PUBLIC DOMAIN & PROGRAM PROMOTION

Lloyd Jansen: Kinks Fan (LJANSEN@STOCKTON.LIB.CA.US)
Wed, 1 Mar 2000 08:36:44 -0800 (PST)

I have two questions for the group. One is inspired by the recent question
asking if a certain Charlie Chaplin film is in the public domain. My
library has started a weekly feature film program to highlight our video
collection. We have a video projector so we can show the movies on a
big screen in our meeting room. Thanks to the generousity of our local
Friends group, we have purchased a site license through the Motion Picture
Licensing Corp. (MPLC).

1. Is there a good source or method for finding out whether or not a film
on a videocassette is in the public domain? Is there a general rule of
thumb that can be followed? For all we know there may be many videos in
our collection that we can legally show as part of our program if we could
only identify that they are part of the public domain.

2. The most frustrating aspect of the MPLC license is the stipulation that
it does not cover public showings "where specific titles have been advertised
or publicized." We received clarification from an MPLC representative that
we *can* promote specific titles on flyers in the library, in mailings to
a closed mailing list (such as members of our Friends group), and to folks
who call the library asking what we're showing. Are there other creative
ideas that MPLC license holders have used to promote their programs?

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Lloyd Jansen
Cataloging Librarian "Celluloid heroes never feel any pain/
Stockton-San Joaquin County And celluloid heroes never really die"
(California) Public Library -- Raymond Douglas Davies
(209) 937-8670
ljansen@stockton.lib.ca.us
SSJCPL homepage: http://www.stockton.lib.ca.us