Sam Bass Warner, 1945–1951


Sam Bass Warner was born in Chicago in 1889. He was educated at Harvard College and the Harvard Law School, and served in World War I as an aerial observer in the U. S. Army. Mr. Warner taught in the University of Oregon Law School, the Syracuse Law School, and the Harvard Law School, and is the author of three volumes of legal studies and numerous articles in law reviews. He took leave from Harvard to participate in important war work in World War II, and held the position of head attorney for compliance of the War Production Board.

He was appointed Register of Copyrights on February 1, 1945, by Librarian of Congress Archibald MacLeish. Mr. Warner introduced changes in Copyright Office procedure directed toward achieving currency in processing applications for copyright registration and improving operations. The preparation of certificates was revised, and a general classification and organizational study of the Office was undertaken.

Mr. Warner reorganized the Office by creating four divisions—Cataloging, Examining, Reference, and Service—out of a dozen or more units, and made legal training and experience a prerequisite for a number of the positions in the Examining Division. While he was Register, the law was amended to increase registration fees, to provide for the deposit of two copies and a catalog card instead of a fee in the case of foreign works, and to extend the period for ad interim registrations from 60 days to 6 months. Mr. Warner retired on May 28, 1951, and died at Guilford, Connecticut, on April 23, 1979.