Page:Copyright, Its History And Its Law (1912).djvu/370

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338

COPYRIGHT

Relation with impor- tation provi- sions

its submission for ratification, especially with refer- ence to the act of 1891. Acting Attorney-General Hoyt replied in a confidential report of June 3, 1902, since made public, after quoting the prohibition of importation in section 3 of the act of 1891: "In the convention now in question there is no inhibition against such importations as are prohibited by said section 3, unless it can be said that such convention is 'an international agreement which provides for reciprocity in the granting of copyrights, by the terms of which agreement the United States of Amer- ica may, at its pleasure, become a party to such agree- ment,' as provided in section 13 of the same act. It is a matter of grave doubt whether this convention, made by the United States originally, is such an 'international agreement.' It is therefore quite prob- able that its ratification would except the authors of the nations signing it from the provisions of said sec- tion 3 of the act of March 3, 1891, leaving the authors of other countries still subject to such provisions. Your attention is directed to the fact that an affirma- tive answer to article 16 of the convention would also except from the provisions of said section 3 all coun- tries that might hereafter adopt said convention. There appears to be no legal impediment to the rati- fication of this convention, nor would it constitute a breach of faith toward other countries ; and in point- ing out the probable effect of some of its provisions I do not intend thereby to express or intimate an opin- ion that it ought not to be ratified." The question of the relation between treaty provisions and domestic legislation especially affects copyright arrangements and has been the subject of discussion and a matter of difficulty in England and other countries as well as in the United States. The Senate did not act finally upon the Mexico convention until 1908, when it was duly