the divisibility of copyright be fully recognized by law; and

Whereas an excellent beginning in copyright reform has just been made in respect of one important item, namely the vesting in the author of renewal privileges and ownership of copyright, for the period following the original 28-year term of copyright in magazines, periodicals, and other composite works, regardless of whether such articles have been separately registered at the copyright office, for which enactment the National League of American Pen Women expresses its cordial appreciation to the Congress and President of the United States: Therefore be it

Resolved by the National League of American Pen Women, assembled in biennial session meeting in the city of Washington, April 20–26, 1940, That

(1) The Senate should give immediate and unconditional approval to the Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works.

(2) General legislation for the modernization of the copyright should be prepared by the appropriate committees for enactment at the next session of Congress.

« iepriekšējāTurpināt »