Re: Public Domain Films

Henry K Mattoon (
Wed, 1 Apr 1998 11:13:21 -0800 (PST)

Jessica is correct. The book she mentions, FILM SUPERLIST. MOTION
in 3 vols [vol 1: 1894-1939, $395; vol 2: 1940-1949, $345; and vol. 3:
1950-1959, $95), while being invaluable reference tools, should be used
with a great deal of discretion as far as copyright, etc. issues are

ISBN #'s: v1: 0-913616-26-5
v2: 0-913616-27-3
v3: 0-913616-29-X

All three vols can be ordered from:

Hollywood Film Archive
8391 Beverly Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90048
213/933.3345 voice
213/655.8247 fax

Tax is applied only to California orders. Special & foreign shipping cost

Ask them to fax or send you the order form (2pp.) which, in addition to
price info, has some basic Q&A about the Superlist.

Another publication you may want to consider is David Pierce's MOTION
PICTURE COPYRIGHTS AND RENEWALS, 1950-59 (Laurel, MD : Milestone, 1989).
Price: $89 (plus applicable sales tax for MD, NJ).

Ordering info:

780 Chancellor Ave, Dept. A
Irvington, NJ 07111

I haven't used it extensively, but it would be worthwile, if you're
considering purchase, to compare with the HFA 1950's vol., which I
believe is essentially the same info.

But again, copyright/public domain are very thorny issues & as Jessics
indicated, the overseas issue adds a further dimension.

Hope this helps.



Henry K. Mattoon
National Moving Image Database
The American Film Institute
Los Angeles, CA

> 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