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was a time when it was more necessary to translate into terms of fact and action our frequently expressed belief in the free flow of the things of the mind and the things of the spirit between peoples. Our Government through its leaders has frequently and eloquently expressed our position in opposition to those who would obstruct this flow, and it does seem to me that this particular action at this particular time would have a particular pertinence.
I should like to add that so far as the Librarian of Congress is concerned, the Library is of course very much interested in the protection of its deposit under the Copyright Act. I refer particularly of course to its domestic deposit, which would not be in any way affected by this action, but the Library would like to have an opportunity to be heard in connection with any enabling legislation in this connection, or any connection which might in any way affect the deposit. That is the only statement I care to make.
Senator Thomas of Utah. The treaty, when it was reported out, provided for a year of grace, if I may use that expression, before it would go into effect, so that Congress would have time to take care of these various legislative matters, and it is that point, I suppose, you would like to see retained so that all proection which the Library of Congress and the Government should have in regard to its deposit would be respected. Have I understood you correctly?
Dr. MACLEISH. Yes, sir.
Mr. KILROE. Doctor, our adherence to the Bern Convention now would give our writers what additional protection abroad which they do not enjoy at this time?
Dr. MACLEISH. If I may answer that in terms of personal experience, a few days ago I received a copy of an Italian magazine which had without authority from me or without request to me, published a translation of a poem of mine, and not only published it, but published it in a garbled form which was extremely injurious to its meaning and to the integrity of my position as a man having certain beliefs. I should assume I would have additional rights under the Bern Convention in that connection which I do not have now.
Mr. KILROE. The fact is that if we did adhere to the Bern Convention, your property would not be protected in Italy unless you registered it. So that so far as Italy is concerned, you would get nothing further from the Bern Convention. The same is true of Spain.
Senator Thomas of Utah. Your point, Mr. Kilroe, is that, convention or no convention, you would seem to be the victim of circumstances.
Mr. KILROE. He has to register; he has to comply with the formalities of Italian law, and that means registration. In other words, in order to have protection, you must register. You have to under the Bern Convention.
Dr. MACLEISH. Are you sure it covers that?
KILROE repeated decisions of the United States district courts on it, showing that the Bern Convention contains a provision that the rights set forth in the Bern Convention are in force according to the laws of the country in which you claim the rights. If you claim the rights in Italy, you must follow the laws of Italy, which require registration. The same is true of Spain. There are some countries in which there is no such thing as registration.
Dr. MCCLURE. Would you be kind enough to cite the decisions of the United States district court to which you refer?
Mr. KILROE. I will get them for you. There is a recent decision in the Circuit Court of Appeals, Second Circuit, which goes fully into the Italian law.
Senator THOMAS of Utah. Speaking as one who is a little bit backward in this matter, I cannot see what a decision of the United States circuit court in regard to an Italian law has to do with this.
Mr. KILROE. Except that under the rule of reciprocity, as if an Italian who claimed rights in the United States did not comply with his own law; a section of the law happens to be set forth in the decision.
Senator Thomas of Utah. Do you mean, Mr. Kilroe, that if an Italian brings a case into an American court and gets a certain decision, an American in Italy can follow the decision of the American court?
Mr. KILROE. No; I do not mean that at all.
Mr. KILROE. No; my statement was this, that even under the Berne Convention an American writer would not be protected in Italy unless he registers his work according to Italian law.
Senator THOMAS of Utah. That would be fundamental in the convention itself.
Mr. KILROE. I was asked for my authority on that, and it was recently called to my attention by this opinion of the circuit court of appeals which quoted the Italian law.
Mr. LADAS. If I may be permitted to say so, that statement of Mr. Kilroe is not correct. An Italian author suing for infringement in Italy has to file a copy of his work before suing, but that provision of the Italian law which is applicable to Italy is not applicable under the convention. It is against the convention. The convention strictly and definitely provides that the protection of copyrights of authors claiming the benefits of the convention is free of any condition of formality: I must absolutely deny the position that an American author suing in Italy for an infringement of his rights would have first to register his copyright in Italy.
Mr. KILROE. În reply to that, I still say that an American suing in Italy under the Bern Convention would have to follow the law of Italy. It so states in the Bern Convention, that you must follow the local law. Your rights are enforced in accordance with the law of the country in which you claim. I am speaking of experiences of our own company over there with motion pictures. I should like very much, when I get
a chance, to submit a little memorandum on that point. Senator Thomas of Utah. You will bring it in in time to be recorded, will you?
Mr. KILROE. Yes, sir.
Mr. GILBERT. Mr. Chairman, how much time will we have to subniit statements?
Senator THOMAS of Utah. I am trying to start the hearing in an informal way, so that we can get all the information possible as long as we can carry on in this informal way. But to keep a record open for submission of information is almost impossible. Therefore I hope the rule of reason and the rule of good nature will prevail, and each person will present what he wishes to submit for the sake of giving the Senate the information which the Senate needs in order to act properly. This is not a court, and, as you know, we will not have an opportunity to argue each particular case out, merely because that is not the way in which the Senate committees or the Senate operate. We should like to be able to answer any question which may be brought up, if we can have questions and answers submitted in an orderly way.
Mr. Bloom. Mr. Chairman, I wish to say that I was very much interested in the difference of opinion between the gentlemen with regard to the formalities, and I was about to suggest, knowing a little about the Bern Convention, having sat for 4 weeks in Rome at the time of the last convention, that I think it would be rather advisable if someone would read that part of the Rome Convention into the record at this time with reference to formalities.
Senator THOMAS of Utah. Have you it, Mr. Bloom?
Mr. Bloom. I have marked it. I think it should be read at this time, merely to clarify the situation.
Senator THOMAS of Utah. Mr. Kilroe, have you it?
Senator Thomas of Utah. Will you read it? It is article 4, is it not?
Mr. KILROE. With permission, I should also like to read the clause I referred to.
Mr. Bloom. I think that would clear up the matter of formalities.
Senator Thomas of Utah. It is article 4, I think, from page 23 of Executive Report No. 1, this session.
Mr. KILROE. This is article 4, subdivisions (1) and (2) (reading]:
Authors within the jurisdiction of one of the countries of the Union shall enjoy for their works, whether unpublished or published for the first time in one of the countries of the Union, such rights, in the countries other than the country of origin of the work, as the respective laws now accord or shall hereafter accord to nationals, as well as the rights specially accorded by the present convention.
The enjoyment and the exercise of such rights shall not be subject to any formality; such enjoyment and such exercise are independent of the existence of protection in the country of origin of the work. Consequently, apart from the stipulations of the present Convention, the extent of the protection, as well as the means of redress guaranteed to the author to safeguard his rights, shall be regulated exclusively according to the legislation of the country where the protection is claimed.
May I add a word in that connection? When the convention was first started, in 1886, the countries were allowed to join with certain reservations. Spain was one of the countries which made reservation, and she has carried her reservation to all the conventions, to the convention of 1896, the Berlin Convention in 1908, the revision of 1914, and the Rome Convention of 1928. Spain still reserves the right of registration. I assert now that Italy does also. When Japan joined, she reserved the right of translation, and so did others. We have a treaty with Japan in which she reserved the right of translation, which allows Japan, notwithstanding the fact that she is a member of the Bern Convention, to pirate all our works, and the works of everybody else. She makes a translation into her own language, so that adherence to the Bern Convention will not help an American author in Japan. They translate the lyrics into the Japanese language, and they claim the music follows the lyric. They take the plays and trans
late them into the Japanese language, and then they claim they have the right of performance, or exhibition.
In order to arrive at this fully, you would have to go back to 1886 and see the reservations that were adopted. That is why it is unfair
. for us to go into the convention now, because we have to go in without reservations.
Senator Thomas of Utah. Does that cover your point, Mr. Bloom?
Mr. Bloom. Yes. The only thing about it, if I may be permitted to make a suggestion, is that one side always seems to take into consideration the copyright and
the other side seems to take into consideration the moral rights. To my way of thinking, having an experience of about 50 years in this matter, it seems to me they forget that copyright is an American institution, whereas the Bern Convention, which is called a copyright convention, has nothing to do with copyright. It was not until the last convention in Rome in 1928 that the word "copyright” was ever spoken or mentioned. There is only one little section of this that today speaks of copyrights, and where one is arguing one way, the other would argue the other way.
Copyright with us is a contract, a contract of the Government; we enter into certain agreements with the Government, and the Government enters into certain agreements with us. They are talking one way in Europe in the convention of Bern, which is a convention for the protection of artistic and literary works, but here we are talking about the protection of copyrights, and that is where these gentlemen differ. I have listened to discussions of this matter for so long, I was present at the Rome meeting, being sent there by President Coolidge, with my good friend Solberg, although we differ once in a while on certain matters, but I sat in the convention in Rome, and I heard all this argument, and it is the same again. We are talking about one thing, and they are talking about another.
I should like to be heard some time later with reference to the whole situation, the present situation, and what was spoken of at that time. If this committee should take the minutes of the Rome Convention of 1928 and read them, they would see that all these different matters were taken up. The question of the Japanese was taken
at that time. Mr. KILROE. I have a translation of the minutes of the Rome Convention, which is at the disposal of the committee.
Senator THOMAS of Utah. The full minutes?
Mr. KILROE. The full minutes. I haven't them with me. I will get them from New York and send them to the committee.
Senator THOMAS of Utah. I do not want to pad this record with that.
Mr. Bloom. I had my own stenographer translate the minutes of the convention of Rome in 1928; it was all translated into English; and I brought it to this country and gave it to someone.
Mr. KILROE. You gave it to me.
Mr. BLOOM. Just to show what was going on over there. It cannot be explained to you in 5 minutes. We sat there 4 weeks, day after day. I was sent over by President Collidge, as I have said, as a delegate, to this convention because I have been a publisher for 40 years, and I know the copyright law. I know what we are trying to do in this country with reference to the copyright law. I had all the hearings translated. That was in 1928, and I brought that back, and it would be very interesting to the committee, and I know we all want to do the right thing, because this is a most important matter. I know I have been robbed for many years in the matter of copyrights; and all the pirates are not in Japan, or in Europe, either.
Mr. KILROE. Some are in New York.
Mr. Bloom. I did not want to speak at this time in regard to this matter, but I should like to have the question settled with reference to formalities, and that is a very important thing.
Mr. KILROE. Mr. Chairman, I have the Congressman's copy, and I have also had a translation made. It covers about 800 typewritten pages. The translation I had made is at the disposal of the committee, and I assume the translation Representative Bloom had made is also at the disposal of the committee.
STATEMENT OF WALDO G. LELAND, REPRESENTING THE COM
MITTEE FOR THE STUDY OF COPYRIGHT OF THE NATIONAL COMMITTEE OF THE UNITED STATES ON INTERNATIONAL INTELLECTUAL COOPERATION.
Senator Thomas of Utah. Please state your name for the record.
Mr. LELAND. I am director of the American Council of Learned Societies, vice-chairman of the National Committee of the United States on International Intellectual Cooperation, and chairman of the Committee for the Study of Copyright.
Mr. Chairman, this statement is intended to represent the known views of those citizens of the United States who are interested in promoting cultural and intellectual relations between the United States and the other countries of the world, and who are convinced that in order to accomplish this purpose it is necessary that the United States should participate actively in the international protection of intellectual, literary, and artistic property. We believe that to refuse such participation does a grave disservice to the highest intellectual and cultural interests of our country, works a serious hardship upon our intellectual workers, especially upon our writers, and upon those who publish their works, and operates to the disadvantage of the great mass of consumers of intellectual, literary, and artistic products.
This situation is further aggravated by our antiquated and inadequate domestic copyright legislation that has been in effect without substantial change for more than 30 years, notwithstanding the fact that during that period revolutionary changes have taken place in methods of publishing and in processes of manufacturing literary products and of marketing them, and the further fact, of great significance, that the United States has become one of the greatest producer countries, in such products, as well as one of the greatest consumer countries.
A necessary effect of our adherence to the Bern Convention would be the reform of our own legislation. Fear of such reform, because of uncertainty of its effects upon certain interests, has in the past inspired opposition to such adherence, but this need no longer be the case, for during the past 2 years practically all the interests concerned with copyright have been in continuous consultation with each other, under the auspices of the Committee for the Study of Copyright, and have reached substantial agreement with respect to most of the questions in