If Jeff and dl are right, then the ONLY copyrightable element is that stereo mix. Not the cartoons and not the original soundtracks. Those weasels try to be tricky. But, if the cartoons really fell into the Public Domain, anybody has the same right to manipulate the original cartoons and/or soundtracks in any way they want, even to issue competeing DVDs if they can find the sources.
Steve mentioned some copyrights being retrieved, but that was in Europe. I've never heard of a legitamate PD item being retrieved/recaptured in the US.
My opinions only, not official LOC, blah blah blah.
>>> [log in to unmask] 06/20/05 11:58 AM >>>
Jeff Willens wrote:
> Hope this doesn't sound TOO strange, but didn't Warner Bros. let several of their Looney Tunes/Merrie Melodies cartoons lapse into public domain? And didn't they re-copyright them all in the 90s? Notice how you don't see them on cheapo videotapes and DVDs anymore, or running on independent TV stations as they did in the 70s. I seem to remember at the end of the re-copyrighted versions (the ones on their new DVDs), there's a notice that says something like "Dubbed Version c. 1995 Warner Brothers". Would these just pertain to the films being remastered and the remaster itself being copyrighted?
Could this refer to a new audio mix? Seems to me that if a soundtrack is now in stereo, that would definitely constitute a new copyrightable element. (Speaking of which, MGM's "Band Wagon" sounds fantastic on the new DVD, and all the numbers are in well-balanced new stereo.)