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Itís a Wonderful Copyright Mess
Pajamas Media ^ | Dec.. 24 | Adam Graham

Posted on 12/24/2009 8:22:18 AM PST by AJKauf

the case of It’s a Wonderful Life. When the film was released in 1946, it was given a 28-year copyright term which was eligible for a 28-year renewal. For whatever reason, a request wasn’t put in for renewal, and it was believed to have fallen into the public domain in 1975. Had it not connected with the American people on its rediscovery, it would have become a resident of dollar DVD bins, like other public domain mainstays such as the Fleischer Superman cartoons or Bill Cosby’s TV movie Tell All My Friends on the Shore.

However, the movie studio smelled money. Thus, it fought for a decade until it regained control of the film. The studio argued that while the film’s pictures had entered the public domain, the story which the studios had bought the rights to had not, and therefore the film could not be shown. Thus, this Christmas Eve, NBC will show a 63-year-old movie based on a 70-year-old short story and will pay out handsome royalties to a company that had nothing to do with the release of the film other than buying the company that released it. How exactly does this contribute to the progress of the useful arts?

The first Copyright Act in 1790 set the term of the federal copyright for 14 years, renewable for 14 additional years. Rufus Pollock, an economist at Cambridge, mathematically concluded in 2007 that 14 years was the ideal length of copyright protection. As with most things, though, America has gone the other way with absurd lengths of copyright protection, with ever-lengthening terms...

(Excerpt) Read more at pajamasmedia.com ...


TOPICS: Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: cinema; donnareed; film; frankcapra; itsawonderfullife; jimmystewart
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To: Past Your Eyes

“Any Three Stooges on TV over the next week or so?”

I’m sur Obama, Reid and Pelosi will be on praising the Senate vote.

Then again Matthews, Olbermann and Maddow are on regularly.


21 posted on 12/24/2009 9:21:54 AM PST by KrisKrinkle (Blessed be those who know the depth and breadth of their ignorance. Cursed be those who don't.)
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To: Past Your Eyes


I must be the only person in the world who has never seen the movie.

You really should see it...it’s a cultural time-capsule.
And at the same time, it’s modern.

The Old Man Potter who trys to buy up/control the town (and of course,
the people in it) is a faint version of today’s Obama and Co. And their current power-grab of a large part of the American economy.

It’s a film that can provoke a lot of stong emotions and existential questioning.
Which might explain why the film was judged to be something of a flop
in it’s initial release. America was still tired of WWII and just
wanted to have some fun at the movies.


22 posted on 12/24/2009 9:26:35 AM PST by VOA
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To: ReneeLynn

The only Seinfeld episode I have ever watched all the way through (and I did think it was funny) was the Soup Nazi one...I heard so much about it I found the time to check it out.

There are good reasons to have limits on who can use the fruits of someone else’s labors...If I wrote a song, and it was used by the Obama Campaign...


23 posted on 12/24/2009 9:28:00 AM PST by rlmorel (We are traveling "The Road to Serfdom".)
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To: ansel12
I’ve never seen [It's A Wonderful Life] either, I have not seen Wizard of Oz, Mary Poppins, The Sound of Music etc, but I intend to catch up to the movies that almost all other people have seen.

How is it that you've never seen any of these? They show them on TV every year. I remember watching The Wizard of Oz when I was 4 (and I've watched it every year thereafter, as well as The Sound of Music). Do you live in the US?

24 posted on 12/24/2009 9:35:18 AM PST by my_pointy_head_is_sharp (Wake up. It was only a bad dream.)
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To: left that other site

Yep, these outfits never have the slightest interest in protecting the actual “creator” of any given work, but when there’s a major corporation and its money involved, it’s all different. I am also a songwriter who has had copyrights “mechanically infringed” and, really, nobody cares. I often wonder how many of the writers of the songs in these “compliations” are getting screwed out of their money. Most of them, I expect. “Airplay” is the only place any writer has the slightest hope of being compensated as per the agreement unless he is an independent record label selling his own product directly.


25 posted on 12/24/2009 9:39:38 AM PST by Emmett McCarthy
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To: rlmorel
The only Seinfeld episode I have ever watched all the way through (and I did think it was funny) was the Soup Nazi one...I heard so much about it I found the time to check it out.

Try to see the "Festivus" episode. A classic that still spawns Festivus displays at various public venues (last year, even at the State Houses of Wisconsin and Washington.)

26 posted on 12/24/2009 9:40:23 AM PST by buccaneer81 (ECOMCON)
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To: AJKauf

Does anyone besides me find It’s A Wonderful Life a bit too saccharine? Mary Poppins, too. (That one even has a sugary song, “A spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down”!)


27 posted on 12/24/2009 9:42:27 AM PST by my_pointy_head_is_sharp (Wake up. It was only a bad dream.)
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To: rlmorel

You should check out hulu.com, tv.com, probably a million others I don’t know about. Just search for whatever your looking for. I don’t know about movies, but they have old TV shows like Highway Patrol, Outer Limits, etc. I bought an adaptor to connect my laptop to my TV, turned off my cable TV, and haven’t missed it much at all. Really haven’t missed the monthly bill.


28 posted on 12/24/2009 9:44:01 AM PST by badbass
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To: rlmorel

Good for you. I put my last TV in the alley with a chunk of cement block through the picture tube in 1988. I missed it occasionally for a couple of months. Sometimes I feel lost among folks ardently discussing soaps and sitcoms but then it occurs to me that I have no business wasting my time with people who care about such things and I remove myself.


29 posted on 12/24/2009 9:44:04 AM PST by arthurus ("If you don't believI really hate to in shooting abortionists, don't shoot an abortionist." -Ann C.)
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To: KrisKrinkle
“Any Three Stooges on TV over the next week or so?”

I’m sur Obama, Reid and Pelosi will be on praising the Senate vote.

They have some superficial resemblence to Larry, Moe, and Curly, but those fellows never controlled the Army an nuclear weapons and the IRS.

30 posted on 12/24/2009 9:46:25 AM PST by arthurus ("If you don't believI really hate to in shooting abortionists, don't shoot an abortionist." -Ann C.)
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To: wny; SevenofNine
"years ago when Saturday Night Live was still funny, they presented - in black & white - the alternate ending that ended up on the cutting room floor..."

http://www.hulu.com/watch/4267/saturday-night-live-its-a-wonderful-life-lost-ending

31 posted on 12/24/2009 9:47:24 AM PST by monkapotamus
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To: badbass

Now, I HAVE watched the old Twilight Zone episodes online, but those were well done, if not always pretty predictable...:)

We don’t have cable, but then, we don’t really have a television to watch it on. Last year, my wife “authorized” me to spend $5000 on a new home entertainment system (when our 15 year old 37” television died.

How good is that? So I did what any good husband would do...I began researching and shopping in earnest to find out what is good and what isn’t. Just as I was about to pull the trigger, she says “Well...let’s not buy just yet...”

I could have ripped my short hair out! Dang it, I should have struck while the iron was hot!!!!


32 posted on 12/24/2009 9:49:47 AM PST by rlmorel (We are traveling "The Road to Serfdom".)
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To: my_pointy_head_is_sharp
How is it that you've never seen any of these? They show them on TV every year. ... Do you live in the US?

I saw them all on a black and white console TV. Some of us have chosen to forgo television altogether and we do not see these things every year. We have other things to do, some of which require a modicum of motion.

33 posted on 12/24/2009 9:50:15 AM PST by arthurus ("If you don't believI really hate to in shooting abortionists, don't shoot an abortionist." -Ann C.)
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To: my_pointy_head_is_sharp; rlmorel; Jedidah

I watch a lot of old movies, including many silent films and foreign films.

I haven’t been around a lot of television in my life, it was always in broken up chunks for me, for instance I know almost nothing about TV in the 1970s, I didn’t know about ‘Law and Order’ until I attended an out of state funeral in 2001 and saw it while staying at someones house, I could not believe how left wing it was.

I will now be able to watch these film classics on remastered DVD disks on an HD TV, I will do some catching up, but even now I will wait until I have company that is enthusiastic about them and will exude some of the special feeling that is associated with them.


34 posted on 12/24/2009 9:53:23 AM PST by ansel12 (Traitor Earl Warren's court 1953-1969, libertarian hero, anti social conservative loser.)
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To: arthurus

Well, aren’t you special?


35 posted on 12/24/2009 9:57:05 AM PST by ReneeLynn (Socialism is SO yesterday. Fascism, it*s the new black. Mmm Mmm Mmm.)
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To: arthurus

I cannot stomach what I have seen on television. All the crime shows piss me off...what is it that people have with those? Is it some kind of voyeristic thing? Don’t we have enough of that in REAL life?

I watched a couple of Survivor episodes, and I didn’t get it. They encourage treachery, deceit and backstabbing. After watching a few, I thought “Screw this. If they put them all on an island with no food, water or shelter and came back three months later to pick up whoever survived, now THAT would be watchable...”

And shows like “Two and a Half Men” and so on. They denigrate, men, promote violence, homosexuality, promiscuity and so on.

And the shows like “Entertainment Tonight” and “Oprah” are just off the charts idiotic. Pathetic, that people would watch that. I know of these shows, because my wife watches them. I just cannot sit in the same room while they are on. I am not a prude by any means, and I don’t believe in dictating to others what they can and cannot watch, but it all seems awfully vacuous.

I love my wife, but when I made a comment a few years back about having the “Today Show” on television every morning (that I couldn’t avoid just by walking through our small house) she put her foot down. She said to insure domestic bliss, she doensn’t say anything about anything I watch, read or do, and therefore, I should keep my mouth shut about what she watches, reads or does.

My wife and I don’t fight. Ever. That is as close as we come, so, I thought...”Okay, I will live with that...”

If you haven’t guessed, my wife is pretty non-political...


36 posted on 12/24/2009 10:05:45 AM PST by rlmorel (We are traveling "The Road to Serfdom".)
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To: ansel12

Recommendation: If you have never seen it, see: “The Best Years of Our Lives”.

My favorite movie, ever...:) And just as valid today as it was back then.


37 posted on 12/24/2009 10:07:04 AM PST by rlmorel (We are traveling "The Road to Serfdom".)
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To: ReneeLynn
Not being ađicted to TV most of those TV/schoolyard cliché retorts have long ago drained from my vocabulary.
38 posted on 12/24/2009 10:07:23 AM PST by arthurus ("If you don't believI really hate to in shooting abortionists, don't shoot an abortionist." -Ann C.)
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To: ReneeLynn

I have to admit I feel somewhat the same way, but...I attribute it more to my inability to relate to the humor or content than I do to the character of the person who likes to discuss it.

I take the attitude that it is just what some people do to give themselves enjoyment. It isn’t my thing, but...who am I to comment on it? I loved Jim Carrey’s movie “Liar Liar”, and my wife detests it. I guess I just accept that what is good for the goose is good for the gander.


39 posted on 12/24/2009 10:10:41 AM PST by rlmorel (We are traveling "The Road to Serfdom".)
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To: buccaneer81

Okay...I will have to check that out, because I do hear a lot of people (including Freepers) who reference it...:)


40 posted on 12/24/2009 10:13:33 AM PST by rlmorel (We are traveling "The Road to Serfdom".)
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