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Poster: Geonsey Date: Jan 15, 2006 11:32am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Are movie trailers PD?

Okay, here's a curiosity: I did a search in copyright office records for the current release "The Wedding Crashers" to see if its trailer is copyrighted. Here's what I found online:

1. Registration Number: PA-1-284-129
Title: Wedding crashers / a aTapestry Films production ; directed by aDavid Dobkin.
Description: 7 film reels ; 35 mm.
Claimant: New Line Productions, Inc.
Created: 2005
Published: 15Jul05
Registered: 11Aug05
Author on © Application: motion picture: Avery Pix, Inc., employer for hire.
Claim Limit: NEW MATTER: all cinematographic materials.
Special Codes: 4/X/L

>> All cinematographic materials-- does that include the trailer? Because essentially the trailer is a compilation of clips from the film, so the film is copyrighted, thus so is the trailer. Is that the theory? Or, would the trailer be considered a separate "element" (for lack of a better word) and must therefore be registered separately?

2. Registration Number: PAu-2-398-217
Title: The wedding crashers.
Description: 8 p.
Note: Script.
Claimant: acHarold B. Oppenheimer , 1954-
Created: 2000
Registered: 24Mar00
Miscellaneous: C.O. corres.
Special Codes: 3/D

>> Ok. I'm guessing this is the script sinopsis, only being 8 pages...

3. Registration Number: PAu-2-980-955
Title: Wedding crashers.
Note: Cataloged from appl. only.
Screenplay.
Claimant: New Line Productions, Inc.
Created: 2005
Registered: 26Aug05
Author on © Application: Katja Motion Pictures Corporation (employer for hire)
Special Codes: 3/D

>> And this is the screenplay.

Addendum: Okay, I think I answered my own questions by looking at the Special Codes for entry one: 4/X/L
4 = motion pictures, filmstrips, commercials, newscasts
X = Motion picture, sound track, filmstrips; also used when the claim covers both cinematography and music or cinematography and choreography, etc.
L = Commercial prints and labels, including record jackets, packaging for merchandise, advertisements (only for records added from Jan. 1978 through June 1983)

So, presumably, the trailer falls into the L category.

Does this indicate, then, for a film pre-1978 which is copyrighted, their trailers would be PD?

I know this post is lengthy, but I'm curious on your thoughts...

Thanks, -G.

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Poster: Diana Hamilton Date: Jan 15, 2006 9:41pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Are movie trailers PD?

Addendum: Okay, I think I answered my own questions by looking at the Special Codes for entry one: 4/X/L
4 = motion pictures, filmstrips, commercials, newscasts
X = Motion picture, sound track, filmstrips; also used when the claim covers both cinematography and music or cinematography and choreography, etc.
L = Commercial prints and labels, including record jackets, packaging for merchandise, advertisements (only for records added from Jan. 1978 through June 1983)

So, presumably, the trailer falls into the L category.

Does this indicate, then, for a film pre-1978 which is copyrighted, their trailers would be PD?


Well, what's the difference between "commercials" (in 4) and "advertisements" (in L)? Looking at the rest of 4 vs L, I'm guessing 4 is moving images (like, a trailer) and L is for printed matter (like, a news or magazine ad). So a trailer would seem to be covered under 4?

Complicated stuff!

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Poster: Geonsey Date: Jan 16, 2006 9:22am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Are movie trailers PD?

I would think that commercials are films on their own, since they are not derivatives of any other commercial, whereas trailers are derivatives of the films which they belong.

Reply [edit]

Poster: Diana Hamilton Date: Jan 16, 2006 9:16pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Are movie trailers PD?

Trailers *are* commercials though, aren't they? How confusing if not!
This post was modified by Diana Hamilton on 2006-01-17 05:16:15