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Berton, Sept ly* 1878 . ane Trousands of letters.
Jace tin as of an ole
hunde ause I hohe qan ance
... hier bought another of you
shake - Corrugated - macked C.
I do not know whether
que caus hin this testimonial
has Cassied out to much of
Buy thought and thought back
return was enlitted to
. Carlisicut of himnaha tecne.
Sau, Curthern Yours truly
Viva Wmebeli Hermes
ILLUSTRATED Price List will be sent, free and post paid, on application to MABIE, Todd & BARD, 93, CHEAPSIDE, LONDON.
NEWS AND NOTES.
as ours by means of the little cheque. We have never yet gone begging, but — Meantime, there would
be no pecuniary anxieties if we had two thousand HE Council of the Society has been strength- members instead of six hundred, and if everybody
ened by the accession of the following would remember the modest annual obligation.
names : - Lord Brabourne, Sir Henry Bergne, K.C.M.G., Messrs. Alfred Austin, R. D. Blackmore, James Bryce, W. Martin Conway, P. W. Amid the general mingled chorus of denunciClayden, Oswald Crawfurd, Marion Crawford, Eric
ation, exasperation, disappointment, satire, and disErichsen, G. R. Sims, and Edmund Yates. Of gust, caused by the loss of the International Copythese gentlemen Mr. W. Martin Conway joins the right Bill, there has hitherto been lacking-what it Committee of Management.
specially behoves The Author to supply-some
recognition of the noble efforts made by the leading The Third Annual Dinner of the Society was
men, the men of culture, in the Eastern States.
These men have never rested, and are still active, held on Tuesday, July 8th. The Chair was taken by Prof. Jebb. There were 200 present on the
in advocating by every means in their power the occasion. A full report will be presented with the
passage of the Bill. They include all the authors
of America, all the honourable publishers, and a next number.
great number of editors. The opponents of the Bill
are the ignorant Western farmers, who know nothing A lady who wishes to be anonymous has offered
about literature, literary property, authors' rights, to present to the Committee the sum of £30
or anything else except their own local interests. annually for three years, to be expended in such a The education of these men is a slow process; they manner as may appear to be for the best interests
take a great deal of time to grasp new ideas; the of Literature. This offer of pecuniary assistance existence of authors is not suspected by them; the is a new thing of this year. It shows that the
existence of authors' rights is absolutely unknown work of the Society is being understood and ap
to them. But they are gradually being educated. preciated. Another sign of advancing opinion is that on the foundation of The Author a good many members came forward to give it a start. It isastound- Let us consider our own case before we throw ing how much may be effected even in such a Society stones at the Americans. It is now five years since VOL. I.
this Society began its endeavours to educate the refers to the pirated edition of the "Encyclopædia British world into the perception of the fact that Britannica.” there is such a thing as literary property and that “A certain man went from Edinburgh to America it is a very real thing. We are not Western farmers and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his Yet we have not learned to grasp this one central sheets, and electrotyped him, and departed, leaving fact any more than these honest members of Con him half dead. And a certain Doctor of Divinity gress. Still the old ideas cling; still those who talk passed by on the other side ; and when he saw him of literary property as if it was a real thing, like he went over, and came where he was, and said turnips, are regarded as madmen. Still the leading unto him: 'How is it with thee, my friend?' articles talk of the dangers and uncertainties of And he answered him: 'I am in sore distress, publishing. Still the old belief remains, that authors for that I have been robbed of nearly all that I must take whatever their employers choose to bring possess. And the Doctor of Divinity spake and them; still that old Bogey, “Risk,” is trotted out to said : 'My heart is heavy for thee, my friend; but frighten us; still men continue to talk about the hast thou yet anything left ?' And he answered “ generosity” of their publishers-as if writers were him again, saying : ‘Yea, the half of what I had is beggars, humbly holding out their hands for doles, left me; but I am in fear least my enemy return instead of honest men demanding their just share and carry off the rest!' 'Nay,' said the man of in the proceeds of the work of their hand and brain. God, 'but if others are to have a cast at thee, I These ideas will slowly pass away. But meantime may as well come in for my share ; but, for that I since they linger in this country, and are every day have great compassion on thee, I will leave thee traded upon for their own purposes by interested a portion of what these wicked men have spared.' persons, we cannot be surprised at an equal ignorance And, so saying, he took what pleased him of the among the narrow-minded and half educated people man's goods, and having preyed upon him, gave who form the greater part of Congress.
him his blessing and went and prayed in the temple. Likewise a certain Pharisee, who was
also a haberdasher and a man of letters, passed Consider; again, a special case, recent and treated further on in these columns. There is a
that way, voyaging from Washington by way of
Philadelphia ; and he came and looked on the man certain great Society called the Society for Promot
and saw that he was helpless, and heard his groans. ing Christian Knowledge. Its President is the Arch
And he also inquired of him what ailed him; and bishop of Canterbury: its Vice-Presidents are
when he had heard his story he beat his breast and other Archbishops and Bishops : its Publication
cried aloud : “This is flat burglary, to take all that Committee are all clergymen. Now, not one of these illustrious men seems as
thou hast, and to leave next to nothing for me!
Verily, I must protect myself against such wickedyet to have grasped the simple truth that an author
ness, and must circumvent the doers thereof; since may be sweated as well as a needlewoman; and that in the purchase of literary property there are
it is expected of me that when circumventing is to elementary laws of morality based on the Eighth
be done, I shall be there!' And with that he
seized on the balance of the man's stock, and Commandment. Not one, so far as I know, up to
blessed him in the name of his peculiar god, and the present moment of writing, when their Society
went his way. But a certain Government having has been called upon to compare its methods of
on his breast a breastplate whereon was writ in publishing with these simple principles of truth and equity, and has, so far, by its silence, refused to do
letters of gold, 'In God We Trust,' came where so, has boldly declared that he will no longer pre
the man was, and when he saw him, he had comside-or vicariously preside-over a great Corpora
passion on him, and went to him, and opened his
wounds, and rubbed into them salt and vinegar, tion, which, unless certain ugly allegations can be
and set him on a wild ass of the desert, and put a explained, seems to be little better than a Society of Sweaters for the greater glory of CHRIST.
bunch of nettles under the tail of the beast, and With this illustration before them can the authors
cried unto the man : “Away with thee, thou of Great Britain expect from an ignorant Western
foreigner! What rights hast thou that I need farmer a keener thirst for righteousness than they
respect? I care not twopence for thee or thy have found at home among the Societies of the
wrongs; and if ever thou darest come again, I will Anglican Church ?
In another place will be found a letter from Mr. As for what is said on International Copyright Bainton on the subject of what he is pleased to call by newspapers in the Eastern States, read the a “stab in the dark.” Everybody else thinks that enclosed from the New York Evening Post. It it has been a stab in the open. But never mind.
The point and moral of the correspondence to the readers of The Author should be that in future they should not allow themselves so easily to be drawn. Why should authors alone, of all professions, be asked to explain their methods? Why should they, when they are asked, be so ready to reply ? For my own part, I fell into the trap, like my neighbours, but fortunately wriggled out again and did not explain my methods. In future, let us behave with greater reticence. Now what would be thought if some enterprising gentleman were to write to all the barristers in practice in the following terms?DEAR SIR,
I must speak at last. There comes a time when silence is culpable. I have long considered you the most eloquent orator as well as the most accomplished and learned lawyer that at present adorns the Outer or the Inner Bar. I read nothing at all but your speeches; my wife reads nothing at all but your speeches. She takes them after early dinner, with a nap; moreover, I have for a long time given my mother-in-law, who lives with us, and is now in declining spirits, nothing at all to read but your speeches; my children learn your speeches by heart. My youngest— Teeny Wheeny, three—is now learning her alphabet out of your speeches. They are, in fact, deeply alphabetic. I am going to give a little lecture-just a little lecture
-to one or two young people. I wish to call my lecture the "Art of Demosthenes, or the Ciceronian Bag of Tricks.” I desire above all things to strengthen it by a description of your own Bag of Tricks, oratorical and legal. Will you therefore kindly tell me where you picked up your method of oratory, and how you manage to seem to know so much law ?
I remain, Sir,
Amid the leaves—the leaves of bay
The leaves they use for crowns-
Above the common clowns;
And artful plot to mix ;
His precious Bag of Tricks.
He heard, and blushed to hear-
I've seen 'em-that I swear.
Thy great works through and through,
So do my children too.
Ah ! head so fitly crowned !
The bay leaves circling round !-
Oh ! condescend to tell -
How canst thou rhyme so well? “Thy art, thy secret, and thy craft,
Confide-confide to me.”
Yet never a word said he.
That on thy pale brow sticks-
And — dropped his Bag of Tricks!
“Mon bon Monsieur,
Now who would expect a barrister to answer this letter, or to take the least notice of the writer ? Yet the authors, when they receive a similar letter, reply all together en masse, without, apparently, any exception.
There was, I learn, an exception. It was an American man of letters, and one of great distinction. He positively did not reply. It is not generally known that a certain fable of Æsop referring to a fox and a crow and a piece of cheese, was written for authors, who have so far failed to observe the moral. The following is a close translation of the fable in its first form.
The Daily News, which has always been on the alert to watch any step in the movement for International Copyright. reports a decision which may lead to very valuable results. It was delivered on June 25th, by Judge Shipman, of the United States Circuit Court. Three suits were begun some time ago by Messrs. A. and C. Black, of Edinburgh, and the Scribners, their American agents, against an American firm which had published a pirated edition of the “Encyclopædia Britannica” from photographic plates, charging infringement of the American copyright laws because the republication contained articles written by Americans and copyrighted in this country by them. The defendants entered demurrers based on the general ground
that the publishers of the “Encyclopædia Britan
well as what certainties, he gives and what nica,” in employing American authors to treat of
he receives. American topics and then publishing their articles What the author is entitled to, is, after payunder copyright, thereby laid a trap for the American
ment of the cost of production and the public and American publishers, and therefore a
publisher's agency and labour, all the remaincourt of equity could not interfere to protect such
ing proceeds. This proportion of the returns a fraud. Judge Shipman overruled the demurrers,
is the property which he has to sell for a and declared that the assignments in no way
lump sum down, or to receive year by year. permitted other parties to infringe authors' (6) The publisher has to be remunerated for his copyrights. This decision has been hailed with
agency and labour out of the returns of the delight by the advocates of International Copyright,
book in a certain proportion, which should who regard it as the most serious check the piratical
be a fixed proportion recognised by both publishers have yet had. There are three photo
contracting parties and understood by both. graphic editions of the “Encyclopædia Britannica” now selling at about a seventh of the price of the These principles have long been recognized by authorized edition. The decision is likely to alarm the French after a good figlit, carried on by the the publishers, since, if sustained in further Société des Gens de Lettres, an association of judgments, Messrs. A. and C. Black will bring suits which ours is a successor and an imitator. But how, against them for heavy damages.
it may be asked, if publishers will not agree to the
adoption, once for all, of an equitable arrange“I have never yet had any disagreement with
ment? It is the task of the Society to create my publisher," said a well-known man of letters
such a consensus of opinion on the subject as the other day. “Therefore, I have not joined the
will cause all houses which desire to maintain a Society." The remark and the inference alike
good name to fall in with the Society's views. It illustrate a common disposition to look on the
will also cause all authors of ability and reputaSociety as one which exists for the purpose of patch
tion to insist upon equitable agreements. How, it ing up or even of creating quarrels and grievances
may be asked again, about the unfortunate beginwith publishers.
The scheme ners and those who have no name? That is not the case, of course, only one is well-nigh tired of repeating the fact.
to be put forward by the Society will cover their It suits certain persons who regard us with natural
case as well. But they must, first of all, be protected. hostility to keep this delusion alive. The Society
And for this reason our pages are full of stories of has no quarrel with publishers as such, and never
the scoundrels who deceive and rob the literary has had any. It maintains continually that the
beginner. Consider. Is there to be no protection services which publishers render to Literature are
for the weak? Is a pickpocket to get off with solid, and must be substantially paid for. The
impunity because he has only stolen a girl's purse? Society exists, however, mainly for the purpose of
The Council of this Society does not hold that maintaining the rights, the sacredness, and the
opinion. reality of Literary Property. Therefore it fights the battle of all authors, and should be supported
There are many who still maintain that sharks
and thieves should be free to do as they pleaseby all who approve of its principles.
devour and destroy-rob and lie with impunity,
because ignorant and young literary aspirants Briefly, they are these :
ought to take care of themselves, and because (1) Literary property is created by the author, most of their work is rubbish. In no branch of and belongs at the outset to him.
the industrial community should thieves be perLiterary property must be held as sacred as mitted to exist. And even if good quality of work any other kind of property.
were to be the condition of protection, we should Literary property is ruled by the demand for have to protect a whole hundred because one of a book just as colliery property means the them-an unknown one-may have in him the gift sale of the output. And as the value of a of authorship. As a curious illustration of the colliery depends first on the output in tons growing change in opinion on this subject, it may and their price, so the value of a book can be mentioned that in one of the most popular penny only be estimated with reference to the papers of the day, a paper which circulates by number of copies sold.
the hundred thousand, there lately appeared an (4) The author must not part with his property article on “ Bogus Publishers," written by one who
without due consideration, nor without knows the gentry and has served under them. understanding exactly what possibilities, as The article might have been written in this office,