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485. The author of any product of the mind, or of any representation or expression thereof, may transfer his property in the same, or any part thereof, and thereupon the property transferred becomes subject to further transfer like other property.
The Civil Code, reported for New York, $ 431.
486. If the owner of a product of the mind does not make it public, any other person subsequently and originally producing the same thing has the same right therein as the prior author, which is exclusive to the same extent against all persons except the prior author, or those claiming under him. The Civil Code, reported for Nero York, & 433. Private writings.
487. Subject to the next article, letters and other private communications belong to the person to whom they are addressed and delivered ;* but they cannot be published against the will of the writer,' except by authority of law.
The Civil Code, reported for New York, $ 434. See Woolsey o. Judd, 4 Duer's (New York) Rep., 389, and cases there cited ; Eyre v. Higbee, 35 Barbour's (New York) Rep., 502.
Compare Copinger on Copyright, ch. II., p. 24, and authorities cited in note (d.).
· Communications received from correspondents by editors or propri. etors, (if sent expressly or impliedly for the purpose of publication.) become the property of the person to whom they are directed, and cannot be published by any other person obtaining possession of them ; nor by such editor or proprietor, if, previous to publication, the writer expresses a desire to withdraw them. Copinger on Copyright, ch. II., p. 32.
2 The difficulty in defining the rule upon this subject arises from the fact that two rights are involved: First, the ownership of the document, with the incidental advantages attaching to the personal control of it as a repository of the information communicated,-such, for instance, as the right to use it as evidence, or to destroy it, (see Eyre o. Higbee, 35 Bar. bour's (New York) Rep., 502, 513, which ownership is protected by the same rules that apply to other chattels; Secondly, the right of property in the product of mind embodied in the document, and which remains in the author when the communication is private, that is to say, not intended for publication-a right which extends to the control, not of the document as a thing, but to controlling the reproduction of the form in which gium, Switzerland, Russia, the Pontifical States, the Netherlands, and other countries,-are generally framed by enumerating the classes of works protected, and by prescribing the method of registration for copy. righting a foreign work.
thought is embodied in it—a right which becomes important in proportion to the value of the mental product.
* It may be a question whether the affirmative consent of the writer, or his personal representatives or assigns, should not, in strictness, be made the condition.
Correspondence addressed to public offices.,
488. The government of a nation has the right to publish or withhold all letters addressed to its public offices. Curtis on Copyright, 98. Right of protection.
489. Any nation may prescribe the formalities requisite to the enjoyment of copyright within its jurisdiction, and may limit the copyright to any period not less than twenty-five years, but for such period the rights of an author, as defined by article 484, must be protected by the laws of every nation, and the formalities prescribed must not be oppressive.
Extent of protection.
490. The same protection, even beyond that secured by the last article, which the copyright laws of any nation extend to its own members, or to works produced or first published within its limits, must be extended, upon the same terms, to the members of the other nations, and to works produced or first published therein; except that, to secure for a work first published in one pation protection in another, the time for regis. tering it in the latter may be limited to twelve months, and a deposit of a foreign copy may be required.
The European copyright treaties,-of which there are a number, uniting Works of literature and art are understood to comprehend books, dramatic works, musical compositions, drawings, paintings, sculptures, engravings, lithographs, and any other production whatsoever of literature or the fine arts.
The following summary of the treaty between Great Britain and France, Nov. 3, 1851, gives an indication of the provisions common in these treaties :
The authors of works of literature and art published in England shall have the same protection in France as French authors have there, and vice versa.
The protection granted to original works is extended to translations; it being, however, clearly understood that protection is afforded simply to a translator in respect of his own translation, and not to confer the exclusive right of translating upon the first translator of any work.
If the author of any work published in either country wishes to reserve to himself the exclusive right of translating his work in the other country, he may do so for five years from the first publication of the translation authorized by him, on complying with the following conditions :
1. The original work must be registered and deposited in the one country within three months after the publication in the other.
2. The author must notify, on the title-page of his work, his intention to reserve the right of translation.
3. At least a part of the authorized translation must appear within a year after the registration and deposit of the original, and the whole must be published within three years after the date of such deposit.
4. The authorized translation must appear in one of the two countries, and be registered and deposited in the same way and within the same time as an original book.
With reference to works published in parts : each part is to be treated as a separate work, and registered and deposited in the one country within the three months after its first publication in the other, and a declaration by the author to the effect that he reserves the right of translation in the first part, will be sufficient.
Dramatic works and musical compositions are protected in France to the same extent as in England. The translation of a dramatic work, how. ever, must appear within three months after the registration and deposit of the original.
This protection is not intended to prohibit fair imitations or adaptions of dramatic works to the stage in England and France respectively, but is only designed to prevent piratical translations. And the question, what is an imitation or a piracy, is in all cases to be decided by the courts of justice of the respective countries, according to the laws in force in each.
Extracts from newspapers and periodicals may be freely taken from either country, and republished or translated in the other, if the source whence they are taken be acknowledged, unless the authors of the ar. ticles shall have notified in a conspicuous manner, in the journal or periodical in which such articles have appeared, that they prohibited the republication or translation thereof.
This stipulation, however,does not apply to articles of political discussion.
Importation of pirated copies is prohibited, and in the event of an infraction of this prohibition, the pirated works may be seized and destroyed.
In order to obtain protection in either country, the work must be registered in the following manner:
If the work first appear in France, it must be registered at Stationers' Hall, London; if it appear first in England, at the Bureau de la Librarie of the Ministry of the Interior at Paris, within three months after the first publication in England. As to works published in parts, they must be registered within three months after the publication of the last part; but in order to preserve the right of trapslation, each part must be registered within three months after its publication. A copy of the work must also be deposited within the same time as the registration to be made, either at the British Museum in London, or in the National Library in Paris, as the case may be.
The certified copy of the entry in either case is evidence of the exclu. sive right of publication in both countries until the contrary is proved.
With regard to articles other than books, maps, prints, and musical compositions, in which protection may be claimed, any other mode of regis. tration, which may be applicable by law in one of the two countries to any work or article first published in such country, for the purpose of affording protection to copyright in such article, is extended on equal terms to any similar article first published in the other country. See, also, convention between Great Britain and Prussia, June 4, 1855,}
tor | Accounts and Papers, 1856, vol. LXI., (24.)
0, (Additional to convention of May 13, 1846.) Belgium, Aug. 12, 1854, Id., 1854–5, vol. LV., (26.) Article 490 above, however, seems to present an equally efficacious and more simple rule; and the right of aliens to avail themselves like citi. zeps of the copyright laws being thus conceded, all the proper legal rem. edies are assured, as in other cases, by the provisions of Part VI., respecting THE ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE.
No distinction is made in France, between foreigners and French subjects, as to copyright, provided they make the necessary deposit. All kinds of unpublished works, lectures, &c., are the exclusive property of their authors. Levi's Commercial Law, vol. II., p. 581 ; Copinger on Copyright, ch. XVIII., p. 239..
Mr. Blaine suggests that an uniform system of registration and international exchange of records be adopted, so that registry, according to the law of the State of first publication, will be followed by transmission of the record to the other nations, and consequent protection there. Transactions of National Association for Promotion of Social Science, 1862, p. 869.
The drafted treaty between Great Britain and the United States, 1853, contained a provision that when a foreign work is copyrighted the edition must be as cheap as the cheapest foreign edition.
491. Copyright includes the right of translation into other languages ; but, in order to preserve such right, the intention to do so must be announced upon the titlepage of each volume, and of each part, if published in parts, and the publication of a translation must be
commenced within one year from the publication of the original.
Unless the right of translation is secured under this article, any translator may have a copyright of his translation.
See the convention between France and Austria, Dec. 11, 1866, Art. IV., (9 De Clercq, 664,) and those with the German States, 1865, 9 Id.
And see note to Article 490, concerning translations of dramatic works.
The French conventions with Portugal and several of the German States contain a provision that the author of a dramatic work, who would reserve the exclusive right of translation and of representation, must publish his translation, or produce the piece on the stage within three months after the formalities of copyright.
Extracts from newspapers and periodicals.
492. Extracts from newspapers and periodicals published in one nation may be freely republished or translated in another, if the source whence they are taken be acknowleged ; except that the author or publisher of an article not involving political discussion may reserve strict protection by a conspicuous notice published with the article.
See note to Article 490, and the conventions there referred to.
To the same effect are the conventions between France and Austria, Portugal, German States, Pontifical States, and Russia.
Power to prohibit works.
493. The provisions of this Title are subject to the power of any nation to control or prohibit the importation, sale, circulation or publication, within its ter: ritorial limits, of any work or production.
This qualification is usual in the treaties, to reserve the ordinary meas. ures of police, and also any obligations arising out of agreements with other nations by which particular works may have been prohibited.
Saving clause as to existing works.
494. The provisions of this Title do not prevent the continuation of the publication or sale in any nation of works already in part or wholly published therein.
The convention between France and Portugal qualifies this provision by adding tbat no further publication can be made other than necessary tu complete orders or subscriptions already commenced. In the treats between France and Russia, the saving clause extends to works to be published within one year.