Re: Public Domain Films

Myles Jaeschke (
Wed, 01 Apr 1998 09:40:18 -0800

The book is called "Film Superlist Motion Pictures in the US Public
Domain" There are three volumes v.1 1894-1939 v.2 1940-1949 and v.
1950-1959. We have just recently bought the three volumes. They were not
cheap $800+. They seem to be very comprehesnive. The books list nearly
every film. If a film has been known to have a copyright renewal it is
listed as such. The author then goes on to explain that doing reasearch
to determine if a film is PD can be difficult and time consuming (As
Oksana said). Just because the film copyright has expired does not
necessarily mean that the film is PD. If it is based on a book and its
copyright has not expired, then the film could still be protected. And
then there is the "It's a Wonderful Life" fiasco. The book then explains
exactly what needs to be done to confirm if a film is PD.

The copyright date I found for Thank You Masked Man was 1969. Assuming
the copyright was renewed between 1996-1997 then the copyright does not
expire until 2044.

Hope this helps,

Kino International Corporation wrote:
> There was one list of PD films published called something like the
> superlist, but be careful, Under GATT most European films that were PD can
> and are being retroactively copyrighted. This does not effect American PD
> films. As far as THANK YOU MASKED MAN goes. I hope it is copyrighted as we
> are the distributor ( but not the copyright holder).
> Jessica Rosner
> Kino
> Kino International Corporation
> 333 W. 39th St. Suite 503
> New York, NY 10018
> (212)629-6880
> fax: (212)714-0871