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PIRATICAL PUBLISHERS.

one common government to support it, so that legislation should always be for the mutual advantage of all the inhabitants—the same in one section as in another—then the reprinting of a book by or for any one but its author would be a violation of right; but as this Utopia does not and never will exist, we must deal with men, and governments, and their selfishness as w T e find them. Nations legislate for what they believe to be to their own advantage, and without regard to the interests of their neighbors. Thus, England manufactures goods, and the manufacturer claims that he has a natural right freely to offer these goods as cheaply in one part of the world as in another, save only the cost of conveyance. But do other countries recognize such right? Does this country, for instance, acknowledge it when she lays a heavy duty upon such manufactures? When such duty is so great as to prohibit the importation of a manufactured article that would, if free of duty, sell largely in the United States, is not the manufacturer as effectually robbed as the author whose sales are rendered impossible by a reprint of his book?

Doubtless I shall be told that the cases are not parallel, inasmuch as in the one case the Government of the United States commits the trespass, and in the other its private citizens. I confess I see no difference. Government represents and legislates for its private citizens. Its tariff for revenue furnishes the means which would otherwise have to be taken by direct taxation from the pockets of the people. Its tariff for protection gives encouragement to native manufacturers; the whole system of levying duties upon foreign merchandise is one of pure selfishness, and as much a robbery or piracy of the natural rights of the foreigner as anything yet done by an American republisher. Suppose there were no such market for English books as the United States now offers, would English publishers any the less continue to print them? These works are produced mainly for the markets of Great Britain and its English-speaking dependencies. The withholding of an international copyright law does not take away from them what they never possessed or had any right to claim. The American republisher, therefore, in the absence of such a law, buys the English book at the English price, and thinks he has done all that is required of him to become its absolute owner, to do with it whatever the laws of his country do not forbid. Who shall say that among these rights is not the right to reprint it? "But," say the advocates of copyright, "inventors are protected by international patent-right, and, if the product of the inventor's brain is entitled to protection, that of the author's is no less so." Here, however, self-interest is again clearly indicated. There was a time when international patent right did not exist between the United States and Great Britain; but when it became notorious that the inventions of Americans were more numerous and more valuable than those of other countries, our Government willingly consented to international patent-right, and I vent-