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February 1998, Week 2


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Cynthia Bussiere <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 6 Feb 1998 21:21:48 EST
text/plain (51 lines)
Brian asked:
<<    Does it matter where the copyright is placed in a film?   >>
According to regulations promulgated by the U.S. Copyright Office,
the notice of copyright in a film meets the statutory notice
requirement if the notice is *affixed* so that it ordinarily appears
whenever the film screens in its entirety and is *positioned* in
any of the following ways:
---With or near the title;
---With the cast, credits, and similar information;
---At or immediately following the beginning of the work; or
---At or immediately preceding the end of the work.
(The citation of authority for the foregoing is Volume 37 of
the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 201, Section 201.20(h).)
These regulations were adopted to implement the notice provisions
of the U.S.copyright law, which require, in pertinent part, that
the notice be affixed to all copies of a copyrighted work in such
manner and location as to give reasonable notice that the work is
copyrighted. [37 U.S.C. Sec. 401(c).]
<<   Specifically, if the copyright is placed at the end of the
       credits does that have any bearing--leagally--on anything
       that might come after the credits?  >>
Good question.  Absolutely no bearing whatsoever.  As you
can see from the federal regulation cited above, the copyright
notice can be placed at the beginning of the film and still be
legally effective to give notice that the entire work is copyrighted.
Virtually all commerical feature and documentary films carry
the notice at the conclusion of the end titles.  (I can't remember
seeing a single exception to this practice.)  This placement is
probably an adopted industry standard of uniformity, based on
the federal regulations.
Hope this helps,
Cynthia Bussiere
[log in to unmask]
San Francisco, California
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