Copyright & old films?
Posted 01 April 2007 - 08:12 PM
I bought a old B&W film on ebay ("Drums of Tahiti", Columbia, 1954.) It is 16mm, two reels. It was shot in 3D. I want to show it at a 3D club. But the club sells tickets to the general public. So, they do not show any films that are not copyright free.
How would I go about finding out about this film? Or any film for that matter.... ??
Thanks in advance.
Posted 02 April 2007 - 01:14 AM
Posted 02 April 2007 - 07:47 AM
Thanks David. I'll visit the Library of Congress web page and see what I can find out.
The Library of Congress is the authority on the matter in the U.S., either contacting them and/or do a search through their Copyright Office, should be able to tell you its copyright status. I think there is also a published book (sorry don't know the name of), that you maybe able to find in a reference library, that has listings of motion picture films and their copyright status.
Posted 02 April 2007 - 08:55 AM
Posted 02 April 2007 - 10:47 AM
In addition to works no longer protected by copyright, the public domain also includes works that are in the public domain for failure to include a proper copyright notice. Prior to March 1, 1989, notice of copyright (e.g., © 1941 by Irving Berlin) was required on all published works. If the notice was omitted, or appeared in the wrong form or location, the work was put into the public domain. Be aware that if the copyright notice was omitted on copies of works published between January 1, 1978 and March 1, 1989, copyright was not automatically lost if certain measures were taken to cure the oversight.
Posted 05 April 2007 - 02:27 AM
Edited by James Steven Beverly, 05 April 2007 - 02:29 AM.
Posted 05 April 2007 - 08:50 AM
The 3D community knows how poor the movie is. So many 3D movies were. In this movie, they used flat scenes projected onto rear screen. Then, they would place trees rocks and other stuff in front, then film in 3D. The 3D community enjoy picking apart effects, learning about which cameras used, etc.
I did a quick search on public domain movies and it didn't come up anywhere so yes it's probably still protected, probably because it was written by Douglas Heyes who wrote Ice Station Zebra among others. The good news is that apparently Drums of Tahiti absolute BLOWS according to EVERY SINGLE REVIEW I read. It apparently is boring, lack-luster and make almost NO use the the fact that it's a 3D movie and this is even stated in the film's contemperary reviews, so perhaps it's better you CAN'T show it to your group, you may have saved them 73 minutes of their lives, they'would have never gotten back.
The Library of Congress got back to me. For $150 a hour, they could search all copyright issues related to the film. They say the search would probably take two hours or so. That is more than I can afford. So I will probably just pick up the phone and call Columbia and beg. I had no idea that Douglas Heyes also wrote Ice Station Zebra. Thanks for that info.
Posted 09 June 2007 - 05:02 PM
It is probably to late for you but for others out there who want to show movies for an audience, the entity to contact is the Harry Fox Agency.
This also applies to those who want to show a clip from a particular movie...you can't edit the clip into a compilation, but you can cue the clip up and then play it.
BTW, I am not an attorney so you should discuss this with the HFA.
Big Bad Wolf Creative Group