R. R. (Richard Rogers) Bowker.

Copyright, its history and its law: being a summary of the principles and ... online

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the work. Before the close of his administration of
the Library, and while it was still housed in the Capi-
tol, the copyright business required the services of a
staff including at the last twenty-four persons. By a
special act of 1897, the office of Register of Copy-
rights was created, subject to the authority of the
Librarian of Congress, who remains the ultimate ad-
ministrative authority. The code of 1909 provided
also for an assistant register of copyrights. The
Copyright Office now occupies the southern end of
the ground floor in the new Library building and the
staff has increased to eighty-four persons.

When a book is deposited for registration, accom- Routine of
panied by the claim for copyright, preferably on the wg^tratioii
application form gratuitously provided by the Copy-
right Office, its class designation, with its acces-
sion or sequence number in that class, is at once
stamped upon the deposit copy or copies, with the
date of receipt, and also upon a green record slip on



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298 COPYRIGHT

which all details in the progress of the work through
the Copyright Office are recorded with exact time of
each act and the initials of the respective clerks.
This record, when completed, shows, besides the class
number and the title of the work, the date and hour
of the receipt of deposit copies and of the receipt of
application, affidavit and fee, with memorandum of
the disposition of the fee if out of the ordinary course;
the examination of the application and affidavit, the
preparation of the white card for printer's copy, and
the clearance of the work. Thus cleared, the tx)ok is
ready for examination by the Library Commission,
the delivery of one copy to the Catalogue Division of
the Library of Congress, the making of the certificate
and its record and the making of the index cards, all
of which acts are performed usually on the day of
receipt, or otherwise as early as practicable on the
following day. The record slip also provides for
noting and notifying claimants of defects as to the
deposit copies or the application for copyright, and
for noting also the reference to other departments,
and the disposition of second deposit copies.
T^ettment The deposit copies, as entered on day of receipt and
of deposits stamped with date, group and accession number, are
placed on a table for inspection by what is known as
the Library Commission of the Library of Congress,
consisting of the Assistant Librarian, the Superin-
tendent of the Reading Room and the Chief of the
Catalogue Division, who decide which books are de-
sired for the Library of Congress, and whether one
or two copies thereof are required; one copy not so
required is retained as part of the records of the Copy-
right Office. Accumulations of the past years and
current accessions were until recently stored in the
sub-basement of the Library of Congress building,
but a new stack now furnishes abundant and well-



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OFFICE METHODS 299

lighted space for deposit copies and gradually all
deposit articles will be removed to this stack. The
new provision for the destruction of useless materia!
happily prevents the continuing storage of such ma-
terial to an indefinite future.

The Librarian of Congress and the Register of Destroctloii
Copyrights jointly are authorized "at suitable inter- ®' useless
vals" to determine what articles received during any ""•^•'^
period of years and remaining undisposed of, are
useful for permanent preservation, and in their dis-
cretion to provide for the destruction of others, after
a statement of the years of receipt of such articles
and notice to permit any lawful claimant to claim
and remove them has been printed in the catalogue of
copyright entries from February to November, per-
mitting their reclamation within the month of De-
cember. There is a special proviso that no manuscript
of an unpublished work shall be destroyed during
the term of copyright without specific notice to the
copyright proprietor of record, permitting him to
claim and remove it.

The Register of Copyrights, originally appointed by Register of
the Librarian of Congress under the act of February 19, Copyrights
1897, is made by the new code of 1909 a permanent
administrative officer, appointed by and under the
direction and supervision of the Librarian of Congress
at a salary of $4000 per year and under bonds of
$20,000. He is authorized under the law to make
rules and regulations for the registration of claims to
copyright, subject to the approval of the Librarian of
Congress; is required to make an annual report to the
Librarian of Congress to be printed in the annual
report on the Library of Congress; to cover all fees
into the Treasury and report as to the same to the
Secretary of the Treasury and to the Librarian of
Congress, and to provide and keep the necessary



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300 COPYRIGHT

record books, indexes, etc. He is authorized to affix
the seal of the Copyright Office provided for by law,
and is happily relieved by the new code from the
necessity of formal signature of certificates, etc.,
which under the old law wasted precious and difficult
hours in small routine work, the affixing of the seal
being the sufficient and sensible substitute for the
personal signature. An assistant register of copy-
rights at a salary of $3000 was provided for in the
new act, also to be appointed by the Librarian of
Congress, with authority during the absence of the
Register to attach the seal and perform other neces-
sary functions.
Catalogaes The law directs that the Register of Copyrights
and indexes "shall print at periodic intervals a catalogue of the
titles of articles . . . together with suitable indexes,
and at stated intervals . . . complete and indexed
catalogues for each class of copyright entries," which
"shall be admitted in any court as prima facie evi-
dence," shall be promptly distributed to collectors of
customs and postmasters of all exchange offices and
shall be furnished to others at a price not exceeding
$5 per annum for the complete catalogue or $1 for the
catalogues issued during the year for any one class.

The practice of the Copyright Office is to make for
each copyrighted book an index card, in conformity
with the printed catalogue card of the Library of Con-
gress, and to utilize the linotype slugs set for this pur-
pose, with some modification, as the basis for the
"Catalogue of copyright entries" for books. The
catalogue for books proper, Part I, Group i, is printed
weekly with an annual index, which, together with
Part I, Group 2, issued monthly with more condensed
entries, — containing the titles for all other material
registered under the legal designation "book," not
found in Group i, i. e., local directories and other an-



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OFFICE METHODS 301

nuals, pamphlets, leaflets and literary contributions
to periodicals, as also dramatic compositions, lec-
tures and maps, including also the preliminary re-
ports of court decisions, — may be subscribed for at a
price of $1 per year. Part II, appearing monthly,
covers periodicals, with an annual index, at fifty cents
per year. Part III, appearing monthly, covers music,
with an annual index, at $1 per year. Part IV, ap-
pearing Aionthly, covers worfcs of art, reproductions
of a work of art, drawings or plastic works of a scien-
tific character, photographs and prints and pictorial
illustrations, with an annual index, at fifty cents per
year. The subscription price for the entire catalogue
is $3 per year. Subscriptions should be sent direct
to the Superintendent of Documents, Washington,
D. C, with money orders or drafts in his name
(stamps and uncertified checks not accepted), and
should not be sent to the Librarian of Congress or to
the Copyright Office.

The Library of Congress prints for all such books as Entry cards
are selected from the copyright deposits for use in the
Library, on the decision of the Commission appointed
by the Librarian, a catalogue card which forms part
of the library card catalogue system, and which can
be had by public libraries and by private purchasers
at the price of two cents a card. This card is used
for the catalogues of the Library of Congress and for
the catalogues of depository libraries throughout the
country, but is not furnished in exchange by the
Smithsonian Institution to foreign institutions. The
catalogue cards for " books " in Group 2, representing
considerably more than twice as many registrations as
Group I , as well as the index cards for all articles com-
prised in the remaining classes of copyright deposits,
are prepared in the Copyright Office, and are not
furnished to other libraries or to the public.



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302



COPYRIGHT



Text pro-
visions



Copyright
records



Register of
copyrights
and assist-
ant register



Deposit
and report
of fees



The provisions as to the Copyright Office, its ad-
ministration, methods and practice, are set forth in
the American code of 1909 in much detail, as follows:

" (Sec. 47.) That all records and other things re-
lating to copyrights required by law to be preserved
shall be kept and preserved in the copyright office,
Library of Congress, District of Columbia, and shall
be under the control of the register of copyrights,
who shall, under the direction and supervision of the
Librarian of Congress, perform all the duties relating
to the registration of copyrights.

** (Sec. 48.) That there shall be appointed by the
Librarian of Congress a register of copyrights, at a
salary of four thousand dollars per annum, and one
assistant register of copyrights, at a salary of three
thousand dollars per annum, who shall have author-
ity during the absence of the register of copyrights to
^ attach the copyright office seal to all papers issued
from the said office and to sign such certificates and
other papers as may be necessary. There shall also be
appointed by the Librarian such subordinate assist-
ants to the register as may from time to time be au-
thorized by law.

" (Sec. 49.) That the register of copyrights shall
make daily deposits in some bank in the District of
Columbia, designated for this purpose by the Secre-
tary of the Treasury as a national depository, of all
moneys received to be applied as copyright fees, and
shall make weekly deposits with the Secretary of the
Treasury, in such manner as the latter shall direct,
of all copyright fees actually applied under the pro-
visions of this Act, and annual deposits of sums
received which it has not been possible to apply as
copyright fees or to return to the remitters, and shall
also make monthly reports to the Secretary of the
Treasury and to the Librarian of Congress of the



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OFFICE METHODS 303

applied copyright fees for each calendar month,
together with a statement of all remittances received,
trust funds on hand, moneys refunded, and unap-
plied balances.

'' (Sec 50.) That the register of copyrights shall Bond
give bond to the United States in the sum of twenty
thousand dollars, in form to be approved by the Solic-
itor of the Treasury and with sureties satisfactory to
the Secretary of the Treasury, for the faithful dis-
charge of his duties.

"(Sec. 51.) That the register of copyrights shall Amnial
make an annual report to the Librarian of Congress, "P^
to be printed in the annual report on the Library of
Congress, of all copyright business for the previous
fiscal year, including the number and kind of works
which have been deposited in the copyright office
during the fiscal year, under the provisions of this
Act.

*' (Sec. 52.) That the seal provided under the Act Seal
of July eighth, eighteen hundred and seventy, and at
present used in the copyright office, shall continue to
be the seal thereof, and by it all papers issued from
the copyright office requiring authentication shall be
authenticated.

"(Sec. 53.) That, subject to the approval of the Rates
Librarian of Congress, the register of copyrights shall
be authorized to make rules and regulations for the
registration of claims to copyright as provided by this
Act.

" (Sec. 54.) That the register of copyrights shall Record
provide and keep such record books in the copyright *^^^
office as are required to carry out the provisions of
this Act, and whenever deposit has been made in the
copyright office of a copy of any work under the pro-
visions of this Act he shdl make entry thereof.

" (Sec. 55.) That in the case of each entry the per- Cextificate



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304



COPYRIGHT



Receipt for
depoaits



Catalogue
and index
pfOTision



son recorded as the claimant of the copyright shall be
entitled to a certificate of registration under seal of
the copyright office, to contain his name and ad-
dress, the title of the work upon which copyright is
claimed, the date of the deposit of the copies of such
work, and such marks as to class designation and entry
number as shall fully identify the entry. In the case
of a book the certificate shall also state the receipt
of the affidavit as provided by section sixteen of this
Act, and the date of the completion of the printing,
or the date of the publication of the book, as stated
in the said affidavit. The register of copyrights shall
prepare a printed form for the said certificate, to be
filled out in each case as above provided for, which
certificate, sealed with the seal of the copyright office,
shall, upon payment of the prescribed fee, be given to
any person making application for the same, and the
said certificate shall be admitted in any court as
prima facie evidence of the facts stated therein. In
addition to such certificate the register of copyrights
shall furnish, upon request, without additional fee, a
receipt for the copies of the work deposited to com-
plete the registration.

"(Sec. 56.) That the register of copyrights shall
fully index all copyright registrations and assign-
ments and shall print at periodic intervals a catalogue
of the titles of articles deposited and registered for
copyright, together with suitable indexes, and at
stated intervals shall print complete and indexed
catalogues for each class of copyright entries, and
may thereupon, if expedient, destroy the original
manuscript catalogue cards containing the titles
included in such printed volumes and representing
the entries made during such intervals. The current
catalogues of copyright entries and the index volumes
herein provided for shall be admitted in any court as



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OFFICE METHODS 305

prima facie evidence of the facts stated therein as
regards any copyright registration.

*' (Sec. 57.) That the said printed current cata- Distribtttioii
logues as they are issued shall be promptly distrib- ^^ ^^
uted by the copyright office to the collectors of ^^^^
customs of the United States and to the postmasters
of all exchange offices of receipt of foreign mails, in
accordance with revised lists of such collectors of
customs and postmasters prepared by the Secretary
of the Treasury and the Postmaster-General, and
they shall also be furnished to all parties desiring
them at a price to be determined by the register of
copyrights, not exceeding five dollars per annum for
the complete catalogue of copyright entries and not
exceeding one dollar per annum for the catalogues
issued during the year for any one class of subjects.
The consolidated catalogues and indexes shall also be
supplied to all persons ordering them at such prices
as may be determined to be reasonable, and all sub-
scriptions for the catalogues shall be received by the
Superintendent of Public Dociunents, who shall for-
ward the said publications; and the moneys thus re-
ceived shall be paid into the Treasury of the United
States and accounted for under such laws and Treas-
ury regulations as shall be in force at the time.

" (Sec. 58.) That the record books of the copy- Records
right office, together with the indexes to such record ^^^^ ^" .
books, and all works deposited and retained in the copyii^ *"
copyright office, shall be open to public inspection;
and copies may be taken of the copyright entries
actually made in such record books, subject to such
safeguards and regulations as shall be prescribed by
the register of copyrights and approved by the Li-
brarian of Congress.

" (Sec. 59.) That of the articles deposited in the Preserration
copyright office under the provisions of the copyright ^ d«po«it«



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306 COPYRIGHT

laws of the United States or of this Act, the Librarian
of Congress shall determine what books and other
articles shall be transferred to the permanent collec-
tions of the Library of Congress, including the law
library, and what other books or articles shall be
placed in the reserve collections of the Library of
Congress for sale or exchange, or be transferred to
other governmental libraries in the District of Colum-
bia for use therein.
DigpoMl of " (Sec. 60.) That of any articles undisposed of as
depottts above provided, together with all titles and corre-
spondence relating thereto, the Librarian of Congress
and the register of copyrights jointly shall, at suitable
intervals, determine what of these received during
any period of years it is desirable or useful to preserve
in the permanent files of the copyright office, and,
after due notice as hereinafter provided, may within
their discretion cause the remaining articles and other
things to be destroyed : Provided, That there shall be
printed in the Catalogue of Copyright Entries from
February to November, inclusive, a statement of the
years of receipt of such articles and a notice to permit
any author, copyright proprietor, or other lawful
claimant to claim and remove before the expiration of
the month of December of that year anything found
which relates to any of his productions deposited or
registered for copyright within the period of years
stated, not reserved or disposed of as provided for in
this Act: And provided further , That no manuscript
of an unpublished work shall be destroyed during its
term of copyright without specific notice to the copy-
right proprietor of record, permitting him to claim
and remove it.

"(Sec. 61.) That the register of copyrights shall
receive, and the persons to whom the services desig-
nated are rendered shall pay, the following fees: For



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OFFICE METHODS 307

the registration of any work subject to copyright, Fees
deposited under the provisions of this Act, one dollar,
which sum is to include a certificate of registration
under seal : Provided^ That in the case of photographs
the fee shall be fifty cents where a certificate is not
demanded. For every additional certificate of regis-
tration made, fifty cents. For recording and certify-
ing any instrument of writing for the assignment of
copyright, or any such license specified in section one,
subsection (e), or for any copy of such assignment or
license, duly certified, if not over three hundred words
in length, one dollar; if more than three hundred and
less than one thousand words in length, two dollars; if
more than one thousand words in length, one dollar
additional for each one thousand words or fraction
thereof over three hundred words. For recording the
notice of user or acquiescence specified in section one,
subsection (e), twenty-five cents for each notice if not
over fifty words, and an additional twenty-five cents
for each additional one hundred words. For compar-
ing any copy of an assignment with the record of such
document in the copyright office and certifying the
same under seal, one dollar. For recording the exten-
sion or renewal of copyright provided for in sections
twenty-three and twenty-four of this Act, fifty cents.
For recording the transfer of the proprietorship of
copyrighted articles, ten cents for each title of a book
or other article, in addition to the fee prescribed for
recording the instrument of assignment. For any
requested search of copyright office records, indexes,
or deposits, fifty cents for each full hour of time con-
sumed in making such search: Provided j That only Ontyone
one registration at one fee shall be required in the '•**5?^°
case of several volumes of the same book deposited "*
at the same time."

The organization of the Copyright Office under the



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3o8



COPYRIGHT



Pretent or-
ganization



Efficiency of
methods



present administration of the Librarian of Congress,
Herbert Putnam, appointed by President McKinley
in 1898, and the Register of Copyrights, Thorvald
Solberg, the first and only occupant of that post, ap-
pointed by the Librarian of Congress in 1897, presents
a standard of efficiency, celerity and economy which is
a model for governmental departments, or indeed for
any administrative business. The enormous amount
of detail is systematized and controlled by a remark-
able method of record, and blank forms provide in the
utmost variety of detail for every feature of the work
of correspondence, especially in calling the attention
of applicants to defects in their applications, which
are many and various.

As the result of this organization, the complex law
of March 4, 1909, was put in operation July i, 1909,
without a hitch ; and inquiries made to the Copyright
Office are answered, usually on the same day, with
remarkable dispatch and accuracy. For instance, the
many letters directed mistakenly to the Register of
Copyrights, instead of to the Commissioner of Pat-
ents, the frequent applications for the protection of
prints designed for articles of manufacture, and the
multitudinous applications on articles not subject to
copyright, or for projected works or for book manu-
scripts previous to publication, are each covered by a
form letter with an index card of a distinctive color for
each, so that a full record is kept in the Copyright
Office of such errors without unduly complicating
the copyright records proper. The Copyright Office
now handles approximately half a million items of
entries, deposits and correspondence during the year,
and covers into the Treasury more than $100,000,
returning to the government a substantial sum above
the direct cost of administration.

The Copyright Office prints annually a summary of



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OFFICE METHODS 309

itswork, from which it appears that in the yearending Reglstratioii
June 30, 1910, the first year of operation of the new «909-x9xo
copyright code, it had issued copyright certificates to
the number of 96,634, representing an equal num-
ber of registrations at $1 each. In addition thereto
ii>433 registrations were made for photographs at
fifty cents each, for which no certificates were issued.
This annual summary for the fiscal year ending
June 30 is printed as a part of the annual report, for
presentation to Congress each December; and a sum-
mary for the calendar year is printed in separate form
at the beginning of the new year.

In addition to the regular certificates in card form, Certifleateg
the Copyright Ofiice also issues certificates in quarto '^' ^^"^ *••
shape when desired, which are especially utilized in
court proceedings as parts of the record.

The Copyright Office makes searches for informa- Setrchet
tion, under the provisions of the new law, at the rate
of fifty cents for each full hour of the person em-
ployed in such search.

The new Rules provide for such searches as follows:

" (49.) Upon application to the Register of Copy-
rights, search of the records, indexes, or deposits will
be made for such information as they may contain
relative to copyright claims. Persons desiring searches
to be made should state clearly the nature of the work,
its title, the name of the claimant of copjoight and
probable date of entry; in the case of an assignment,
the name of the assignor or assignee or both, and the
name of the copyright claimant and the tide of the
music referred to in case of notice of user."

Question having been raised by the Commissioner Patent Office
of Patents whether the act of 1909 did not charge the fj?^ '"
Copyright Office with the registration as ''prints"
of labels, etc., the Attorney-General, in an opinion
of December 22, 1909, held that the copyright act of



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310 COPYRIGHT

1909 did not relieve the Patent Office of this duty, and
it is still required to raster all prints which have



Online LibraryR. R. (Richard Rogers) BowkerCopyright, its history and its law: being a summary of the principles and ... → online text (page 26 of 59)