Tuesday, November 28, 2006

It's a Wonderful Life - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

National Telefilm Associates took over the rights to the U.M.&M. library soon afterward. However, a clerical error at NTA prevented the copyright from being renewed properly in 1974. Around this time, people began to take a second look at this film. A popular fallacy began that it entered the public domain and many television stations began airing the film without paying royalties. The film was still protected by virtue of it being a derivative work of all the other copyrighted material used to produce the film such as the script, music, etc. whose copyrights were renewed. In the 1980s (the beginning of the home video era) the film finally received the acclaim it didn't receive in 1946, thus becoming a perennial holiday favorite. For several years, it became expected that the movie would be shown multiple times on at least one station and on multiple stations in the same day, often at the same or overlapping times. It was a common practice for American viewers to jump in and out of viewing the movie at random points, confident they could easily pick it up again at a later time. The film's warm and familiar ambiance gave even isolated scenes the feel of holiday "comfort food" for the eyes and ears. The film's accidental public domain success is often cited as a reason to limit copyright terms, which have been frequently extended by Congress in the United States.