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Patreon Initiative to Preserve Silent Disney Cartoons

Posted: Thu Jul 13, 2017 10:55 am
by Adam J
Are there many fans of animation on this board? There's a new Patreon Initiative to find and preserve Walt Disney's silent cartoons, a good chunk of which are still lost films.

It is being run by David Bossert who has previously been involved in the restoration of previously-lost cartoons in the Oswald the Lucky Rabbit and Alice Comedies series. Several more titles have recently been located and the aim is to restore and preseve them. More details can be found in the link below:

https://www.patreon.com/davidbossert" target="_blank" target="_blank

Re: Patreon Initiative to Preserve Silent Disney Cartoons

Posted: Thu Jul 13, 2017 2:17 pm
by JFK
Wikipedia
"In 2006, nearly 80 years after the Disney studio broke away from Universal, The Walt Disney Company managed to acquire the intellectual property of Oswald and the catalog of Disney-produced Oswald films (with NBC/Universal effectively trading Oswald for the services of Al Michaels as play-by-play announcer on NBC Sunday Night Football)."
It is not clear, from a very quick skim of the Patreon page, why Disney - one of the main forces behind the piratical extension of the copyright protection laws - isn't funding this project - which would include the Alice cartoons - in its entirety. Patreon suppport-backers are seemingly guaranteed neither a copy, nor even a complete viewing, of any of the restored films- films which would otherwise be public domain but for Disney's efforts. If I'm wrong , maybe I'm in.

Re: Patreon Initiative to Preserve Silent Disney Cartoons

Posted: Thu Jul 13, 2017 3:13 pm
by Adam J
I thought of those questions too so contacted David to ask if patrons will be able to view the restored cartoons either online or on disc. He assured me that supporters will be able to view their finds online (putting them on disc would depend on the level of support). I will suggest that this is made much clearer on the main page.

As for The Disney Company funding the project, David was unable to speak for them, but made clear that this is an independent project.

I can't speak for Disney either. I know they have restored several of their silent cartoons in the past (including very recent examples), I suspect they don't see any major profit in continually funding the locating and restoration of silent cartoons, many of which are in the public domain. I should point out that the titles which are being sought for this project aren't films which the Disney Company currently holds.

Re: Patreon Initiative to Preserve Silent Disney Cartoons

Posted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 12:26 pm
by bigshot
JFK wrote:
It is not clear, from a very quick skim of the Patreon page, why Disney - one of the main forces behind the piratical extension of the copyright protection laws - isn't funding this project.
Disney already has restored all the existing early cartoons. They are PD though, so anyone who wants to and has access to the elements can restore them themselves and release them.

Re: Patreon Initiative to Preserve Silent Disney Cartoons

Posted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 12:31 pm
by boblipton
Eh? Disney was pretty good at making sure his stuff didn't fall out of copyright, but since it's all from 1922 and later, and the laws say that anything from 1922 on is copyrightable -- what a co-inky-dink, as the French would say -- is anything except for a couple of the advertising stuff like Tommy Tucker's Tooth up for grabs?

Bob

Re: Patreon Initiative to Preserve Silent Disney Cartoons

Posted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 2:48 pm
by drednm
boblipton wrote:Eh? Disney was pretty good at making sure his stuff didn't fall out of copyright, but since it's all from 1922 and later, and the laws say that anything from 1922 on is copyrightable -- what a co-inky-dink, as the French would say -- is anything except for a couple of the advertising stuff like Tommy Tucker's Tooth up for grabs?

Bob
1922 films are in the public domain.

Re: Patreon Initiative to Preserve Silent Disney Cartoons

Posted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 11:22 am
by Adam J
Just to be clear, this initiative is about locating, preserving and restoring the cartoons which The Disney Company do NOT have copies of. There are 16 Alice Comedies and 7 Oswald the Lucky Rabbit cartoons still missing, some of which have recently been identified. If you read the goals (on the left hand side of the page) the first goal is to acquire these recently identified titles with a view to restore and preserve them.

This initiative is being spear-headed by David Bossert who has recently finished his throroughly reserached book on Oswald (due for release at the end of August) and has experience in previous restorations projects when he worked at the Disney Company. I have been talking to Dave via email and truly believe this is a cause worth supporting. Dave wants clarity and transparency with this project so if anyone has any questions or if anything is still unclear, please let me know so we can make things clear both here and on the Patreon page.


In response to a couple of comments here. Bob it's true that Walt Disney became very hot on owning the copyright for his cartoons. However, this began in 1928 with the creation of Mickey Mouse and was a lesson learned from him losing Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, a character he didn't officially own the rights to.
Bigshot, the Disney Company do own the largest collection of the Disney silents, but I don't think they own restored copies of all the silents known to exist. Many of them can be found in archives around the world (many of which are documented in the book "Walt in Wonderland The Silent Films of Walt Disney"), although of course it's possible Disney have obtained copies from these sources. Also it's worth noting that Disney have restored many of their silent cartoons with the help of independent researchers who cared enough to look for these films on their own volition.

Re: Patreon Initiative to Preserve Silent Disney Cartoons

Posted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 2:01 pm
by Mark Zimmer
Disney has all the money in the world, let them fund this. I have better things to do with my cash.

Re: Patreon Initiative to Preserve Silent Disney Cartoons

Posted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 9:52 pm
by AbZeroNow
Mark Zimmer wrote:Disney has all the money in the world, let them fund this. I have better things to do with my cash.
I have a different opinion. As long as its something in the public domain(guaranteed if before January 1, 1923 in the US), from a preservation point of view, it's worth funding so posterity can have access to early cartoons.

Re: Patreon Initiative to Preserve Silent Disney Cartoons

Posted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 3:03 am
by Adam J
Thank you, AbZeroNow. This isn't about doing a favour for a gigantic media company, this is an independent effort to preserve films that may otherwise be lost so that people who would like to see them or study them will be able to do so.

Re: Patreon Initiative to Preserve Silent Disney Cartoons

Posted: Thu Jul 20, 2017 10:43 am
by Connoisseur
No doubt that one should support this. For all studios, major or minor, private initiative was necessary to have their heritage secured they did not care about and the benefit today is for us much more than for them...

Re: Patreon Initiative to Preserve Silent Disney Cartoons

Posted: Wed Aug 23, 2017 11:23 am
by Thad Komorowski
It's insulting to panhandle on behalf of a corporate behemoth that seeks to reacquire intellectual property. As the one responsible for why U.S. copyright law is in its ridiculous current state, Disney should have to pay through the nose to get certain cartoons back.

Re: Patreon Initiative to Preserve Silent Disney Cartoons

Posted: Wed Aug 23, 2017 3:30 pm
by AbZeroNow
Became a Patron. This is actually an independent venture to attempt to preserve early Walt Disney cartoons. Many of them would be Public Domain and so the Disney corporation itself would not see a profit from it. I sometimes wonder if those criticizing this project have read the description on the Patreon page instead of assuming this is some way to enrich a corporation.

Re: Patreon Initiative to Preserve Silent Disney Cartoons

Posted: Wed Aug 23, 2017 4:16 pm
by Thad Komorowski
The Disney Alice cartoons may be public domain, but the Disney Oswald cartoons—at least the ones that still need to be found—are still under copyright!! Even if they were found independently, nothing could be done without Disney's involvement or permission! So, you're effectively "donating" money to Disney! That's why this is completely crazy!