Abbildungen der Seite

copies of books required to be delivered to the British Museum and the four other libraries.

FOREIGN COPYRIGHT. There is no protection, equitable or legal, in this country for the copyright of a book which has been first published abroad, except pursuant to the 1 & 2 Vict. c. 59. : Guichard v. Mori, Law J. Reports, Ch. 226., 1 & 2 Vict. c. 59. s. 14. If an alien, however, while resident abroad, compose a work there, but publish it first in this country, it seems he is entitled to the protection of our laws relating to copyright; Bentley v. Foster, 10 Sim. 329. See also Chapell v, Purday, 4 Y. & Coll. 485.

An act, the 1 & 2 Vict. c. 59., has been passed for the purpose of effecting, on terms of mutual advantage, a protection here to foreign copyright. The 1st section of that statute enacts, that her Majesty, by an order in council, may direct that the authors of books which shall, after a future specified time, be published in any specified foreign country, and their executors, administrators, and assigns, shall have the sole liberty of printing and reprinting such books within the British dominions, for such term as her Majesty shall by such order in council direct, not exceeding the term which authors, being British subjects, are now by law entitled to in respect of books first published within the United Kingdom: provided, that no author or his assigns shall be entitled to the benefit of this act, unless, within a time prescribed in the order of council, there be entered in the register book of the Stationers' Company in London ; 1. the title to the copy of every such book; 2. the name and place of abode of its author; 3. the time and place of its first publication in the foreign country; and unless, within a time prescribed by the order in council, one printed copy of the book, upon the best paper upon which the largest number or impression has been printed for sale, together with all maps and prints relating to it, shall be delivered to the warehouse keeper of the Stationers' Company at Stationers' Hall. The 2d section of the same statute provides that, in case of books published anonymously, the name and address of the publisher, with a declaration that the entry is made on his own or the author's behalf, will be only required ; and pursuant to section 6., in the event of a second edition, it is only necessary to deliver the additions or alterations made in the work. Section 3. provides for the amendment of a wrongful entry in the register by the Court of Chancery. Pursuant to sect. 4., a register book is to be kept at Stationers' Hall; 2s. are to be charged for an entry therein, and ls. for an inspection: the warehouse keeper at Stationers' Hall is to give a certificate under his hand of entry and delivery, on payment of 1s., and such certificate is made evidence. Sect. 5. directs the warehouse keeper to deposit the books he receives, one calendar month after delivery, in the British Museum. Sect. 7. enacts that the orders in council may specify different periods of copyright for different foreign countries. Sect. &. enacts the penalties for piracy. By sect. 9. no order in council is to have any effect unless it states that reciprocal protection is secured between this and the foreign country. By sect. 10. orders in council may be revoked. Sect. 11. requires

the publication of the orders in council in the Gazette, when they will have the same effect as if included in this act. Sect. 12. requires the order in council to be laid before parliament. Pursuant to sect. 13. the act does not extend to translations of books first published abroad. The 14th section is important: it enacts “ that the author of any book to be, after the passing of this act, first published out of her Majesty's dominions, or his assigns, shall have no copyright therein within her Majesty's dominions, otherwise than such (if any) as he may become entitled to under this act.” The 15th section limits all legal proceedings for offences against this act to twelve months from the time of the offence committed. See the Act at full, Appendix, No. 2.




THE DRAMA AND MUSIC. ALTHOUGH dramatic and musical productions, when printed, were protected as to their sale as books by the statutes of copyright, and although in equity injunctions were granted, at the instance of the author or proprietor, to stop the performance on the stage of printed plays, still the mere acting of a dramatic piece without the owner's consent was held not to be such a publication as would constitute a piracy: 1 Mad. Ch. Pr. 153. ; Coleman v. Walthen, 5 T. R. 245.; Murray v. Elliston, 5 B & A. 657. The same rule would necessarily apply to the performance of musical compositions, and thus, in a great measure, dramatic writers, and musical composers, were left entirely unprotected. Their works had copyright when printed; but they had no exclusive privilege to the far more valuable mode of giving their productions to the public, that of representation or performance. By the two recent statutes, the 3 W. 4. c. 15. and 5 & 6 Vict. c. 45., these defects in the law are now remedied.


AND EXTENT OF ITS DURATION. The 1st section of the 3 W.4. c. 15. (the Dramatic Copyright Act, which see at full, Appendix No. l.)


gave to the author or his assignee of any printed and unpublished tragedy, comedy, play, opera, farce, or other dramatic piece or entertainment, the sole right of having it represented in any part of the British dominions ; and to the author or his assignee of any such dramatic production which was printed or published after the passing of this act, or ten years before, a sole right of representation, from the time of publication, or of the passing of the act, for a period of twenty-eight years, or, if the author were living at the end of that time, for the remainder of the author's life.

The 20th section of the 5 & 6 Vict, c. 45. enlarges the term of copyright in favour of dramatic pieces, and extends also to musical compositions all its own benefits, and those of the 3 W. 4. c. 15.

By the 5 & 6 Vict. c. 45. s. 20., it is enacted, that the sole liberty of representing or performing, or causing or permitting to be represented or performed, any dramatic piece or musical composition, shall endure, and be the property of the author or his assignee for the term provided in this act for the duration of copyright in books, viz. for the author's life and seven years after his death, or for forty-two years. The same section extends the provisions in the act respecting literary copyright and its registration, to the liberty of representing or performing a dramatic piece or musical composition, except that the first public representation or performance shall be deemed equivalent to the first publication of a book.

An important question here arises, as to what is the effect of the two statutes combined, with regard to the exclusive right of performing dramatic or musical productions that have not been printed and published.

« ZurückWeiter »