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arrangement with an American publisher at copyright law, but their opinions differed its first issue, secure the privileges and bene- widely as to its construction. Mr. W. H. fits of copyright. The second section con- Appleton presented the report of the Comtains a paragraph to which some exception mittee of five appointed to frame a bill, may, we think, fairly be taken. It says: which was approved by all members of the
“ If an American publisher shall neg. committee with the exception of Mr. Sey"lect, for the space of three months, to keep mour, of the firm of Charles Scribner & Co." "the book so published by him on sale, or From this statement we may safely conclude obtainable at his publishing house, then it that the question of granting the foreign au“may be imported or reprinted, the same as thor the protection he demands at the hands "might have been done before the passage of of the American Government and people is "this Act.”
still of very uncertain accomplishment. The There is an element of sharp practice in dissenting member of the committee prethis stipulation that seems to be a contradic- sented a minority report strongly combating tion of the general principle of the proposed several of the provisions of the bill, which he measure. The object to be attained is, as declared "was not an international copyright we take it, to secure the foreign author in law at all, but an Act to protect American what are now conceded to be his rights, and publishers such as they have no right to deto place him on the same footing in the mand, and one that the British Government United States as in his own country, where would not recognize as giving any claim to no such restrictions are imposed. If a reciprocity.” The report of the majority book is in large demand, it is true such a was adopted by nine to five, two delelapse in the production is not very likely to gates refusing to vote, and others, while occur, and, therefore, the necessity for the favourable to the general principle, suggestproviso can scarcely exist. But it might hap- ing amendments. We now know, therefore, pen that, where laborious revision is re- what is the utmost extent of the boon that, quired by the author, or commercial embar- if Congress be not far more liberal than the rassments supervene on the part of the pub- traders most directly interested, the people lisher, not to speak of many other possible of America may be expected at present to temporary hindrances to the issue of a new grant to the foreign authors—to whose laedition, it would be most unjust to peril the bours they are so largely indebted, and for copyright by enforcing so stringent and ex- which they have hitherto paid so little. ceptional a rule. Before noticing further the It is strictly and exclusively an authors' terms of the bills we have above described, it copyright that is proposed to be conceded. may be well to observe that the conference But if, whilst offering a tardy measure of was far from unanimous in adopting the last justice to the English author, the Bill erects a damed measure. According to the Tribune “Chinese wall” between the American and "The whole body of Boston and Philadel- the foreign publisher in the interest of the phia publishers, as well as those of New York, latter, such a course is not without a certain had been invited. No one appeared from degree of justification. At the conference Philadelphia, the tradesmen of that city hav- we have just mentioned a letter was read ing declared themselves opposed to all inter- from a number of eminent English authors in national copyright; and only fifteen promi- which a very strong argument was presented Dent city houses were represented, the Har- in favour of the position assumed by the pers and nearly all the school book publish- American publishers. After expressing the ers being absent. All the gentlemen in at- opinion that the interests of the British autendance were desirous of an international | thor and those of the British publisher are
separate and distinct, and that they should people. The English are the greatest bookbe so regarded in any attempt at negotiation, borrowers in the world, the Americans the the writers go on to say:—“Americans dis- most eager book-purchasers. To place the tinguish between the author, as producing monopoly of the American market in foreign the ideas, and the publisher, as producing the hands would be, it is argued, to ensure the material vehicle by which these ideas are introduction of a higher priced article (even conveyed to readers. They admit the claim leaving fiscal imposts out of consideration) of the British author to be paid by them for thus circumscribing the sale and actually his brain-work. The claim of the British limiting the educational advantages derivable book manufacturer to a monopoly of their from a cheap literature. An objection to book market they do not admit. To give excluding the foreign publisher from copythe British author a copyright is simply to right privileges has been put forward on the agree that the American publisher shall pay ground that, where the books contain expenhim for work done. To give the British sive plates and illustrations, a considerable publisher a copyright is to open the Ameri- loss would be incurred by the production of can market to him on terms which prevent duplicate editions. The author must suffer, the American publisher from competing. it is said, if the initial expense of illustrations, Without dwelling on the argument of the setting up the type, and possibly stereotyping, Americans that such an arrangement would is repeated in each country. As the ability not be free trade, but the negation of free of the publisher to pay the author depends trade, and merely noticing their further argu- on the margin of profit between the cost ment that, while their protective system of production and the selling price, by raises the prices of all the raw materials, doubling the former you reduce the chances free competition with the British book of the author's remuneration. But is not manufacturer would be fatal to the Ameri- the probability in favour of the author receivcan book manufacturer, it is clear that the ing more under such circumstances than he Americans have strong reasons for refusing does at present? If the work is so unique to permit the British publisher to share in the in its costliness and beauty as to defy reprocopyright which they are willing to grant to duction, it will carry on its face its own the British author.” To this important docu- copyright ; if, on the other hand, it can ment, amongst many other distinguished easily be reproduced and its illustrations names, are appended those of John Stuart imitated, even though perhaps coarsely, the Mill, Herbert Spencer, Sir John Lubbock, author will receive all the benefit of the article G. A. Lewes, J. A. Froude, Thomas Carlyle, being adapted to the foreign market and and John Morley.
pushed with that energy the interest of the The broadest application of free trade foreign publisher will induce him to bestow does not go further than to place the home upon it. It may seem hard to the British and foreign producer on an equality. Its publisher that he should be “left out in the advocates certainly never demanded that cold” in these arrangements. But the barthe foreigner should be secured in a mono- gain is not wholly one-sided. It is true that poly of the home market. The most prac- the American publishers will be the largest tical argument, however, for the limitation of gainers, just as it is they who are making at the right of protection to the author is the the present time the largest payments, essential difference between the book manu- prompted on either side by a spirit of fair facture of the two countries. The publisher dealing and justice. With the author, howin Great Britain manufactures for the libra- ever, lies the vested right in the commodity ries, the publisher of New York for the which is the object of negotiation ; he is detail, may
entitled to make the best terms for himself ericans to reprint British books; but with it that he can, and, with some modifications in an acknowledgment of the paramount claim
very well contented to accept of the authors, as shown by the toll levied such a measure as that before Congress. in their interest on the works the publishers,
We have, lastly, to notice the position, in often without payment, had appropriated. regard to international copyright, of the But in practice the Act is all but a dead letDominion of Canada. The existing Copy- ter. The necessary steps to secure the exacright Law of the Dominion has been already tion of the duty are seldom taken by the mentioned, and we have incidentally referred, authors; there is no check on a slovenly or in passing, to the special arrangement by partial performance of its duties by the cuswhich American reprints of English works tom house; book parcels are generally mixed, are allowed to be imported into this country. and the number of copies of a particular By the Act of 1847 (10 and 11 Vic., c. 95) work may be so small as hardly to repay the Her Majesty was enabled, by Order in Coun- trouble of charging them with duty; and, cil, to suspend the enactment contained in lastly, it is idle to expect the Canadian pubthe Copyright Act of 1842 against the im- lisher to be a ready assistant in carrying out portation into any part of Her Majesty's the law in the face of the system prevailing dominions of foreign reprints of English on the other side of the line, to which we copyright works. But such Order in Coun- have been adverting. The Canadian Act of cil was not to be made as to any colony, 1868 has been in certain cases invoked as a &c., unless, by local legislation, such colony protection against the reprints. The validity had, in the opinion of Her Majesty, so far of that statute, however, has not been tested, as foreign reprints were concerned, made and a nice point might be raised as to whedue provision for protecting the rights of ther it was competent for the Canadian British authors there. The Legislature of Parliament, by its statute in 1868, to override the Province of Canada at once passed an the Act of the Provincial Assembly of 1847, Act, still in force, admitting foreign reprints with the consequent Imperial Order in Counon payment of a duty of twelve and a half cil, having itself the force of an Act, under per cent on the published price of the works, which reprints were admitted. Canada has such duty to be paid over to the owners of the lately been promised, by certain American original copyright who might take the trouble journals of bellicose tendencies, the exhilaratto register their works in Canada as being ing sensation of becoming a battle-ground for entitled to share in the benefits of the Act. the settlement of a great international quarrel. It has sometimes been contended that the She is already the battle-ground of British Act of 1868 was an evidence of colonial and American editions of works imported selfishness, whilst, on the other hand, the from either Great Britain or the United wholesale introduction into Canada of re- States, the former having lawfully paid the prints which paid the author nothing, was author for producing them, the latter possibly held to be a glaring illustration of the unfair having paid nothing. Yet, if the American advantage taken on this side the Atlantic of reprints do pay the twelve and a half per British authors and publishers. Certainly cent., and the originals only five per cent., the the Act of 1847, under which those reprints reprints win the day. The fiscal legislation are admitted, is a most powerful argument of Canada is liberal enough, and no one can in favour of such a measure as we have in our complain of a five per cent. ad valorem duty foregoing remarks been advocating. Here as a serious grievance. Under it there is an was, as we have seen, legislative sanction to enormous importation of British books into a presumptive right on the part of the Am- the Dominion. The growth of the book trade is one of the most remarkable and side of the boundary line, which there apgratifying circumstances in the social history proaches very near to the St. Lawrence, lies of the country. If the author desires to ob- Rouse's Point. At this place Mr. John tain copyright in Canada, the Act of 1868 Lovell, of Montreal, one of the most honourgives it him. If Canada were geographically able of Canadian publishers, has set up a isolated, the British author need with her have press and the other machinery and appliliterally no grievance. But Canada is not is- ances needed for book printing. olated; her relations with the neighbouring he sends his types, prints the sheets of country are close and intimate, and it is British copyright works, pays the twelve and simply a necessity that, in any negotiations a half per cent. duty on "American reprints" between Great Britain and the United States at the custom house, and, having thus comon this question, the position of Canada to plied with an Act passed in the interest of wards the latter should be fully recognized. the British author, can circulate the book in
We have said that the validity of the Act Canada with safety and profit. There has of 1868 may be called in question. The been some outcry at what is called this evapower to make laws affecting copyright is sion of the law. We fail, however, to see the expressly conceded to the Dominion by the transaction in that light. It is more than probBritish North America Act of 1867. But it able that Mr. Lovell might print many of the is contended by some that this would apply books in question at Montreal and circulate only to native productions, and can have no them in Canada with impunity. We doubt force against the Imperial Act of 1842, much if, in the present anomalous state of especially in a retroactive sense. If this view legislation on this subject, a Canadian jury be correct, the Canadian publisher who re- would sustain an action or prosecution against prints an English copyrighted work is liable him. But he does well not to infringe upon to all the pains and penalties of the Act last any Act, local or imperial, that may be fairly mentioned, whilst he is compelled to see, construed to impose restrictions upon him under the authority of the joint legislation and his confreres of the publishing trade. His of Great Britain and Canada, American re-arrangements appear to be not merely prints, with which he could often successfully in honest compliance with the law, but posicompete, flooding the country, and practic- tively advantageous to the British copyright ally paying nothing, either in New York or holder. His experience tells him what style at the frontier, for the privilege. The con- and price of book are best adapted to the trast is made all the broader by the fact that, Canadian market : the sale is, therefore, corin the very year (1868) which saw the Cana- respondingly large, and, on the whole, he dian publisher, as he imagined, protected by pays a very fair royalty to the author or the an Act of his own Parliament, another Act author's representatives, not one dollar of was passed at Ottawa giving the Executive which would they probably obtain if the power to increase the duty on American re- books were imported into Canada by an prints to twenty per cent, which is just as American bookseller. It may be well for our much a dead letter as its predecessor of countrymen at home to take this illustration 1847.
of the effect of the present state of the law Business ingenuity and energy, however, into very serious consideration. What Mr. are generally equal to the occasion, and they Lovell is doing at Rouse's Point a Toronto are likely, in this instance, to solve the diffi- publisher may do at Buffalo or elsewhere. culty more promptly than appeals to the We may depend upon it that the Americans Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. will offer all possible facilities for arrangeNearly opposite to Montreal, on the Ameri- ments that bring any class of productive in. dustry across their lines to spend capital in vene in questions affecting local rights of the form of wages and local taxes. Would property and social progress. An ardent it not be far better at once to allow Cana- supporter of the political connection existing dians to reprint all British copyrights on the between Great Britain and the Dominion payment of a royalty ? A delusive method must desire to see every question set at rest of protecting the interests of British authors that may prejudice Canadians in the eyes of would then be exchanged for a substantial their fellow-countrymen in the Mother land. reality wherever the holder of the copyright Authors are a sensitive race; they have often preferred to accept a royalty instead of sell a keener appreciation of an injustice than an ing it to a Canadian publisher. Ordinary accurate knowledge of the means that may books can be produced more cheaply in secure its removal; and the pens they handle Canada than in the States; we have seen that may prove instruments of mischief and misthe condition of the book trade in Canada is representation, if fair and equitable legislation altogether different from what it was in 1847. fail to come to the settlement of their claims A people enjoying self government can on a just and practicable basis. hardly allow Imperial legislation to inter
“ SIC EST VITA.”
BY CHARLOTTE GRANT.
REJOICING in his strength, the Sun
him song ;
Espied on earth a lovely child;
The maiden, Spring, looked up and smiled!
His shining mantle round her drew.
And bloom'd in modest radiance through ;
Full gladsome grew her merry voice !
Ere his sweet love was her sweet choice.
And hid his face from her in play ;
He came and kissed her tears away.
She laid her down to rest awhile,
And brought the moon to watch her smile ;
In varied clusters, that their gleam