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Poster: Video-Cellar Date: Jun 18, 2009 11:42pm
Forum: DriveInMovieAds Subject: Re: Drive-In clips removed due to copyright claim

The "Chattel" (i.e. physical property related to the copyright in this case film print) is not protected by copyright at all. This is regardless of whether the film was released with or without copyright protection. Copright protects the right to copy the physical work for the period that it is subject to copyright, not into perpetuity. When an audio visual work enters the puplic domain or is released into the public domain the reproduction of the work is not protected by copyright (Bridgeman Art Library Ltd. v. Corel Corporation) regardless of the skill or work that goes into said reproduction (there is no place for a "sweat of the brow" as a basis for copyright claim in US law [Feist Publications v. Rural Telephone Service]) I aggree the music could be an issue. Generally works from this period used in their original context do not constitute an infringement of "underlying" rights (MALJACK PRODUCTIONS, INC. v. GOODTIMES HOME VIDEO CORP. [synchronisation rights to music in motion pictures are encapsulated in the Motion Picture copyright, mechanical rights can be covered by compulsory licensing or by direct arrangement with the publisher as per the law.]). However, if these items were released without the necessary formalities, the visual and non-musical content would definitely be in the Public Domain regardless of the source of the material. Are you, therefore, saying that these original films were first published in accordance with the copyright formalities of the time and that the copyright, as such, was owned, operated or transferred to Screen Attractions? I can't find any records in the US copyright office related to "Screen Attractions". I should point out that I haven't contributed to the Drive-In collection. I am just interested in the rationale for the copyright claim knowing that in the past I have been subject to threats of counter claims of copyfraud in instances where I have attempted to assert rights over my own archival stock.
This post was modified by Video-Cellar on 2009-06-19 06:42:01