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the author all return upon his work and labor. In other words, the producer invests his money and the author his play, the returns being contingent upon whether or not the play is a success. Very sincerely, yours,
A. L. ERLANGER.
A. H. Woods PRODUCTIONS,
New York, March 24, 1903.
New York City. DEAR MR. COOLEY: I herein inclose you the statistics of the 13 shows under my management for the season of 1907-8, up to and including Saturday, March 21. The items herein enumerated are the actual expenses that have been paid out by the A. H. Woods Productions Company. Yours, very truly,
A. H. Woops PRODUCTIONS Co.,
This season up to and including March 21, 1908.
equipments and props necessary prior to opening..
3, 216.88 368, 966.00 18, 522. 60 51, 205.70 6, 315. 80 1, 480.50
988.70 3, 682.45
631.85 4, 247.60
1, 926.80 80, 731.31
PRODUCTIONS OF COHAN AND HARRIS DURING THE PAST THREE YEARS.
"George Washington, jr." Company.
To theater managers and proprietors for their share of receipts, $120,000 for 2 years....
$240, 000 To company, actors, etc., for salaries, etc., $2,400 for 35 weeks, $84,000 for 2 years.
168.000 To railroads, $400 for 35 weeks, $14,000 for 2 years.
28, 000 To printers, advertisers, etc., estimated...
100, 000 To scene builders, painters, etc.
35, 000 To author, account of royalties, $300,000 at 5 per cent, $15,000 for 2 years.. 30, 000
“Little Johnny Jones" Company.
To theater managers and proprietors, for their share of receipts, 4 years at
$ 101,500 for 4 years..
406, 000 105, 000 150, 000 49, 000 20. 000
"Forty-Five Minutes from Broadway” Company. To theater managers and proprietors, for their share of receipts, $60,000 for 3 years, $180,000 and $60,000..
$240.000 To company, actors, etc., for salaries, etc., $2,500 for 35 weeks, $87,500 for 3 years, $262,500 and $87,500..
350.000 To railroads, $500 for 35 weeks, $17,500 for 3 years, $52,500 and $17,500.
70, 000 To printers, advertisers, etc., $750 for 35 weeks, $26,250 for 3 years, $78,750 and $26,250.....
105. 000 To scene builders, painters, etc.
40, 000 To authors, account of royalties, $194,000 at 5 per cent, $9,700 for 3 years, $29,100 and $9,700...
38, 800 Mr. Johnson. I wish to say in the beginning that the National Association of Theatrical Producing Managers and its allied interests has been but recently formed. We only took under advisement the matter of the copyright bill just a short time ago—a week or so ago — and as a result of that examination we have made these specific requests for legislation.
To begin with, our organization directly and indirectly represents in excess of $200,000,000 in actual investment in the United States of America. Our theatrical investments, so far as the theaters are concerned, range from Maine to California and from the Great Lakes to the Gulf. Through the medium of amusement enterprises--that is to say, the companies and the theaters--over 100,000 people are employed. More than $5,000,000 a nually is paid in salaries. More than $2,000,000 annually is paid in railroad fares. More than $3,000,000 annually is paid to newspapers and for other advertising mediums. Approximately a half million dollars a year is paid in transfer fees--that is to say, for hauling and trucking. À large amount is paid authors--up into the millions--in royaliies; and in addition to that, of course, there are the incidental sums to hotels, shopkeepers, and the like.' The actual amount involved is perfectly amazing.
I wish to illustrate how a play is produced. The author furnishes the manuscript, and the producer first the necessary funds to put the play on, the time, the worry, and, as a matter of fact, the producer devises the costumes and the scenery, and he attends to all the incidental matters. Of course the author is present at the performance and joins in and aids. So before a production anywhere from ten to possibly seventy-live or a hundred thousand dollars have been actually invested by the producer. If the play meets with public approval the author gets adequate returns for his work and the producer gets his money back with reasonable profit. If the play does not meet with public approval the author loses his work, and the producer loses the money that he has invested in the production as well as his work.
Upon an examination we find that no bill before this committee embraces ceriain features that we deem absolutely essential to the future successful conduct of the producing business.
Representative CURRIER. May I interrupt you for just a question ? Mr. JOHNSON. Yes, sir.
Representative CURRIER. My mail is full of letters this morning from dramatic authors urging that it is our imperative duty to pass the Kittredge-Barchfeld bill. Except for a slight difference in the penalty clause, is there any difference between the bill introduced by Senator Smoot and Mr. Currier and the Barchfeld bill ?
Mr. JOHNSON. There is just one difference so far as the Barchfeld bill is concerned, and that is that provision has been made or an amendment has been offered in the Barchfeld bill which covers the present so-called talking pictures. That is not embraced in any other bill.
Representative CURRIER. It is not in the Kittredge bill ?
Representative CURRIER. So that practically the authors who are writing here urging the passage of the Kittredge-Barchfeld bill as taking care of their interests are laboring under a serious misapprehension?
Mr. Johnson. Except those authors who have musical compositions.
Representative CURRIER. I am speaking of dramatic authors. All the letters I have received this morning are from them.
Mr. Johnson. Frankly, from the dramatic proposition the penalty clause is the only difference between the Smoot bill and the Kittredge bill.
Representative CURRIER. And the Kittredge bill, from their point of view, if they understood the situation, is utterly inadequate, is it?
Mr. Johnson. Frankly, in our estimation the Kittredge bill is very inadequate.
The CHAIRMAN. Evidently all these letters come from the same source, because my mail is filled with them every day, and they are word for word the same. The only difference is in the date.
Representative McGavin. They are asking protection from play piracy, which that bill does not afford at all.
The CHAIRMAN. No.
Mr. Johnson. I am speaking from the producer's point of view and not from any other.
I want to say, on the other point, that we consider the amendment offered by Mr. Barchfeld to be of great value to the producers. But I will take that up in a short time.
The CHAIRMAN. That will come under the musical provision of the .bill, I suppose.
Mr. Johnson. If you will pardon me, I think there is a decided difference in the conditions.
The CHAIRMAN. It means the reproduction by mechanical devices, through the manufacture of a film, the play being reproduced in that manner.
Mr. Johnson. In the first place, you must bear in mind that in a straight dramatic play which is being produced upon the stage in the ordinary manner there is never published and no man can get
The CHAIRMAN. Let me say that as one member of the committee I should very much prefer to have that brought up at the same time we take up the reproduction of musical matters, on the same day. If you go into that subject, I am afraid it will cause a great deal of discussion.
Mr. Johnson. I do not want to transgress the committee's notion of the order of procedure. But I should like to say a word as to the absolute necessity of amendments in order to prevent the initial play piracy. There has been described the manner in which a play is stolen. . The producer has tried every possible means to ascertain just exactly how those copies are obtained. We have had the theaters watched to see if we could catch the man taking the notes, the stenographer. We have never been able to do anything at all in that line. We know the man; that is, we have no dilliculty in laying our finger at any time upon this man who is the actual pirate in the premises, but we are powerless, under existing law, except through the medium of an injunction as to an individual play, to correct the abuse. The remedy by injunction is wholly inadequate.
Representative CURRIER. May I ask a question?
Representative CURRIER. The people whom you represent do not publish these plays.
Mr. JOHNSON. No; they do not.
Representative CURRIER. They do not receive royalties from the copies, but the royalty comes from the production of the unpublished play.
Mr. Johnson. Except in the case of an opera. The book of the opera may be sold with the production.
Representative CURRIER. I am speaking of dramatic compositions.
Mr. Johnson. That is sometimes done abroad, but I have never known of an instance of it in America. I think the dramatists desire to reserve the right to publish, but from the producer's end of it we know nothing about the publishing of any manuscript, nor am I now familiar with a single instance of it.
The CHAIRMAN. You recognize the fact, however, that if it were published it would occupy an entirely different position as far as the law is concerned than if not published.
Mr. Johnson. Yes, sir. The very provision we are asking for now is to prevent anybody from transcribing that play or vending that play. Those provisions would have to be made with regard to the unpublished play. In other words, where a play is simply produced, is not published, there is a single manuscript in the possession of the author. Any person who gets the book of that play can get it in no other way than surreptitiously and can get it for no other purpose than to sell it or supply it to somebody who proposes to pirate the play. Under the existing law we have a simple right of process against the pirate who offers the play; that is to say, the company that gives a public performance of the play. In a great many instances they change the name when they produce it. Of course the East as a rule and Chicago are the headquarters of the producer and most of the authors. The plays are pirated from one end of the country to the other, and usually at places remote from the headquarters of the authors and the producers, frequently under another name, and it may be weeks before the author or the producer finds out about this particular instance of piracy.
Then in addition they are usually produced by what we term onenight stand companies, where they jump from town to town. I had an instance the other day. Several complaints were made in regard to plays by Mr. Belasco. But by the time we got to the town where
they had played they had been away a week. It is almost impossible to ascertain where they are going to be a week ahead.
In addition to that, we have to prove the willful and knowing, and it is just simply
The CHAIRMAN. That would not seem to be a very great hardship with a pirated play.
Mr. JOHNSON. It is almost impossible unless we go ahead to a town and just before they ring up the curtain we give notice that “This play is the property of Mr. So-and-so, and you are hereby notified,” and so forth. Unless that notice is given the court will not hold the performers. Usually a pirating company carries two plays, one for piracy purposes and the other to give as a substitute whenever notice is given.
Representative McGavin. You heard the statement of the gentleman who preceded you about Chicago being the center of piracy. Now you claim it is done on the one-night stands.
Mr. Johnson. You misunderstand the proposition. The chief offender, the president, by the way, of a big lithographic concern, is in Chicago.
The CHAIRMAN. The people know it has been stolen when they buy the play from him.
Mr. Johnson. Yes, sir; and this man has particular means to steal the play. We go there, and in some instances get an injunction as to the particular play. All he does is to turn what manuscript he may have held back or kept out over to somebody in San Francisco or Pittsburg; and, by the way, there are three. Pittsburg and San Francisco are also headquarters.
The CHAIRMAN. If we provided a penalty which would send those people to jail, do you not think it would stop it?
Mr. Johnson. This is the situation
The CHAIRMAN. Do you want to have the right to send to jail the man who makes the copy?
Mr. Johnson. Yes, sir. We want both, as a matter of fact, but we can reach the fountain source of piracy by stopping the man who vends the play. If we stop that, then the people who would commit the piracy have not the material with which to commit it, and for that reason we are exceedingly anxious to get a provision in this bill to prevent the transcribing of an unpublished play in the first place, and in the second place to make it a penalty to vend a copy of the play. That is embraced in the bill.
The CHAIRMAN. An unpublished play?
Mr. Johnson. Yes, sir; because we realize that we can not properly pass a law that a man can not transcribe any play reproduced for sale. If it is sold, then some other person can without any traiz:gression copy it. For instance, I could borrow the book from you and copy it. That would not constitute any offense. It must apply merely in that respect to an unpublished play. We desire the other penalty clause to remain in full force as it now stands. As I understand, there is no serious objection to retaining the imprisonment clause in the bill.
The CHAIRMAN. I will say, Mr. Johnson, frankly, as far as I am concerned I have no objection.
Representative CURRIER. So far as I am concerned, I am entirely satisfied with the penalty clause found in the Kittredge bill, which is fine or imprisonment or both, in the discretion of the court.