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Poster: typingm Date: Apr 22, 2015 6:20am
Forum: prelinger Subject: Encyclopedia Britannica Films Public Domain?

A number of Prelinger films are from Encyclopedia Britannica Films. According to Prelinger, they're in the public domain, but there's usually a copyright notice quite clearly shown on the title card of the film (6 second mark here, 10 second mark here, 1 second mark here, etc.). I've tried searching for more information about what justification is used to consider these films public domain, but I haven't found anything. I was hoping someone in the forums could shed some light on it.

Thanks!

This post was modified by typingm on 2015-04-22 13:20:38

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Poster: HappySwordsman Date: Apr 22, 2015 9:13am
Forum: prelinger Subject: Re: Encyclopedia Britannica Films Public Domain?

I'm really not an expert on copyright, but with 1950s and earlier U.S. films (as well as TV), a registration and renewal with the U.S. copyright office is needed, not just a copyright notice.

This remains the case up to a certain date, but I can never remember the date (1963 or 1964 or something like that...perhaps an expert on copyright can tell me which one it is), after which only a copyright notice is needed (though for several years after this date, a work may still be public domain if it was registered but not renewed...I'm not sure when this period is though. As I said, I'm not an expert on copyright).

This post was modified by HappySwordsman on 2015-04-22 16:13:11

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Poster: Rick Prelinger Date: Apr 22, 2015 5:13pm
Forum: prelinger Subject: Re: Encyclopedia Britannica Films Public Domain?

See this for details: http://copyright.cornell.edu/resources/publicdomain.cfm

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Poster: typingm Date: Apr 23, 2015 12:20pm
Forum: prelinger Subject: Re: Encyclopedia Britannica Films Public Domain?

Thank you, Rick. So they didn't renew the copyright on the films?

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Poster: Rick Prelinger Date: Apr 23, 2015 8:56pm
Forum: prelinger Subject: Re: Encyclopedia Britannica Films Public Domain?

Exactly right.