Crowd sourcing "Laurel and Hardy" research


#1

Quite literally for ‘shits and giggles’ I was looking around for some old favorites from the Laurel and Hardy shorts collection, specifically their short “Brat’s”. I was quite shocked to find that it was not available via the internet through a video player like youtube.

Now, I have quite a few old L and H feature films and shorts on VHS, and a newish dvd/vcr, and while I don’t have any video capture technology I feel it would be worth it for me to invest in a Elgato or some similar tech for the explicit purpose of uploading some wonderful classic comedy onto youtube.

However, thanks to @doctorow and the rest of the BB editors and crew I am wary of messing with possibly copyrighted works. So I took it upon myself to try and dig around to see if L and H feature films and shorts are actually still copyrighted, and proceeded failed miserably… so I decided to take this to people smarter and more knowledgeable than I, and here we are. What do ya’ll think?

ETA 1 -
I push forward in my research and it looks like quite a few L and H works are still under copyright protection, but I could be wrong. Anyone care to take a look and confirm or deny? I’m not very good at reading government records…
I found this document under a larger copyright covering around 617 short and feature films.
ETA 2 -
To further complicate this it seems like there is a secondary copyright on some of the films in the above copyright. Here is the Document.


What's the objectively optimal copyright term?
#2

Did you find your shits and/or giggles?

ETA -

From the Wiki entry,

Numerous colorized versions of copyright-free Laurel and Hardy features and shorts have been reproduced by a multitude of production studios.

I think if your uploads pre-date or are close to the public domain entries, you’re in the theoretical clear. I mean, if you’re wrong you just take 'em down right?


#3

I found the ‘emotional’ shits but I was unable to find the ‘literal’ giggles.

ETA -
There is also this. Too bad I don’t speak German.
Also I believe, based on wikipedia, “Brats” was released in 1930’s and isn’t that past public domain entries?


#4

Or get hunted through eternity by rabid copyright trolls shivers


#5

Archive.org would have it if it was PD and it really should be by now.


#6

The U.S. copyright office… I can’t… I can’t… I…


#7

Well I guess I could experiment, like @slybevel said, upload one to youtube and see how long it lasts.


#8

In theory, but there are public domain movies that still aren’t on archive.org yet, and conversely, some of the things uploaded are definitely still under copyright.


#9

Oh I most definitely downloaded my copy of Message From Space when somebody put it up there. I knew it would be gone soon.


#10

I’m still confused about that as well, who owns these owns the rights to these old classics, and why? In a lot of cases they aren’t using them for anything, the only time it seems they ever even remember that they own the rights to a given short or movie is when someone samples one of them or posts it on Youtube (usually a non monetized channel) or some such thing for the purpose of exposing new generations to old classics or to allow longtime fans to easily access their favorite old visual media through new mediums, like online video players, and even then all they do is send takedown notices. I guess what I’m asking is, what’s the long con here? What am I missing?


#11

Greed and laziness mostly. I do know that the one you want is hard to find even on DVD. Honestly go to the the torrents for it.
I can be bad and rip a copy of it off DVD for you as the movie nirvana known as Scarecrow is near me. Directors have WALKED from downtown Seattle to this store and it is a considerable hike from there.


#12

I actually have, if not all, most of the old Laurel and Hardy shorts on VHS. It’s just that they are buried in my basement somewhere, this whole fiasco started with me having a short bit from “Brats”, I believe I quote from Laurel along the lines of"United we stand, divided we fall" running through my brain, and being in the internet age I thought that Youtube would provide and allow me to be lazy. Searching through a messy basement is never fun, let alone rewinding tapes. However, if ever you find yourself wanting some old L and H shorts in digital format and you end up ripping a Laurel and Hardy collection of shorts DVD that happens to have “Brats” on it, hit me up, but don’t go out of your way just for me. Not to mention that I have

and since it is a combo DVD/VHS player I may end up being able to transfer these old VHS to dvd and then copy them onto my computer, if I don’t end up getting a capture device like elgato that can do it directly… I think. However since it seems you have some knowledge about the dvd to digital aspect I might hit you up for some tech advice if I ever get to digging up the old tapes from the basement.


#13

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