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Berton, Sept ly* 1878
I have sent me of your
like to know that
Lito Lerfect Salesfuck
anse trousands of letters
Jue to it as to an ole
corrugated marked C.
Niva Wonelell Honnes.
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. held on Tuesday, July 8th. The Chair was taken
These men have never rested, and are still active, 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 is astound- 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
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
that way, voyaging from Washington by way of treated further on in these columns. There is a certain great Society called the Society for Promot
Philadelphia ; and he came and looked on the man
and saw that he was helpless, and heard his groans. ing Christian Knowledge. Its President is the Archbishop of Canterbury : its Vice-Presidents are
And he also inquired of him what ailed him; and other Archbishops and Bishops : its Publication
when he had heard his story he beat his breast and Committee are all clergymen.
cried aloud : “This is flat burglary, to take all that 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 may be sweated as well as a needlewoman; and
ness, and must circumvent the doers thereof; since that in the purchase of literary property there are
it is expected of me that when circumventing is to
be done, I shall be there!' And with that he elementary laws of morality based on the Eighth Commandment. Not one, so far as I know, up to
seized on the balance of the man's stock, and
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 publishing with these simple principles of truth and
on his breast a breastplate whereon was writ in 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 tion, which, unless certain ugly allegations can be
wounds, and rubbed into them salt and vinegar,
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
cried unto the man : With this illustration before them can the authors
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?
repay thee !!"
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 Amid the leaves—the leaves of bayreaders of The Author should be that in future they
The leaves they use for crownsshould not allow themselves so easily to be drawn. The author sat, the livelong day, Why should authors alone, of all professions, be
Above the common clowns; asked to explain their methods? Why should they, Well skilled was he the crafty rhyme when they are asked, be so ready to reply? For And artful plot to mix ; my own part, I fell into the trap, like my neighbours, And in his hand he held, meantime, but fortunately wriggled out again and did not His precious Bag of Tricks. explain my methods. In future, let us behave with greater reticence. Now what would be thought
"Oh ! Master, Master, greatest, first-" if some enterprising gentleman were to write to
He heard, and blushed to hearall the barristers in practice in the following
“All other bards with envy burst-
I've seen 'em-that I swear. terms ?
Day in, day out, the week about, DEAR SIR,
Thy great works through and through, I must speak at last. There comes a time when I read and read-I do, indeed; silence is culpable. I have long' considered you
So do my children too. the most eloquent orator as well as the most accomplished and learned lawyer that at present adorns “Tell me, sweet author, whom I lovethe Outer or the Inner Bar. I read nothing at
Ah ! head so fitly crowned ! all but your speeches; my wife reads nothing at all Thy place so rightly set above, but your speeches. She takes them after early The bay leaves circling round !-dinner, with a nap; moreover, I have for a long Tell me, sweet author, if thou wilt, time given my mother-in-law, who lives with us, Oh! condescend to tell — and is now in declining spirits, nothing at all to How are thy tales romantic built ? read but your speeches; my children learn your How canst thou rhyme so well? speeches by heart. My youngest-Teeny Wheeny, three-is now learning her alphabet out of your
“Thy art, thy secret, and thy craft, speeches. They are, in fact, deeply alphabetic. I
Confide-confide to me.”
The author smiled-the author laughed; am going to give a little lecture—just a little lecture
Yet never a word said he. -to one or two young people. I wish to call my
“Oh! by the crown of glory grand lecture the "Art of Demosthenes, or the Ciceronian Bag of Tricks.” I desire above all things to
That on thy pale brow sticks
That crown to feel, he raised his hand strengthen it by a description of your own Bag of
And-dropped his Bag of Tricks! Tricks, oratorical and legal. Will you therefore kindly tell me where you picked up your method of There is no moral to this fable in the original. oratory, and how you manage to seem to know so But La Fontaine's will domuch law ? I remain, Sir,
“Mon bon Monsieur, Your obedient admirer and respectful
Apprens que tout flatteur
Vit aux dépens de celui qui l'écoute.'
The Daily News, which has always been on the Now who would expect a barrister to answer
alert to watch any step in the movement for this letter, or to take the least notice of the writer ?
International Copyright, reports a decision which may Yet the authors, when they receive a similar letter,
lead to very valuable results. It was delivered on reply all together en masse, without, apparently, any
June 25th, by Judge Shipman, of the United exception.
States Circuit Court. Three suits were begun some
time ago by Messrs. A. and C. Black, of Edinburgh, There was, I learn, an exception. It was an and the Scribners, their American agents, against an American man of letters, and one of great distinction. American firm which had published a pirated He positively did not reply. It is not generally edition of the “Encyclopædia Britannica” from known that a certain fable of Æsop referring to a photographic plates, charging infringement of the fox and a crow and a piece of cheese, was written American copyright laws because the republication for authors, who have so far failed to observe the contained articles written by Americans and copymoral. The following is a close translation of the righted in this country by them. The defendants fable in its first form.
entered demurrers based on the general ground VOL. I.
that the publishers of the “Encyclopædia Britannica,” in employing American authors to treat of American topics and then publishing their articles under copyright, thereby laid a trap for the American public and American publishers, and therefore a court of equity could not interfere to protect such a fraud. Judge Shipman overruled the demurrers, and declared that the assignments in no way permitted other parties to infringe authors' copyrights. This decision has been hailed with delight by the advocates of International Copyright, who regard it as the most serious check the piratical · publishers have yet had. There are three photographic editions of the “Encyclopædia Britannica" now selling at about a seventh of the price of the authorized edition. The decision is likely to alarm the publishers, since, if sustained in further judgments, Messrs. A. and C. Black will bring suits against them for heavy damages.
well as what certainties, he gives and what
he receives. (5) What the author is entitled to, is, after pay
ment of the cost of production and the publisher's agency and labour, all the remaining proceeds. This proportion of the returns is the property which he has to sell for a
lump sum down, or to receive year by year. (6) The publisher has to be remunerated for his
agency and labour out of the returns of the book in a certain proportion, which should be a fixed proportion recognised by both contracting parties and understood by both.
I have never yet had any disagreement with my publisher,” said a well-known man of letters the other day. “Therefore, I have not joined the Society.” The remark and the inference alike illustrate a common disposition to look on the Society as one which exists for the purpose of patching up or even of creating quarrels and grievances with publishers. That is not the case, of course, only one is well-nigh tired of repeating the fact. It suits certain persons who regard us with natural hostility to keep this delusion alive. The Society has no quarrel with publishers as such, and never has had any:
It maintains continually that the services which publishers render to Literature are solid, and must be substantially paid for. The Society exists, however, mainly for the purpose of maintaining the rights, the sacredness, and the reality of Literary Property. Therefore it fights the battle of all authors, and should be supported by all who approve of its principles.
These principles have long been recognized by the French after a good fight, carried on by the Société des Gens de Lettres, an association of which ours is a successor and an imitator. But how, it may be asked, if publishers will not agree to the adoption, once for all, of an equitable arrangement? It is the task of the Society to create such a consensus of opinion on the subject as will cause all houses which desire to maintain a good name to fall in with the Society's views. It will also cause all authors of ability and reputation to insist upon equitable agreements. How, it may be asked again, about the unfortunate beginners and those who have no name? The scheme to be put forward by the Society will cover their case as well. But they must, first of all, be protected. And for this reason our pages are full of stories of the scoundre's who deceive and roh the literary beginner. Consider. Is there to be no protection for the weak? Is a pickpocket to get off with impunity because he has only stolen a girl's purse? The Council of this Society does not hold that opinion.
There are many who still maintain that sharks and thieves should be free to do as they please devour and destroy-rob and lie with impunity, because ignorant and young literary aspirants ought to take care of themselves, and because most of their work is rubbish. In no branch of the industrial community should thieves be permitted to exist. And even if good quality of work were to be the condition of protection, we should have to protect a whole hundred because one of them--an unknown one-may have in him the gift of authorship. As a curious illustration of the growing change in opinion on this subject, it may be mentioned that in one of the most popular penny papers of the day, a paper which circulates by the hundred thousand, there lately appeared an article on “Bogus Publishers," written by one who knows the gentry and has served under them. The article might have been written in this office,
Briefly, they are these : (1) Literary property is created by the author,
and belongs at the outset to him. (2) Literary property must be held as sacred as
any other kind of property. (3) Literary property is ruled by the demand for
a book just as colliery property means the sale of the output. And as the value of a colliery depends first on the output in tons and their price, so the value of a book can only be estimated with reference to the
number of copies sold. (4) The author must not part with his property
without due consideration, nor without understanding exactly what possibilities, as