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[279] ought to be made as good as possible, to induce them to adventure in a lottery so beneficial to society, but so dangerous to themselves.

As to the interests of the bookseller, the case is not so clear; though it is quite clear that if the author have an absolute right of property in his book, it ought to control the interest of the bookseller, who, in that case, should acquire no right but such as he may obtain from the author. Still, I think the booksellers and publishers would be quite as well off with an international copyright as they are now. What they should publish would be their own protected property, just as much if the book were the work of a foreign author as if it were the work of a citizen. No man could publish it in competition with them. Now it is well known that the profits of the American publisher are greater on a book protected to him by copyright, than they are on the books he reprints without such protection. His great enemies are rival publishers, who compel him, by the fear of competition, or by the actual competition itself, to print his books in most cases poorly, and to sell them at very small profit. I think, therefore, the American publisher would lose nothing by an international copyright, certainly nothing to which he has so good a right as the foreign author upon whom he feeds or starves.

But how is it in the third place, with the interests of the public, which often seem to rise to the dignity of rights by their mere weight and importance, with little or no regard to their moral qualities? Two circumstances, I think, will tend to show that the interests of the public—the book consumers—will be served by a becoming international copyright treaty.

First, such a treaty would prevent, to a great degree, the republication here of trashy English books, now so common. Few of them would bear to have even a small amount of copyright money added to the price of manufacturing the books here, and a right to reprint without it would rarely be asked of the English owner by the American publisher, and still more rarely granted. I cannot doubt, therefore, that the circulation of worthless or mischievous English books would be materially diminished by an international copyright.

And, second, I think it would greatly increase the number of American authors. We can now make as good books upon all subjects as the English,—upon some, such as school-books and children's books generally, we make better,—and, with proper encouragement, we should do nearly the whole of our own work of writing books for the mass of the people. In this respect, I conceive, the question stands on the same ground with that of a proper tariff. We already exclude

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