From: David P. Hayes
Date: 1997/10/22
Newsgroups: alt.movies.silent, alt.movies.chaplin

> >FilmGene <> wrote in article
> >> Actually this is true. A little known clause of a 1994 trade bill
> >restored
> >>  copyrights to foreign film owners whose films had gone into p.d. in the
> >USA
> >>  (in effect they restored and recognized the films' original copyrights
> >in the
> >>  country of origin.) Chaplin, ironically is included in this because he
> >never
> >>  renounced his British citizenship.
> >> Gene Stavis, School of Visual Arts - NYC

> >From: "mack twamley" <> wrote:
> >Well, Charlie always liked to say that he was an extremely well-paying
> >guest of the United States.  But for a film made wholly in California, with
> >the studio being on La Brea Ave in Hollywood, to be granted this kind of
> >concession seems ludicrous at best.

In article <>, (Bobster123) wrote:
> Apparantly, Chaplin copyrighted the 1925 GOLD RUSH in his name (instead of that
>  of a studio), which is a… reason why the Chaplin estate was able to
>  recopyright the film under the new foreign copyright law.

If where a film is made had become a criteria for determining the country of origin for copyright, there would be even more chaos.  The sound remake of "The Ten Commandments" was shot and Egypt and the sound "Ben-Hur" was shot entirely in Italy other than four days of retakes.

Normally, a film made by a studio headquartered in the United States is copyrighted in the name of a U.S. entity (e.g. Douglas Fairbanks Pictures Corporation), rather than taking the option that Chaplin did, being in the unusual position of being sole owner of his studio, of putting that asset in his own name.  For those trying to determine the copyright status of a film, it now becomes a matter of adding to one's query an observance of whether a copyright is taken out in the name of an individual, and if so, whether that person was a foreign citizen, and from that answer going on to determine if a new copyright was taken out in the foreign country.  The Library of Congress web site has a list of foreign titles recopyrighted under GATT.



Although it remains true that legislation passed by the United States Congress in 1994 made it possible for works with valid foreign copyrights and made by foreign entities to again be copyrighted in the United States after being denied such coverage, there are some exceptions specified in that legislation, one of which affects The Gold Rush.

A detailed explanation of how the exceptions in the GATT/URAA legislation affects The Gold Rush, visit the exercises page at


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