As I understand the situation, though, the current copyright holders were able to
secure the rights to the original Philip Van Doren Stern story, the screenplay, and
the music by Dimitri Tiomkin. It was pointed out that the images are still in public
domain, but the sound and story rights are still held. This prevents the unauthorized
airings and duplications that were rampant in the years past... At least that was the way it was explained to me.
Of course, if some imaginative individual pulled a "What's Up Tiger Lilly" style
revision that deleted the soundtrack and told a different story & dialogue it'd be great test case... ;)
As has been stated elsewhere, a few years from now, when all visual, audio and
print materials are centralized in a single massive conglomerate database (accessible
only on an individual pay-per-use basis!) this whole discussion thread will be moot.
> John...A film may involve a number of rights...all owned by different
>entities...for example, the music, lyrics, special effects, choreography,
>screenplay, etc. I have a friend who is an attorney in the feature
>film/entertainment world and he is constantly dealing with the various
>rights which may be owned separately but which make up the "whole"
>performance of the work It usually comes down to money but what else is
>new? I refer again to Title 17. Francis
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