The passage of this new law was important enough that, on April 13, 1891, a group of writers gathered in New York to celebrate. This group had worked hard to promote better copyright law and, as such, took the name the American Copyright League. Presiding over the celebration was critic and poet Edmund Clarence Stedman, who broke down the importance of the occasion this way:
You know, gentlemen, that this was fought for, during many years, chiefly on grounds relative to the welfare of American authors and the development of a home literature. For one, I always have felt that the wrongs experienced by foreign writers, however prejudicial to our reputation among nations, and outrageous as they were, have been less severe than the cruel ills so long inflicted upon our own men of letters — of less moment than the repression of American ideas, the restricted growth of our national literature.
Stedman gave credit to the many who fought for copyright law before him, including William Cullen Bryant and George Palmer Putnam. He did acknowledge that both foreign authors and home-grown authors should be thankful for the new law. "Primarily, this is an author's jubilee," he said. "We hope that foreign authors — and especially our English fellows of the craft — are rejoicing, are rejoicing just a little."