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July 1992


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Andrew Vernon <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 28 Jul 1992 18:14:36 CDT
text/plain (33 lines)
On Tue, 28 Jul 1992 10:17:05 CST you said:
>    Now, that would be films from 1926 and earlier.  I'm no copyright
>    lawyer, Larry, but I don't think one can even count on these films
>    being pd.  The law is so convoluted that there seem to be ways around
>    the 28+28 rule you mention.  For example, sometimes folks (unscrupulous
>    folks) will re-edit and score a silent film and then slap their
>    copyright on the "new" film (this has been attempted with BIRTH OF A
>    NATION, fr'instance).
A prime example of exploiting this loophole is Turner Home Entertainment
color-tinting old black-and-white films and securing copyright on the new
version. With little changes like this, a film (or any other intellectual
work) can be protected for at least another 75 years under current copy-
right laws in the U.S. The safe bet would be to contact any potential
owner of the footage you want to use.
>    And I want to know, too!  I suggest that anyone with leads on this
>    issue post them to SCREEN-L itself.  I think there's probably enough
>    general interest to warrant it.
This would probably make a good addition to the filelist, Jeremy.
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