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INTERNATIONAL LAW AND THE Paris Exhibition. The connection between these two subjects had already been perceived last year at the Antwerp Art Congress, and a little reflection will, we think, suffice to show that the link is real and may be very valuable. It seems to us that the certainty of the assembling together in Paris, of representatives of all the nations of the civilised world, affords good ground for believing that Jurists from opposite ends of the globe might profitably meet there to discuss questions of International interest. We therefore hail with great pleasure the announcement which has been made by the Society of Comparative Legislation, that it will hold special meetings for this purpose, during the course of the first three months of the Exhibition season. The subjects already chosen for discussion are eminently practical, and the society is willing to add to the list, should it be deemed desirable. Under the learned chair. manship of M. Larombière, First President of the Court of Appeal, President of the Society, and with the assistance among the Vice-Presidents of such eminent members of the Bench and Bar of France, as M. Mercier, First President of the Court of Cassation; M. Bétolaud, Bâtonnier of the Order of Advocates of the Court of Appeal; M. Gide, Professor in the Faculty of Law, as well as of numerous learned Counsel and Professors of Jurisprudence among the members of the Council, the deliberations of the Society of Comparative Legislation will assuredly not be wanting either in forensic eloquence, or the impartiality befitting the Judicial Bench. We proceed to give the terms in which the Society's announcement of its proposed plan of operations is drawn up, and in which it couches its invitation to the Jurists of all lands.
" It appears to the Society of Comparative Legislation that the Universal Exhibition of 1878 offers a natural opportunity to Jurists of the various countries of the world, not only to become knit together in bonds of friendship, alike pleasant to themselves and useful to science, but also to enter upon the common study of questions upon which it would be both desirable and profitable to arrive at a uniform legislation, an International Common Law. The Society will gladly throw
open its meetings to all foreign Jurists who may be willing to do it the honour of attending them; assured beforehand of the co-operation of its corresponding members, it hopes that all, who have at heart the interests of the Science of Jurisprudence, will rally round the same centre. The Society proposes to the consideration of Jurists a certain number of points, on which it believes that the way might be paved for attaining to a uniform Legislation, and it will gladly profit by any suggestions tending to render the list more complete. Discussions may be opened on all these subjects, and it is confidently hoped that the ideas which may be broached, the information which may be offered, by the competent authorities to whom the Society makes this appeal, will give a powerful impulse alike to the advance of Scientific Jurisprudence, and to the Practical Legislation of the Future.”
Having thus allowed the Society to explain its views in its own language, we proceed to give the list of subjects for discussion.
“ I. Bills of Exchange.
“ III. What authority should a judgment delivered in one State, be allowed in another, and under what conditions ?
“ IV. The conditions and effects of Extradition.
“ V. To what extent ought foreigners to be admitted to share in the Private Law of the State in which they are commorant ?
“ VI. In what cases should crimes or delicts which have not been the subject of prosecution in the State in which they were committed, be cognisable by the Courts of the State of which the authors are subjects ?".
The dates of the meetings at present fixed are Wednesdays, 8th May, 19th June, roth July, at 8.15 p.m., at the Rooms of the Society of Comparative Legislation, in the “ Hôtel de la Société d'Encouragement,” 44, Rue de Rennes. We wish the meetings all success, and can only hope that this excellent undertaking will meet with the encouragement which it deserves.
Foreign Art COPYRIGHT Law. The subject of Copyright in works of Art has received considerable prominence through recent efforts to arrive at a basis of international agreement for the solution of the difficulties which it presents, both as regards the author and the buyer, The Art Congress, held at Antwerp during the Rubens Festival, in August 1877, devoted the entire energies of its Legislative Section to the consideration of these questions, under the able presidency of M. Louis Hymans, a Belgian publicist of deservedly high reputation. As it is very probable that a suggestion made in this Section, that the discussion might profitably be resumed in Paris during the approaching International Exhibition, may be carried out some time in the course of the coming summer, we think the present a fitting moment for bringing before our readers the existing state of the Law on Art Copyright in some of the principal countries, both of the Continent and of our own Colonial Empire, whose Legislatures have recently occupied themselves with its consideration. In our next issue we may be in a position to give the Belgian Law, should the Bill now, we believe, before the House, receive the assent of both Chambers.
Germany. The German Laws of gth, ioth, and 11th January, 1876, on Copyright in works of Art, Photography, and Industrial Designs, form part of a series initiated in 1870 by a Bill on the Rights of Authorship in Literature, Designs, and Musical and Dramatic Compositions, presented in that year to the Reichstag of the North German Confederation. In this Bill, however, in the shape in which it became law, there was a considerable omission, comprising the subject of Section V. of the Bill, which is supplied by the new legislation. The principles which had formed the basis of the laws of the various German States since 1837 are embodied in the present legislation, and applied to the whole extent of the new Empire. Into the controversies still existing as to the propriety of certain technical terminology, such as “intellectual property” (geistige eigenthum), it will not be necessary to enter. It may be sufficient to note the following points in the Laws of 1876.*
Rights of the Author. Art. I. The right of reproduction of a work of Art (werk der bildenden kunst, quvre des arts figuratifs), in whole or in part (ganz oder theilweise), belongs exclusively to the author of the work.
* We give the provisions of the following Laws, so far as they relate to our present subject matter, from the valuable and carefully edited versions in the recent “Annuaire de Législation Étrangère," for 1877, published by the Society of Comparative Legislation (Paris. Cotillon).
Art. II. The right of the author passes to his heirs. It may be alienated in whole or in part by contract or by testamentary disposition.
Art. III. This Law does not apply to architecture.
Art. IV. It is not considered piracy to draw freely upon a work of Art in order to produce a new one.
Art. V. All reproduction of works of Art for purposes of commerce without consent of the proprietor is forbidden. Piracy is deemed to exist under the following circumstances :
(a.) Obtaining the reproduction by a different process from that of the original.
(6.) Indirect reproduction, not from the original work, but from a copy of it.
(c.) Reproduction of a work of Art in a building, Industrial design, Trade mark, or the product of handicraft.
(d.) Reproduction by either author or publisher contrary to the contract binding them.
(e.) Circulation by the publisher of a larger number of copies than he has the right to publish, either by the general law or by his special contract.
Art. VI. It is not piracy :
(a.) To copy by hand a work of Art if the copy is not intended for sale. It is forbidden to indicate in any way on the copy the name or monogram of the author of the work, under penalty of fine (maximum 500 mks.).
(6.) To reproduce by the plastic art a work of painting or design, and vice versa.
(c.) To reproduce works of Art which are in private houses, or in public streets and squares. But such reproduction must not be made by the same process of Art.
(d.) To reproduce in the body of a writing detached works of Art, provided that the works of Art be only accessory to the writing, and bear the indication of the original author, or of the source of the work, under penalties as per Law of 1870.
Art. VII. The reproducer of a work of Art by a different artistic process exercises the rights of an author over the work which he produces, even though the original be already public property.*
Art. VIII. If the author of a work of Art alienates his property in it, such alienation shall not in future carry the right of reproduction. Nevertheless, in the case of portraits and busts, the right of reproduction shall pass to the person who commissions them. The proprietor of a work is not obliged to place it at the disposal of the author or his representatives, for the purpose of its reproduction by them.
* This Article is stated, in the annotations accompanying the French text in the “Annuaire de Législation Étrangère," to be drawn up with a special view to Engraving.
Duration of Copyright. Art. IX. The protection against piracy granted by the present Law lasts for the author's life, and thirty years after his death. This protection only exists if the author's true name is inscribed in full on the work, or is indicated upon it by signs which are capable of identification. Works published under another name than that of the author, or anonymously, are protected against piracy for thirty years from publication. If within this period the author's true name shall have been given in at the Registry Office (in accordance with Art. 39 of the Law of 1870) by the author, or his authorised representatives, the work shall enjoy the longer protection specified in paragraph 1. [Qy. ut suprà, for the author's life, and thirty years after death.]
Arts. X. and XI. relate to Literary Copyright.
Art. XII. In the case of Works of Art which have been published in periodicals, the author, unless by contrary agreement, has the right of reproducing them elsewhere, even without the consent of the conductors of the periodical in which they appeared, after two years from publication.
Art. XIII. In calculating the delay for legal protection, no account is taken of the remainder of the year of the author's death, or of that of the first publication or appearance of the work.
Art. XIV. If the author of a Work of Art allows it to be reproduced by handicraft or as an industrial object, its protection falls under the Law relating to such works.
Art. XV. The author's rights do not pass to the Treasury, or other authorities empowered to administer estates to which there are no heirs.
Sanction of the Author's Rights. Art. XVI. The dispositions of the Law of 1870 relating to Literary Copyright apply to the corresponding cases of Artistic Copyright. The companies of Experts who, according to Art. XXXI. of the said Law, are to give their advice in cases of piracy of Works of Art, shall be composed of specialists, artisans, or traders in works of Art, and other connoisseurs.