Re: [Videolib] public domain films

Jessica Rosner (
Wed, 06 Aug 2003 14:23:13 -0400

You summed it up well , alas there are a lot of unscrupulous people out
there. We have TRIED to police titles like METROPOLIS & FAUST from these
places but it is not easy. What happens is that when someone BELIEVES one of
them and tries to show the film either publicly or on TV , then we have to
go after that party. They may have thought it was PD because some web site
said so but it was not true
There ARE many legitimately PD films but the majority of them are frankly
not very good ( If want to show a 1932 Chesterfield with a cast you never
heard of go ahead). I think your e mail refers to BEAT THE DEVIL which
I THINK is in fact PD. Many independent productions like this DID NOT renew
the copyright, however sometimes even that is not enough and someone will go
after an underlying right like music or story , hence the retro
"copyrighting" of IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE.

Frankly it is a JUNGLE out there and I don't know any certain way of
being sure but I would by weary of these web sites. Ask if they have done a
copyright search on each title and if the will legally indemnify you if you
get in trouble ( though probably they would lie anyway)

Good Luck

Jessica Rosner
Kino International
333 W 39th St. 503
NY NY 10018

> From: "Kimberly Stanton" <> > Reply-To: > Date: Wed, 06 Aug 2003 11:19:30 -0500 > To: <> > Subject: [Videolib] public domain films > > > I have a question about films in the public domain. > All I know is films made before 1923 (that havent been altered since) or films > that were not registered for copywrite are considered public domain. And all > of this goes out the window regarding European films because of the GATT > treaty. > > But I've found a few websites selling public domain films that are listing > things like 1950's John Huson/ Humphery Bogart films and tons of other films > up to the 1980's. Could it be that all of these films were never registered > for copywrite or is there some other clause that allows these films to be > public domain? > > Thanks > > Kim Stanton > Media Library > University of North Texas > > > > _______________________________________________ > Videolib mailing list > >

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