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Old 05-25-2019, 11:26 PM   #1
goathead1 goathead1 is offline
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Default Public Domain films on Blu-ray Thread

This thread applies to public domain films in the United States ONLY! Anything produced before 1923 is excluded since it is already automatically in the public domain.

This is list is tentative and nowhere near complete. While the films themselves may be public domain, the blu-ray restoration, soundtrack, source material or plot may not be meaning that if left unaltered some films may still be partially copyrighted.



Upcoming:
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Officially licensed Titles
[1][3][2]

COMBO PACKS
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Unofficial (not licensed):
[6][7][8]

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Old 05-25-2019, 11:27 PM   #2
goathead1 goathead1 is offline
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FOOTNOTES:
[1]Gaslight This was a UK film. Any film from the UK before 01/01/1946 was in the Public Domain at the time of GATT and not eligible for GATT restoration.
So after that you check the status to see if there was a copyright renewed in the U.S. I checked "Gaslight", "Angel Street", "A Strange Case of Murder" and "The Murder in Thornton Square". All of these were variant titles. There was no copyright renewal in the U.S.
[2]Suddenly (Image) 4x3 Open Matte Version
[3]The Scar aka Hollow Triumph
[4]The Complete Sherlock Holmes Collection Only the following titles in the set are public domain: Dressed To Kill, Sherlock Holmes and The Secret Weapon, Terror By Night, The Woman In Green
[5]The Vincent Price Collection II Only the following titles in the set are public domain: House on Haunted Hill, The Last Man On Earth
[6]Monstrosity aka The Atomic Brain (1963)
[7]Phantom of The Opera Only the 1925 version is public domain
[8]Sex Madness Revealed Only the original 1939 film
Sex Madness is public domain


Last edited by goathead1; 06-02-2019 at 01:37 AM.
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Old 05-25-2019, 11:28 PM   #3
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Questionable titles, possibly copyrighted orphaned works

One Eyed Jacks (1961)



----------------------------------------------------------------

"Rescued films" NOW COPYRIGHTED AND NO LONGER PUBLIC DOMAIN

Beat The Devil (1953)

The Twilight Time version is 94 minutes which has been reconstructed with lost scenes adding 5 minutes to the previous 89 minutes public domain version. Sony's Grover Crisp states that the film is NOT in public domain. The Film Detective release is 89 minutes.

Beneath The Twelve Mile Reef (1953)

The original version is pd because it was never renewed. The new restoration which has restored long lost scenes is copyrighted. "The legal status of Beneath the 12-Mile Reef was eventually resolved by 20th Century Fox in 2013, and the movie was rescued from public domain so that a quality DVD could be released through Fox Cinema Archives. Fans are now able to enjoy the movie with stereo sound and a quality picture - complete with the "lost" scene in which Gilbert Roland stuffs a cigar into Peter Graves' mouth after beating him in a fist fight."

Escape From Sobibor (1987)

Never really public domain formally an orphaned work.

It's A Wonderful Life (1946)


The Trial (1962)





Last edited by goathead1; 05-30-2019 at 10:03 PM.
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Old 05-26-2019, 04:10 AM   #4
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Good idea for a thread.
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Old 05-26-2019, 04:28 AM   #5
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Some of these are tricky! For example, the film "A Farewell to Arms" may technically be a public domain film, but it's a derivative work. A similar example: the film "It's a Wonderful Life" fell into the public domain, but the studio was able to assert ownership because they owned the rights to the story it was based on. So each individual frame and the elements of the soundtrack would I suppose be considered public domain, but the film in sequence which tells a story derived from the Hemingway novel would still be owned by someone. (Although, barring another legislative intervention by Disney, the novel will fall into the public domain in 6 years.) The Last Man on Earth and the Superman cartoons seem like they would also fall under this category.

EDIT: This is a great idea for a thread and I'm not trying to argue that the films I've mentioned above should be removed from the list.
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Old 05-26-2019, 06:10 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by solaris72 View Post
Some of these are tricky! For example, the film "A Farewell to Arms" may technically be a public domain film, but it's a derivative work. A similar example: the film "It's a Wonderful Life" fell into the public domain, but the studio was able to assert ownership because they owned the rights to the story it was based on. So each individual frame and the elements of the soundtrack would I suppose be considered public domain, but the film in sequence which tells a story derived from the Hemingway novel would still be owned by someone. (Although, barring another legislative intervention by Disney, the novel will fall into the public domain in 6 years.) The Last Man on Earth and the Superman cartoons seem like they would also fall under this category.

EDIT: This is a great idea for a thread and I'm not trying to argue that the films I've mentioned above should be removed from the list.
There are a few other films in the same situation that I included in the list:

-Charade (1963) the story and soundtrack are still copyrighted
-His Girl Friday (1940) and The Front Page (1931) are both based on the 1928 play The Front Page, which is still under copyright until 2024 so the films cannot be used without permission.
-The Superman cartoons still have ancillary rights attached to them since Superman is a trademarked character and the 35mm master prints are held by Warner Bros. who owns DC Comics. I believe the distributor must have received permission to release the blu-ray but they are sourced from '80s 1" video masters (used for VHS production) and not the 35mm master prints which may have helped in getting them released.

Theoretically if altered somehow to remove those copyrighted elements, then the films affected would be completely in the public domain. In the case of It's A Wonderful Life the film would have to be completely re-edited to remove the story and only then would it be completely in the public domain.

I specifically excluded The Trial (1962) and It's A Wonderful Life (1946) since those titles have been successfully "rescued" from the public domain.
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Old 05-26-2019, 06:27 AM   #7
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Old 05-26-2019, 07:11 AM   #8
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Old 05-26-2019, 07:22 AM   #9
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Old 05-26-2019, 07:35 AM   #10
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Old 05-26-2019, 07:46 AM   #11
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Old 05-26-2019, 07:52 AM   #12
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Old 05-26-2019, 02:19 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jar Jar Stinks View Post
Forgive me for making a point of it but One-Eyed Jacks has never been out of
copyright. For many years the Brando estate wasn't minding the store, but they
re-asserted their oversight recently. The copyright is being enforced now.
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Old 05-26-2019, 02:48 PM   #14
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I had no idea Deadly Companions was released. Iím assuming this release is of poor quality but Iím always down to add Peckinpah.
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Old 05-26-2019, 04:02 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CelestialAgent View Post
...

Some international release alternatives:
...

What about some of the early silents?
....

I would expect these as well
...
Sorry, as stated in my first post only silent films from 1924 onward will be included on this list. There is already a dedicated thread for silent films. Also it appears that Lady For A Day (1933) is copyrighted.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard--W View Post
Forgive me for making a point of it but One-Eyed Jacks has never been out of
copyright. For many years the Brando estate wasn't minding the store, but they
re-asserted their oversight recently. The copyright is being enforced now.
Upon further research this was found to be true, it was never really in the public domain but actually an orphaned work.

This leads to the question can an orphaned work be released on blu-ray as public domain? I know of instances where a film was copyrighted and released after 1964 and the company went bankrupt before selling this rights off to another company. In that instance who owns the film, does it revert to an individual?

Last edited by goathead1; 05-26-2019 at 04:14 PM.
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Old 05-26-2019, 05:05 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard--W View Post
Forgive me for making a point of it but One-Eyed Jacks has never been out of
copyright. For many years the Brando estate wasn't minding the store, but they
re-asserted their oversight recently. The copyright is being enforced now.
Quote:
Originally Posted by goathead1 View Post
Upon further research this was found to be true, it was never really in the public domain but actually an orphaned work.

This leads to the question can an orphaned work be released on blu-ray as public domain? I know of instances where a film was copyrighted and released after 1964 and the company went bankrupt before selling this rights off to another company. In that instance who owns the film, does it revert to an individual?
Would you provide a link to an article that confirms it was orphaned? In theory, it can be out of copyright but not in the public domain because it is a derivative work based on the 1956 novel "The Authentic Death of Hendry Jones," which is still covered by copyright.
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Old 05-26-2019, 05:30 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jar Jar Stinks View Post
Would you provide a link to an article that confirms it was orphaned? In theory, it can be out of copyright but not in the public domain because it is a derivative work based on the 1956 novel "The Authentic Death of Hendry Jones," which is still covered by copyright.
It does appear to be a situation similar to Charade, here are the copyright registrations:
[Show spoiler]
One eyed jacks; love theme. m Paramount Pictures Corporation, employer for...
Type of Work: Music
Registration Number / Date: RE0000366164 / 1988-01-05
Renewal registration for: EU0000630122 / 1960-06-30
Title: One eyed jacks; love theme. m Paramount Pictures Corporation, employer for hire of Hugo W. Friedhofer.
Copyright Claimant: Famous Music Corporation (PWH)

Variant title: One eyed jacks
Names: Friedhofer, Hugo W.
Paramount Pictures Corporation
Famous Music Corporation

Love theme from One eyed jacks. m Hugo W. Friedhofer.
Type of Work: Music
Registration Number / Date: RE0000423771 / 1989-01-05
Renewal registration for: EP0000150281 / 1961-03-24
Title: Love theme from One eyed jacks. m Hugo W. Friedhofer.
Copyright Claimant: Famous Music Corporation (PWH)
Basis of Claim: New Matter: piano arr.

Variant title: Love theme from One eyed jacks
Other Title: One eyed jacks
Names: Friedhofer, Hugo W.
Famous Music Corporation

One eyed jacks. m Paramount Pictures Corporation, employer for hire of...
Type of Work: Music
Registration Number / Date: RE0000423694 / 1989-01-05
Renewal registration for: EU0000662308 / 1961-03-13
Title: One eyed jacks. m Paramount Pictures Corporation, employer for hire of Hugo W. Friedhofer.
Notes: Score.
Copyright Claimant: Famous Music Corporation (PWH)

Variant title: One eyed jacks
Names: Friedhofer, Hugo W.
Paramount Pictures Corporation
Famous Music Corporation

Louisa; love theme from One eyed jacks. w McKayla Morgan, m Paramount...
Type of Work: Music
Registration Number / Date: RE0000423734 / 1989-01-05
Renewal registration for: EU0000681187 / 1961-08-02
Title: Louisa; love theme from One eyed jacks. w McKayla Morgan, m Paramount Pictures Corporation, employer for hire of Hugo Friedhofer.
Copyright Claimant: Famous Music Corporation (PWH of Hugo Friedhofer)

Variant title: Louisa
Other Title: One eyed jacks
Names: Morgan, McKayla
Friedhofer, Hugo
Paramount Pictures Corporation
Famous Music Corporation

Louisa; love theme from One eyed jacks. w McKayla Morgan, m Paramount...
Type of Work: Music
Registration Number / Date: RE0000423733 / 1989-01-05
Renewal registration for: EU0000681187 / 1961-08-02
Title: Louisa; love theme from One eyed jacks. w McKayla Morgan, m Paramount Pictures Corporation, employer for hire of Hugo Friedhofer.
Copyright Claimant: McKayla Morgan (A)

Variant title: Louisa
Other Title: One eyed jacks
Names: Morgan, McKayla
Friedhofer, Hugo
Paramount Pictures Corporation

And most imporatantly:

The Authentic death of Hendry Jones; a novel. By Charles Neider.
Type of Work: Text
Registration Number / Date: RE0000193299 / 1984-01-30
Renewal registration for: A00000248933 / 1956-08-22
Title: The Authentic death of Hendry Jones; a novel. By Charles Neider.
Copyright Claimant: Charles Neider (A)

Variant title: The Authentic death of Hendry Jones
Names: Neider, Charles


There is a lengthy discussion about it on the Internet Archive Forums.

Last edited by goathead1; 05-26-2019 at 05:35 PM.
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Old 05-26-2019, 05:53 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goathead1 View Post
It does appear to be a situation similar to Charade, here are the copyright registrations:
[Show spoiler]
One eyed jacks; love theme. m Paramount Pictures Corporation, employer for...
Type of Work: Music
Registration Number / Date: RE0000366164 / 1988-01-05
Renewal registration for: EU0000630122 / 1960-06-30
Title: One eyed jacks; love theme. m Paramount Pictures Corporation, employer for hire of Hugo W. Friedhofer.
Copyright Claimant: Famous Music Corporation (PWH)

Variant title: One eyed jacks
Names: Friedhofer, Hugo W.
Paramount Pictures Corporation
Famous Music Corporation

Love theme from One eyed jacks. m Hugo W. Friedhofer.
Type of Work: Music
Registration Number / Date: RE0000423771 / 1989-01-05
Renewal registration for: EP0000150281 / 1961-03-24
Title: Love theme from One eyed jacks. m Hugo W. Friedhofer.
Copyright Claimant: Famous Music Corporation (PWH)
Basis of Claim: New Matter: piano arr.

Variant title: Love theme from One eyed jacks
Other Title: One eyed jacks
Names: Friedhofer, Hugo W.
Famous Music Corporation

One eyed jacks. m Paramount Pictures Corporation, employer for hire of...
Type of Work: Music
Registration Number / Date: RE0000423694 / 1989-01-05
Renewal registration for: EU0000662308 / 1961-03-13
Title: One eyed jacks. m Paramount Pictures Corporation, employer for hire of Hugo W. Friedhofer.
Notes: Score.
Copyright Claimant: Famous Music Corporation (PWH)

Variant title: One eyed jacks
Names: Friedhofer, Hugo W.
Paramount Pictures Corporation
Famous Music Corporation

Louisa; love theme from One eyed jacks. w McKayla Morgan, m Paramount...
Type of Work: Music
Registration Number / Date: RE0000423734 / 1989-01-05
Renewal registration for: EU0000681187 / 1961-08-02
Title: Louisa; love theme from One eyed jacks. w McKayla Morgan, m Paramount Pictures Corporation, employer for hire of Hugo Friedhofer.
Copyright Claimant: Famous Music Corporation (PWH of Hugo Friedhofer)

Variant title: Louisa
Other Title: One eyed jacks
Names: Morgan, McKayla
Friedhofer, Hugo
Paramount Pictures Corporation
Famous Music Corporation

Louisa; love theme from One eyed jacks. w McKayla Morgan, m Paramount...
Type of Work: Music
Registration Number / Date: RE0000423733 / 1989-01-05
Renewal registration for: EU0000681187 / 1961-08-02
Title: Louisa; love theme from One eyed jacks. w McKayla Morgan, m Paramount Pictures Corporation, employer for hire of Hugo Friedhofer.
Copyright Claimant: McKayla Morgan (A)

Variant title: Louisa
Other Title: One eyed jacks
Names: Morgan, McKayla
Friedhofer, Hugo
Paramount Pictures Corporation

And most imporatantly:

The Authentic death of Hendry Jones; a novel. By Charles Neider.
Type of Work: Text
Registration Number / Date: RE0000193299 / 1984-01-30
Renewal registration for: A00000248933 / 1956-08-22
Title: The Authentic death of Hendry Jones; a novel. By Charles Neider.
Copyright Claimant: Charles Neider (A)

Variant title: The Authentic death of Hendry Jones
Names: Neider, Charles


There is a lengthy discussion about it on the Internet Archive Forums.
Excellent resource. It seems murky and unsettled.
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Old 05-26-2019, 06:00 PM   #19
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I'm really surprised that nobody's released Reefer Madness on blu-ray outside of a Rifftrax Live recording. So this probably only halfway counts.



An infamous novelty of a film where the movie posters and other ironic references hold more market value than the film itself?
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Old 05-26-2019, 11:42 PM   #20
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