more public domain questions

Open, general discussion of silent films, personalities and history.
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more public domain questions

PostFri May 04, 2018 1:42 pm

This may have been discussed but I can't find anything.

How do copyrights or PD status for British silents work in the US? Does the pre-1923 rule apply to British films?

I'm thinking in terms of Kickstarter projects, not commercial DVD releases.

Any ideas?
Ed Lorusso
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Harold Aherne

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Re: more public domain questions

PostFri May 04, 2018 5:17 pm

British films do not enter the public domain on a year-by-year basis as in the US, but rather on a case-by-case basis. The "authors" of a film under UK law are the director, the screenplay/dialgue writer, and the composer of music specific to the film. A film is protected for as long as one of these is living plus 70 years. In other words, a British film won't be public domain unless its director(s), writer(s) and composer(s) have *all* been dead since at least 1947.

British and other European films that were formerly treated as public domain in the US, often because their copyrights weren't renewed at the 28-year point, had their copyrights restored under the 1994 Uruguay Round Agreements Act.


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