Re: Film Copyright

From: Rick Prelinger (email suppressed)
Date: Sun Aug 05 2007 - 00:06:42 PDT

>* Who owns the copyright to old home movies bought off eBay or at the local
>swap meet?

Strictly speaking, the creator probably owns copyright in the work as an unpublished work, unless the author died before 1937.

See for Peter Hirtle's excellent and authoritative chart.

In practice, no one is likely to come forward, especially if you are making artwork.

>* Is it infringement to use "found film" clips in my films?

Depends on the copyright status and whether your use is fair. I would strongly advise anyone who sees themselves as a maker of artwork to do their work and avoid worrying about infringement. This is not a legal principle, simply a statement in favor of artistic freedom.

>* Is it permissible (legal) to use copyrighted music in experimental films
>without permission?

It is not legal, but permissible as far as I'm concerned.


Rick Prelinger
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