Are the AIP/Titra dubs public domain?

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Alternity Orange
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Are the AIP/Titra dubs public domain?

Postby Alternity Orange » Fri Aug 09, 2019 1:00 am

I ask because there's a bootleg seller on eBay selling a handful of Godzilla movies MOD and he states they are public domain because of the dubs. I'm just wondering how he's getting away with it.

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Re: Are the AIP/Titra dubs public domain?

Postby canofhumdingers » Fri Aug 09, 2019 4:22 am

People get away with a LOT on eBay. Doesn’t mean it’s legal and certainly doesn’t make his statement true.

I’m all for fans stepping in to restore and preserve films or versions of films that the copyright holders are failing to, but selling them crosses a line that is absolutely not cool. I may not agree with a lot of current copyright laws, but that doesn’t mean it’s ok to make money off something you don’t own. Plus it directly hampers fan preservation efforts by encouraging the rights owners to hunt down and stamp out ALL copyright infringement (which technically does include fan preservation).

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Re: Are the AIP/Titra dubs public domain?

Postby Pkmatrix » Fri Aug 09, 2019 5:34 am

I imagine, if anything, the audio tracks may be public domain but not the video as the films were not altered significantly enough to qualify as a new work, I think. Selling any Godzilla movie without Toho's approval is a copyright violation. Selling an audio file of an AIP or Titra dub track, however? That might just barely be okay.

As canofhumdingers said, people get away with a lot by just being low-key about it.

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Re: Are the AIP/Titra dubs public domain?

Postby canofhumdingers » Fri Aug 09, 2019 6:01 am

I don’t think you can separate audio and video into separate copyrights like that. I think the work as a whole (in this case, a film) either is or is not public domain. And that would include any alternate audio options. But I’m not a copyright lawyer, so...... ?

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Re: Are the AIP/Titra dubs public domain?

Postby Terasawa » Fri Aug 09, 2019 6:04 am

No. (Damn character count.)
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Re: Are the AIP/Titra dubs public domain?

Postby Pkmatrix » Fri Aug 09, 2019 6:44 am

canofhumdingers wrote:I don’t think you can separate audio and video into separate copyrights like that. I think the work as a whole (in this case, a film) either is or is not public domain. And that would include any alternate audio options. But I’m not a copyright lawyer, so...... ?


You'd think so, but no. It's not that simple.

The go-to example is how the movie It's a Wonderful Life fell into the public domain, but the musical score did not and since the mid-1990s the studio has been enforcing the copyright on the music to prevent the movie from being broadcasted or distributed freely.

Toho owns, for example, the copyright on the original audio and video of Son of Godzilla. But Titra produced a new English language voice track for them, which may (depending on what the contract was) have been copyrighted separately to Titra. The main reason Toho wants everyone to use the International dubs is because Toho owns the copyright on the International dub tracks (they commissioned them), whereas the AIP dubs weren't commissioned by Toho but rather by AIP.

It's basically the same reason why Godzilla 1985 hasn't been released on DVD or Blu-Ray.
Last edited by Pkmatrix on Fri Aug 09, 2019 6:49 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Are the AIP/Titra dubs public domain?

Postby Stump Feet » Fri Aug 09, 2019 6:48 am

Well, Godzilla 1985 ended up recycling a soundtrack from a completely different movie so of course copyright in that case gets real murky
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Re: Are the AIP/Titra dubs public domain?

Postby o.supreme » Fri Aug 09, 2019 7:00 am

No doubt since Criterions announcement, many fans are scrambling to obtain these AIP dubs any way possible, and there are those out there to exploit it. Just remember...be patient. There's always kind fans who will offer something without cost or via trading films ( what we used to do in the old days)
To all you dub preservationists, my friends, you have my eternal thanks 8-) . Never stop what you do, you are amazing!

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Re: Are the AIP/Titra dubs public domain?

Postby Stump Feet » Fri Aug 09, 2019 7:06 am

I certainly hope so, I'd give anything to have another physical copy of Destroy All Monsters AIP dub.

I've even offered a few dollars for shipping costs if need be
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Re: Are the AIP/Titra dubs public domain?

Postby Alternity Orange » Sat Aug 10, 2019 10:38 pm

Thanks for the replies guys. I'm starting to think the dubs may indeed be public domain but that doesn't give the guy the right to bootleg. But it brings up the question of why all the US Gamera movies are in public domain for essentially the same reason this guy is claiming.

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Re: Are the AIP/Titra dubs public domain?

Postby Pkmatrix » Sun Aug 11, 2019 4:54 am

Alternity Orange wrote:Thanks for the replies guys. I'm starting to think the dubs may indeed be public domain but that doesn't give the guy the right to bootleg. But it brings up the question of why all the US Gamera movies are in public domain for essentially the same reason this guy is claiming.


They aren't, as far as i'm aware.

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Re: Are the AIP/Titra dubs public domain?

Postby Stump Feet » Sun Aug 11, 2019 7:50 am

I think only the Sandy Frank dub Gamera movies have become PD and that’s why they’re always featured on those “50 Sci-Fi Classics” DvD sets
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Re: Are the AIP/Titra dubs public domain?

Postby Terasawa » Sun Aug 11, 2019 9:14 am

Stump Feet wrote:I think only the Sandy Frank dub Gamera movies have become PD and that’s why they’re always featured on those “50 Sci-Fi Classics” DvD sets


You're thinking of the original American releases (Sandy Frank entered the picture later on, in the late '80s) which were mostly released by AI-TV and three of which were dubbed by Titan. The PD film collections have mostly stayed away from the versions released later by Frank.
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Re: Are the AIP/Titra dubs public domain?

Postby Stump Feet » Sun Aug 11, 2019 9:22 am

Ah, thank you for correcting me.
Last edited by Stump Feet on Sun Aug 11, 2019 9:22 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Are the AIP/Titra dubs public domain?

Postby Great Hierophant » Fri Aug 16, 2019 7:46 am

I believe AIP started dubbing Japanese monster films in 1964 and put a copyright notice on their versions, so they are subject to automatic renewal. Someone has copyright in those dubs until at least 2059.

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Re: Are the AIP/Titra dubs public domain?

Postby Pkmatrix » Fri Aug 16, 2019 7:58 am

Great Hierophant wrote:I believe AIP started dubbing Japanese monster films in 1964 and put a copyright notice on their versions, so they are subject to automatic renewal. Someone has copyright in those dubs until at least 2059.


If that's the case, chasing it down...

AIP was bought by Filmways in 1979. Filmways was bought by Orion Pictures in 1982. After they re-emerged from bankruptcy, Orion merged with a couple other companies to become Metromedia in 1995. Metromedia was bought by MGM in 1997, and Orion remains an MGM subsidiary to this day. As far as I can tell, most of AIP's library is owned by MGM, so presumably the company that owns the AIP dubs is MGM. American International Pictures is even listed as one of the libraries MGM owns on their Wikipedia page.


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