Re: [Videolib] Lear Media?

Jessica Rosner (
Wed, 22 Feb 2006 15:52:50 -0500

Well most of the PD claims are a crock and alas there is no
reliable list in large part due to the major shift after the GATT
Treaty went into if effect. Bottom line is that almost no European ,
Japanese film is PD unless it is before 1923. I get confused on Russian
Films but Dennis probably knows that one. GATT allowed all films from
Those countries ( and others which again I can't remember) to be
RETROACTIVELY copyrighted and this is what happened with French, English,
Italian films. Now there are in fact many films where the rights holders
have never FILED a GATT claim so for the moment they would not have a claim
But they can file one at any time.
For AMERICAN films it is relatively rare for any studio produced film to
Have gone PD other than those made prior to 1923. There are a number of
films made by independent producers or cheap studios that failed to renew
Their copyright such as DETOUR, SUDDENLY or most infamously the John
Wayne film McLintock.

I suppose you might ask anyone selling supposed PD films to send you a
notarized legal document that they have researched the copyright through
LOC and determined it to be PD but I am not sure even if they would one
Could trust these thieves. The claims on the Lear media site are
COMPLETELY spurious.
Frankly other than the pre 1923 films there are not that many films you
would actually want that are PD so be careful.

As always a reminder that many EDITIONS of pre 1923 films ARE
Under copyright such as the Kino DVDs of silent films, ditto Milestone etc
We have successfully sued a particularly odious company that took OUR
Copy of STEAMBOAT BILL, dubbed and sold it for a few bucks around the


On 2/22/06 3:17 PM, "Logan, Michael" <> wrote:

> This recent thread regarding LearMedia has me wondering about Public
> Domain films in general. There are any number of websites offering
> access to or copies of Public Domain films, but often I find their
> claims dubious at best. My question is, short of contacting the U.S.
> Copyright Office and paying $75/hr. for a copyright search, how does one
> find out what films fall in the Public Domain? Is there a reputable,
> dependable source to search (or browse)?
> Also, isn't it possible for a film to be "available elsewhere," yet
> still fall in the Public Domain? I appeal to the Collective for
> enlightenment...
> Michael Logan
> Acquisitions & Technical Services
> Humboldt County Library
> (707) 269-1962
> -----Original Message-----
> From:
> [] On Behalf Of Susan
> Albrecht
> Sent: Wednesday, February 22, 2006 8:27 AM
> To:
> Subject: [Videolib] LearMedia?
> Um... er... is it kosher for me to ask whether a particular company out
> there is legit? :-) People can write to me offlist, rather than on, if
> they prefer, but I'm interested in knowing of any experiences y'all
> might
> have had with LearMedia. From their website [
> ]:
>>>> All of the movies we offer on our website are unavailable via
> distributors of regular retail routes in North America and are part of
> the
> public domain. Our service is to offer digitally reproduced DVD and VHS
> replications of an original version (usually converted from PAL -
> European
> format), distributed with full-colour copies of the cover and label.
> The audio and picture quality is pretty much identical to the original
> version. Which, because we only offer older and discontinued titles, in
> a
> lot of cases cannot compete with the digital DVD quality of movies made
> today. However, we guarantee your satisfaction and are prepared to offer
> you a full refund (minus shipping) if you are unhappy in any way.
> We stand behind the quality of our professional conversions and digital
> reproductions. For every 1 person that was expecting audio and visual
> quality comparable to the DVDs commercially available today, we receive
> 100
> "thank you"s from people that are just happy to watch a movie that
> brings
> back great memories.<<<
> Anyone have comments to share?
> TIA,
> Susan at Wabash
> Susan Albrecht
> Acquisitions Coordinator
> Wabash College Lilly Library
> Crawfordsville, IN
> x6216
> ************************************************************************
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Proud Resident of a BLUE STATE

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

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