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Taking Care of Business
The pen and paper aspects of DV -- put it in writing!


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Old March 8th, 2004, 10:23 AM   #1
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Public Domain Footage

While researching royalty free footage, I came across a site that was selling public domain footage. One of the movies they had was Dick Tracy's "The Spider Strikes". http://www.buyoutfootage.com/pages/t...pd_sr_017.html and they charge $249.00 for it.

My question is if it's public domain, could I just buy a copy of the movie anywhere and use it in my movies. I found the same movie on amazon.com for $1.00.

Is there any inexpensive way to know for sure it's public domain?

Thanks
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Old March 11th, 2004, 09:22 AM   #2
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It is my understanding -- and take that with a grain of salt -- that if you buy a DVD or VHS of a public domain movie, the company that is selling that copy retains certain rights regarding the transfer to the new media (DVD/VHS). This would be along the same lines as an orchestra performing a Bach concerto -- the original piece is public domain, but the new performance of it has it's own copyrights.

Since "The Spider Strikes" was originally released on film, the current distributor had to transfer it to DVD or VHS on their own, so they may retain certain rights regarding how *you* use *their* transfer. So you couldn't just buy a DVD of "The Spider Strikes" and use the footage in a derivative work. It looks like with BuyOutFootage you are paying for 1) the transfer from film to miniDV/DVCAM/etc and 2) the proper legal paperwork to show that this is a public domain film and that you have the rights to use their transfer of it.

This is just a semi-educated guess on my part, though. Hopefully this bump will prompt one of our legally-minded members to chime in with something more substantial.
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Old March 11th, 2004, 11:36 AM   #3
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John, you're explanation is right on the money.
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Old March 11th, 2004, 12:07 PM   #4
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Thank you both very much for the explanation. It makes sense.
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Old March 11th, 2004, 02:43 PM   #5
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Which leads to the question - how do you follow the chain up to where the original footage exists?

I'm constantly asked from people I work with if footage is usable, but I have to find out where the original source is...anyone know a database or a simple way to find out? Is it the Library of Congress?

Murph
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Old March 12th, 2004, 07:11 AM   #6
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I have purchased footage from Buyoutfootage.com. What I purchased was a public domain movie, however, there was no paper work that came with the tape that stated it was fully in the public domain.

For my application it didn't matter, however, you may want to have them put something in writing on their letterhead so you don't have problems down the road.

Rob
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Old March 12th, 2004, 08:06 AM   #7
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<<<-- Originally posted by Rob Taylor : I have purchased footage from Buyoutfootage.com. What I purchased was a public domain movie, however, there was no paper work that came with the tape that stated it was fully in the public domain.

For my application it didn't matter, however, you may want to have them put something in writing on their letterhead so you don't have problems down the road.

Rob -->>>


Perhaps they have changed their policy?

From http://www.buyoutfootage.com/pages/f...licdomain.html:

Q - Why should I purchase from Buyout Footage.com?

A- We offer complete Public Domain titles for less than many stock footage houses charge for a few short seconds of footage -

PLUS we provide a written letter of attorney & copyright search report - at NO ADDITIONAL CHARGE!

This satisfies most "Errors & Omissions" insurance policy requirements made by broadcasters, satellite, and cable television companies PLUS gives you the added peace of mind knowing that your film titles have been checked and documented.
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Old March 12th, 2004, 11:41 AM   #8
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I will have to contact them. All I received was the tape and invoice. Rob
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DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

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Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
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(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

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