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Mr Shickadance

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Join date
9-Feb-2014
Last activity
23-Feb-2020
Posts
7

Post History

Post
#1186562
Topic
Info Wanted: A question about public domain works...
Time

ElectricTriangle said:

In the US there is ample legal president that this is legal.
Digitizing a photo or painting that is in the public domain should not create a new copyright on that copy, because an original work was not created. Bridgeman Art Library v. Corel Corp establishes a precedent that “Even though accurate reproductions might require a great deal of skill, experience and effort, the key element to determine whether a work is copyrightable under US law is originality.”

In other parts of the world this is less settled, but in the UK the National Portrait Gallery threatened Wikipedia for hosting their scans of old paintings. The museum backed down and the UK’s Intellectual Property Office then later said that “copyright can only subsist in subject matter that is original in the sense that it is the author’s own ‘intellectual creation’. Given this criteria, it seems unlikely that what is merely a retouched, digitized image of an older work can be considered as ‘original’.”

So in the US and probably the UK you should be fine to freely use and modify restorations as long as the original film is public domain.

Now, a lot of restoration houses do put copyright notifications on their work. They do this mostly so they can get paid for when another label wants to use their transfer. Because their business model depends on this it’s conceivable that they might go to court to try and defend them. You would probably win if you could afford to hire a lawyer and defend your case, but you couldn’t then this would be an effective way to stop usage of their transfer.
There are weird areas this gets into such as if the restored tinting on silent films is copyrightable because it’s a creative decision, or because since the tinting aims to restore an original element of the film it is not copyrightable. Also, based on how the music industry works, multi-channel remixed soundtracks (from the original elements) are likely copyrightable depending on the creative decisions made.

Edit: And just beaten to it by Mr Shickadance

Nah, not beaten. Very interesting stuff.

Post
#1186550
Topic
Info Wanted: A question about public domain works...
Time

djsmokingjam said:

Mr Shickadance said:

Sorry for those of you who don’t want to hear it but if a company like Criterion decides to restore a public domain film and releases it there is no way they can copyright their “restored version”. Think about what restoration is for a second…you can’t copyright something just because you put it back to the way it was supposed to be.

So to answer suspiciouscoffee’s original question yes you can take their restoration of Night of the Living Dead rip it and do whatever you want with it.

Again, it is not Criterion who have copyrighted the new restoration, but MoMa and Image Ten. And yes, it is protected - while the film itself is still public domain, and can still be released by anyone via any of the old masters, the 4K restoration is technically a derivative work that is protected and registered separately, in the same way that someone could copyright their own scan of the film if they chose to do so; the difference is just that your version would be shitty and redundant next to their definitive version. So you can use many of the previous masters for your projects, but not the 4K restoration.

You can’t copyright a scan of a public domain film. Whether you scan it in 4K or 10K it’s still just that - a scan of a public domain film. A derivative work? Not for cleanup/restoration. It’s the same public domain film whether it has scratches, dirt, splices etc. or not. Not to downplay the restoration process as I’ve worked on restoration projects before and I agree it’s a ton of tedious hard work but you can’t clean up a film and re-copyright it. I just looked up Image Ten’s recent copyright registration with the USCO with the following “Basis of Claim: digitally remastered audio and video; edited video including shot-by-shot adjustments to contrast levels and density, digital grain stabilization, scratch and dirt removal, overall film stabilization; added introductory title frames; digitally recreated and replaced damaged frames; edited audio to change sound effects; added sound effects to audio; remixed audio from multiple master sources; edited audio for dropouts, noise reduction and wow and flutter reduction.”

Just because there is a registration with the USCO doesn’t mean anything. The USCO is merely a record keeping office. I could open up a whole other can of worms on this one but basically if you are ballsy enough…you or I could claim copyright on a public domain movie and file a registration pretending to own a motion picture. Yes there are assholes who do this. Whether or not the copyright holder’s claim is valid or not would have to be determined in a lawsuit which 99% of the time is hardly worth it as the only person who makes out in the end are the attorneys.

The bottom line is that this Night of the Living Dead restoration registration would fall under the category of “slavish copy”.

“A work that is merely a “slavish copy”, or even a restoration of an original public domain work is not subject to copyright protection. In the case of Hearn v. Meyer, 664 F. Supp 832 (S.D.N.Y. 1987), an illustrator attempted unsuccessfully to claim copyright on his painstakingly restored versions of original Wizard of Oz illustrations. The illustrations were in the public domain, and the court found that the act of rendering them with bolder and more vibrant colors was not an original contribution sufficient to remove the restored works from the public domain.”

Post
#1186232
Topic
Help Wanted: any 16mm or 35mm Original Trilogy Trailers - for scanning?
Time

Seeking anyone with any 16mm or 35mm prints of the Original Trilogy Star Wars trailers to borrow just for scans.

I can assure you that your films will be treated with the utmost care and will be returned immediately after scan.

I can provide whoever has any trailers with the scan as well delivered as a 2K Prores file electronically for free obviously.

Message me if interested and thanks!

Post
#1186231
Topic
Info Wanted: A question about public domain works...
Time

Sorry for those of you who don’t want to hear it but if a company like Criterion decides to restore a public domain film and releases it there is no way they can copyright their “restored version”. Think about what restoration is for a second…you can’t copyright something just because you put it back to the way it was supposed to be.

So to answer suspiciouscoffee’s original question yes you can take their restoration of Night of the Living Dead rip it and do whatever you want with it.

Post
#893705
Topic
For Sale: 16mm Print of Hardware Wars (1978)
Time

http://www.ebay.com/itm/16mm-Film-Hardware-Wars-1978-Star-Wars-Spoof-Parody-Short-Fan-Film-Sci-Fi-/281902002361

Comes in Original Yellow Pyramid Films plastic can.

Original Eastman Safety Print. Great Condition Print with only one splice in beginning of print during Pyramid Films logo. No Vinegar Smell.

Any questions at all feel free to ask and thanks for looking!

Post
#749203
Topic
Anyone know how to contact Moth3r?
Time

Thanks for all the helpful responses! NOT!

I sent him a PM in early February of last year about an AVISynth script and he graciously responded. I attempted to respond to that a couple weeks later but it said his PM was full. 

I had since forgotten about the whole thing until I recently remembered, logged on and figured by now that his PM would be cleaned up but I guess not.

So I started a thread about reaching him and just got a bunch of sarcastic comments. :)

Anyone that can really help it would be appreciated

Many thanks...