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Reproducing Movie Posters

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Dan HuntReproducing Movie Posters
by on Mar 8, 2008 at 8:16:08 pm

I am organising the AV for a concert of movie themes and the performers would like the poster image displayed on a screen at the event.

Are movie posters and publicity stills able to be reproduced freely as I assume they are public domain? It is a one time only event and there will be no profit made from the use of the images.

If anyone has any advice or guidance it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks,


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Todd TerryRe: Reproducing Movie Posters
by on Mar 8, 2008 at 9:27:55 pm

[Warped Noise] "movie posters and publicity stills... I assume they are public domain?"

What kind of posters are you talking about that would lead you to believe they are in the public domain? Really really ancient ones? Even those probably still have valid copyrights.

Sorry, but absolutely not. You can bet the farm that there is at least one and probably numerous copyrights on the average typical movie poster.

And some studios (most notably Disney or any of their subsidiaries) will very very vigorously protect those copyrights, no matter how small or insignificant a project may seem.


Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.

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Mike CohenRe: Reproducing Movie Posters
by on Mar 8, 2008 at 10:58:38 pm

There are numerous discussions on this forum about copyrights. Assume nothing is public domain. If a symphony or school drama program buys the rights to perform a piece of music or a play, they are not also purchasing the rights to use the official artwork from the original production.

What type of organization is putting on this event?


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Dan HuntRe: Reproducing Movie Posters
by on Mar 9, 2008 at 11:22:02 am

Obviously my understanding of what is meant by public domain needs brushing up! I would have thought that a movie poster which is promoting a film would be able to be reproduced as it would be common sense for a studio to want to promote their films. But since when has Hollywood ever used common sense!

The event is run by the local council's performing arts department. They don't have time or budget to seek out rights so it looks as though I'll have to abandon the idea.

Thanks both for the information.



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Steve WargoRe: Reproducing Movie Posters
by on Mar 11, 2008 at 3:35:00 am

Can you describe what you want to do in a little more detail? I would call the promotions departments of the studios and ask them. it's surprising what they'll part with. We have posters in our studio from all of the movies shot with an F-900 HD camera. And, the posters came from Sony. Star Wars, Once Upon a Time in Mexico, Sin City, Collateral, Sky Captain and a few more.

Steve Wargo
Tempe, Arizona
It's a dry heat!

Sony HDCAM F-900 & HDW-2000/1 deck
5 Final Cut (not quite PRO) systems
Sony HVR-M25 HDV deck
2-Sony EX-1 HD .

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