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Thread: films in the public domain (im confused)

  1. #1

    Default films in the public domain (im confused)

    im working on a little electronic/low fi music project and was intending to use some audio from 1950's us public information documentaries.

    seemingly, these films and their soundtracks (that once were) are no longer in the public domain !

    so, i cant use audio from them ?

  2. #2
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    I was also under the impression that these films were available copyright free. What's happening?

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Gaffer View Post
    I was also under the impression that these films were available copyright free. What's happening?
    conflicting info here



    Public domain film - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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    Well, Wikipedia makes it as clear as mud!

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    Quote Originally Posted by enc View Post
    was intending to use some audio from 1950's us public information documentaries.
    The Prelinger archives should be of use for you:

    You are warmly encouraged to download, use and reproduce these films in whole or in part, in any medium or market throughout the world. You are also warmly encouraged to share, exchange, redistribute, transfer and copy these films, and especially encouraged to do so for free.
    For example Internet Archive: Free Download: Am I Trustworthy?

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    If I understand correctly, the original question was whether US public information films are in the public domain. Use of the Prelinger archives should provide enc with what he wants whilst staying on the correct side of the law.

    Copyright law is not something that should be entered into lightly. The advice given on these forums is provided as is by contributers who may not have the appropriate knowldedge or experience of the relevant laws applicable in your country.
    Last edited by Marc Peters; 04-05-2010 at 08:17 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by paulears View Post

    It couldn't be called copyright theft, because you've owned up to not having been able to track down the rights holder -
    Oh Paul you are so wrong!

    Not being able to trace the copyright owner is not a "lawful excuse" under UK copyright law. I understand what you're saying, and it is unfair but there's a huge difference between what's "fair" and what the legal position is.

    Also this is about US public information films. The US used to have a 50 year copyright position on films, which would put the original films out of copyright. Also, in the US once films are put copyright free "in the public domain" it can't be withdrawn, so the films should still be available.

    However, the Prelinger archives are the best bet as they clearly state what the score is with the copyright.

    Edit: Posted at the same time as Paul's post above.

    For those interested the (boring) details are discussed on the following thread.
    http://www.videoforums.co.uk/wedding...ographers.html
    It's actually about music but also touches on videography.

    Sorry to be so jumpy and anal about copyright but we try to be accurate, at least on that (potentially expensive) subject here!
    Last edited by Rembrandt Rob; 04-05-2010 at 08:46 PM.

  8. #8

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    thanks all for your input.

    its all a bit clearer now

    the recordings will not be getting a commercial release..... just youtube fodder.
    I didnt want to spend lots of time on something that could be pulled. yes, i have used copyright music in my videos in the past but this is slightly different.

    thanks to marc for the prelinger archive link. thats exactly the kind of footage im looking for

  9. #9

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    Does your project fall into the Fair Use aspect of Copyright.

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