Is the Robot vs Aztec Mummy public domain?
June 22, 2009 9:41 PM   Subscribe

What is the copyright status of the movie The Robot vs. The Aztec Mummy?

I watched through it and it doesn't have a copyright notice, which is similar to Night of the Living Dead. So, logically, it should be public domain. However, hasn't added it to its collection of public domain movies. So, does anyone know if it is public domain or not?
posted by clockworkjoe to Law & Government (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: Also, is it possible to buy stock footage of the movie from somewhere?
posted by clockworkjoe at 9:48 PM on June 22, 2009

A copyright notice isn't needed. Under the Berne convention, copyright is automatic unless explicitly waived.

You're do best to assume that any given movie is under copyright unless you know for certain that it is not.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 10:00 PM on June 22, 2009

Lack of notice doesn't mean you can copy. It reduces the owner's rights but doesn't increase yours.
posted by JimN2TAW at 10:04 PM on June 22, 2009

Under the Berne convention, copyright is automatic unless explicitly waived.

As JimN2TAW implies, it's a bit more complicated than this. The registration requirement was completely removed only for works after 1972. Best to contact any rights-clearance agencies that might possibly be handling this movie and take it from there. At any rate, it'll likely be a private-detective style task that may support a story written for its own sake.
posted by rhizome at 11:20 PM on June 22, 2009

Response by poster: That's where I'm stumped. I have no idea how to find such a rights clearance agency.
posted by clockworkjoe at 11:23 PM on June 22, 2009

This page lays out general guidelines for what should be public domain or not. Yes, it has no notice, so if it was first published in the US, it'd be public domain. It was a Mexican film, though, so it may be a little more complicated than that.
posted by zsazsa at 12:26 AM on June 23, 2009

Hmm, now that I think of it, a former professor of mine wrote Mil Mascaras vs. the Aztec Mummy in 2007. It seems to at least be a spiritual sequel, so there's a small chance he knows something about the copyright status. I'll send him an email.
posted by zsazsa at 12:51 AM on June 23, 2009

Best answer: Tweet Shout! Factory and ask. They're issuing the MST3K episode on DVD in a couple of weeks so they have to know the copyright status of the movie itself.
posted by Lazlo at 1:02 AM on June 23, 2009

On IMDB it lists a company called Trans-International Films as the "Us Copyright Author".

Judging by the number of US companies who have put it out on VHS or DVD (10 by my count) it's probably a public domain film. But you could call any of those companies and find out.
posted by hamsterdam at 9:48 AM on June 23, 2009

Response by poster: Got this from ShoutFactory: Copyright is owned by the Calderon family. Ultra Films reps them & they licensed rights to BCI. We sublicensed from them for MST3K XV DVD
posted by clockworkjoe at 10:41 AM on June 23, 2009

« Older Is the London Pass worth getting?   |   can't afford not to work Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.