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The section reads substantially the same in the bills introduced by Senator Smoot and Mr. Currier. In the other two bills, one of which was introduced by Senator Kittredge and the other by Mr. Barchfeld, the provision is slightly different, but in all of these sections occurs the exception.
Now, section 16, following its wording logically, refers to books, and it requires that books which have been copyrighted in this country shall be printed here, or if the books are produced partly by the photolithograph process and partly by typesetting then the process of lithographing shall be fully performed in this country.
The CHAIRMAN. It evidently refers to more than books, because it refers to section 5, subsections a and b. Going back to subsections a and b, section 5, we find that books include encyclopedic works, directories, gazatteers, and other compilations, and that section b covers periodicals, including newspapers.
Mr. MALCOMSON. Yes; but we always look upon anything of that nature that is printed, as a book, and it is really classified under the head of "books." Section 16 says that printed books or periodicals, specified in section 5, subsections a and b, are referred to in section 16, and requirements are made in relation to those books.
Line 5, on page 9, provides that the requirements shall extend also to the illustrations within the book, consisting of printed text and illustrations produced by lithographic process, and also to separate lithographs, except where the subjects represented are located in a foreign country.
Now, to say the least, that is an exceedingly confusing statement and a confusing exception.
Representative CURRIER. If this exception should be confined to scientific books, you would not object to it?
Mr. MALCOMSON. Not at all.
Mr. GEORGE HAVEN PUTNAM. Or to art books?
Mr. MALCOMSON. These are all art books. This, to a certain extent, is an art book. There is always a desire to put in something that will bring in more than would reasonably be supposed to be covered by the language. When the gentlemen were talking to you about this exception, they confined their remarks to sketches by physicians, or some particularly scientific book, whereas the fact is that the great mass of work is confined to books of the class I have here [showing some nursery books]. How these gentlemen are going to tell whether one of these illustrations of a subject in these books is located in a foreign country is more than I know.
The CHAIRMAN. The manufacturer himself certainly would know whether the scene was in this country or a foreign country, would he not?
Mr. MALCOMSON. I doubt even that. The manufacturer of this book could not tell to-day whether some of these scenes were taken from abroad or not. Take any one of these books, and how could you tell whether the artist, when he made that subject, had in mind a scene which was located in a foreign country?
The CHAIRMAN. I think it would be very hard indeed to prove that it was not, if the manufacturer said it was.
Mr. JOHNSON. Take the case of lithographs produced by Mr. Joseph Pennell, a most distinguished American artist now living tempo
rarily in London, and suppose that Mr. Pennell desired to illustrate a book on the cathedrals of Europe, many of which he has drawn in black and white, would not the exclusion of that clause exclude an American citizen from a copyright in his own country, when the lithographs could not be produced here?
Mr. MALCOMSON. Not at all; lithographs are not produced by the manufacturing lithographer going to a city or town and setting up his lithographic plant in front of a cathedral. The sketch made by the artist is taken into the factory, and there the color scheme is carried out, and there the process, which is referred to in this section, is performed. That sketch of the artist is a mere preliminary to the production of the lithograph.
The CHAIRMAN. I think that will come up for discussion later. We will now hear from Mr. Jenner.
STATEMENT OF MR. WILLIAM ALLEN JENNER, OF NEW YORK
Mr. Chairman and gentlemen
Mr. GEORGE H. PUTNAM. We will be pleased to learn what bodies he represents.
The CHAIRMAN. Will you state to the reporter whom you represent?
Mr. JENNER. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen, if I may introduce myself I will say that I have no client. I bear the commission of no manufacturing interest. I am simply and only one of the people, and in that humble, but, I trust, respectable, relation to the subject I ask you for your patient consideration.
Representative CURRIER. This is the first time they have appeared. Mr. JENNER. I can not help but feel that my clients, if I may term the people my clients, will receive your patient consideration, even if their advocate fails to deserve it.
My attention, Mr. Chairman and gentlemen, was first attracted to this bill when it first emanated from the Librarian's office, and as I perused it in the course of what I may term professional curiosity, I observed that it proposed to deprive me of the right of importing from England or France a foreign-made copy of foreign books.
Subsequently I discovered other objections to the bill, from the people's point of view, and with your permission I will confine myself to those questions which I consider to be peculiarly related to the interests of the people, and first I will take up the subject which first attracted my attention. Every American citizen, from the very foundation of the government, now nearly a century and a quarter ago, has enjoyed and has exercised, to some extent, the liberty, for liberty it was and I do not use the term privilege of importing from foreign countries foreign-made copies of foreign authors' works which attracted his interest or his curiosity.
In 1891, when the then existing copyright statute was changed so as to give international protection, it was very properly changed so as to restrict the privilege of importation of foreign books by individual citizens or by libraries to two copies for use and not for sale. You know the reason for that restriction in respect to the number of copies was and that the intent of the law and the lawmakers was
to see to it that American labor should enjoy the privilege of manufacturing the American edition of the book.
But it has been stated here, and it has been stated elsewhere, that the privilege of importing a copy or two copies of a foreign book was smuggled that is not my term, but the term of the critic-into the act of 1891; that it was gotten in surreptitiously and at the last moment. It was so stated here in December a year ago, but was not stated in June.
That is not in accordance with the fact. The fact was that the privilege of the importation was fully, thoroughly, and learnedly discussed long before the final enactment of the bill. It was thoroughly understood, well considered, and advisedly incorporated into the act. It will give me great pleasure to furnish to the committee the volume and page of the Congressional Record where the debates are contained.
The CHAIRMAN. I will ask you, at this point in your remarks, when you see a copy of them to make a reference to the pages of the Record to which you refer.
Mr. JENNER. I will do so. I have the data in my pocket.
Representative SULZER. If the data is not too long and voluminous, I think it would be a good idea to incorporate it in your remarks. I do not mean now, but when you correct the stenographic notes.
Mr. JENNER. I will do so. I read the discussion, in part, only last week.
Since 1891, there has been an importation, mainly from England, but no doubt from other countries not speaking the English language to a moderate extent, of foreign-made copies of foreign authors' works. I do not know of any right more innocent than this exercised by the citizen, or of any act that is capable of less harm than the exercise of the right by an American citizen to write abroad to some dealer in London or elsewhere and say:" Please send me through the mail a copy of some foreign author's works, be he distinguished or be he obscure, not for the purpose of sale, but for the purpose of preservation and perusal in my own library."
By your bills you concede to the Government the right to import ad libitum foreign books. You concede to libraries, to colleges, and to institutions of learning in great variety the right to import the foreign-made copy of a foreign author's books. You concede to returning foreign travelers the right to bring in as many copies of a foreign-made copy of a foreign author's work as they can possibly bring in as personal baggage, and if they pay a duty of 25 per cent they can bring in a ton; but you deny to the poor student, too poor to go abroad, you deny to the busy scholar, too busy to go abroad, the right to bring in, through the mail, what you allow to the Government, what you allow to the institutions, and what you allow to the returning traveler.
I forbear to characterize that as class legislation. I simply appeal to reason. What is the Government but the people crowned? What do public libraries exist for except for the benefit, instruction, and promotion of virtue in the people? What are returning travelers but a very considerable section of the people? Is not the private student, is not the busy scholar as much entitled to your consideration as any of these institutions or persons to whom you concede the privi
lege? What is there in his situation or in his circumstances that should lead you to deny to him a right which, in reason and common sense, should be enjoyed by him as by others, a right which from his situation, from his helplessness, from his capacity to use it wisely is one which ought to appeal especially to your favor?
Who is harmed by preserving to him this privilege? Not the American author? You can not imagine how the interests of the American author are to be affected by the value of a hair, if you allow him to import a foreign-made copy of a foreign author's works. Representative CURRIER. You do not care to have the law framed so that you may import a foreign-bound book by an American author?
Mr. JENNER. I do not care for that, sir. As a private citizen I do not care for that. It is a question which peculiarly affects the economy and administration of public libraries, and I concede there is
much to be said about it.
Representative CURRIER. We leave that without restriction, so far as libraries are concerned.
Mr. JENNER. I know you do. I am, personally, a book buyer, and as a book buyer I care nothing about it; but there are questions of economy on which there is much to be said on both sides.
The foreign author is not injured. I think that under the international copyright law we should be solicitous about the interests of the foreign author. His market is improved by that liberty of importation.
But who is helped or benefited by the prohibition of importation? You will smile, you will be amazed, when I undertake to describe the petty interests that, under high-sounding phrases and professions of lofty sentiment, are endeavoring to put a few hundred dollars into their own pockets. I have been a book buyer-my wife is in the audience, and she complains that I buy too many. I have got many thousands of them, and if I had not sold a library twenty-five years ago I would have thousands more. I have got more than I shall ever read and more than I can make use of; but I never bought one that I did not expect to read at the time I bought it, and I hope I will live to do it. I am not a dilettante in books. I am not what is called a faddist. The books which I want are books that are desirable ones and the possession of which every gentleman at this table would enjoy. But there are in the city of New York a few publishers, so few that you can count them on the fingers of a mutilated hand without including the thumb- [applause].
Representative LEGARE. Can you give me names of some of them? Mr. JENNER. Do you insist?
Mr. LEGARE. I would like to have them.
Mr. JENNER. They are G. P. Putnam's Sons, Charles Scribner's Sons, and Dodd, Mead & Co. I would rather that should not go into the printed report if there is to be one.
Mr. GEORGE H. PUTNAM. I do not see that it makes any difference so far as the firm of G. P. Putnam's Sons is concerned.
Mr. JENNER. I am not consulting your feelings, sir.
Now, Mr. Chairman, I want this committee to understand that I have absolutely no resentment. My relations with these publishers have been perfectly friendly. They have always treated me with all of the courtesy which I could possibly demand. I have no stored-up
difference with them; but I condemn their public action, and I am frank enough, honest enough, independent enough to say so, in the interest of those who shall come after me. Their business is not extensive as publishers of American authors' works. It would be invidious to guess what. Their business is largely as jobbers of English books, and by that I mean that they are accustomed to import from England an edition of 100, 200, or 500 copies of an English author's works and print or have printed for them a title-page on which their own name appears as publisher. They call themselves the American publishers.
Of course the right of the American citizen to import from abroad. a genuine copy of the same book necessarily keeps down the price which they can charge for their books. For example, I can import, by order through a London dealer, such a book at the rate of about 32 or 33 cents to the shilling; but if I go to them for a copy I have got to pay them at the rate of about 40 cents to the shilling. For myself I do not care for the difference in price. What I want is a copy of the genuine work. I want it to come from the place where it was made, where it was written, where it was first published, and in the exact form in which it first came into the world.
Representative Law. I would like to ask you if there are not many important instances in which the American edition is substantially different from the original foreign edition?
Mr. JENNER. I was just coming to that.
Representative Law. Will you name a few instances of that kind? Mr. JENNER. I am going to do it better than by naming instances. There is another relation which these people have. Of course when they import this edition they make simply a dealer's profit. They make but a small profit.
I have said that they were not publishers of American authors' works on a large scale. On that point it may be that I can be contradicted; but I base that statement on this authority. For a number of weeks, beginning a year ago, or six months ago, at different seasons of the year, I have taken the advertisements of the publishers whom I have named and I have checked up the English books and the books of American authors, with some of which I was familiar, and others of which I had never heard, and then I divided them into two parts. I found that their business for American authors is very small.
That is the authority on which I made that statement. If the gentlemen of the committee approve of it, well and good. If you do not, I have only to say that I have taken the best means at my command to ascertain a fact, which I want to state.
Now, Mr. Law, it is their desire to print a cheap edition of the foreign work, and so forestall the market for the genuine work itself. I intend to quote to the committee a paragraph from an article entitled "A publisher's defense," purporting to have been written by George Haven Putnam and printed in the Independent, a weekly magazine, in the issue of November 21, 1907. The trouble with Mr. Putnam is that he writes too much.
Representative SULZER. "Oh, that mine enemy would write a
Mr. JENNER. He has written a book also. Now, Mr. Chairman, with your permission I am going to read this with some degree of deliberation because it answers Mr. Law's question so squarely and