As it now stands Mark Twain’s action consists merely in a summons requiring the defendants to appear in an action brought against them for damages for violation of copyrights according to the provisions of Sections 4,952 and 4,964 of the Revised Statutes of the United States. It is alleged that Butler Brothers have caused an infringement of trade mark or name in publishing certain books not by the plaintiff, but having as the principal part of their titles the words “Library of Wit and Humor by Mark Twain.” The summons states that damages may have been caused in the above described manner to the extent of $10,000.
Charles C. Lloyd, Vice President and Treasurer of the Butler Brothers’ concern when seen yesterday afternoon, expressed great surprise at the action.
“We buy the book from Thomas & Thomas, publishers, of Chicago,” he said. “on the title page of the book you can see it states ‘Copyrighted, 1883, by L. W. Yaggy. Copyrighted, 1898, by Star Publishing Company.’ This perfectly satisfied us when we thought of handling the book. There may be an infringement. If there is we are entirely ignorant of the fact. The sales of the book thus far have amounted to just $80.”
Mr. Gurlitz, when seen, produced a copy of the book which brought about the suit and pointed out that it was almost identical in appearance with a book published by his client under the title of “Library of Wit and Humor.” The name “Mark Twain” is brought out in large gilt letters, while the words “and others” are much smaller and in black lettering, which does not show plainly on the green cloth binding. Mr. Gurlitz said he would decide within a day or two whether he would bring suit against other publishers.
Mrs. E.B. Koller wrote from 341 W. 58th Street, N.Y.C. to Sam; this letter not extant but referred to as received on Mar. 28 [Mar 28 to McQuiston]. Note: also referred to in the following NB entry:
Sam’s notebook: “Mrs. Koller, 341 W 58th 10.30 Perhaps Bigelow” [NB 44 TS 7]. See Mar. 28.
March 27 ca. – At 1410 W. 10th in N.Y.C., Sam forwarded Gurlitz’s Mar. 25 request for copies of books to Frank Bliss, informing Bliss that Gurlitz was his “attorney in the piracy suit” [MTP].
Thursday – Sam’s notebook: “Have
asked Bigelow to dinner. Mrs. Koller (see 27th )
Empire Theatre 2.15 p.m. Miss Gibley, 6.50 / Duneka
said, ‘Go on just as if the clause was abrogated. I cannot say it will be abrogated, but
there will be no bother resulting[’] ” [NB 44 TS 7-8].
At 1410 W. 10th in N.Y.C., Sam replied to the Mar. 23 of Jules Eckert Goodman that Elisabeth Marbury was now his “authorized agent and empowered to make contracts.” Sam thought Goodman should read his MS to her [MTP].
Sam also wrote again to Laura Fitch McQuiston in Fort Hancock, N.J., reporting the arrival of Mrs. E.B. Koller and Miss White, the hypnotist and subject he had referred to in his Mar. 26 to McQuiston. Sam wanted to test the veracity of Mrs. Koller as a medium or spiritualist; McQuiston was desirous of finding out information about her late husband, an officer in the Philippines who was killed there after going insane and attacking his own troops.
She came yesterday. Evidently she & Miss White are exceedingly poor.
I enclose her letter, received this morning. You see what she proposes. You also see that she takes it for granted that your husband fell in battle. If her art is only telepathy, this idea will be transferred from her mind to Miss White’s, & the absence of the supernatural element weill be thereby—revealed? Not certainly, but approximately, at any rate.
Could you—& would you—send her a letter from which not too much information could be gained?
Sam also instructed her to get a “definite price” from Mrs. Koller for her service, and sent her address. Or, if she preferred, she could pass write Sam the information and he would pass it on to Koller [MTP]. Note: In his Apr. 1 to Mrs. McQuiston it is revealed that the letter to be used to test Mrs. Koller was one from the late Charles McQuiston. See also Mar. 31 and Apr. 1 to McQuiston.
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.