Minister Rockhill to the Secretary of State.

No. 325.]

Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of the department’s instruction No. 137 of April 19a inclosing a letter from Mr. Leonard E. Reibold, of the American Book Company, making suggestions with regard to a copyright convention between the United States and China “to replace the existing convention, which merely gives copyright protection for a period of ten years only to such American publications as may be specially prepared for the education of the Chinese.”

There is no such existing convention. Article XI of our commercial treaty with China of October 8, 1903, stipulates that “Whereas the Government of the United States undertakes to give the benefits of its copyright laws therefore the Government of China, in order to secure such benefits in the United States for its subjects, now agrees to give full protection, in the same way and manner and subject to the same conditions on which it agrees to protect trade-marks.”

As reported in my No. 269 of March 27 last, the trade-mark regulations have not yet been agreed upon, consequently no copyright convention has yet been made, and it would be contrary to the article referred to if we were to make a convention on the lines proposed.

Furthermore, as China has no copyright laws and grants no protection to her own people, it would avail Americans little to be placed upon the same footing with them.

I have the honor, etc.,

W. W. Rockhill.
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