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LornaHansonForbes

Everything from 1923 is Public Domain Now.

31 posts in this topic

On 1/1/2019 at 11:08 PM, MovieCollectorOH said:

I had a lengthy post which included this scenario, then decided I was trying to cover too much ground and some genius here would only quote one sentence to pick apart.

 

So you have been assailed by that same "genius" also, eh?

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Just because the 1923 films have fallen into the public domain does not mean they will all be available. Individuals and companies can still control PRINTS of these films, and if they hold the only print, then there's nothing anyone can do to pry if from them. Someone mentioned Universal. Same goes for archives like UCLA and Eastman.

Cohen Media Group controls lots of public domain films held by Library of Congress because when they bought the Raymond Rohaur collection, they also got his "donor restrictions" he had placed on them when he donated them. So yes they are public domain, but no LOC cannot sell copies as they can other public domain films.

If someone has a print or a copy of any of these "held" films, they are free to use them if they are in the public domain. But if these entities hold the only print, then we're SOOL.

 

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That means if I wanted to adapt a portion of the 1923 version of The Ten Commandments into a new work I can do so without asking permission rights to do so?

 

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I believe so.  Of course, I'm not a lawyer, and I don't even play one on TV.  You can edit it, show the original in public venues, create a new sound track, colorize it, reinterpret it.  And you can make money off any of these enterprises (if you can) and you don't even have to ask your mama--unless you want to.

 

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10 hours ago, Im4movies2 said:

That means if I wanted to adapt a portion of the 1923 version of The Ten Commandments into a new work I can do so without asking permission rights to do so?

 

Of course films from 1923 and before CAN still be copyrighted. So if Kino or some other company/entity has a copyrighted version (original music, translated intertitles, tinting, editing, merging prints, etc) you can't use it, but you can use the public domain elements. If they used, let's say, two public domain versions of a film and merged them (missing scenes, better quality, etc.) into one NEW work, the NEW work can by copyrighted but the original source material is still in the public domain.

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i like tikisoo's idea of paying for the privilege of extending the copyright. in fact, the longer the extension goes, the more the holder would have pay to keep the copyright in ever increasing amounts.

for example: any original work created now would be good for 50 years and would be free. to extend it 5 years, it would cost $50,000. after the 5 year extension is up, it would cost $100,000. after that extension is up, $150.000 for another 5 years. (i'm using amounts here that can be adjusted or changed to suit.) another 5 years, $200,000 and so forth, till the holder gives up the ghost, decides it won't payback more than it costs to keep paying the ever increasing amounts to get extensions.

this way, Disney has a means to keep its copyright on the Mouse, but most of the other films become available to the public. 

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