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[dvd-discuss] Re: [dvd-discuss digest 2003] V #180

"Michael A Rolenz" <Michael.A.Rolenz@aero.org> writes:
 > Yes, but we're now  under the Berne Convention, so *everything*
 > is copyrighted.

All new creative works are copyrighted, but there is a large body of
pre-Berne works that were published without notice of copyright,
and immediately entered the public domain without ever having had
copyright protection.  In particular, a large body of radio and television
programming falls into this category.  The television programs in
particular were sold to television stations as 16mm film copies, and
video copies are available from a number of public-domain media vendors.
For instance:


Many of those television programs only exist in the form of surviving
16mm prints, the original 16mm negatives and master videotapes having
been long ago discarded.  However, according to this law, the right to
control distribution and performance is transferred along with the
"physical master recording."  Do the owners of the landfills containing
those negatives and tapes have the right, under Illinois law, to control
the distribution and performance of those works?  What if those negatives
or tapes have been incinerated?  Is the use of those works now
completely illegal?