Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 20.djvu/359

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.
345
PROGRESS OF COPYRIGHT LAW.

law except that they clearly show musical compositions to be fully entitled to the protection. An odd case occurred in Pennsylvania, which was thus narrated in the "New York Times": "A publisher copyrighted and brought out an 'arrangement,' made by an American musician, of a popular French waltz, christening it 'Manola Waltz.' A competitor republished it with scarcely any changes, and when the first publisher complained, 'Your waltz is only a copy of mine,' he answered, 'Yours is only a copy of the Frenchman's.' The judge said that a man need not be an original author—the sole creator of the work; the first publisher could fairly get a copyright for his arrangement'; and the second one had no right to reprint that arrangement, though he might have made a new and different one."

Pictures have given rise to several decisions. Some manufacturers of earthenware for the Cuban market ornamented their ware with a portrait of the Captain-General of Cuba, surrounded by a wreath; this portrait was copied from a photograph of the general. Also the father of an attractive young lady had her portrait painted in "character," representing her as a young girl walking on the sea-shore, shoeless and stockingless, and carrying a spade and basket; this picture he copyrighted and had it engraved for publication as "Going to Work." Lawsuits were brought to protect these two copyrights. The decisions apparently take the view that a picture of a living person is not a proper subject-matter of copyright; that the law will not protect a "design," the chief element of which is a portrait, while the additions or accessories are but trivial. In a lawsuit over a book "with illustrations by John Leech," it appeared that the designs were drawn by Leech himself, upon the blocks; and he retained the copyright; the publishers, apparently, however, furnished the wood; and, when a controversy arose, they made the law point that, though the designs possibly belonged to. Leech, the blocks belonged to them (the publishers), and they meant to keep them. The court said that, considering the way in which the parties had dealt, also that the wood was worth next to nothing in comparison with the designs, it was fitting that the publishers should surrender the cuts. In America, a publisher who was sued for violating the copyright of a picture, proved that, in preparing the chromo which he sold, he had not copied from the picture copyrighted in this country, but had followed an English original; and the court pronounced this a good defense. Copyrighting a picture forbids another person from copying it, but does not forbid copying a picture like it from foreign publications, or designing one anew.

More interesting than either of these is a decision involving the famous picture originally painted by Millais, about thirty years ago, known as "The Huguenot." From this painting an engraving was taken, which was duly copyrighted, and has had a wide sale. More lately the publishers of the London magazine "Bow-Bells," in a Christ-