Page:Copyright, Its History And Its Law (1912).djvu/378

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Clay bills, 1837-43




Efforts 1840-48

the numerous branches of the Human family, to rub off those asperities which the faulty legislation of the dark ages has bequeathed to the present generation, and to extend the blessings of Christianity to the ends of the earth."

The Clay report, presented February 16, 1837, was accompanied by a bill drawn by Clay, extending copyright to British and French authors for works thereafter published, on condition of the issue of an American edition simultaneously with the foreign edition or within one month after deposit of the title in America, but it never came to a final vote, though reintroduced by Clay in successive Congresses De- cember 13, 1837, December 17, 1838, January 6, 1840, and January 6, 1842. In 1840, January 8, the bill was reported back from the Judiciary Committee without recommendation or approval. The bill was also in- troduced into the House of Representatives by John Robertson, July 7, 1838, and by J. L. Tillinghast, June 6, 1840, but here also there was no action.

An invitation was extended by Lord Palmerston in 1838 for the cooperation of the American government in an international arrangement with Great Britain, but nothing came of it.

Dr. Francis Lieber, a well-known publicist, ad- dressed to Senator Preston , in 1 840, a letter "On inter- national copyright," prepared in cooperation with George Palmer Putnam, and issued in pamphlet form by the house of Wiley & Putnam. Charles Dick- ens's tour in 1841 stimulated interest in the subject, and there were high hopes of some result. In 1843 Mr. Putnam procured the signatures of ninety-seven publishers, printers, and binders to a petition which was presented to Congress, setting forth that the absence of international copyright was "alike injuri- ous to the business of publishing and to the best