SCREEN-L Archives

July 1992


Options: Use Monospaced Font
Show Text Part by Default
Show All Mail Headers

Message: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]
Topic: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]
Author: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]

Print Reply
Jeremy Butler <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 28 Jul 1992 10:17:05 CST
text/plain (42 lines)
>i got a call yesterday from a fellow who's looking to find out what
>films are in the public domain so that he may use images from them in a
>corporate presentation.  do any of my estimable screen-ellers know of
>a printed source for such things, or should i count on the fact that films
>56 years old, and older (the "28+28" copyright renewal), are safe to
>cull from without obtaining permission from the copyright holder?
    Hmmm, let me get out my calculator....
    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).
    And, of course, there are many U.S. films since 1926 that have slipped
    into the public domain:  IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE and MY MAN GODFREY, to
    name two.  Foreign films in the U.S. are even more complicated.  It
    seems, for example, that Godard's MASCULIN/FEMININ may now be pd (not
    sure of this one, though).
    It's a pesky problem.  What's really needed is a listing of all pd
    films.  I've looked for something like this for years, but have never
    found one.
>perspiring minds want to know.  to save bandwidth, i invite you to send
>answers to me, rather than to the list.  thanks.
    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.
    Thanks for bringing it up, Larry.
| Jeremy G. Butler - - - - - - - - - - | Internet : [log in to unmask] |
| SCREEN-L Coordinator                 | BITNET   :        JBUTLER@UA1VM |
|                                                                        |
| Telecommunication & Film Dept * The University of Alabama * Tuscaloosa |