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The Berne Convention creating the International Copyright Union for the protection of works of literature and art was signed on September 9, 1886, and went into force on December 5, 1887. The Additional Agreement formulated at the first conference of revision, which met in Paris, was signed on May 4, 1896, and went into effect on December 9, 1897. This modified Articles 2, 3, 5, 7, 12, and 20 of the Convention, and Numbers 1 and 4 of the “Protocole de Clôture.” A Declaration interpreting certain provisions of the Berne Convention of 1886 and the Additional Agreement of Paris of 1896 was also signed on May 4, 1896, to go into effect on September 9, 1897.

A second conference of revision was held in Berlin from October 14 to November 14, 1908, and a new text to take the place of the three documents cited above was formulated by the representatives of the following fifteen countries: Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, Liberia, Luxembourg, Monaco, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and Tunis.

Representatives from the following non-Union countries were also present at the conference: Argentina, Chile, China, Colombia, Ecuador, Greece, Guatemala, Mexico, the Netherlands (Holland), Nicaragua, Peru, Persia, Portugal, Rumania, Russia, Siam, the United States, Uruguay, and Venezuela.

The representative from the United States was present only to “observe and report," with no power to take part in the discussions, and, beyond making a statement to that effect,* took no part in the proceedings of the Conference. Mr. Arthur Orr, Third Secretary of the United States Embassy at Berlin, was also present at the sittings of the Conference but took no part in the proceedings.

The Convention was signed on November 13th and the Conference closed on November 14th. To give publicity to the proposed treaty the official text was, by resolution of the Conference, published in the organ of the International Copyright Bureau at Berne, “Le Droit d'Auteur,'' for November 15th. This is the French text of the treaty printed below.

The English translation here printed is made from the text as published in "Le Droit d'Auteur." Where doubt has been felt as to the best English equivalent, the words of the French text have been added, and the full official text in French follows the English text.

*See over for full text of the statement.

Article 28 of the Convention pro vides that it shall be ratified, and the ratifications exchanged at Berlin, not later than the first of July, 1910.

Thorvald Solberg

Register of Copyrights.

Statement by Thorvald Solberg, Register of Copyrights, Delegate of the United States to

the Berlin Conference to Revise the Berne International Copyright Convention, October 15, 1908.

In 1885 and 1886, at the conferences convened to draft the convention to create the International Union for the protection of literary and artistic property, the United States was represented. At that time, however, it was not deemed possible to send a plenipotentiary delegate, nor could such a representative be sent to attend the first Conference of revision, which met in Paris in 1896.

When the present Conference was arranged for--early in this year—the German Ambassador at Washington wrote to the Secretary of State of the United States a letter explaining the purpose and scope of this Congress, inviting the Government of the United States to send delegates. The Ambassador's lettter explained that, in addition to delegates representing Governments in the Union, there would be present representatives from a considerable number of non-Union nations. It was further stated that the attendance of such delegates from non-Union countries would be greeted with special pleasure. This because of the conviction that whatever might be the final position taken by the non-Union countries, or their laws, in relation to copyright, the participation in the proceedings of this Conference by such delegates from non-Union countries would at all events contribute to arouse and increase interest in the Berne Union and its beneficial work.

The German Ambassador's letter further explained that the delegates from non-Union countries attending the Conference would have full freedom of action; that they might confine themselves to following the discussions without taking any stand with regard to them, and that it would be left to the discretion of the non-Union Governments as to whether they would empower their delegates to join the Berne Union.

The Government of the United States again finds it impracticable to send a delegate authorized to commit the United States to actual adhesion at this time to the Berne Convention. Nevertheless, it has been felt that the representation of the United States, even within the limitations indicated, might be beneficial: first, to indicate the sympathy of our Government with the general purposes of the International Copyright Union : second, to secure such information regarding the proceedings of the Conference as might prove valuable; and third, to place (by means of such representation) at the disposal of the Conference, authoritative knowledge as to the facts of copyright legislation and procedure within the United States-information which it is hoped may be of use to the members of the Conference in their deliberations.

The Societary of State of the United States has done me the honor to designate me to attend this Conference as a delegate on the part of the United States.

It is with the sincere desire that my attendance here may contribute in some degree to the attainment of each of these three objects, that I have crossed the ocean to be present. I trust, also, that this long journey taken for the purpose of being present here may be held to testify to my personal most sincere interest in, and admiration for, the objects of the Berne Un1011—that admirable association of many nations to secure adequate protection for literary and artistic productions.

It will be for me a great pleasure if my attendance here can be of service to the Conference, or to any of its members.

Some of the questions to be discussed here are now pending before the Congress of the United States in the Copyright Bill now under discussion. I should wish to avoid, therefore, taking any position in regard to the special matters in question—any position which might tend to commit the United States in advance to any line of policy which might embarrass the legislative branch of the Government of the United States in taking such action regarding these matters as it may finally deem advisable. But within that limitation—with the most hearty and cordial expression of my sympathy for the ends and purposes of the Berne Union-I beg to place myself at the service of the Conference.




Union to The contracting countries are conprotect lite- stituted into a Union for the protecrary and artistic works. tion of the rights of authors in their

literary and artistic works.

ARTICLE 3. The present Convention applies to Photographotographic works and to works ob- phic works

to be protained by any process analogous to tected. photography. The contracting countries are pledged to guarantee protection to such works.

ARTICLE 2. Definition of “ literary

The expression “literary and artisand artistic tic works” includes all productions in works."

the literary, scientific or artistic domain, whatever the mode or form of reproduction, such as: books, pamphlets and other writings; dramatic or dramatico-musical works; choreographic works and pantomimes, the stage directions (mise en scène") of which are fixed in writing or otherwise; musical compositions with or without words; drawings, paintings; works of architecture and sculpture; engravings and lithographs; illustrations; geographical charts; plans, sketches and plastic works relating to geography, topography, architecture,

or the sciences. Transla- Translations, adaptations, arrangetions, ar- ments of music and other reproducand adapta- tions transformed from a literary or tions pro- artistic work, as well as compilations tected.

from different works, are protected as original works without prejudice to the rights of the author of the original work.

The contracting countries pledged to secure protection in the

case of the works mentioned above. Works of Works of art applied to industry art applied are protected so far as the domestic

legislation of each country allows.

ARTICLE 4. Authors within the jurisdiction of Authors to one of the countries of the Union en- enjoy in joy for their works, whether unpub- the Union lished or published for the first time the rights in one of the countries of the Union, granted to such rights, in the countries other than the country of origin of the work, as the respective laws now accord or shall hereafter accord to natives, as well as the rights specially accorded by the present Convention.

The enjoyment and the exercise of No formsuch rights are not subject to any for- alities re

quired. mality; such enjoyment and such exercise are independent of the existence of protection in the country of origin of the work. Consequently, apart from the stipulations of the present Convention, the extent of the protection, as well as the means of redress guaranteed to the author to safeguard his rights, are regulated exclusively according to the legislation of the country where the protection is claimed.

The following is considered as the Definition country of origin of the work : for un- of country published works, the country to which of origin. the author belongs; for published works, the country of first publication, and for works published simul



taneously in several countries of the Union, the country among them whose legislation grants the shortest term of protection. For works published simultaneously in a country outside of the Union and in a country within the Union, it is the latter country which is exclusively considered as the

country of origin, Published By published works ("æuvres pubworks.

liées') must be understood, according to the present Convention, works which have been issued (auvres éditées''). The representation of a dramatic or dramatico-musical work, the performance of a musical work, the exhibition of a work of art and the construction of a work of architecture do not constitute publication.

countries will consequently be required to apply the provision of the preceding paragraph only to the extent to which it agrees with their domestic law.

For photographic works and works Term for obtained by a process analogous to photographphotography, for posthumous works, mous, anonfor anonymous

or pseudonymous ymous or works, the term of protection is regu- mous works.

pseudonylated by the law of the country where protection is claimed, but this term may not exceed the term fixed in the country of origin of the work.

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ARTICLE 5. Authors of Authors within the jurisdiction of countries of

one of the countries of the Union who the Union have sa me publish their works for the first time rights as in another country of the Union, have natives of other coun

in this latter country the same rights tries. as national authors.

Authors of unpublished works with- Exclusive in the jurisdiction of one of the coun

right of

translation tries of the Union, and authors of for entire works published for the first time in term. one of these countries, enjoy in the other countries of the Union during the whole term of the right in the original work the exclusive right to make or to authorize the translation of their works.



Authors Authors not within the jurisdiction not belong of any one of the countries of the tries of the Union, who publish for the first time Union also their works in one of these countries, protected if they first enjoy in that country the same rights publish in a as national authors, and in the other Union coun- countries of the Union the rights actry.

corded by the present Convention.

ARTICLE 7. Term of The term of protection granted by protection: the present Convention comprises the Life and 50

life of the author and fifty years after years.

his death. If not In case this term, however, should a dopted; not be adopted uniformly by all the country to countries of the Union, the duration govern term. of the protection shall be regulated by

the law of the country where protection is claimed, and can not exceed the term granted in the country of origin of the work. The contracting

ARTICLE 9. Serial stories (romans - feuille- Serial novtons''), novels and all other works, els protectwhether literary, scientific or artistic, published in whatever may be their subject, pub- newspapers lished in newspapers or periodicals of or periodone of the countries of the Union, may not be reproduced in the other countries without the consent of the authors.

With the exception of serial stories Reproducand of novels (romans-feuilletons et tion of newsdes nouvelles") any newspaper article paper artimay be reproduced by another newspaper if reproduction has not been expressly forbidden.

The source, however, must be indicated. The confirmation of this obligation shall be determined by the legislation of the country where protection is claimed.

The protection of the present Con- News items vention does not apply to news of the not protect

ed. day or to miscellaneous news having the character merely of press information,

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ARTICLE 10. Extracts As concerns the right of borrowing from ry or artis- lawfully from literary or artistic tic works for works for use in publications intended educational for instruction or having a scientific publications.

character, or for chrestomathies, the provisions of the legislation of the countries of the Union and of the special treaties existing or to be concluded between them shall govern.

ARTICLE 11. Represen- The stipulations of the present Contation of vention apply to the public represendramatico tation of dramatic or dramatico-musimusica i cal works and to the public performworks.

ance of musical works, whether these

works are published or not. Represen- Authors of dramatic or dramaticotation of

musical works are protected, during translations of dramatic the term of their copyright in the works. original work, against the unauthor

ized public representation of a trans

lation of their works. Notice of In order to enjoy the protection of reservation of perform- this article, authors, in publishing ance not re- their works, are not obliged to proquired.

hibit the public representation or public performance of them.

ance of the same works by means of these instruments.

The limitations and conditions rela. Each countive to the application of this article try to regushall be determined by the domestic self the legislation of each country in its own manner in case; but all limitations and condi- which con

vention shall tions of this nature shall have an ef- apply. fect strictly limited to the country which shall have adopted them.

The provisions of paragraph 1 have Not retrono retroactive effect, and therefore active. are not applicable in a country of the Union to works which, in that country, shall have been lawfully adapted to mechanical instruments before the going into force of the present Convention.

The adaptations made by virtue of Importaparagraphs 2 and 3 of this article and tion of me

chanical muimported without the authorization of sical applithe parties interested into a country ances prowhere they are not lawful, may be hibited. seized there.

ARTICLE 12. Adapta- Among the unlawful reproductions tions, etc., to which the present Convention apas infringe- plies are specially included indirect, ments. unauthorized appropriations of a lit

erary or artistic work, such as adaptations, arrangements of music, transformations of a romance or novel or of a poem into a theatrical piece and vice-versa, etc., when they are only the reproduction of such work in the same form or in another form with non-essential changes, additions or abridgments and without presenting the character of a new, original work.

ARTICLE 13. Adapta- Authors of musical works have the

of sical works exclusive right to authorize: (1) the to mechani- adaptation of these works to instrucal instru- ments serving to reproduce them mements.

chanically; (2) the public perform

ARTICLE 14. Authors of literary, scientific or ar- Reproductistic works have the exclusive right tion by cine

matograph. to authorize the reproduction and the public representation of their works by means of the cinematograph.

Cinematographic productions are Cinematoprotected as literary or artistic works graphic prowhen by the arrangement of the stage


protected. effects or by the combination of incidents represented, the author shall have given to the work a personal and original character.

Without prejudice to the rights of Cinematothe author in the original work, the graphs copy

rightable. reproduction by the cinematograph of a literary, scientific or artistic work is protected as an original work.

The preceding provisions apply to the reproduction or production ob- analogous tained by any other process analogous production. to that of the cinematographı. ARTICLE 15.

Author's In order that the authors of the cated on

name indiworks protected by the present Con- work suffivention may be considered as such, cient proof

of authoruntil proof to the contrary, and ad- ship.

Also any

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