Re: [Videolib] Cool complaint against those misrepresenting

Jessica Rosner (
Tue, 07 Aug 2007 19:17:54 -0400

With all due respect there is NOTHING remotely gray about the situation
Dennis described. The film is under copyright. The most basic search on the
internet or any standard copyright site would clearly show that all silent
films are NOT in the Public Domain ( for anyone not yet aware the cut off
year for copyright is 1922 but specific VERSIONS of films made after that
can and do receive "Special Contents " copyright , that means for example
you are free to show NOSFERATU but it had better not be from the Kino DVD.
Also many films made after 1922 where either not copyrighted or not renewed
but per the above as a practical matter is unlikely any decent copy of
silent film on DVD is in fact PD since most producers add scores, new titles
What Dennis is not saying is that a LOT of money was spent to restore PRINCE
ACHMED ( in this case by European archives) and Milestone spent a lot of
money making this restored copy available in the US. Without copyright
protection this would not have happened. Beyond that 14 years may be an
economists idea of optimum but is not the law and never will be.

Lastly this was NOT "John Q Public" illegally showing the film but a
library who most definitely should know better. The excuse about not being
able to "find" the copyright holder shows that in at least one case they
were aware it was illegal and could not even pick up the phone.

On 8/7/07 6:52 PM, "John Streepy" <> wrote:

> Both this case and the situation that Dennis described are the reason there
> needs to be some serious copyright reform. Both extremes are not helping
> anyone. The law may stay the same, it may get more stringent or become more
> lax, but what it really needs to be is rewritten in such a way so that no one
> needs a legal education to understand it. It is almost as bad as trying to
> figure out pass interference rules in the NFL. Copyright impacts all of
> society and the laws regarding it need to be written clearly and
> understandably, so John Q. Public knows exactly what can and can not be done.
> If there are purposely gray areas in the law, it needs to say as much, as in
> this area is open for interpretation (for it must remain flexible), but this
> other area is black and white (for somethings just do not change).
> On a side note, I did just read somoething interesting, some economist did a
> study and found that the optimum length of copyright (in terms of getting
> money out of something) is roughly 14 years.
> jhs
>>>> Dennis Doros <> 08/07/07 2:40 pm >>>
> Then again, I want to vent because I had two libraries this week tell
> me that they scheduled showings of THE ADVENTURES OF PRINCE ACHMED
> (notices on their website and in the local newspapers) because "all
> silent films are public domain" and "we tried to find the copyright
> holder, but we couldn't find one."
> The fact that they were both showing our DVD with the proper copyright
> notices on it as well as our website address, (800) number and email
> address on the DVD makes me wonder how honest people are these days.
> The casual concept that everything is fair use unless you're caught is
> one that really should be addressed by the ALA at the same time
> libraries' legal rights are ever discussed.
> Dennis
> Milestone Film & Video
> On 8/7/07, Brewer, Michael <> wrote:
>> This is a very cool read.
>> Michael Brewer
>> Slavic Studies, German Studies & Media Arts Librarian
>> University of Arizona Library

Proud Resident of a BLUE STATE

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

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