Page:United States Reports, Volume 209.djvu/32

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6
 
OCTOBER TERM, 1907.
 
209 U.S.
Argument for Appellee.

speaking, its extent is only that which the statute gives. Ewer v. Coxe, Fed. Cases 4,584; S. C., 4 Wash. C. C. 487; Holmes v. Hurst, 174 U.S. 82; Perris v. Hexamer, 99 U.S. 674.

The statutes creating and covering copyright must be strictly construed in all respects. Banks v. Manchester, 128 U.S. 244; Bolles v. Outing Co., 175 U.S. 268.

Departure from this rule of strict construction cannot be justified on the ground of extending the statute by analogy from things expressed, to things thought to be similar; or from rights named, and defined in respect to named subjects, to analogous rights in respect to subjects thought to be analogous.

As the legislature alone created the right and set its bounds in the first instance, so the legislature may, as civilization and art develop and the considerations governing legislative discretion change, extend or contract those bounds from year to year and from generation to generation, but as the creation of the right waited, so the extension, as much as its contraction, must wait upon the legislative act.

If the invention of automatic musical instruments and the graphophone have opened new fields and methods for the exploitation, promulgation, or what may be called “publication” of musical compositions which did not exist or were not in contemplation of the legislature when the present statutes were enacted, it is not for the courts to enter the domain of legislation to weigh the considerations either of equity or expediency which might move for er against such proposed extensions. All arguments directed to the supposed reasonableness of treating copyright as covering automatic means of audible reproduction of speech and music are utterly irrelevant and beside the question. See Osgood v. Aloe Instrument Co., 69 Fed. Rep. 291; Higgins v. Keuffel, 140 U.S. 428; Werckmeister v. American Lithograph Co., 117 Fed. Rep. 360; Tompkins v. Rankin, Fed. Cases, 14,090; Thompson v. Hubbard, 131 U.S. 123; Littleton v. Oliver Ditson Co., 62 Fed. Rep. 597, affirmed, 67 Fed. Rep. 905; Wood v. Abbott, Fed. Cases, 17,938; Hills v. Austrich, 120 Fed. Rep. 862.