Tracing copyright owners and asking permission.
2 posts • Page 1 of 1
I’ve searched, but maybe am not searching with the right words, but would the movie franchise, Compass, that made the original Halloween in 1978, be able to effectively own copyright on the carved pumpkin in the opening credits? I realise the artefact is perishable and obviously long gone, but the image remains in the movie.
The two critical attributes for an artistic work to gain copyright are that it is original and that it is fixed in some medium. Whether this particular pumpkin meets the first criterion I can't say, not having seen the film, but I somehow doubt it. However since the object's likeness has been preserved on film (and also I presume in the posters for the film), it meets the second criterion. And if it was an original work, and therefore a theoretical copyright might exist, it would probably have been owned by the film's production company. If Compass or a successor company decided they wanted to sue someone in the USA for copying the pumpkin, they would first need to register the design of the pumpkin with the US Copyright Office. Under US Copyright Law, since this would be classed as a work made for hire, copyright lasts for 95 years from the date it was made.