Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 16.djvu/728

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698
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

that the foreign book-maker has no rights that such an arrangement would violate, and that equity would be completely gained if the foreign author was required to make his bargain with some American publisher. There are American reasons for this policy, the force and validity of which Americans must be left to judge of; but justice will be satisfied when the foreign author is put upon the same basis as the American author.

A reply or at least a rejoinder to this article, by an English lawyer, followed it in the same number of the Magazine. Mr. Conant had said that the need of some adequate copyright arrangement between the two countries was pressing; his critic undertook to be very sarcastic at this, declaring that leading American publishers were now beginning to suffer from the carrying out of their own vicious system, and had suddenly discovered that the case is pressing. He said that he saw no particular symptoms of urgency in England, and doubted if the Americans were very eager about it, so that on the whole the matter might as well be at present let alone.

Mr. Conant returned a crushing reply to his critic, but "Macmillan" declined to print it. It, however, appeared in the London "Academy." He showed that the quibble over the word "pressing" was aside from the argument, and that that term simply indicated the actual status of the question in both countries. If business had become more demoralized here, under a bad system, than before, it only furnished a more potent reason for remedial action. No change certainly had taken place on this side of the water which could lessen the interest of the British author in international copyright. On the contrary, the system in this country was working out results more and more damaging to foreign authors. As to the state of feeling in England, Mr. Conant showed that her authors at any rate did not share the assumed indifference of "Macmillan's" critic. He showed that the recent Royal Commission relating to home, colonial, and international copyright, gave prominent and earnest attention to the relations of England and the United States with regard to authors and reprints, and that their report bristled with evidences of the interest felt in that country over this question. And, finally, he clinched the case by putting in the recent statement of fifty eminent English authors, not only recognizing the importance of the question, but accepting the American view of it, and expressing their readiness to acquiesce in it as an entirely fair and just arrangement.

So the tables are now turned, and the English publishers, who oppose a measure satisfactory to the parties rightly interested there, and which is the only practical measure that can possibly be carried out here, are now in the position of obstructives, and enemies of copyright. Mr. Conant's pamphlet puts the thing in a nutshell, and those concerned with the progress of the discussion can obtain it by application to Harper & Brothers, New York.

 


LITERARY NOTICES.
 

SPENCER'S SYNTHETIC PHILOSOPHY.

Ceremonial Institutions. Being Part IV. of "The Principles of Sociology." By Herbert Spencer. Pp. 237. Price, $1.25.

Having paused for a short time in the elaboration of his "Principles of Sociology" to anticipate a portion of the next treatise on "Ethics," Mr. Herbert Spencer has resumed his labors in their regular order, as the volume before us attests. The first volume of the "Sociology"—a work of over seven hundred pages, devoted to its fundamental data and inductions—was published more than a year ago. Mr. Spencer finds serious disadvantages in bringing out his system in these large volumes, which are both formidable to read and appear at such