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It has been felt by some member countries that this generosity of treatment should be reduced, and as a result there was adopted in the 1914 protocol to the Bern Convention, incorporated in the Rome Convention, which provides in article 6 (par. 2) that “when a country outside of the union does not protect in an adequate manner the works of authors within the jurisdiction of one of the countries of the Union, this latter union country may restrict the protection for the works of authors who are, at the time of the first publication of such works, within the jurisdiction of the nonunion country and are not actually domiciled in one of the countries of the Union."


So far as is known, none of the convention countries have resorted to the right of excluding the works of American authors from the benefits of the convention by the enactment of legislation to that effect. However, much has been said in many countries to the effect that the failure of the United States to join the union, while at the same time obtaining, without any reciprocity on its part, the benefits thereof, cannot but work a hardship on the nationals of those countries which have joined the union.

At the present time, many American authors simply publish their works in the United States but do not obtain copyright protection in a convention country. The failure to obtain such protection often results in piracy of the work, with the consequent loss of income therefrom, which inures to the benefit of the so-called pirate rather than of the author. By joining the copyright union, the United States will not only facilitate the protection of the works of its nationals, throughout the world, but will aid materially in minimizing the tendency to copy American works in foreign lands.


Notwithstanding the obvious need and advantage, and despite many years of effort, progress in making the commercial laws of the world more nearly uniform has been slow. A knowledge of American business laws, therefore, while affording a background for understanding foreign legal institutions, is often an insufficient guide to the rights and obligations accruing when business transactions are subject to the laws of foreign jurisdiction. The exporter should grasp every opportunity to acquire a knowledge of the legal systems of the countries in which he is interested. This factor enters so much into the daily work of the exporter that certain American lawyers and law firms have for years specialized in giving advice and service in the field of foreign law. The Division of Commercial Laws of the Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Commerce collects and compiles information concerning the laws of all countries affecting American foreign commerce, for the use of American exporters and their counsel. In addition to answering individual inquiries, the reports and data collected are published in a monthly review, Comparative Law Series, issued by the Bureau.



An export quotation is an offer, and its acceptance without alteration by the foreign buyer constitutes a valid export sales contract (appendix B). In order to avoid misunderstanding and possibly subsequent litigation, therefore, it is highly desirable that the quotation specify all points of the offer clearly. These points usually involve:

1. How far the goods will be carried at the expense of the exporter.

2. Where the responsibility of the exporter as to loss or damage in transit ends, and that of the foreign buyer begins.

3. The terms of sale, including the date of shipment or delivery at a given point; the description, including quality stipulations and guarantees such as inspection by buyer before shipment; the price, including the currency in which the drafts are to be drawn and payable at due date and the unit in which the price is quoted.

4. The form of payment—that is, whether part or all cash in advance, or by draft, letter of credit, acceptance, or other form, with understanding concerning regulations of importer's country dealing with payment in any form.

5. The method of payment, whether the drafts shall be drawn against sight, or date, and their tenor or length of time they are to run; what terms the letter of credit, if opened, should stipulate; what documents will be attached to the drafts and whether the drafts will be drawn against payment or acceptance.


There are 10 standard abbreviations adopted by the National Foreign Trade Council, in 1919, to designate 10 different stages toward the destination, to which the exporter may stipulate that he will carry the goods at his expense. These were adopted to avoid confusion among foreign buyers as to just what the United States exporter meant by various abbreviations then in use. The obligations of the seller and buyer under each of these quotations are set forth specifically, as follows:

1. F. o. b. (named point) (free on board).-(a) A seller must place goods in means of conveyance at point named and secure railroad bill of lading or equivalent document. (b) A buyer pays all transportation charges including taxes from that point forward.

2. F. o. b. (named point). Freight prepaid to (named point on the seaboard).-(a) Seller, in addition to above, must pay freight to named point on seaboard. (6) Buyer unloads goods from cars at seaboard and pays all subsequent transportation and storage charges.

3. F. o. b. (named point). Freight allowed to (named point on seaboard).Same as No. 1 except that buyer is allowed to deduct freight paid to seaboard from the invoice when he pays for the goods.

4. F. 0. 6. cars (named point on seaboard).-Same as No. 2 in regard to expense.

5. F. 0. 6. cars (named point on seaboard) I. c. 1.-Same as No. 2 in regard to expense.

6. F. 0. b. cars (named point on seaboard). Lighterage free.-Same as No. 2 except that seller pays lighterage.

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