Copyright and the Public Interest
Luther H. Evans
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Thirteenth of the R. R. Bowker Memorial Lectures, established at the New York Public Library as an aid and stimulus to the study of book publishing in the United States and the problems common to authors, publishers, librarians, readers, all makers and users of books.
This book discusses the theoretical bases for copyright, and the role it plays both domestically and internationally.
were it in fact received, which today it is not in most cases. Since the international aspects of these problems are of pressing current importance, it has been suggested that we deal with them through the treaty-making power rather than by amendment of our domestic law. However, although the manufacturing clause is of principal concern to the English-speaking nations and could so far as the United Kingdom is concerned be modified by a bilateral treaty, to reach a uniform and equitable result, it
other works when performed and seeing that the original creator receives his fair share of the proceeds. The occasions for such representation go far beyond those of mere collection agencies and include legislative representation, collective bargaining, and counsel of many sorts. Whether or not the product of the labor of men's minds is more or less a commodity than that of his hands, the need of the individual to associate with his fellows to equalize his strength with that of already powerful
three simpler issues first discussed, namely, copyright duration, the best starting point for the period of protection, and the justification and application of the renewal principle, it will be seen that even when applied to the domestic affairs of one country the assembling of the facts, the analysis of the probable consequences of different procedures, and the weighing of narrower interests in the light of the overriding public interest is not easy. Each of these problems immediately presents
production and publication for use of the public; that the grantee be required at least to assert his claim and make request for the privilege; that he file reasonable identifying forms, and deposit copies of the works to be protected. Experience of the United States in the conduct of its copyright system founded on these assumptions has shown that of the total number of literary, informational, musical and other artistic works created and theoretically subject to copyright, in only a small
products of man's genius in the realms both of science and of law, it has a capacity for good or evil depending on his understanding and the use he makes of it. I propose to speak to you briefly on son of these matters, not as a technician, expert in refinement or the legal applications of particular language, but rather as one who as teacher, author, librarian and delegate to copyright conferences has had occasion both to give consideration to these problems in a broad sense and to make policy