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Poster: gestroud Date: Nov 28, 2009 1:48pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: What is a 'restoration' and is it grounds for ownership of PD materials?

This is getting confusing.

Is the original question:

If A

1. Takes a public domain work and does some enhancements/restorations on it,
2. Adds his/her credits to it (Copyright John Doe's DVD Restoration),
3. claims exclusive ownership of the "new" work,
4. Sells it either separately or as/with part of a similar collection of Public Domain works,

can B legally

1. Purchase it,
2. redistribute it for free or for profit - either in part, as a whole or part of a new collection


A's legal claim of ownership either
1. has no legal standing,
2. isn't in the spirit of public domain,
3. enters into a gray area?


Sorry for sounding clueless, but I started going cross-eyed 3/5ths of the way into the thread. :-(

Reply [edit]

Poster: cartoonsonfilm Date: Nov 28, 2009 2:20pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: What is a 'restoration' and is it grounds for ownership of PD materials?

Gestroud, this is a bit of a grey area as you suggest. In response to your "2. isn't in the spirit of public domain", person B would be no more or less abiding by the 'spirit' of Public Domain by doing the same as person A, whether for free or for profit. When you're referencing the 'spirit' of the public domain, you're dealing with the implied etiquette of a system where the original PD works have no enforceable rights held by a party. I'm not necessarily referencing some of the films I have with this following statement, but one must understand that while copyrights on certain films may have been initially renewed, the rights holders are in many cases deceased individuals or defunct corporations. Their rights, then, are not enforced or unenforceable. Rights are almost meaningless unless they are being upheld, just in the same way that people who are able to vote for public officials forfeit that ability by remaining dormant.