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Are Theatrical Trailers Public Domain?

Discussion in 'DVD' started by regionalunity5, Jul 28, 2012.

  1. regionalunity5

    regionalunity5 New Member

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    It's a good question and one that I need to know for the same reasons as you. Like you, I have been "told" that theatrical trailers are in PD. I would like to line up 6 of them for a "Fun" trailer to my feature presentation. Like you, I need to cover my ___ just to make sure I don't get sued!
     
  2. DeWilson

    DeWilson Well-Known Member

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    My best previous post is still relevant http://www.hometheaterforum.com/t/293282/are-theatrical-trailers-public-domain#post_3610727
     
  3. Mark Oates

    Mark Oates Well-Known Member

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    While I agree with the lawyers on this thread to seek legal advice, I'd say the cheapest and soundest temporary standpoint would be to err on the side of caution. In other words "are theatrical trailers public domain?" NO.
     
  4. DeWilson

    DeWilson Well-Known Member

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    Er, that's like saying "No Works are in the Public Domain"
    As stated before, HOFFHEINZ vs. A&E identifies a trailer as a separate work from the film ,and thus would fall under the same guidelines under the copyright laws as an individual work, requiring it's own copyright registration.
    So if a trailer meets the guidelines of being in the public domain as with any work - never registered with the 28 year window,registered but not renewed, or missing-incorrect-malformed copyright notice not corrected in the proper time-frame- it's in the public domain.
    Anyone seeking legal advice will be told these same facts as they come straight from the copyright office.
     

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