No. 7.
Mr. Putnam to Mr. Frelinghuysen

No. 140.]

Sir: I have the honor to send herewith a translation of the new proposed treaty between France and Belgium for the protection of literary property, also of trade and commercial marks. It has already been ratified by the Belgium Parliament. The French Government has not as yet acted upon it, the time for exchange of treaties having been extended to May 15 next.

* * * * * * *

In Belgium, as in France, dramatical and musical compositions and [Page 8] representations have a large place in the popular entertainments, most of which are of French origin.

Protection of this class of French authors is a leading feature of the new treaty. The last preceding (of 1861) provided that in the absence of a contract establishing the terms upon which French dramatic and musical compositions might be represented in Belgium, compensation for each representation should be upon the basis of the following tariff:

Description At Paris and Brussels In towns of 80,000 inhabitants and upwards. In towns of less than 80,000 inhabitants.
Francs. Francs. Francs.
For pieces in four or five acts 18 14 9
For pieces in three acts 14 10 8
For pieces in two acts 10 8 6
For pieces in one act 6 5 4

M. Cattreux, in his pamphlet, gives the following illustration of the practical working of the tariff in connection with the Theâtre Monnaie of Brussels, the principal opera house in Belgium.

To give a striking idea of the working of this provision at our principal opera house to the prejudice of authors and dramatic composers, I will instance one of the last series of representations given by Patti. She appeared in Aida, Faust, Le Tronvère, La Traviata, Lucie, and Le Barbier. The four first works only gave a remuneration of 18 francs for the representations; that is, 9 francs for the composer and the same sum for the librettists. The total receipts were 20,000 francs for each representation, or 140,000 francs for the seven representations. All the composers and authors, creators of the works interpreted by the singer, have received altogether 72 francs; that is, 36 francs for the composers and the same for all the librettists together.

The new treaty abolishes this tariff and makes the matter of compensation one of contract with dramatic authors and composers.

The right of translation is reserved to the author by the new treaty for ten years instead of five, and three years instead of three months are granted for the first publication of a translation.

The minister of foreign affairs in his “Exposè des Motifs” recognizes the fact that the new treaty will lessen the power of the Flemish theater to draw from French sources, but finds compensation for their loss in the fact that the Flemish element will be compelled to rely more upon original Belgian productions, and so bring itself into closer sympathy with the national spirit.

I have, &c.,

[Inclosure in No. 140.]

Translation of proposed treaty between Belgium and France for protection of literary property and of commercial and trade marks

Article 1. The authors of books, pamphlets, or other writings, dramatic works, musical compositions, works of design or illustrations of painting, sculpture, engraving, lithography, photography, and all other similar productions of a literary or artistic character, shall enjoy in each of the two states reciprocally the advantages which are or shall be granted by law to the proprietorship of works of literature or art; and they shall have the same protection and the same legal recourse against every encroachment upon their rights as if such encroachment had been made in respect to the authors of works published for the first time in the same country. Nevertheless [Page 9] these advantages shall be reciprocally enjoyed only during the period of their right in the country of original publication, and the period of their protection in the other country shall not exceed that fixed by law for its own citizens. Property in musical works is extended to portions called arrangements, consisting of the principal phrases extracted from the same works; controversies which may arise as to the application of this clause shall be settled by the tribunals of the respective countries. Every privilege or advantage which may hereafter be accorded by one of the two countries to any other country in the matter of property in works of literature or art defined in the present article, shall be enjoyed as of full right by the citizens of the other country.

Art. 2. The publication in Belgium of classic extracts composed of portions or extracts of French authors is authorized, provided the collections are specially destined for educational purposes.

Art. 3. To secure for all the works of mind or art the protection stipulated in article 1 of this convention, and to enable the authors or editors of such works to prosecute before the tribunals of the two countries persons violating their rights, it shall be sufficient in order that such authors or editors may justify their rights of property, to establish the same by a certificate emanating from competent public authority of each country that the work in question is an original work, which, in the country where it has been published, enjoys legal protection against the pirating of the same, or its unlawful reproduction. For works published in France, this certificate shall be furnished by the office of the library of the minister of the interior, and legalized by the legation of Belgium at Paris; for works published in Belgium, it shall be delivered by the minister of the interior at Brussels, and legalized by the French legation.

Art. 4. The stipulations of article 1 shall be equally applicable to the representation or execution of dramatic or musical works published or represented for the first time in either of the two countries after May 12, 1854. The right of dramatic authors or composers shall be recognized acccording to the bases agreed upon by the two parties interested.

Art. 5. Translations made in either of the two countries of national or foreign works are expressly placed upon the same basis as the original works. These translations shall have, as such, the protection stipulated by article 1, in that which relates to their reproduction.

Art. 6. The author of every work published in either country shall have the sole right of publication for ten years from the date of original publication, subject to the following conditions:

The author shall indicate at the opening of his work his intention to reserve the right of translation.
The authorized translation shall appear complete within three years from the date of the original work.
For works published in numbers it shall be sufficient if the reserved right of translation appear in the first number. Nevertheless, in relation to the limit of ten years specified in this article for the exercise of the right of translation, each number shall be regarded as a distinct work.
Relative to the publication and representation by translation of dramatic works, the author who would reserve the exclusive right in regard to the subject of this article must have his translation appear or be represented within three years after the publication or representation of the original work.

In case any Belgian legislation relating to the right of translation shall be modified during the existence of the present convention, the new advantage which may be secured to Belgian authors shall be equally enjoyed by French authors. At the same time Belgian authors shall enjoy in France the fullest advantages which may be enjoyed from general legislation in favor of French citizens.

These respective rights shall be, moreover, subject to the conditions named in paragraph 2 of article 1.

Art. 7. The legal representatives and assignees of authors, translators, composers, painters, sculptors, lithographers, engravers, photographers, &c., shall enjoy the same rights as the present convention accords to authors, composers, designers, painters, sculptors, lithographers, engravers, or photographers themselves.

Art. 8. Notwithstanding the provisions of articles 1 and 5 of this present convention, articles taken from journals or periodical publications published in one of the two countries can be reproduced or translated in the journals or periodical publications of the other country, provided the source from which they are taken is indicated. Nevertheless this permission shall not extend to the reproduction in either country of articles from journals or periodical magazines published in the other, when their authors shall have formally declared in the journal or magazine when they shall have appeared that they have prohibited their reproduction. In no case shall this prohibition be applicable to articles of political discussion.

Art. 9. The introduction, the exportation, the circulation, the sale, and exposition, in either of the two states, of works or objects reproduced without authority, defined [Page 10] by articles 1, 4, 5, and 6, are prohibited when the unauthorized reproduction comes from one of the two countries, or from any foreign country whatsoever.

Art. 10. In case of the violation of the provisions of the preceding articles, the pirated works shall be subject to seizure, and the tribunal shall impose the penalties fixed by the laws of the respective countries in the same way as if the violation had been committed to the prejudice of a work or a production of national origin. The printed works (les caractères) constituting the piracy shall be ascertained by the tribunals of the respective countries according to legislation in force in each of the two states.

Art. 11. Books of lawful importation and other productions mentioned in the present convention coming from Belgium shall continue to be admitted in France, as well to remain there as for transit direct or for entry in the custom-house by the offices now or which may hereafter be open. If parties interested desire, books declared for entry shall be sent directly in France to the minister of the interior, and in Belgium to the entrepot of Brussels for the necessary verifications, which shall take place, at the latest, within fifteen days.

Art. 12. The provisions of the present convention shall not prejudice, in any degree, the right which may pertain to either of the high contracting powers to permit the surveillance or prohibition by measures provided by law, or by the internal police, of the circulation, representation, or exposition of every work or production in regard to which the competent authority may exercise that right.

Each of the high contracting powers reserves, moreover, the right to prohibit the importation in their respective states of books which, by their own internal laws or stipulations, entered into with other powers, are, or may be declared to be, pirated works.

Art. 13. The Belgian Government and the French Government shall take the necessary measures to prohibit the entry upon their respective territories of works which the Belgian and French editors shall have acquired the right to reprint, with the reserve that the reprints are authorized to be sold only in Belgium and in France and in other countries. The works to which this provision is applicable should bear upon the title page and cover the words edition prohibited (in Belgium) in France and authorized for (France) Belgium and foreign countries.

Art. 14. Belgians in France, and reciprocally French citizens in Belgium, shall enjoy the same protection with their own citizens in everything which relates to property in trade or commercial marks, as well as designs and industrial and manufacturing models of every description.

The exclusive right of working a design or industrial or manufacturing model cannot have for the benefit of Belgian citizens in France, and reciprocally for French citizens in Belgium, a longer duration than that granted by the law of the country for its own citizens.

If the design or industrial or manufacturing model is public property in the country of its origin, it cannot be the object of any exclusive proprietorship in the other country.

The provisions of the two preceding paragraphs are applicable to trade and commercial marks.

The rights of Belgian citizens in France, and reciprocally of French citizens in Belgium, are not subordinated to the obligation to work the models or the industrial or manufacturing designs.

Art. 15. The citizens of either of the two countries who would secure in the other proprietorship in a mark, model, or design, must comply with the formalities prescribed for that purpose by the respective legislation of the two states.

Trade-marks to which articles 14 and 15 of this convention are applicable, are those which in both countries are legitimately acquired by manufacturers or traders, which they use; that is to say, that the character of a French trade-mark is to be determined by French law, as that of a Belgian mark is to be determined by Belgian law.

Art. 16. The present convention shall go into force at the same time as the commercial treaty and the convention as to navigation concluded to-day by the high contracting parties, and shall continue until 1st February, 1892.

In case neither of the high contracting parties shall have notified, a year in advance of the time of its expiration, its intention to suspend its operations, the convention shall continue to be obligatory for an additional year, and so on from year to year from the day when one of the parties shall have declared its purpose to put an end to the convention.

Art. 17. The present convention shall be ratified and the ratifications shall be exchanged at Paris before 1st February, 1882, and simultaneously with those of the treaty of commerce and the convention of navigation concluded this day between the high contracting parties.

In faith of which, &c.