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These two amendments have been submitted by your Committee to Senator Chace for his opinion, and he has the same now under consideration. It seemed to us in order, however, in connection with the original instructions of the organization meeting, that we should secure the opinion of the League as a whole before taking further measure in connection with the Chace bill. It is possible that Senator Chace, while giving full weight to the difficulties pointed out in connection with the probable working of the bill as it stands, may not find himself in a position to approve the amendments now suggested by your Committee, and we think it desirable to ask the League to give us within such limits as may seem to the League desirable authority to arrive at final conclusions with the Senator and with his Committee, so that no time may be lost in pressing to success any such measure as may finally appear to meet all the requirements.
Senator Chace and other legislators in Washington who are interested in international copyright are, we may report, very favorably impressed with the fact that the publishers and authors are now working in accord for a measure, as this has not been the case in connection with any previous attempts to secure copyright. For the Committee,
G. H. PUTNAM, Secretary.
Mr. Putnam, in presenting this report in behalf of the Executive Committee, also spoke of the difficulties under which Senator Chace is at present laboring, and of his earnest desire to put a measure into shape which should secure adequate support from all classes interested and from all classes whose influence would be important for success. He mentioned that while Senator Chace had not yet accepted the amendments recommended by the Committee, he had given them favorable consideration and that the Committee expected to receive shortly either his decision accepting the same or some alternative suggestions for consideration. He stated further the fact that the President was cordially interested in the undertaking and had promised that such international copyright bill as might be passed should not be vetoed, and that Mrs. Cleveland had also expressed her personal interest and that her influence would doubtless prove of importance later whenever the bill should come to a vote in the Senate or the House.
After some discussion, in which Mr. Stokes, Mr. Lovell, Mr. Putnam, Mr. Roswell Smith of the Century Co., Mr. Randolph, Mr. Kimball of the J. B. Lippincott Co., took part, the following resolutions were passed, the first with but one dissenting vote (on the part of a member who explained that he did not except to the general principle, but wished to see the bill made clearer in one particular), the other by a unanimous vote :
Resolved, That the Chace copyright bill, with the amendments now recommended by your Executive Committee, appears fairly to meet the several requirements of American writers, readers, manufacturers and sellers of books, domestic and
foreign, and has the approval of this League; and our Executive Committee is hereby instructed to take such action as it may find requisite to secure the passage of the bill with these amendments.
Resolved, That, recognizing from the history of previous attempts and from the statement of the present obstacles, the difficulty of securing any legislation on international copyright (an undertaking in which such a variety of interests are involved, and in connection with which such diverse views are being pressed upon Congress) our Executive Committee is hereby authorized, in the event of its proving impracticable to secure the adoption of the bill in the precise form in which it is now recommended to them, to support on behalf of the League this bill, or a bill on the general lines of this bill, with such modifications as may prove requisite to secure the necessary Congressional support; provided always that no modifications be accepted that fail to provide for the printing in this country of foreign books securing American copyright.
Mr. Putnam then explained the desirability of instituting an associate membership for the purpose of widening the influence of the League, and more particularly of securing the active coöperation of the booksellers throughout the country, and a resolution was passed referring the suggestion to the Executive Committee with power. The meeting then adjourned.
INTERNATIONAL COPYRIGHT ASSOCIATION OF NEW ENGLAND.
On the afternoon of December 27, 1887, about fifty well-known ladies and gentlemen assembled in parlor No. 12 at the Parker House, Boston, to organize a local copyright association. Among those present were J. R. Lowell, President Eliot, of Harvard College, John D. Long, Dana Estes, James Parton, Arlo Bates, Rev. Dr. Edward Everett Hale, A. S. Parsons, C. W. Ernst, B. H. Ticknor, O. B. Frothingham, H. O. Houghton, J. T. Trowbridge, J. F. Hunnewell, Charles E. Lauriat, Richard A. Dana, Nathan Appleton, Mrs. Abba Goold Woolson, Louis Prang, Darwin E. Ware, Curtis Guild, Henry L. Pierce, Henry Lee, W. H. Rideing, Nathan H. Dole, Alexander Young, E. H. Clements, and Godfrey Morse. Mr. Dana Estes, in calling the meeting to order, said:
"LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: This meeting is the League of New York. At its annual meeting in outcome of the action of the American Copyright November, a discussion ensued upon a series of resolutions which came up in the ordinary course of business, and which would involve, as they were prepared by the Executive Committee of the former year, the clinging to the policy which had been adopted by the League, and followed for several years. I was present at that meeting; and, after a warm discussion, a series of resolutions were adopted involving a change in the policy of the League. That policy, as most of you know, has been to confine the efforts made in the direction of international copyright reform to the authors of the country, without coöperation from other branches especially interested in the subject, such as publishers, paper-makers, printers,
or other persons generally. A large number of the speakers advocated the enlargement of the scope of the agitation, and a series of resolutions were finally adopted, leaving in the hands of the Council and the Executive Committee full power to coöperate with any and all persons who had made a study of the subject, or were interested in favor of the reform. This caused a change in the personnel of the Executive Committee, as well as in the policy, and the result has been that the committee approved of forming local assemblies or associations to coöperate with them in their work; and, at their request, I have prepared and have issued the call upon which you are assembled here.
"I rejoice to say that I have met with the warmest encouragement, not only from authors, but from publishers, paper-makers, printers, binders, and others directly interested in the manufacture and publication of books, and also from college presidents and other educators, and from distinguished lawyers and the editors of our leading papers. So I think we may safely say that we can associate ourselves and form a strong local body to agitate in favor of this reform.
The chairman of the committee before whom the League appeared about eighteen months ago, is quoted as having made the cutting remark, that 'What the authors wanted was a little less gush and a little more law;' and my idea is that we should secure the services of some of the best lawyers of the country to assist in drafting the law. I have seen bills introduced which would plunge the whole publishing business of the country into litigation if they had become the laws of the country.
"There are, however, others who believe that there should be some restrictions as to the importations of editions and the domestic manufacture of books upon which the foreign author is allowed copyright. These are questions which must be discussed in a practical manner, and cannot be gotten rid of by resolution or otherwise.
"The Typographical Unions of the country are a solid body, and they have it in their power to antagonize, and possibly defeat, any form of legislation which may be advocated by all the authors and all the publishers, and be enforced by the great moral sentiment of the country; the diffi
culty being that an aggressive negative movement is always, unfortunately, stronger than a positive one, because it is reënforced by the inertia of which I have spoken.
"I will not undertake to give you a detailed history of the efforts made in the past. They have extended over a period of some fifty or sixty years. About the year 1872 the publishers waited upon a committee of Congress and urgently pressed for an international copyright law. Senator Morrill, who was chairman of the committee, replying to them after hearing them patiently, said that there was no possibility of Congress granting them any measure, because there were no two of them agreed upon what kind of a measure they wanted, and that killed the measure.
"The next effort was made in the form of a treaty, which was made known as the Harper treaty, I think, originated by the publishing-house of the Harpers, and it was pressed very vigorously upon the Department. Negotiations were opened with the British Government, and during the Hayes Administration the measure seemed very likely to become successful. It was delayed, and was in the hands of the Department on the incoming of the Garfield Administration. Mr. Blaine, whom I saw after he was Secretary of State, assured me that the matter was being forwarded; that it had received the sanction of the British Government, and he was in communication with the British minister to complete the treaty. I have seen him since, and he assured me that he had no doubt whatever that a treaty would have been sent to the Senate for ratification if it had not been for the assassination of President Garfield.
"The next effort was known as the Dorsheimer bill, and it was warmly advocated by him. But it was a very crude bill; it did not meet the views of either authors or publishers, and was likely to be deluged with amendments. Governor Dorsheimer succeeded in having it reported favorably by the committee, but it failed to become law or to go to the Senate.
"The sentiment, as I have tested it in this community, is overwhelmingly in favor of the reform. I think, too, that the country is ripe and ready for the reform, and that the principal difficulties are, first, the inertia in Congress to be overcome before any measure, no matter how much needed, or how much believed in, can become law; the next, the fact that the reform itself is of a twofold nature, and has been looked at heretofore from one stand-point only, by many per- "The next effort was the Hawley bill, which was sons. It is, unquestionably, a moral reform, and the creation of the Copyright League. This, as as such is entitled to the support of all persons you know, was a very excellent bill, and if it who believe in moral reform. But it is also an could have become law-if it were not antagoeconomic reform, and as such has to have its lim- nized by certain strong powers-I feel confident itations in treatment, and it may be necessary to that it would be the best possible measure that take at the start a measure of legislation which is has yet been offered. But, unfortunately, when not an absolutely ideal measure. For myself, I it became known that it was antagonized by the believe in a law granting copyright to any foreign Typographical Unions of the country, particularly author without any limitations other than those by the constituency of General Hawley, he abanwhich are made for our own authors; and, speak-doned the bill himself and came before the coming as a publisher, I have no hesitation in saying I mittee and spoke in favor of another bill, with think the American publishers are strongly in some of the limitations I have mentioned. That favor of such a law, though they have not in the bill is now the only one before Congress for dispast, doubtless, always entertained the same sen- cussion; a bill which is said to have been origitiments; but they have become enlightened by nally drafted by Henry C. Lea, of Philadelphia, the course of events. and, as might be expected, with strong protective features. At the urgent request of many persons it has been somewhat amended, but it is still far from the ideal of the authors; and as its sponsor, Senator Chace, is the only person actively and earnestly interested in copyright legislation, it is probably our only hope at the present time. Senator Chace has always professed himself willing to amend his bill, providing persons antagonizing it would offer reasonable amendments, and become converted from opponents into aggressive and strong friends.
"Governor Dorsheimer took the same grounds. He says: 'These people criticise my bill; but
will they accept and work for my bill if I amend it for them?' If we are here to stand for either extreme, we are here in a hopeless struggle, in my opinion.
"There has been another scheme of copyright exploited recently in the Nineteenth Century, and apropos of that I will read a letter I received this morning from Mark Twain,' because it epitomizes the whole matter better than I could state it :
"HARTFORD, Dec. 24, 1887.
"MR. DANA ESTES, Secretary..
"DEAR SIR: Both as author and publisher, my sympathies are deeply enlisted in the work, and I wish I could be present next Tuesday, especially if I might chance to hear a vigorous word or two said against Mr. Pearsall-Smith's scheme to persuade the United States Government to fling a new insult at the foreign author. It seems to me that to concede that a man does own his own property, and then in the same breath deny him the liberty to do as he likes with it, is a wanton and peculiarly shabby affront.
"I desire to thank you for the offer of membership, but as I already belong to the Authors' Copyright League of New York, and am a member of its Council, I fear to add to my activities in the cause lest 1 expose the poor quality of my working efficiency too conspicuously. "Very truly yours,
MARK TWAIN Author," "S. L. CLEMENS, Publisher." "This stamp-tax scheme is a matter that has been discussed thoroughly by a Parliamentary committee in England, and has been found to be a wholly impracticable and useless attempt; and, in fact, an attempt to abridge, instead of extend, the rights of authors; and there is no one, no publisher, who favors it, and no one, except some person who, apparently, wishes to write himself into notoriety by it. It seems hardly worth discussing, and yet it will have the effect to make a discussion. Possibly the measure may be introduced into Congress, and may in that way have an effect to show a division of sentiment. It is deeply to be regretted that any scheme of this kind has, at this time, come to the surface."
answered; and it seems to me we should be giving it to much importance if we should debate it publicly,
"I have been interested in the copyright question for some time. I first began to take active interest in it as long ago as 1860. But it seems to me that things look much more favorable now than at any time within my memory. The committee of the Senate, before which I appeared a year ago, if not exactly sympathetic, was certainly not otherwise, and I was very much impressed with the ablity and fairness of the chairman-Mr. Platt, of Connecticut-a man of, I should say, remarkabie intelligence.
"The only thing that divides the question of copyright seems to be a question as to how much property there is in books; but that is a question we may be well content to waive till we have decided that there is any property at all in them. I think that, in order that the two sides should come together, nothing more is necessary than that both should understand clearly that property, whether in books or in land, or anything else, is artificial; that it is purely a creature of law; and, more than that, of local and municipal law. When we have come to an agreement of that sort I think we will not find it difficult to come to an agreement that it will be best for us to get whatever acknowledgment of property we can, in books, to start with.
I am perfectly satisfied that if we get any act whatever, the operation of that act will so recommend itself that we shall be able by and by to improve it where it is wanting.
"The business before you is to choose a permanent president of this Association; and to name a committee, a secretary, and a treasurer, I think, will be necessary."
Mr. Estes was appointed temporary secretary, and Messrs. Charles C. Soule, Thomas Niles, and John Wilson a committee of organization. The latter then retired for consultation. While the committee were out the chairman called upon Congressman Long for some remarks on the
Mr. Estes then announced that he had letters from a number of persons that were unable to be present.
Hon. James Russell Lowell, being called upon practical difficulties in the way of legislation. to act as temporary chairman, said: Mr. Long said:
"Ladies and Gentlemen: As I feel obliged to take an early train. I shall have hardly time to warm the chair for my successor, but I will say one word in reference to what Mr. Estes has said. I think he made an admirable statement of the case.
"There are two points which I wish to notice; one is what he says about Professor PearsallSmith's plan. He says it has been introduced and examined into by a Parliamentary Commission, which is quite true. It was also rejected by that commission as impracticable, with the exception of a single member, whose name I have not been able to discover; but I think one may infer that it was the present Sir Thomas Farrar-then Mr. Farrar-who was rather in favor of the scheme of royalty.
"Now, this man was one of the great difficulties in the way of negotiating a copyright treaty, because he does not believe in any copyright whatever, and it is possible that he amused himself with a scheme which would really have made it look something like null.
"The other is, that Mr. Estes, it seems to me, in saying that the Smith proposition is impracticable, has answered it in the best way it can be
"Mr. Estes has spoken of the inertia of Congress. That is true, and it is not true. There is no special inertia in Congress in regard to a matter of so much importance as this. There is always this great difficulty, that with the introduction at each term of something like fifty thousand bills, and in the enactment of only eight hundred, or nine hundred, or one thousand bills, of course many of the matters coming before Congress necessarily fall to the ground. The first thing, therefore, is to convince Congress, or, in other words, convince the country at large-for Congress is simply the expression, not the sentiment at large-that this a vital and important measure. By any other plan of expressing special interest conviction must be brought that the perfection of the measure is for the general good.
"The difficulties which will be met with, if you even induce Congress to take up this matter, are, first, that there will be a great fear that, in case of the passage of such a law as you propose, the American mechanic and workman would be deprived of a portion of the work he has been accustomed to. Second, the people at large would be deprived of the great education of cheap literature, and that
their reading-matter will be made more expensive. I think both these objections could be met. I should say that your influence should be brought to bear, not so much directly upon members of Congress, as upon the constituent bodies from which they come. The ordinary member of Congress appreciates at once the great principle that every man is entitled to the productions of his own brain or hand. He recognizes the justice of the claim that the author makes, that he should have the benefit of the production of his genius; and if there was nothing else, and there was time to get this bill before Congress, you would find a cordial and ready response to the passage of your bill. But when you
have said that to the member of Congress from Maine, Iowa, Massachusetts, he says: Yes, I am in favor of such a bill,' and there comes along somebody from his constituency who says: 'You must not vote for that bill; it is going to injure a large interest among your constituents at home; it is going to deprive paper manufacturers, printers, of employment which they have had ; or, it is going to make expensive the literature of the people.' Instinctively he turns to such an appeal as that.
"Therefore I say that I think a wise thing has been done in Massachusetts in forming a club of this kind. If you can work up this sentiment in New York, and San Francisco, and Chicago, and in the growing, progressive cities of the South; if you can establish there something of the same sentiment that exists among you, you will do your best work in facilitating the passage of an act by Congress. We accuse Congress of being indifferent. The reason why bills do not pass is, not because Congress is lazy, but because there is a great conflict of interest; you cannot pass them because a majority of the people don't agree with you. I think it will be just so with such a bill as this. The sentiment in favor of the measure must be created, and that won't be enough unless you meet and educate the special interests which will oppose it. Therefore, if you can get any sort of a bill recognizing the principle you have at stake, I advise you to assent heartily and cordially to its enactment, and the matter will not fall to the ground."
At this stage of the proceedings the Committee
INTERNATIONAL COPYRIGHT ASSOCIATION.
The object of this Association shall be to "promote the progress of science and useful arts" by securing to authors, both American and foreign, "the exclusive right to their writings," by means of international copyright laws or treatise.
Section 1.-Any person who is interested in the subject, and willing to aid in creating a public sentiment in favor of legislation upon it, is eligible to membership.
Sec. 2. All applications for membership shall be referred to the Executive Committee, and any person whom they elect may become a member
by paying the initiation fee of one dollar and subscribing to the constitution.
Sec. 3.-Honorary members may be elected on the recommendation of the Executive Committee, by a two-thirds vote of the members present and voting at any meeting of the Association, and they shall have all the privileges of membership, and be exempt from the payments of any fees or assessments.
sist of a President, three Vice-Presidents, a SecreThe government of the Association shall contáry, Assistant Secretary, Treasurer, and five Directors who shall constitute the Executive
Committee, and five persons shall constitute a quorum of the committee.
The officers shall be elected at the Annual
Meeting in December, and hold their office until their successors are elected and qualified.
The Executive Committee shall manage all the affairs of the Association, and shall fill all vacancies occurring between the annual elections of its members.
The Constitution may by amended by a twothirds vote of all members present and voting at any business meeting of the Association, duly called.
Mr. Soule then said: "If this Constitution should be adopted by the meeting, your committee would suggest the following list of officers, and in announcing the names I am requested to ask that those members who may be selected at this meeting will accept, even if they think they will not
This organization shall be called the Interna- be able permanently to fill the positions. tional Copyright Association.
resignation may be handed in at the close of this meeting." Mr. Soule then read the following list of officers : President, Chas. W. Eliot; VicePresident, John Lowell, Francis Parkman, Henry O. Houghton; Treasurer, Thos. B. Aldrich; Secretary, Dana Estes; Asst. Secretary, Warren F. Kellogg; Directors, Alex H. Rich, John F. Andrew, Robt. R. Bishop, E. H. Clement, John D. Long, Benj. H. Ticknor; and Committee on Organization, Charles C. Soule, Thomas Niles, John Wilson.
The officers were elected by acclamation, and President Eliot took the chair, saying: “I will
At the meeting of the Executive Committee next preceding the Annual Meeting, a committee of three shall be appointed to audit the Treasurer's accounts, and another committee of five, a majority of whom shall not be members of the Executive Committee, to nominate officers for the ensuing year, and report the same at the Annual Meeting.
At the Annual Meeting of the Executive Committee shall submit a written report of the condition and proceedings of the Association dur the previous year, with such facts and suggestions as they may think it expedient to lay before the Association.
be happy to serve you at this meeting, but I must be regarded as a temporary officer."
The President then read the Constitution as submitted by the committee, and it was adopted
President Eliot then said: "The meeting will be glad to hear from any person interested in this matter. Some of the veterans of literature are here present-of our literature. Will Mr. Hale say a word ?"
Rev. E. E. Hale then said: "In the consideration of such a measure, the fundamental difficulty is in the differences of the theories of different men. It might well be that every author might have a view somewhat different from every other of what the origin of literary property is, and how far it goes. For my own part, I am very much dissatisfied with the copyright laws of this country as they exist; and if we were merely considering our relations to foreign authors, I should have the same hesitation as to inviting one of them to the feast which is prepared for us as a man who lives in a bad hotel has when he meets a stranger from abroad as to asking him home to dine with him. Let us make up our minds from the beginning that we cannot probably achieve a perfect art, and that we will attempt the best we
As we are among friends, I am tempted to say that it seems to me unfortunate that from the beginning this matter has been crowded upon us from the other side in a very indecent manner. We were told that we were pirates here, and that we should come forward and do an act of justice, which we had refused to do, to the people of the small island on the other side of the Atlantic. I have been reading with a great deal of interest Lord Shelburne's plans for making a confederation of England and the United States. Supposing England and the United States are a confederation, it was proposed by Lord Shelburne to have one law for England and the United States. Suppose that plan had been adopted. There are only thirty million people in England, and there are sixty million in the United States. Certainly the sixty million people would be apt to determine in such a confederation what the law would be. I do not think it becomes the thirty million people to abuse the sixty million people any more than it becomes the sixty million to abuse the thirty million. I have received very decent recompenses on this side of the water for the little books which I have published. In England the circulation of some of my books has been twice as large, or even more than that, than they have ever received on this side of the ocean. Still I have never received from England-from people who called themselves my publishers, or from those who did not-one half-penny. On the other hand, as an editor, I have sent hundreds of dollars, not to say thousands of dollars, to English authors for their work which has been used here. I do not think, then, that it becomes the writers of England to talk about American piracies; and I could wish that that point of view should be dropped in the present discussion.
Let us, indeed, not speak of this as an international matter. Let us speak of the eternal truths. Let us base our law on the eternal truth as far as we can. As events have gone, the market for books is larger in America than it is in England. The policy of the people of this country has been the higher education of all the people. That is
not the policy of the people of Great Britain. The result of this American policy is, if I may familiar, that such a State as Massachusetts, with take an illustration with which I am specially 1,900,000 people, pays very nearly as much money for the education of its people as England pays for the education of 26,000,000. We pay twenty dollars for each child. England pays rather less than one pound for the education of each child. I believe we pay, in money, 62 per cent. of what England pays for this purpose.
"Other States make similar expenditures. The consequence is that our people have been educated up to a higher taste in reading than the average people of England. Thus the Encyclopædia Britannica' sells more largely, I am told, in America than it does in England. Now, I say the country which furnishes that market is, on the whole, the country which will make the regulations for the editions and for the trade. I do not think that it is wise to urge the reform in this country as a matter demanded by a rather insignificant body of readers, who furnish but a very small part, in proportion, of the book market of English-speaking men.
"Let us, on the other hand, press this reform we are carrying out as representing the conscience and the honor of English-speaking people. We do not do it because we have been bidden to do so by a few publishers in London. We have failed in the past because we have had messages sent over from the other side that we ought to do this, that, and the other thing,' what they, in my experience, have never taken any pains to do there.
"But I have no wish to bring up the question of who has done most wrong. The difficulty is in the very great inefficiency of every copyright law which now exists, and in the fact that none of them are based upon right and eternal considerations. If we can educate the people to the idea that the uplifting of the human race is the noblest enterprise that is given to man, that authorship is part of the great ministry in which every man is trying to make the world better, and to bring in the Kingdom of God, I believe the American people are eager and desirous to do that thing in the best way.
"As to the two difficulties which have been hinted at, they are really nothing. There is po person in this country so poor but that he will pay eleven cents for a copy of Jane Eyre' as easily as ten. There is no reason why the reform should press upon the mechanic or other workmen employed.
"I think if we act together as much as possible this time we are quite sure of success. Men of business who are accustomed to succeed have taken the matter in hand, and it is now a matter of business, and no longer a matter of 'gush,' as Mr. Platt said. As the author of that epigram he ought to be proud. I hope now that we shal take hold of it as a matter of business."