Mark5177's profile

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Wed, Dec 23, 2020 3:00 PM

Public Domain

I'm an Xfinity customer and right now, within my OnDemand movie list, "It's a Wonderful Life", that was released in 1946, and you are charging $15.99 to buy it. You can't even rent it.
The film has lapsed into the public domain category long ago, meaning anyone can show the film without obtaining permission or paying royalties as of Dec 22, 2017. It will also show on multiple networks, multiple times, for free. With that information, I believe that you should make, "It's a Wonderful Life", free for everyone. After all, it's Christmas. So are you going to be on Santa's naughty list? Or are you going to change it and make it free for everyone?


Accepted Solution


Diamond Problem Solver


25.9K Messages

6 m ago

FYI, it was pulled back from public domain in 1993. If you want free it’s on NBC December 24th @8 Eastern

Silver Problem Solver


6.9K Messages

6 m ago

To expand on the copyright, from Wikipedia:

Ownership and copyright issues

"Liberty Films was purchased by Paramount Pictures, and remained a subsidiary until 1951. In 1955, M. & A. Alexander purchased the movie. This included key rights to the original television syndication, the original nitrate film elements, the music score, and the film rights to the story on which the film is based, "The Greatest Gift".[N 6] National Telefilm Associates took over the rights to the film soon thereafter.

A clerical error at NTA prevented the copyright from being renewed properly in 1974.[81][82] Despite the lapsed copyright, television stations that aired it still had to pay royalties because—though the film's images had entered the public domain—the film's story was still restricted as a derivative work of the published story The Greatest Gift, whose copyright Philip Van Doren Stern had renewed in 1971.[83][84][N 7] The film became a perennial holiday favorite in the 1980s, possibly due to its repeated showings each holiday season on hundreds of local television stations. It was mentioned during the deliberations on the Copyright Term Extension Act of 1998.[83][85]

In 1993, Republic Pictures, which was the successor to NTA, relied on the 1990 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Stewart v. Abend (which involved another Stewart film, Rear Window) to enforce its claim to the copyright. While the film's copyright had not been renewed, Republic still owned the film rights to "The Greatest Gift"; thus, the plaintiffs were able to argue its status as a derivative work of a work still under copyright.[83][86] NBC, since 1996, is licensed to show the film on U.S. network television, and traditionally shows it during the holidays after Thanksgiving and on Christmas Eve. Paramount (via parent company Viacom's 1998 acquisition of Republic's then-parent, Spelling Entertainment) once again has distribution rights for the first time since 1955.[83][87]

Due to all the above actions, this is one of the few RKO films not controlled by Turner Entertainment/Warner Bros. in the US. It is also one of two Capra films Paramount owns despite not having originally released it—the other is Broadway Bill (originally from Columbia, remade by Paramount as Riding High in 1950).[83]

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