Page:Copyright, Its History And Its Law (1912).djvu/141

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six denied and four sustained the contention, decided unanimously that a non-resident foreigner could not acquire copyright by first publication. Under the law of 1842, the question was again raised, in view of the variation of the language from that in the statute of Anne; in 1868, in the case of Routledge v. Low, in which an American author claimed copyright for his work first published in London while he resided for a few days in Canada, the House of Lords held that a foreigner might thus obtain copyright by temporary residence within the British dominions and indicated, but did not decide, that a foreigner could obtain copyright by first publication, even if not temporarily resident within the British dominions. After the passage of the "international copyright amendment" in 1891, the American law authorities consulted with the law officers of the Crown, who rendered a decision that foreign authors were entitled to British copyright on the sole condition of first publication, and on this decision the President based his proclamation of reciprocal relations with Great Britain. The new British measure retains first publication within the included parts of the Empire as the essential condition, except in unpublished works, unless otherwise provided under international copyright, though the Crown may withdraw this privilege from foreigners whose countries do not assure reciprocity.

The provision of subsection (a) is chiefly useful, it would seem, to protect intending citizens who have applied for naturalization papers and incidentally renounced their previous allegiance to another power and thus put themselves beyond the pale of the international conventions.

of first
"First publication" is not limited in terms to the United States, and the "alien author or proprietor," provided he makes application under this clause and