Page:Copyright, Its History And Its Law (1912).djvu/325

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IMPORTATION 293

proprietor of the copyright " indicate the owner of the English rights, and that if he had to "submit to an unlimited importation of books lawfully printed in any part of Germany itself," the British copyright "would be absolutely worthless, and the beneficial object frustrated," and protection by covenant with the original proprietor is by no means adequate.

The colonial copyright act of 1847, usually known Foreign as the foreign reprints act, authorized suspension by reprints the Crown of the prohibition of importation of foreign reprints, in any colony enacting "reasonable protec- tion to British authors" — which protection, in the twenty colonies in which the act was availed of, usually took the shape of a stated duty to be paid as royalty to the British copyright proprietor. The cus- toms consolidation act of 1876 continued the general prohibition, on condition of notice by the proprietor of the British copyright to the Commissioners of Customs.

Thus the British copyright and customs law recog- Divided nizes the subdivision of copyright territory for the market exclusive control of a market, and excludes accord- ingly foreign reprints whether piratical copies or authorized foreign editions like the Tauchnitz series, and the original foreign edition as well. In theory, if not in practice, a Tauchnitz copy in the pocket of a traveler is subject to seizure, and written authority from the copyright proprietor is technically necessary for the importation of a single copy, apparently with- out exception in favor of the British Government or the libraries.

The new British measure continues these provi- The new sions as embodied in the customs consolidation act of British code 1876 and the revenue act of 1889 and in the text of the new act. Copyright is infringed by any person who "imports for sale or hire any work . . . which to his