Copyright Act of 1909
To amend and consolidate the Acts respecting copyright.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
That any person entitled thereto, upon complying with the provisions of this Act, shall have the exclusive right:
(a) To print, reprint, publish, copy, and vend the copyrighted work;
(b) To translate the copyrighted work into other languages or dialects, or make any other version thereof, if it be a literary work; to dramatize it if it be a nondramatic work; to convert it into a novel or other nondramatic work if it be a drama; to arrange or adapt it if it be a musical work; to complete, execute, and finish it if it be a model or design for a work of art;
(c) To deliver or authorize the delivery of the copyrighted work in public for profit if it be a lecture, sermon, address, or similar production;
(d) To perform or represent the copyrighted work publicly if it be a drama or, if it be a dramatic work and not reproduced in copies for sale, to vend any manuscript or any dramatic record whatsoever thereof; to make or to procure the making of any transcription or record thereof by or from which, in whole or in part, it may in any manner or by any method be exhibited, performed, represented, produced, or reproduced; and to exhibit, perform, represent, produce, or reproduce it in any manner or by any method whatsoever;
(e) To perform the copyrighted work publicly for profit if it be a musical composition and for the purpose of public performance for profit; and for the purposes set forth in subsection (a) hereof, to make any arrangement or setting of it or of the melody of it in any system of notation or any form of record in which the thought of an author may be recorded and from which it may be read or reproduced: Provided, That the provisions of this Act, so far as they secure copyright controlling the parts of instruments serving to reproduce mechanically the musical work, shall include only compositions published and copyrighted after this Act goes into effect, and shall not include the works of a foreign author or composer unless the foreign state or nation of which such author or composer is a citizen or subject grants, either by treaty, convention, agreement, or law, to citizens of the United States similar rights: And provided further, and as a condition of extending the copyright control to such mechanical reproductions, That whenever the owner of a musical copyright has used or permitted or knowingly acquiesced in the use of the copyrighted work upon the parts of instruments serving to reproduce mechanically the musical work, any other person may make similar use of the copyrighted work upon the payment to the copyright proprietor of a royalty of two cents on each such part manufactured, to be paid by the manufacturer thereof; and the copyright proprietor may require, and if so the manufacturer shall furnish, a report under oath on the twentieth day of each month on the number of parts of instruments manufactured during the previous month serving to reproduce mechanically said musical work, and royalties shall be due on the parts manufactured during any month upon the twentieth of the next succeeding month. The payment of the royalty provided for by this section shall free the articles or devices for which such royalty has been paid from further contribution to the copyright except in case of public performance for profit: And provided further, That it shall be the duty of the copyright owner, if he uses the musical composition himself for the manufacture of parts of instruments serving to reproduce mechanically the musical work, or licenses others to do so, to file notice thereof, accompanied by a recording fee, in the copyright office, and any failure to file such notice shall be a complete defense to any suit, action, or proceeding for any infringement of such copyright.
In case of the failure of such manufacturer to pay to the copyright proprietor within thirty days after demand in writing the full sum of royalties due at said rate at the date of such demand the court may award taxable costs to the plaintiff and a reasonable counsel fee, and the court may, in its discretion, enter judgment therein for any sum in addition over the amount found to be due as royalty in accordance with the terms of this Act, not exceeding three times such amount.
The reproduction or rendition of a musical composition by or upon coin-operated machines shall not be deemed a public performance for profit unless a fee is charged for admission to the place where such reproduction or rendition occurs.
Sec. 2. That nothing in this Act shall be construed to annul or limit the right of the author or proprietor of an unpublished work, at common law or in equity, to prevent the copying, publication, or use of such unpublished work without his consent, and to obtain damages therefor.
Sec. 3. That the copyright provided by this Act shall protect all the copyrightable component parts of the work copyrighted, and all matter therein in which copyright is already subsisting, but without extending the duration or scope of such copyright. The copyright upon composite works or periodicals shall give to the proprietor thereof all the rights in respect thereto which he would have if each part were individually copyrighted under this Act.
Sec. 4. That the works for which copyright may be secured under this Act shall include all the writings of an author.
Sec. 5. That the application for registration shall specify to which of the following classes the work in which copyright is claimed belongs:
(a) Books, including composite and cyclopaedic works, directories, gazetteers, and other compilations;
(b) Periodicals, including newspapers;
(c) Lectures, sermons, addresses, prepared for oral delivery;
(d) Dramatic or dramatico-musical compositions;
(e) Musical compositions;
(g) Works of art; models or designs for works of art;
(h) Reproductions of a work of art;
(i) Drawings or plastic works of a scientific or technical character;
(k) Prints and pictorial illustrations:
Provided, nevertheless, That the above specifications shall not be held to limit the subject-matter of copyright as defined in section four of this Act, nor shall any error in classification invalidate or impair the copyright protection secured under this Act.
Sec. 6. That compilations or abridgements, adaptations, arrangements, dramatizations, translations, or other versions of works in the public domain, or of copyrighted works when produced with the consent of the proprietor of the copyright in such works, or works republished with new matter, shall be regarded as new works subject to copyright under the provisions of this Act; but the publication of any such new works shall not affect the force or validity of any subsisting copyright upon the matter employed or any part thereof, or be construed to imply an exclusive right to such use of the original works, or to secure or extend copyright in such original works.
Sec. 7. That no copyright shall subsist in the original text of any work which is in the public domain, or in any work which was published in this country or any foreign country prior to the going into effect of this Act and has not been already copyrighted in the United States, or in any publication of the United States Government, or any reprint, in whole or in part, thereof: Provided, however, That the publication or republication by the Government, either separately or in a public document, of any material in which copyright is subsisting shall not be taken to cause any abridgement or annulment of the copyright or to authorize any use or appropriation of such copyright material without the consent of the copyright proprietor.
Sec. 8. That the author or proprietor of any work made the subject of copyright by this Act, or his executors, administrators, or assigns, shall have copyright for such work under the conditions and for the terms specified in this Act: Provided, however, That the copyright secured by this Act shall extend to the work of an author or proprietor who is a citizen or subject of a foreign state or nation, only:
(a) When an alien author or proprietor shall be domiciled within the United States at the time of the first publication of his work; or
(b) When the foreign state or nation of which such author or proprietor is a citizen or subject grants, either by treaty, convention, agreement, or law, to citizens of the United States the benefit of copyright on substantially the same basis as to its own citizens, or copyright protection substantially equal to the protection secured to such foreign author under this Act, or by treaty; or when such foreign state or nation is a party to an international agreement which provides for reciprocity in the granting of copyright, by the terms of which agreement the United States may, at its pleasure, become a party thereto.
The existence of the reciprocal conditions aforesaid shall be determined by the President of the United States, by proclamation made from time to time, as the purposes of this Act may require.
Sec. 9. That any person entitled thereto by this Act may secure copyright for his work by publication thereof with the notice of copyright required by this Act; and such notice shall be affixed to each copy thereof published or offered for sale in the United States by authority of the copyright proprietor, except in the case of books seeking ad interim protection under section twenty-one of this Act.
Sec. 10. That such person may obtain registration of his claim to copyright by complying with the provisions of this Act, including the deposit of copies, and upon such compliance the register of copyright shall issue to him the certificate provided for in section fifty-five of this Act.
Sec. 11. That copyright may also be had of the works of an author of which copies are not reproduced for sale, by the deposit, with claim of copyright, of one complete copy of such work if it be a lecture or similar production or a dramatic or musical composition; of a photographic print if the work be a photograph; or of a photograph or other identifying reproduction thereof if it be a work of art or a plastic work or drawing. But the privilege of registration of copyright secured hereunder shall not exempt the copyright proprietor from the deposit of copies under sections twelve and thirteen of this Act where the work is later reproduced in copies for sale.
Sec. 12. That after copyright has been secured by publication of the work with the notice of copyright as provided in section nine of this Act, there shall be promptly deposited in the copyright office or in the mail addressed to the register of copyrights, Washington, District of Columbia, two complete copies of the best edition thereof then published, which copies, if the work be a book or periodical, shall have been produced in accordance with the manufacturing provisions specified in section fifteen of this Act; or if such work be a contribution to a periodical, for which contribution special registration is requested, one copy of the issue or issues containing such contribution; or if the work is not reproduced in copies for sale, there shall be deposited the copy, print, photograph, or other identifying reproduction provided by section eleven of this Act, such copies or copy, print, photograph, or other reproduction to be accompanied in each case by a claim of copyright. No action or proceeding shall be maintained for infringement of copyright in any work until the provisions of this Act with respect to the deposit of copies and registration of such work shall have been complied with.
Sec. 13. That should the copies called for by section twelve of this Act not be promptly deposited as herein provided, the register of copyrights may at any time after the publication of the work, upon actual notice, require the proprietor of the copyright to deposit them, and after the said demand shall have been made, in default of the deposit of copies of the work within three months from any part of the United States, except an outlying territorial possession of the United States, or within six months from any outlying territorial possession of the United States, or from any foreign country, the proprietor of the copyright shall be liable to a fine of one hundred dollars and to pay to the Library of Congress twice the amount of the retail price of the best edition of the work, and the copyright shall become void.
Sec. 14. That the postmaster to whom are delivered the articles deposited as provided in sections eleven and twelve of this Act shall, if requested, give a receipt therefor and shall mail them to their destination without cost to the copyright claimant.
Sec. 15. That of the printed book or periodical specified in section five, subsections (a) and (b) of this Act, except the original text of a book of foreign origin in a language or languages other than English, the text of all copies accorded protection under this Act, except as below provided, shall be printed from type set within the limits of the United States, either by hand or by the aid of any kind of typesetting machine, or from plates made within the limits of the United States from type set therein, or, if the text be produced by lithographic process, or photo-engraving process, then by a process wholly performed within the limits of the United States, and the printing of the text and binding of the said book shall be performed within the limits of the United States; which requirements shall extend also to the illustrations within a book consisting of printed text and illustrations produced by lithographic process, or photo-engraving process, and also to separate lithographs or photo-engravings, except where in either case the subjects represented are located in a foreign country and illustrate a scientific work or reproduce a work of art; but they shall not apply to works in raised characters for the use of the blind, or to books of foreign origin in a language or languages other than English, or to books published abroad in the English language seeking ad interim protection under this Act.
Sec. 16. That in the case of the book the copies so deposited shall be accompanied by an affidavit, under the official seal of any officer authorized to administer oaths within the United States, duly made by the person claiming copyright or by his duly authorized agent or representative residing in the United States, or by the printer who has printed the book, setting forth that the copies deposited have been printed from type set within the limits of the United States or from plates made within the limits of the United States from type set therein; or, if the text be produced by lithographic process, or photo-engraving process, that such process was wholly performed within the limits of the United States, and that the printing of the text and binding of the said book have also been performed within the limits of the United States. Such affidavit shall state also the place where and the establishment or establishments in which such type was set or plates were made or lithographic process, or photo-engraving process or printing and binding were performed and the date of the completion of the printing of the book or the date of publication.
Sec. 17. That any person who, for the purpose of obtaining registration of a claim to copyright, shall knowingly make a false affidavit as to his having complied with the above conditions shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof shall be punished by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars, and all of his rights and privileges under said copyright shall thereafter be forfeited.
Sec. 18. That the notice of copyright required by section nine of this Act shall consist either of the word "Copyright" or the abbreviation "Copr." accompanied by the name of the copyright proprietor, and if the work be a printed literary, musical, or dramatic work, the notice shall include also the year in which the copyright was secured by publication. In the case, however, of copies of works specified in subsections (f) to (k), inclusive, of section five of this Act, the notice may consist of the letter C inclosed within a circle, thus: ©, accompanied by the initials, monogram, mark, or symbol of the copyright proprietor: Provided, That on some accessible portion of such copies or of the margin, back, permanent base, or pedestal, or of the substance on which such copies shall be mounted, his name shall appear. But in the case of works in which copyright is subsisting when this Act shall go into effect, the notice of copyright may be either in one of the forms prescribed herein or in one of those prescribed by the Act of June eighteenth, eighteen hundred and seventy-four.
Sec. 19. That the notice of copyright shall be applied, in the case of a book or other printed publication, upon its title-page or the page immediately following, or if a periodical either upon the title-page or upon the first page of text of each separate number or under the title heading, or if a musical work either upon its title-page or the first page of music: Provided, That one notice of copyright in each volume or in each number of a newspaper or periodical published shall suffice.
Sec. 20. That where the copyright proprietor has sought to comply with the provisions of this Act with respect to notice, the omission by accident or mistake of the prescribed notice from a particular copy or copies shall not invalidate the copyright or prevent recovery for infringement against any person who, after actual notice of the copyright, begins an undertaking to infringe it, but shall prevent the recovery of damages against an innocent infringer, who has been misled by the omission of the notice; and in a suit for infringement no permanent injunction shall be had unless the copyright proprietor shall reimburse to the innocent infringer his reasonable outlay, innocently incurred, if the court, in its discretion, shall so direct.
Sec. 21. That in the case of a book published abroad in the English language before publication in this country, the deposit in the copyright office, not later than thirty days after its publication abroad, of one complete copy of the foreign edition, with a request for the reservation of the copyright and a statement of the name and nationality of the author and of the copyright proprietor and of the date of publication of the said book, shall secure to the author or proprietor an ad interim copyright, which shall have all the force and effect given to copyright by this Act, and shall endure until the expiration of thirty days after such deposit in the copyright office.
Sec. 22. That whenever within the period of such ad interim protection an authorized edition of such book shall be published within the United States, in accordance with the manufacturing provisions specified in section fifteen of this Act, and whenever the provisions of this Act as to deposit of copies, registration, filing of affidavit, and the printing of the copyright notice shall have been duly complied with, the copyright shall be extended to endure in such book for the full term elsewhere provided in this Act.
Sec. 23. That the copyright secured by this Act shall endure for twenty-eight years from the date of first publication, whether the copyrighted work bears the author's true name or is published anonymously or under an assumed name: Provided, That in the case of any posthumous work or of any periodical, cyclopaedic, or other composite work upon which the copyright was originally secured by the proprietor thereof, or of any work copyrighted by a corporate body (otherwise than as assignee or licensee of the individual author) or by an employer for whom such work is made for hire, the proprietor of such copyright shall be entitled to a renewal and extension of the copyright in such work for the further term of twenty-eight years when application for such renewal and extension shall have been made to the copyright office and duly registered therein within one year prior to the expiration of the original term of copyright: And provided further, That in the case of any other copyrighted work, including a contribution by an individual author to a periodical or to a cyclopaedic or other composite work when such contribution has been separately registered, the author of such work, if still living, or the widow, widower, or children of the author, if the author be not living, or if such author, widow, widower, or children be not living, then the author's executors, or in the absence of a will, his next of kin shall be entitled to a renewal and extension of the copyright in such work for a further term of twenty-eight years when application for such renewal and extension shall have been made to the copyright office and duly registered therein within one year prior to the expiration of the original term of copyright: And provided further, That in default of the registration of such application for renewal and extension, the copyright in any work shall determine at the expiration of twenty-eight years from first publication.
Sec. 24. That the copyright subsisting in any work at the time when this Act goes into effect may, at the expiration of the term provided for under existing law, be renewed and extended by the author of such work if still living, or the widow, widower, or children of the author, if the author be not living, or if such author, widow, widower, or children be not living, then by the author's executors, or in the absence of a will, his next of kin, for a further period such that the entire term shall be equal to that secured by this Act, including the renewal period: Provided, however, That if the work be a composite work upon which copyright was originally secured by the proprietor thereof, then such proprietor shall be entitled to the privilege of renewal and extension granted under this section: Provided, That application for such renewal and extension shall be made to the copyright office and duly registered therein within one year prior to the expiration of the existing term.
Sec. 25. That if any person shall infringe the copyright in any work protected under the copyright laws of the United States such person shall be liable:
(a) To an injunction restraining such infringement;
(b) To pay to the copyright proprietor such damages as the copyright proprietor may have suffered due to the infringement, as well as all the profits which the infringer shall have made from such infringement, and in proving profits the plaintiff shall be required to prove sales only and the defendant shall be required to prove every element of cost which he claims, or in lieu of actual damages and profits such damages as to the court shall appear to be just, and in assessing such damages the court may, in its discretion, allow the amounts as hereinafter stated, but in the case of a newspaper reproduction of a copyrighted photograph such damages shall not exceed the sum of two hundred dollars nor be less than the sum of fifty dollars, and such damages shall in no other case exceed the sum of five thousand dollars nor be less than the sum of two hundred and fifty dollars, and shall not be regarded as a penalty:
First. In the case of a painting, statue, or sculpture ten dollars for every infringing copy made or sold by or found in the possession of the infringer or his agents or employees;
Second. In the case of any work enumerated in section five of this Act, except a painting, statue, or sculpture, one dollar for every infringing copy made or sold by or found in the possession of the infringer or his agents or employees;
Third. In the case of a lecture, sermon, or address, fifty dollars for every infringing delivery;
Fourth. In the case of dramatic or dramatico-musical or a choral or orchestral composition, one hundred dollars for the first and fifty dollars for every subsequent infringing performance; in the case of other musical compositions, ten dollars for every infringing performance;
(c) To deliver up on oath, to be impounded during the pendency of the action, upon such terms and conditions as the court may prescribe, all articles alleged to infringe a copyright;
(d) To deliver up on oath for destruction all the infringing copies or devices, as well as all plates, molds, matrices or other means for making such infringing copies as the court may order;
(e) Whenever the owner of a musical copyright has used or permitted the use of the copyrighted work upon the parts of musical instruments serving to reproduce mechanically the musical work, then in case of infringement of such copyright by the unauthorized manufacture, use, or sale of interchangeable parts, such as disks, rolls, bands, or cylinders for use in mechanical music-producing machines adapted to reproduce the copyrighted music, no criminal action shall be brought, but in a civil action an injunction may be granted upon such terms as the court may impose, and the plaintiff shall be entitled to recover in lieu of profits and damages a royalty as provided in section one, subsection (e), of this Act: Provided also, That whenever any person, in the absence of a license agreement, intends to use a copyrighted musical composition upon the parts of instruments serving to reproduce mechanically the musical work, relying upon the compulsory license provision of this Act, he shall serve notice of such intention, by registered mail, upon the copyright proprietor at his last address disclosed by the records of the copyright office, sending to the copyright office a duplicate of such notice; and in case of his failure so to do the court may, in its discretion, in addition to sums hereinabove mentioned, award the complainant a further sum, not to exceed three times the amount provided by section one, subsection (e), by way of damages, and not as a penalty, and also a temporary injunction until the full award is paid.
Rules and regulations for practice and procedure under this section shall be prescribed by the Supreme Court of the United States.
Sec. 26. That any court given jurisdiction under section thirty-four of this Act may proceed in any action, suit, or proceeding instituted for violation of any provision hereof to enter a judgment or decree enforcing the remedies herein provided.
Sec. 27. That the proceedings for an injunction, damages, and profits, and those for the seizure of infringing copies, plates, molds, matrices, and so forth, aforementioned, may be united in one action.
Sec. 28. That any person who willfully and for profit shall infringe any copyright secured by this Act, or who shall knowingly and willfully aid or abet such infringement, shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof shall be punished by imprisonment for not exceeding one year or by a fine of not less than one hundred dollars nor more than one thousand dollars, or both, in the discretion of the court: Provided, however, That nothing in this Act shall be so construed as to prevent the performance of religious or secular works, such as oratorios, cantatas, masses, or octavo choruses by public schools, church choirs or vocal societies, rented, borrowed, or obtained from some public library, public school, church choir, school choir, or vocal society, provided the performance is given for charitable or educational purposes and not for profit.
Sec. 29. That any person who, with fraudulent intent, shall insert or impress any notice of copyright required by this Act, or words of the same purport, in or upon any uncopyrighted article, or with fraudulent intent shall remove or alter the copyright notice upon any article duly copyrighted shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of not less than one hundred dollars and not more than one thousand dollars. Any person who shall knowingly issue or sell any article bearing a notice of United States copyright which has not been copyrighted in this country, or who shall knowingly import any article bearing such notice or words of the same purport, which has not been copyrighted in this country, shall be liable to a fine of one hundred dollars.
Sec. 30. That the importation into the United States of any article bearing a false notice of copyright when there is no existing copyright thereon in the United States, or of any piratical copies of any work copyrighted in the United States, is prohibited.
Sec. 31. That during the existence of the American copyright in any book the importation into the United States of any piratical copies thereof or of any copies thereof (although authorized by the author or proprietor) which have not been produced in accordance with the manufacturing provisions specified in section fifteen of this Act, or any plates of the same not made from type set within the limits of the United States, or any copies thereof produced by lithographic or photo-engraving process not performed within the limits of the United States, in accordance with the provisions of section fifteen of this Act, shall be, and is hereby, prohibited: Provided, however, That, except as regards piratical copies, such prohibition shall not apply:
(a) To works in raised characters for the use of the blind;
(b) To a foreign newspaper or magazine, although containing matter copyrighted in the United States printed or reprinted by authority of the copyright proprietor, unless such newspaper or magazine contains also copyright matter printed or reprinted without such authorization;
(c) To the authorized edition of a book in a foreign language or languages of which only a translation into English has been copyrighted in this country;
(d) To any book published abroad with the authorization of the author or copyright proprietor when imported under the circumstances stated in one of the four subdivisions following, that is to say:
First. When imported, not more than one copy at one time, for individual use and not for sale; but such privilege of importation shall not extend to a foreign reprint of a book by an American author copyrighted in the United States;
Second. When imported by the authority or for the use of the United States;
Third. When imported, for use and not for sale, not more than one copy of any such book in any one invoice, in good faith, by or for any society or institution incorporated for educational, literary, philosophical, scientific, or religious purposes, or for the encouragement of the fine arts, or for any college, academy, school, or seminary of learning, or for any State, school, college, university, or free public library in the United States;
Fourth. When such books form parts of libraries or collections purchased en bloc for the use of societies, institutions, or libraries designated in the foregoing paragraph, or form parts of the libraries or personal baggage belonging to persons or families arriving from foreign countries and are not intended for sale:
Provided, That copies imported as above may not lawfully be used in any way to violate the rights of the proprietor of the American copyright or annul or limit the copyright protection secured by this Act, and such unlawful use shall be deemed an infringement of copyright.
Sec. 32. That any and all articles prohibited importation by this Act which are brought into the United States from any foreign country (except in the mails) shall be seized and forfeited by like proceedings as those provided by law for the seizure and condemnation of property imported into the United States in violation of the customs revenue laws. Such articles when forfeited shall be destroyed in such manner as the Secretary of the Treasury or the court, as the case may be, shall direct: Provided, however, That all copies of authorized editions of copyright books imported in the mails or otherwise in violation of the provisions of this Act may be exported and returned to the country of export whenever it is shown to the satisfaction of the Secretary of the Treasury, in a written application, that such importation does not involve willful negligence or fraud.
Sec. 33. That the Secretary of the Treasury and the Postmaster-General are hereby empowered and required to make and enforce such joint rules and regulations as shall prevent the importation into the United States in the mails of articles prohibited importation by this Act, and may require notice to be given to the Treasury Department, or Post-Office Department, as the case may be, by copyright proprietors or injured parties, of the actual or contemplated importation of articles prohibited importation by this Act, and which infringe the rights of such copyright proprietors or injured parties.
Sec. 34. That all actions, suits, or proceedings arising under the copyright laws of the United States shall be originally cognizable by the circuit courts of the United States, the district court of any Territory, the supreme court of the District of Columbia, the district courts of Alaska, Hawaii, and Porto Rico, and the courts of first instance of the Philippine Islands.
Sec. 35. That civil actions, suits, or proceedings arising under this Act may be instituted in the district of which the defendant or his agent is an inhabitant, or in which he may be found.
Sec. 36. That any such court or judge thereof shall have power, upon bill in equity filed by any party aggrieved, to grant injunctions to prevent and restrain the violation of any right secured by said laws, according to the course and principles of courts of equity, on such terms as said court or judge may deem reasonable. Any injunction that may be granted restraining and enjoining the doing of anything forbidden by this Act may be served on the parties against whom such injunction may be granted anywhere in the United States, and shall be operative throughout the United States and be enforceable by proceedings in contempt or otherwise by any other court or judge possessing jurisdiction of the defendants.
Sec. 37. That the clerk of the court, or judge granting the injunction, shall, when required so to do by the court hearing the application to enforce said injunction, transmit without delay to said court a certified copy of all the papers in said cause that are on file in his office.
Sec. 38. That the orders, judgments, or decrees of any court mentioned in section thirty-four of this Act arising under the copyright laws of the United States may be reviewed on appeal or writ of error in the manner and to the extent now provided by law for the review of cases determined in said courts, respectively.
Sec. 39. That no criminal proceeding shall be maintained under the provisions of this Act unless the same is commenced within three years after the cause of action arose.
Sec. 40. That in all actions, suits, or proceedings under this Act, except when brought by or against the United States or any officer thereof, full costs shall be allowed, and the court may award to the prevailing party a reasonable attorney's fee as part of the costs.
Sec. 41. That the copyright is distinct from the property in the material object copyrighted, and the sale or conveyance, by gift or otherwise, of the material object shall not of itself constitute a transfer of the copyright, nor shall the assignment of the copyright constitute a transfer of the title to the material object; but nothing in this Act shall be deemed to forbid, prevent, or restrict the transfer of any copy of a copyrighted work the possession of which has been lawfully obtained.
Sec. 42. That copyright secured under this or previous Acts of the United States may be assigned, granted, or mortgaged by an instrument in writing signed by the proprietor of the copyright, or may be bequeathed by will.
Sec. 43. That every assignment of copyright executed in a foreign country shall be acknowledged by the assignor before a consular officer or secretary of legation of the United States authorized by law to administer oaths or perform notarial acts. The certificate of such acknowledgement under the hand and official seal of such consular officer or secretary of legation shall be prima facie evidence of the execution of the instrument.
Sec. 44. That every assignment of copyright shall be recorded in the copyright office within three calendar months after its execution in the United States or within six calendar months after its execution without the limits of the United States, in default of which it shall be void as against any subsequent purchaser or mortgagee for a valuable consideration, without notice, whose assignment has been duly recorded.
Sec. 45. That the register of copyright shall, upon payment of the prescribed fee, record such assignment, and shall return it to the sender with a certificate of record attached under seal of the copyright office, and upon the payment of the fee prescribed by this Act he shall furnish to any person requesting the same a certified copy thereof under the said seal.
Sec. 46. That when an assignment of the copyright in a specified book or other work has been recorded the signee may substitute his name for that of the assignor in the statutory notice of copyright prescribed by this Act.
Sec. 47. That all records and other things relating to copyrights required by law to be preserved shall be kept and preserved in the copyright office, Library of Congress, District of Columbia, and shall be under the control of the register of copyrights, who shall, under the direction and supervision of the Librarian of Congress, perform all the duties relating to the registration of copyrights.
Sec. 48. That there shall be appointed by the Librarian of Congress a register of copyrights, at a salary of four thousand dollars per annum, and one assistant register of copyrights, at a salary of three thousand dollars per annum, who shall have authority during the absence of the register of copyrights to attach the copyright office seal to all papers issued from the said office and to sign such certificates and other papers as may be necessary. There shall also be appointed by the Librarian such subordinate assistants to the register as may from time to time be authorized by law.
Sec. 49. That the register of copyrights shall make daily deposits in some bank in the District of Columbia, designated for this purpose by the Secretary of the Treasury as a national depository, of all moneys received to be applied as copyright fees, and shall make weekly deposits with the Secretary of the Treasury, in such manner as the latter shall direct, of all copyright fees actually applied under the provisions of this Act, and annual deposits of sums received which it has not been possible to apply as copyright fees or to return to the remitters, and shall also make monthly reports to the Secretary of the Treasury and to the Librarian of Congress of the applied copyright fees for each calendar month, together with a statement of all remittances received, trust funds on hand, moneys refunded, and unapplied balances.
Sec. 50. That the register of copyrights shall give bond to the United States in the sum of twenty thousand dollars, in form to be approved by the Solicitor of the Treasury and with sureties satisfactory to the Secretary of the Treasury, for the faithful discharge of his duties.
Sec. 51. That the register of copyrights shall make an annual report to the Librarian of Congress, to be printed in the annual report on the Library of Congress, of all copyright business for the previous fiscal year, including the number and kind of works which have been deposited in the copyright office during the fiscal year, under the provisions of this Act.
Sec. 52. That the seal provided under the Act of July eighth, eighteen hundred and seventy, and at present used in the copyright office, shall continue to be the seal thereof, and by it all papers issued from the copyright office requiring authentication shall be authenticated.
Sec. 53. That, subject to the approval of the Librarian of Congress, the register of copyrights shall be authorized to make rules and regulations for the registration of claims to copyright as provided by this Act.
Sec. 54. That the register of copyrights shall provide and keep such record books in the copyright office as are required to carry out the provisions of this Act, and whenever deposit has been made in the copyright office of a copy of any work under the provisions of this Act he shall make entry thereof.
Sec. 55. That in the case of each entry the person recorded as the claimant of the copyright shall be entitled to a certificate of registration under seal of the copyright office, to contain his name and address, the title of the work upon which copyright is claimed, the date of the deposit of the copies of such work, and such marks as to class designation and entry number as shall fully identify the entry. In the case of a book the certificate shall also state the receipt of the affidavit as provided by section sixteen of this Act, and the date of the completion of the printing, or the date of the publication of the book, as stated in the said affidavit. The register of copyrights shall prepare a printed form for the said certificate, to be filled out in each case as above provided for, which certificate, sealed with the seal of the copyright office, shall, upon payment of the prescribed fee, be given to any person making application for the same, and the said certificate shall be admitted in any court as prima facie evidence of the facts stated therein. In addition to such certificate the register of copyrights shall furnish, upon request, without additional fee, a receipt for the copies of the work deposited to complete the registration.
Sec. 56. That the register of copyrights shall fully index all copyright registrations and assignments and shall print at periodic intervals a catalogue of the titles of articles deposited and registered for copyright, together with suitable indexes, and at stated intervals shall print complete and indexed catalogues for each class of copyright entries, and may thereupon, if expedient, destroy the original manuscript catalogue cards containing the titles included in such printed volumes and representing the entries made during such intervals. The current catalogues of copyright entries and the index volumes herein provided for shall be admitted in any court as prima facie evidence of the facts stated therein as regards any copyright registration.
Sec. 57. That the said printed current catalogues as they are issued shall be promptly distributed by the copyright office to the collectors of customs of the United States and to the postmasters of all exchange offices of receipt of foreign mails, in accordance with revised lists of such collectors of customs and postmasters prepared by the Secretary of the Treasury and the Postmaster-General, and they shall also be furnished to all parties desiring them at a price to be determined by the register of copyrights, not exceeding five dollars per annum for the complete catalogue of copyright entries and not exceeding one dollar per annum for the catalogues issued during the year for any one class of subjects. The consolidated catalogues and indexes shall also be supplied to all persons ordering them at such prices as may be determined to be reasonable, and all subscriptions for the catalogues shall be received by the Superintendent of Public Documents, who shall forward the said publications; and the moneys thus received shall be paid into the Treasury of the United States and accounted for under such laws and Treasury regulations as shall be in force at the time.
Sec. 58. That the record books of the copyright office, together with the indexes to such record books, and all works deposited and retained in the copyright office, shall be open to public inspection; and copies may be taken of the copyright entries actually made in such record books, subject to such safeguards and regulations as shall be prescribed by the register of copyrights and approved by the Librarian of Congress.
Sec. 59. That of the articles deposited in the copyright office under the provisions of the copyright laws of the United States or of this Act, the Librarian of Congress shall determine what books and other articles shall be transferred to the permanent collections of the Library of Congress, including the law library, and what other books or articles shall be placed in the reserve collections of the Library of Congress for sale or exchange, or be transferred to other governmental libraries in the District of Columbia for use therein.
Sec. 60. That of any articles undisposed of as above provided, together with all titles and correspondence relating thereto, the Librarian of Congress and the register of copyrights jointly shall, at suitable intervals, determine what of these received during any period of years it is desirable or useful to preserve in the permanent files of the copyright office, and, after due notice as hereinafter provided, may within their discretion cause the remaining articles and other things to be destroyed: Provided, That there shall be printed in the Catalogue of Copyright Entries from February to November, inclusive, a statement of the years of receipt of such articles and a notice to permit any author, copyright proprietor, or other lawful claimant to claim and remove before the expiration of the month of December of that year anything found which relates to any of his productions deposited or registered for copyright within the period of years stated, not reserved or disposed of as provided for in this Act: And provided further, That no manuscript of an unpublished work shall be destroyed during its term of copyright without specific notice to the copyright proprietor of record, permitting him to claim and remove it.
Sec. 61. That the register of copyrights shall receive, and the persons to whom the services designated are rendered shall pay, the following fees: For the registration of any work subject to copyright, deposited under the provisions of this Act, one dollar, which sum is to include a certificate of registration under seal: Provided, That in the case of photographs the fee shall be fifty cents where a certificate is not demanded. For every additional certificate of registration made, fifty cents. For recording and certifying any instrument of writing for the assignment of copyright, or any such license specified in section one, subsection (e), or for any copy of such assignment or license, duly certified, if not over three hundred words in length, one dollar; if more than three hundred and less than one thousand words in length, two dollars; if more than one thousand words in length, one dollar additional for each one thousand words or fraction thereof over three hundred words. For recording the notice of user or acquiescence specified in section one, subsection (e), twenty-five cents for each notice if not over fifty words, and an additional twenty-five cents for each additional one hundred words. For comparing any copy of an assignment with the record of such document in the copyright office and certifying the same under seal, one dollar. For recording the extension or renewal of copyright provided for in sections twenty-three and twenty-four of this Act, fifty cents. For recording the transfer of the proprietorship of copyrighted articles, ten cents for each title of a book or other article, in addition to the fee prescribed for recording the instrument of assignment. For any requested search of copyright office records, indexes, or deposits, fifty cents for each full hour of time consumed in making such search: Provided, That only one registration at one fee shall be required in the case of several volumes of the same book deposited at the same time.
Sec. 62. That in the interpretation and construction of this Act "the date of publication" shall in the case of a work of which copies are reproduced for sale or distribution be held to be the earliest date when copies of the first authorized edition were placed on sale, sold, or publicly distributed by the proprietor of the copyright or under his authority, and the word "author" shall include an employer in the case of works made for hire.
Sec. 63. That all laws or parts of laws in conflict with the provisions of this Act are hereby repealed, but nothing in this Act shall effect causes of action for infringement of copyright heretofore committed now pending in courts of the United States, or which may hereafter be instituted; but such causes shall be prosecuted to a conclusion in the manner heretofore provided by law.
Sec. 64. That this Act shall go into effect on the first day of July, nineteen hundred and nine.
Approved, March 4, 1909.
- The 1909 Act was Public Law 60-349 (March 4, 1909) • 35 Stat. 1075
Public Law 62-303 (August 24, 1912) 37 Stat. 488 Public Law 62-405 (March 2, 1913) 37 Stat. 724 Public Law 63-78 (March 28, 1914) 38 Stat. 311 Public Law 66-102 (December 18, 1919) 41 Stat. 368 Public Law 69-464 (July 3, 1926) 44 Stat. 818 Public Law 70-478 (May 23, 1928) 45 Stat. 713 Public Law 75-421 (January 27, 1938) 52 Stat. 6 Public Law 76-244 (July 31, 1939) 53 Stat. 1142 Public Law 76-434 (March 15, 1940) 54 Stat. 51 Public Law 76-450 (April 11, 1940) 54 Stat. 106 Public Law 77-258 (September 25, 1941) 55 Stat. 732 Public Law 80-281 (July 30, 1947) 61 Stat. 652 Public Law 80-501 (April 27, 1948) 62 Stat. 202 Public Law 80-773 (June 25, 1948) 62 Stat. 869,1009 Public Law 81-84 (June 3, 1949) 63 Stat. 153 Public Law 82-248 (October 31, 1951) 65 Stat. 710, 717 Public Law 82-575 (July 17, 1952) 66 Stat. 752 Public Law 83-331 (April 13, 1954) 68 Stat. 52 Public Law 83-743 (August 31, 1954) 68 Stat. 1030 Public Law 84-452 (March 29, 1956) 70 Stat. 63 Public Law 85-313 (September 7, 1957) 71 Stat. 633 Public Law 87-646 (September 7, 1962) 76 Stat. 442, 446 Public Law 87-668 (September 19, 1962) 76 Stat. 555 Public Law 87-846 (October 22, 1962) 76 Stat. 1107, 1116 Public Law 89-142 (August 28, 1965) 79 Stat. 581 Public Law 89-297 (October 27, 1965) 79 Stat. 1072 Public Law 90-141 (November 16, 1967) 81 Stat. 464 Public Law 90-416 (July 23, 1968) 82 Stat. 397 Public Law 91-147 (December 16, 1969) 83 Stat. 360 Public Law 91-555 (December 17, 1970) 84 Stat. 1441 Public Law 92-140 (October 15, 1971) 85 Stat. 391 Public Law 92-170 (November 24, 1971) 85 Stat. 490 Private Law 92-60 (December 15, 1971) 85 Stat. 857 Public Law 92-566 (October 25, 1972) 86 Stat. 1181 Public Law 93-573 (December 31, 1974) 88 Stat. 1873
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