Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 20.djvu/358

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agreed that the book should be published without his name, and said that his reason for withholding the manuscript was, that styling the book on the title-page as being "by D. J. Kenny" would be a fraud on the public, since Kenny had taken no part in preparing it. The court decided in favor of the author. This is as much as to say that a writer shall not be compelled to furnish manuscript which he withholds because he knows it will be published under another man's name in a way to deceive the public; but whether an author has a legal right to have his own name appear on a book he has sold outright is another question.

Dramatic copyright is a fruitful field of litigation. To protect a play by any legal methods is difficult, and the laws having that aim have not been so distinctly and judiciously framed as they might be. Several suits have been brought, in this country, within the past year or two, to protect noted plays. An English suit, which reached an authoritative decision in the House of Lords, arose upon two rival dramatizations of Eugene Sue's novel, "The Wandering Jew." This novel was dramatized in France quite early after its publication, and Englishman number one prepared a play described as an "adaptation" of this French play. He, however, introduced two striking scenes: one displaying the wandering Jew strolling in the Arctic regions (real icebergs and a lime-light) and beholding, in a mysteriously managed vision, the future perils and sufferings of his descendants; the other exhibiting the final triumph over the enemies' machinations, and introducing the figure of the Jew in the background, under brilliant red lime-light. In the French play, these matters were not scenically repsented, but were described in a prologue and epilogue; perhaps because the devices of stage carpenters and property men were not sufficient, fifty years ago, for such spectacles. Englishman number two also dramatized the story, independently of and differently from the play by Englishman number one, except that he took from the latter's play the points of bringing these two matters into actual representation, instead of leaving them to prologue and epilogue. For this he was sued. But the courts, including the House of Lords, held that taking the two scenes was not enough, under the circumstances, to constitute an infringement. Copyright of a play is not infringed unless some substantial, material part—more than a new mode of representing a couple of matters not really essential to the unity of the plot—has been taken.

Another English decision has said that, when two or more persons own together the copyright of an opera or drama, one can not represent it or license a manager to do so, without consent of the others.

In respect to musical compositions, decisions have been made in England upon the right to publish the songs "Kathleen Mavourneen" and "Dermot Asthore," and the opera "Vert-Vert"; but they turned on the bargains the parties had made, and do not explain copyright