« iepriekšējāTurpināt »
Obviously efforts such as these will be severely retarded if, for lack of generally applicable means of restraint, works of literature and art may be disseminated in distorted or perverted form. This is, however, precisely what is known to occur, often on a considerable scale, when, without the authorization of the creators of these works, piratical copies are brought out and distributed to the public. I am not now discussing the wrong to the author, but the wrong to the public. We want our ways of life honestly and correctly interpreted to other peoples. We want other peoples' ways of life honestly and correctly interpreted to us. This is a question of public policy which lies close to the foundation of any policy that has for its objective more friendly and peaceful international relations.
The pending treaty, by giving to authors copyright, without the necessity of observing any formality, throughout the countries parties to it, gives practicable control of the creators of the works of culture and enables their governments to protect them in the exercise of this control. It fulfills these functions in a more complete and effective
any other available instrument. We wish it to protect our authors against pirates in other countries and, if there are any pirates in our own country, to protect creative genius from them in order that there may be better cultural relations with our neighbors.
The convention before you recognizes the universality of culture because it is open to universal adherence, but it is equally applicable to whatever groups of countries may desire to improve their group relations by becoming parties to it. Its universal potentialities are likely to recommend it to groups who wish to see culture develop naturally and not in any sense to be regionalized.
We hope you will give your approval to the pending convention for another reason pertinent to the present crisis in affairs. As Secretary Hull said in a communication to the chairman of this subcommittee some time ago, it "fits definitely into the program of endeavoring to build up, step by step, better international relations in general. I am convinced that thus to take advantage of opportunities for the betterment of details is a particularly appropriate way for democratic Peoples to make their influence effective, and that, in a world torn by destructive efforts, we should let pass no occasion which offers a chance to achieve constructive results. Failure of the United States to become a party to this convention has not only left the door open for injustices to its citizens and for obstacles to the right kind of cultural progress, but for ill feeling on the part of literary and artistic workers in other countries, notably the English-speaking countries.”
The present is not a time when we can afford to neglect any opportunity, even in a limited field, to overcome disorder by order, replace chaos with law-set up a regular order of procedure.
Senator Thomas of Utah. One question in general, Mr. Secretary. Of course this is a chaotic time in many countries, many countries which are parties to this convention. Does the State Department know whether the law is fundamentally being respected in those countries today?
Mr. Long. I personally do not know that it is respected in every country, nor do I know that it is not respected; but I can get information for you on that question and shall be very glad to furnish it to you by tomorrow and have it inserted in the record.
Senator THOMAS of Utah. I should appreciate having it, and if you and Dr. McClure will look out for these details, unless the information comes out in Dr. McClure's testimony, we should appreciate having the information as to the extent of the operation of the convention today. You have mentioned cultural relations in the Americas. Does the convention hold in all of the British commonwealths, for example?
Mr. LONG. Yes.
Senator Thomas of Utah. In a country like Holland we have had some trouble ourselves because we are not a party to the treaty, but Holland is a party to the treaty, and Holland at the present time is not Holland as she was a couple of years ago. I wonder if we could have a paragraph, to use that as an illustration, about just what is happen. ing in regard to this convention in Holland.
Mr. Long. I will furnish that information.
Senator THOMAS of Utah. Then we will have something definite. If there is a better country than Holland to use as an illustration both as to the probable disrespect and at the same time the probable respect for a fundamental habit-forming treaty, we should like to have any other country mentioned in the same way, because I am sure that in a time like this, with the world upside down, there will be many questions coming to us from the floor when the convention is before the Senate which we should be able to answer with as much definiteness as possible.
Mr. LONG. We shall be very glad to furnish that information specifically
Senator Thomas of Utah. I think you very much, Mr. Secretary.
STATEMENT OF EDWARD G. TRUEBLOOD, ASSISTANT CHIEF,
DIVISION OF CULTURAL RELATIONS, DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Mr. TRUEBLOOD. Mr. Chairman, the attention of the Division of Cultural Relations of the Department of State has been called to this morning's hearing on the International Copyright Convention. In view of the Division's concern with the problem of assuring wider circulation throughout the world of the significant works of writers and composers of the United States, I am authorized to state that it is keenly interested in any measure, such as the convention now under consideration, which gives promise of contributing to that objective.
In the current program of cultural relations by means of which it is hoped to make our writers and composers better known in the American republics, the problem of copyright has already proved to be a definite obstacle. Leading publishers in this country have expressed their reluctance to take part in this program until they feel that their interests will be adequately protected. At the same time, it essential for this country to be able to accord similar protection in the United States to the writers and composers of other countries.
Consequently, the Division feels that any move in the direction of an improvement in this situation is desirable. I therefore wish to express the hope that the Senate may find it possible to vote adherence by this Government to the convention now pending.
Senator Thomas of Utah. One question. In American relations, in regard to a convention of this type, is there a backwardness in relation to printed matter, the spoken word, radio, and moving pictures?
What is the big problem in bringing the Americas into a unit with respect to one another's artistic properties?
Mr. TRUEBLOOD. One situation we have encountered recently is this; we are trying to bring American books before the people of the other American republics, and we have found that some of the publishers are fearful of being able to protect their own works; that is, they realize that by going through certain formalities in certain countries they can do it, but that is a long process, and expensive. It means hiring attorneys in each country, and so forth. The result is that it has retarded our efforts to give wider circulation to American books down there.
Senator THOMAS of Utah. Where are those manufactured-in the United States?
Mr. TRUEBLOOD. Yes, sir.
Senator Thomas of Utah. Generally manufactured in the United States?
Mr. TRUEBLOOD. Yes, sir.
Senator THOMAS of Utah. So that if we do not sell our Americanproduced books in the Latin-American countries, we are depriving certain labor. Is that your point?
Mr. TRUEBLOOD. It would seem that way to me.
Senator THOMAS of Utah. It would deprive certain labor of certain of their rights?
Mr. TRUEBLOOD. Yes, sir. Perhaps Dr. McClure would wish to amplify that. He is our expert on this subject.
Dr. MCCLURE. That is perfectly correct.
Senator THOMAS of Utah. If Mr. Trueblood can answer your question, we should be glad to have the question, of course.
Mr. KILROE. I should like to know, Mr. Trueblood, how United States adherence to the convention would affect our relations with South American countries. So far as I can ascertain, there is only one South American country that is a member of the convention, that is, Brazil.
Mr. TRUEBLOOD. I believe there are two. I believe Haiti is also a member.
I should like to say this, subject to correction by Dr. McClure, that we feel that it would be a constructive step-perhaps it would not accomplish the whole purpose overnight, but so far as I can ascertain, there is no way of accomplishing the objective rapidly. It is a case of moving slowly.
Mr. KILROE. What is the matter with the Buenos Aires Convention, proclaimed by the President in 1914? That covers a good many of the states in South America—13 states.
Mr. TRUEBLOOD. I should like to ask Dr. McClure to speak on that. Dr. MCCLURE. I will take that up in a moment.
STATEMENT OF JOHN E. LOCKWOOD, GENERAL COUNSEL OF THE
OFFICE OF THE COORDINATOR OF CULTURAL AND COMMERCIAL RELATIONS BETWEEN THE AMERICAN REPUBLICS
Mr. Lockwood. I am general counsel of the Office of the Coordinator of Cultural and Commercial Relations Between the American Republics, of which Mr. Nelson A. Rockefeller is chairman. I have a very brief statement setting forth the position of our office with regard to the convention which, with your permission, I should like to submit.
Senator Thomas of Utah. We should be glad to have your statement.
Mr. LoCKWOOD. Mr. Chairman, the Office of the Coordinator of Commercial and Cultural Relations Between the American Republics is vitally concerned with all activities which tend to promote and foster deeper and more effective cultural exchanges between the republics of this hemisphere. As a consequence, it is keenly desirous to see all barriers to such objectives eliminated or removed wherever possible. The unsatisfactory situation in the copyright field in our hemisphere stands in the way of a more complete cultural interchange between the American republics. In that I agree with what has been
I said by Mr. Long and Mr. Trueblood as to the cause and as to the lack of protection in some countries. I believe Dr. McClure will cover the detail more fully.
Our Office is especially cognizant of the unsatisfactory situation now existing, not only because it has been the recipient of strenuous protests from American publishers who decry the wholesale piracy of their books printed and published in China, apparently under Japanese auspices, and then widely distributed throughout Latin Americaand I might add that the principal place where that is taking place is in Brazil, which I believe is a party to the Bern Convention-but also because in its own experience it is a substantial and practical obstacle that interferes with its own publication program. A study is now being made with a view toward its amelioration through cooperation with such agencies as have beent striving and continue to work for this desirable end,
The Berne Union, which is universal in character, providing for copyright protection without formalities, appears to afford the most generally satisfactory world-wide solution of this problem. Accordingly, ratification by the Senate of the United States of the revised Bern Convention must be viewed with satisfaction by the Office of the Coordinator since such ratification would represent the acceptance by this country of the principle of giving the fullest measure of protection to foreign authors of intellectual property. It would be hoped that such action would lead to a more general acceptance by the American republics of the principle of protection without formalities. If we do not do it, we cannot ask them to. The increase among the American republics of such protection of foreign authors is one of the aspirations of this Office as a means to the most effective prosecution of its program for inter-American cultural exchange, in accordance with its functions and responsibilities as set forth by the Council of National Defense and approved by President Roosevelt.
I thank you.
Mr. BRYLAWSKI. May I ask the witness one question?
Mr. BRYLAWSKI. Mr. Lockwood, you mentioned the piracy in Brazil of books printed in China.
Mr. LockWOOD. Yes.
Mr. BRYLAWSKI. I wish to reiterate what Mr. Kilroe said, that Brazil is a member of the Buenos Aires Convention, and I know as a practical matter that Brazil has extended complete copyright protection to all works of American authors which are protected in the United States. I am just wondering as to the basis of your statement that such works are pirated in Brazil. Has any attempt been made to restrain them?
Mr. Lockwood. I have stated that we are in receipt of the protests. I cannot carry you through to the conclusion of it, because it has not reached any conclusion. We are working on it at the moment.
Mr. BRYLAWSKI. I made the statement because of the piracy of Walt Disney motion pictures in Brazil, which were fully protected in the Brazilian courts when action was brought.
Senator THOMAS of Utah. Brazil is a party?
Mr. BRYLAWSKI. Brazil is a party to the Buenos Aires Convention, which would extend the benefits of the copyright in works to American authors merely upon the presentation of a certificate showing that copyright has been secured in conformity with our laws.
Senator Thomas of Utah. But we are not a member.
Senator Thomas of Utah. The point was that Brazil was a member of the Bern Convention.
Mr. BRYLAWSKI. No; the Buenos Aires Convention.
Senator THOMAS of Utah. She is a member of the Bern Convention. I do not want to get these conventions mixed up. She is a member of the Bern Convention?
Mr. BRYLAWSKI. That is correct.
Senator THOMAS of Utah. So that so far as the Bern Convention is concerned there is no agreement between the United States and Brazil.
Mr. BRYLAWSKI. That is correct.
Senator THOMAS of Utah. But we have another convention, under which there is an agreement in regard to copyrights.
Mr. BRYLAWSKI. Yes.
Senator THOMAS of Utah. And Brazil is living up to the other convention?
Mr. BRYLAWSKI. Absolutely.
STATEMENT OF DR. ARCHIBALD MacLEISH, LIBRARIAN OF
Dr. MACLEISH. I should like to make a very brief statement as to my position as a writer and as Librarian of Congress
In broad principle, I am very strongly in favor of adherence to the convention, and particularly at this time. It seems to me there never