TV pre-1957

'Is it legal', 'can I do this' type questions and discussions.
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Evioine
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TV pre-1957

Post by Evioine » Fri Sep 21, 2007 1:36 am

Thanks again for your help with the last question. I have another which I'm less certain about. The copyright duration for broadcasts is 50 years. Does this mean that anyone broadcast by the bbc and other stations pre-1957 is in the public domain or are there other complicating issues (i've read somewhere that only "live" broadcasts have 50 years' copyright, while some programmes are counted as film, but I've not come across any distinction in looking through the laws)?

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CopyrightAid
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Post by CopyrightAid » Fri Sep 21, 2007 11:46 am

Going back to the Copyright Designs and Patents Act (the version I commonly use is published at http://www.jenkins-ip.com/patlaw/cdpa1.htm)

You need to look at sections 5B and 6 which define what a 'film' and a 'broadcast' actually mean and then Sections 13B & 14 which deal with the duration.

I agree the line here is hard to define, a 'film' covers pretty much any audio visual recording, so you need to bear in mind that even though the broadcast may be over 50 years old, the actual film/recording that was broadcast would still be subject to copyright.

I do not profess to be fully versed in the nuances in this area - in fact it seems a tad contradictory (I may need to do some further research on this one), but your assertion that 'broadcast' only covers live broadcasts seems valid to me.

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Post by Evioine » Fri Sep 21, 2007 1:41 pm

If its the case that live broadcast only are counted, then things get more confusing as to what counts as "live", as according to the bbc, when explaining the loss of old episodes of dr who and many other shows like dad's army:
Right up until the 1970s, many television and radio broadcasts frequently went out live and unrecorded. For years the only television recording technology was film, and filming was too expensive just to keep programmes in the vaults.
All these old shows seem to have been televised plays with, with inserted pre-recorded outdoor scenes where necessary, so that they seem to me to count as "live" broadcasts. What do you think?

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Post by CopyrightAid » Mon Sep 24, 2007 9:15 am

Not really. For a start, I expect that anything pre-recorded in the broadcast would be classed as film from a copyright perspective.

Perhaps if you can explain exactly what it is you intend to do, I may be able to point you in the right direction...

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Post by Evioine » Mon Sep 24, 2007 10:01 am

Well, to be honest, I hadn't really thought about doing much except watching them and maybe giving friends copies if they were interested, nothing commercial. It would be nice to be able to look at tv show (any old originally copywritten work for that matter) and easily know that you can do whatever you like with it without worries, that there's libraries worth of old, often half-forgotten material that you would never have heard of or afforded to buy, which is now free to watch, trade, distribute, sell etc. .

With the broadcast being "live and unrecorded", i had hoped that at the very least those shows wholly filmed in a studio, which I think were the majority, would be in the public domain, but this is wishful thinking.

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Post by CopyrightAid » Mon Sep 24, 2007 5:51 pm

Where would you obtain the copy of the TV show in the first place? Or is this something you recorded at the time?

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Post by Evioine » Mon Sep 24, 2007 7:38 pm

well, i couldn't have recorded the original broadcast in the 50s, but the bbc occasionally rebroadcasts older shows. For example, on a site i visit where people post links to downloads of, amongst other things, tv shows, someone has uploaded a recording of the bbc's performance of 1984 starring Peter Cushing, which had originally been televised in 1954, but which he had recorded from when it was reshown in full on bbc 4 lately.

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Post by ClarencePJ » Wed Feb 11, 2015 4:51 am

It would be pleasant to be able to take a look at television show (any aged actually copywritten help that matter) as well as effortlessly know which can be done whatever you decide to like with the idea without anxieties, there is libraries value regarding aged, typically half-forgotten materials that you simply would never include been aware of or perhaps provided to get, which can be today liberal to check out, deal, disperse, promote for example..

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Post by Nick Cooper » Wed Feb 11, 2015 12:05 pm

Evioine wrote:well, i couldn't have recorded the original broadcast in the 50s, but the bbc occasionally rebroadcasts older shows. For example, on a site i visit where people post links to downloads of, amongst other things, tv shows, someone has uploaded a recording of the bbc's performance of 1984 starring Peter Cushing, which had originally been televised in 1954, but which he had recorded from when it was reshown in full on bbc 4 lately.
Obviously a very delayed response, but such an upload would have been an infringement. Although the adptation in question went out live, it was simulataneously recorded on film. While the signal broadcast in 1954 had a copyright duration of 50 years, the actual recording of the video and audio would undoubtedly count as a dramatic work in and of itself, and be protected as such. As the play was scripted by Nigel Kneale, who didn't die until 2006, that protection will last until the end of 2076.

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