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What's my Line? question

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Vahan_Nisanain, Mar 17, 2014.

  1. Vahan_Nisanain

    Vahan_Nisanain Supporting Actor

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    WML, at least the original 1950-1967 series is Public Domain.


    The 1968-1975 series, however, isn't.
     
  2. jimmyjet

    jimmyjet Producer

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    is there any chance that fremantle is not the owner of these videos ?
     
  3. jimmyjet

    jimmyjet Producer

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    i didnt see your above post.


    how come they are able to take off shows from 50-54 ?
     
  4. FanCollector

    FanCollector Producer

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    I am fairly sure that Fremantle owns all the shows and the concept as part of their deal to acquire the Goodson-Todman library. I don't see how the shows can be in the public domain if networks are paying to show them. I imagine that Fremantle's change of heart about YouTube is connected to the June 1 launch of Buzzr, the new channel that airs What's My Line and many other Fremantle-owned properties. The channel probably wouldn't be thrilled to learn that they are licensing shows that viewers can see for free on YouTube. I'll miss the availability of the episodes also, especially as I am not in one of the few markets that has Buzzr thus far. But I see why they feel they need to do it.
     
  5. jimmyjet

    jimmyjet Producer

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  6. DeWilson

    DeWilson Cinematographer

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    Freemantle only owns the "format" and any episodes with proper copyright registrations and renewals. Which most of the pre-1967 Library does not have. (Which actually only represents a small portion of the Game Show holding, perhaps 2500 episodes - many unusable due to the tobacco advertising within!)

    CBS Television Syndication still syndicates and sells the 35 odd episodes of "Beverly Hillbillies" the 20 odd episodes of "Bonanza", and the couple of dozen "Lucy" and "One Step Beyond" episodes that have fallen into the public domain, and have so for decades.(well, them and the predecessor companies)

    Stu Shostak, who not only being a pop-culture internet radio host, but also was one of the first and longest Public Domain video guys (Who still offers the library, but hasn't created new titles in years,sadly) Commented about this on his facebook page, offering his full support.

    The shows were defined as "published" when CBS made physical duplicates of the kinescopes and sold-leased-distributed them to CBS affiliates who for various reasons were unable to, or chose not to, air them the same time the network did. The shows therefor were published without copyright notice - and under the pre-1977 copyright laws needed to be both registered and have a notice attached. G-T did not., and it was never corrected within the proper window.

    Freemantle basically has to deal with "cleaning up" G-T's messes.

    CBS,inc hasn't been able to stop anyone from using the public domain episodes of Hillbillies,One Step Beyond,Lucy, Bonanza and they still own/co-own the formats and trademarks - and they are a Bigger outfit than Freemantle. Jack Benny's and George Burns Estates haven't stopped the flow of those public domain shows, either.

    Just food for thought.
     
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  7. jimmyjet

    jimmyjet Producer

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    hey dewilson,


    thanks for the meal. that was so much food, i am still digesting it !!!
     
  8. FanCollector

    FanCollector Producer

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    Thanks, DeWilson. That's an excellent point about the CBS-owned shows that have gone partially into public domain. But didn't G-T obtain filmed (as opposed to kinescope) versions of a lot of the WML episodes after the first few years? Would that change their copyright status? Or would those shows only aired live be in copyright? Not disagreeing; just curious as to the classification of various categories of the WML episodes.
     
  9. Jack P

    Jack P Producer

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    WML always aired live throughout the 50s until starting around the early 60s when they would tape a second episode before a live broadcast to stockpile summer episodes. That still adds up to a small percentage that did not air live. (in the East and Central at least. The west coast would have always seen it on tape by the 60s and those tapes are no longer extant).
     
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  10. Kevin Segura

    Kevin Segura Stunt Coordinator

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    Guys--

    The old CBS game show eps are NOT in the public domain. Broadcast does not constitute publication. And if they were never published, they can't have been published with a defective copyright notice, which would have been necessary for them to have gone into PD status.

    Similarly, two Federal courts have also ruled that syndication does not constitute publication.

    The programs remain unpublished works.

    I am not lawyer, and the above does not constitute legal advice... (but it's what you'll likely hear if you hire one.)

    - Kevin
     
  11. DeWilson

    DeWilson Cinematographer

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    Regarding this situation, Public Domain video dealer and internet radio show host Stu Shostak, posted the following on facebook (His account and on the WML? page), and his take regarding the whole rights status issues. He's spoken to Gary directly as well. He's not a lawyer either, but experienced in these issues. (Presented as posted)

    Looks like if something is going to happen, laws are going to be challenged, and that might be a good thing.


    Stu Shostak Unless you're a member of the "Stu's Show" Facebook group page, you may not be able to see my response to a listener who posted this link on my show's page. A few of you here have already mentioned some of my bullet points, but this is what I posted on my show's page: I have mixed feelings because not too long ago someone from Fremantle said that they encouraged fans posting clips from their properties. Now they are basically playing "Indian giver" because they feel that in this particular instance, the WML channel on YT is interfering with their reruns on Buzzr. The difference here is that Gary, the owner of the channel, basically posted ALL the WML episodes complete and uncut, not just clips. If he had just put up clips or a handful of complete shows, I think Fremantle would have probably looked the other way. But because ALL of the existing episodes are up there, they have to make an example of him while trying to protect their intellectual property rights. The shows themselves are in the public domain - they were duplicated (published), distributed (and NEVER registered or renewed for copyright with the Library of Congress in Washington) to various stations not able to air the show live via the coaxial cable at the time, but the ever-popular "underlying rights" to the concept, format, etc. is the intellectual property they are claiming protects the shows. They did purchase the format and concept of WML when they bought the G-T library. But it's a bogus argument because it's comparing apples and oranges; however, it's going to take a very smart and experienced copyright lawyer on Gary's side to blow that argument out of the water in a court of law...and it's also going to cost Gary thousands of dollars to prove it and get the law re-written. The infamous "Star Trek" Paramount vs. Rubinstein case in 1978 wrecked it for everyone because Rubinstein had a shitty lawyer who was not well-versed in copyright law (look it up). This is the exact David and Goliath situation I faced when I was running my video business and the kinescope argument came up...and it always did and the lawyers always cited the widely criticized "Star Trek" case as their primary argument. Paramount ended up putting 1978 notices on their future "Trek" prints just to be on the safe side, so even THEY knew they were lucky to get a judge that sided with them.. In my own battles, I just wasn't making the money I needed off the shows to justify hiring a lawyer and defending my rights...and also allowing every other public domain company to benefit without helping to pay MY legal expenses. In this case, Gary makes NO money; he also has the paranoid YouTube to contend with, so it's unfortunate that it could eventually be a losing battle for him. Sad to say.

    He also added in the thread regarding one of the cases and the use of the term "limited" publication... Whatever happens will sure be interesting

    Stu Shostak Yes...there's no such thing as "limited" except as a ruling by a NY district judge. It's not even a federal law, but the lawyers all cite it as gospel because nobody challenged it. It's now 37 years later and still being cited...and it will in this case too.
     
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  12. Kevin Segura

    Kevin Segura Stunt Coordinator

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    Well, not to just be poking holes in things, but the act of simple duplication of something does not in and of itself constitute publication. Nor does distribution of copies in and of itself constitute publication. It's generally held that the unrestricted transfer of ownership of those copies (usually to the general public) is what determines publication. And since most syndication contracts not only have non-duplication clauses but also require the client to return or destroy the syndication copies after the syndication agreement expires, that's why the courts have ruled that syndication is also not publication.


    So, those programs (and most of their 1950s/60s companions), remain unpublished works. Cheer up though-- WML ? and the rest **will** eventually enter the public domain. In accordance with the current interpretations of the law, the first WML? program will be free for everyone to use starting in 2071.


    (Again-- not a lawyer, not legal advice.)


    - Kevin
     
  13. DeWilson

    DeWilson Cinematographer

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    As Stu said, no one has challenged these lower district court rulings in the 37 years, and perhaps it's time someone does. Might be Gary, might be someone else.
     
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  14. howard1908

    howard1908 Stunt Coordinator

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    just wanted to appprise those on the website who are aware that they have just discorverd episode 18 of whats my line, albiet in fragmented form ( the fourth and fonal rounds specificaly) the episode has been released to the public via youtube, i would pist the link but my phone wont let me so just type in whats my line lost episode kathleen windsor mystery guest (octob
     
  15. howard1908

    howard1908 Stunt Coordinator

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    sorry my phone cut me off before i could finish typing up the title and it wont let me edit my post either, but to view the video just search up, whats my line lost episode kathleen windsor mystery guest (october 8, 1950)
     
  16. Jack P

    Jack P Producer

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    The discovery of a near complete lost episode of WML (original air date October 1, 1950) was an exciting development and it also yielded the first known extant footage of the show that aired prior to it "Celebrity Time" which had a four year run from 1948 to 1952.
     
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  17. Message #437 of 439 Feb 2, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2016
    Vahan_Nisanain

    Vahan_Nisanain Supporting Actor

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    It definitely opens up new possibilities for what else might resurface. Could there be more WMLs out there, other than the ones that we know for a fact are in private collections?

    I told you before in one PM to you, that the two 1967 WML episodes I want to see resurface the most are the ones with Candice Bergen and Lauren Bacall respectively.
     
  18. GJI

    GJI Auditioning

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  19. GJI

    GJI Auditioning

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    It’s Dorothy Kilgallen.
     

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