Laurel & Hardy Public Domain

Open, general discussion of silent films, personalities and history.
Kerr Lockhart
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Laurel & Hardy Public Domain

Unread post by Kerr Lockhart » Thu Feb 08, 2018 10:56 am

Checking my digital watch, 90 years have passed since 1928, and that all of the Laurel and Hardy films of 1927 and 1928 should be public domain by now.

If I owned the best pre-print materials, I would be rushing to get those out on the market before Alpha Video puts out their low-priced crap version and swallows the market. I don't know who that is -- I don't think it's Robert Halmi -- Who was Image's licensor for the "LOST FILMS" series?

Anyway, it doesn't make sense to dawdle around with this.

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silentfilm
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Re: Laurel & Hardy Public Domain

Unread post by silentfilm » Thu Feb 08, 2018 12:32 pm

Right now, the only public domain Laurel & Hard films are Utopia/AtollK (1951) and Flying Deuces (1939). The copyright term for films that were renewed after 28 years is 95 years, not 90 years. On January 1st, 2019, films from 1923 will become public domain. We have to wait until January 1, 2023 for the 1927 films to fall into the public domain.

vitaphone
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Re: Laurel & Hardy Public Domain

Unread post by vitaphone » Thu Feb 08, 2018 1:08 pm

I think for some reason BE BIG also lapsed into public domain.

Kerr Lockhart
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Re: Laurel & Hardy Public Domain

Unread post by Kerr Lockhart » Thu Feb 08, 2018 2:02 pm

Oh, right, 75 + 20, not 90 years.

Damn.

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Jim Reid
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Re: Laurel & Hardy Public Domain

Unread post by Jim Reid » Fri Feb 09, 2018 2:56 am

vitaphone wrote:I think for some reason BE BIG also lapsed into public domain.
I remember reading how this happened, but I can't put my hands on it right now.

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silentfilm
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Re: Laurel & Hardy Public Domain

Unread post by silentfilm » Fri Feb 09, 2018 12:30 pm

Be Big (1931) was copyrighted as the working title The Chisilers, but released as Be Big. It has appeared on a Public Domain DVD set, so it is likely that the Hal Roach copyright holders are not contesting this.

The Stolen Jools (1931) and A Tree in a Test Tube were never copyrighted, so they are public domain.

I'm not sure about March of the Wooden Soldiers.

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NotSoSilent
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Re: Laurel & Hardy Public Domain

Unread post by NotSoSilent » Fri Feb 09, 2018 2:29 pm

I believe March of the Wooden Soldiers is public domain.

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Jim Reid
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Re: Laurel & Hardy Public Domain

Unread post by Jim Reid » Sat Feb 10, 2018 2:50 am

NotSoSilent wrote:I believe March of the Wooden Soldiers is public domain.
Actually, it's not. It's copyrighted under the title "Babes in Toyland".

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NotSoSilent
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Re: Laurel & Hardy Public Domain

Unread post by NotSoSilent » Sat Feb 10, 2018 8:35 am

Jim Reid wrote: NotSoSilent wrote:
I believe March of the Wooden Soldiers is public domain.


Actually, it's not. It's copyrighted under the title "Babes in Toyland".
That makes sense. I watched it on TV over the holidays, enjoyed the wacky film, and looked into buying it on DVD/Blu-ray. I was, however, confused how different companies could distribute the film. I remember reading something about an edited/renamed copy of the film becoming PD (March of the Wooden Soldiers), and was surprised the underlying copyright of the original film (Babes in Toyland) would allow something like that to happen. Anyway, I assumed it did in fact enter PD since it looks like that version of the film is still being distributed by different companies. But please note: I am a fan first and don't pretend to be an authority on such matters. :wink:

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Jim Reid
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Re: Laurel & Hardy Public Domain

Unread post by Jim Reid » Sun Feb 11, 2018 4:05 am

I'm pretty sure all those versions are licensed, but if you want the best version, get the one from MGM. It's the original release version, made from the original negative.

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Tommie Hicks
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Re: Laurel & Hardy Public Domain

Unread post by Tommie Hicks » Sun Feb 11, 2018 10:54 am

In the mid-70's Thunderbird started selling FLYING DEUCES, MARCH OF THE WOODEN SOLDIERS, and PICK A STAR as well as ATOLL K. They were sold as public domain. I believe Goldwyn had some broadcasting rights to MARCH OF THE WOODEN SOLDIERS and has since claimed all copyright. PICK A STAR is now claimed by whoever bought MGM's rights to it.

I remember the Marx Brother's ROOM SERVICE and LOVE HAPPY being sold as public domain. They are not considered public domain now.

I'm glad for the information in this thread. I had the mistaken impression that on 1-1-2019, all films to 1938 would have become public domain.

One thing that really galls me about the Bono act was the largest paying lobbyist, Disney, made much of that lobbying expense from public domain entities. IE: Pinocchio, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Hunchback of Notre Dame, just to name a few.

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NotSoSilent
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Re: Laurel & Hardy Public Domain

Unread post by NotSoSilent » Sun Feb 11, 2018 11:23 am

Jim Reid wrote:I'm pretty sure all those versions are licensed, but if you want the best version, get the one from MGM. It's the original release version, made from the original negative.
Thanks for the tip!

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Jim Reid
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Re: Laurel & Hardy Public Domain

Unread post by Jim Reid » Sun Feb 11, 2018 1:12 pm

NotSoSilent wrote:
Jim Reid wrote:I'm pretty sure all those versions are licensed, but if you want the best version, get the one from MGM. It's the original release version, made from the original negative.
Thanks for the tip!
After writing this, I went to Amazon to see if it was still available. It only is available in a set with two other films, The Bishop's Wife and Pocketful of Miracles. I'm not sure that MGM still is producing this set, since the rights to the Goldwyn library have now moved over to Warners. That means I would get this while you still can. Not sure when or if Warners will release Babes in Toyland. Here's the Amazon link.

https://www.amazon.com/MGM-Movie-Collec ... p%27s+wife" target="_blank

FilmGauge
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Re: Laurel & Hardy Public Domain

Unread post by FilmGauge » Sun Feb 11, 2018 7:59 pm

Amazon does have the MGM "Babes in Toyland". I have it; it is packaged as "March of the Wooden Soldiers", but has the original title. Quality is gorgeous. Here is the link: https://www.amazon.com/March-Wooden-Sol ... 612&sr=8-2" target="_blank

Paul Penna
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Re: Laurel & Hardy Public Domain

Unread post by Paul Penna » Sun Feb 11, 2018 11:04 pm

FilmGauge wrote:Amazon does have the MGM "Babes in Toyland". I have it; it is packaged as "March of the Wooden Soldiers", but has the original title. Quality is gorgeous. Here is the link: https://www.amazon.com/March-Wooden-Sol ... 612&sr=8-2" target="_blank" target="_blank
That's the version I have, and its sourced from excellent early-generation 35mm film elements, with the original opening title sequence.

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Jim Reid
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Re: Laurel & Hardy Public Domain

Unread post by Jim Reid » Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:55 am

FilmGauge wrote:Amazon does have the MGM "Babes in Toyland". I have it; it is packaged as "March of the Wooden Soldiers", but has the original title. Quality is gorgeous. Here is the link: https://www.amazon.com/March-Wooden-Sol ... 612&sr=8-2" target="_blank" target="_blank
That's from a 3rd party seller. I'd grab this one fast. MGM no longer distributes the Goldwyn library so once these are gone, they're gone.

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NotSoSilent
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Re: Laurel & Hardy Public Domain

Unread post by NotSoSilent » Fri Feb 16, 2018 7:36 am

Jim Reid wrote:
FilmGauge wrote:Amazon does have the MGM "Babes in Toyland". I have it; it is packaged as "March of the Wooden Soldiers", but has the original title. Quality is gorgeous. Here is the link: https://www.amazon.com/March-Wooden-Sol ... 612&sr=8-2" target="_blank" target="_blank" target="_blank
That's from a 3rd party seller. I'd grab this one fast. MGM no longer distributes the Goldwyn library so once these are gone, they're gone.
Ordered! Thank you for letting me know!

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