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ALSO, AN APPENDIX INCLUDING THE TEXT OF "THE INTERNATIONAL AND
AND OF "A BILL TO CONSOLIDATE AND AMEND THE LAW RELATING TO
ALSO, THE ARTICLES OF "THE INTERNATIONAL COPYRIGHT UNION "
SAMPSON LOW, MARSTON, SEARLE, & RIVINGTON
[All rights reserved.]
THIS pamphlet, written by a publisher, has no pretension whatever to be regarded as representing the views of all publishers, or of any other publisher than the writer. Nor has the writer the vanity to consider himself an author" because he has written and compiled these few pages. The word author, it is true, has, popularly, a comprehensive significance, but he has too much regard for real authorship to obtrude himself upon authors and the public in any other capacity than that of a publisher taking note of matters connected with copyright, authors, and publishers, as they present themselves from his point of view.
A careful perusal of the most valuable and lucid Report of the Commissioners induced the writer, in 1879, to give a sketch, brief or otherwise, of all the subjects treated of in the Report. Nothing can be more admirable than the way in which this Report steers its even course between Scylla and Charybdis—having to regard on the one hand the true interests of authors and copyright owners, and on the other the shoals and quicksands which surround the oftentimes imaginary interests of the public.
A large proportion of that sketch has been retained in the present pamphlet, but altered, modified, or excised, as lapse of time has made necessary. For his own convenience, and for convenience of reference, the new matter which has now been added has been set in Italic type.
The chief interest in the Commissioners' Report, on which this sketch was originally founded, now lies in the fact that it formed the basis of a Bill presented by Lord John Manners in 1880, but which fell to the ground. That Bill again has been partly incorporated in a Bill now before Parliament, drawn up by the combined efforts of "The Incorporated Society of Authors," and the "Copyright Association," the latter being largely represented by publishers.
The question of considerable interest to publishers, as to the right of the British Museum to claim non-copyright books, and the still more burning one recently agitated between AUTHORS AND PUBLISHERS, are considered, it is hoped, with impartiality, and several items of practical usefulness in the existing law of copyright have been added, chiefly from the admirable Digest prepared by Sir James Stephen for "The Report of the Commissioners."
In the Appendix will be found the Text of the International and Colonial Act of 1886, "The Articles of the International Copyright Union," and the "Bill to consolidate and amend the Law relating to Copyright" now before Parliament.
If there is any value whatever in the following remarks, it is derived from the fact that they are the outcome of the practical experience of a publisher, in the various departments of the copyright question with which his own interests are, as Sir Louis Mallet says, so "inextricably intertwined;" remarks for the most part in accordance with the Commissioners' Report, but sometimes opposed to them from a publisher's standpoint.
LONDON, April, 1887.