Einhander
2018-11-01T23:27:53Z
Recently, it has come to my attention that several random Popeye cartoons from 1933-1957 are in the public domain. How did this happen? Did A.A.P let the copyright lapse on some cartoons but not others?
PopKorn Kat
2018-11-02T00:57:38Z
Originally Posted by: Einhander 

Recently, it has come to my attention that several random Popeye cartoons from 1933-1957 are in the public domain. How did this happen? Did A.A.P let the copyright lapse on some cartoons but not others?



That is the most likely scenario.

As for whether they are even in the public domain, you'll need to check the Catalog of Copyright Entries .

A few caveats which I learned while researching the renewal dates of Warner Bros. shorts: WB shorts tend to be copyrighted about a year or two before they were actually released (backlogs and all certainly playing a part). Try searching a year or two before the short was actually released.

Second, beware of slightly off titles. One short ("Crowing Pains") was renewed under a different title ("Growing Pains"), which I believe started the misconception that it is in the public domain (it's not).
Toonatic
2018-11-02T01:12:49Z
Basically how a number of pre-48 Looney Tunes fell into the PD; a.a.p. didn't renew the copyrights in 1969.
PorkyPigfan90
2018-11-02T03:49:55Z
An example of a cartoon that IS public domain but not treated as such is the Silly Symphony "The Cookie Carnival." It was copyrighted in 1935 but not renewed in either 1962 or 63.
Einhander
2018-11-03T17:48:40Z
Originally Posted by: PorkyPigfan90 

An example of a cartoon that IS public domain but not treated as such is the Silly Symphony "The Cookie Carnival." It was copyrighted in 1935 but not renewed in either 1962 or 63.



Any sources on that info?
PorkyPigfan90
2018-11-03T18:46:33Z
I got the info from the Film Superlist 1894-1939 book. Plus you can check the Copyright Catalog Motion Picture Renewals for 1962 and 63 online.
nickramer
2018-11-04T15:27:02Z
You sure the cartoon might not be copyrighted under a different title like even a working title(I know, not likely)?
PorkyPigfan90
2018-11-04T20:24:09Z
Its possible it could have been renewed under a different title but it was definitely copyrighted as "The Cookie Carnival" in 1935.
PorkyPigfan90
2018-11-08T22:59:34Z
I ended up checking the copyright renewals for 62 and 63 on archive.com and could not find a title that was renewed by Disney that could have been a working title.
Bobby Bickert
2023-01-04T22:18:07Z
I think the reason ALL of the Popeye cartoons with a copyright date of 1954 are in the public domain is because United Artists was in bad shape in the year those cartoons were due to be renewed, 1981. The United Artists release Heaven's Gate was a huge flop at the box office. United Artists was in such bad financial shape that it ended up being bought by MGM.

(And yet United Artists renewed the copyrights on all of the Popeye cartoons with a copyright date of 1955. But none of the Popeye cartoons with a copyright date of 1956 and 1957 had their copyrights renewed. I have no idea what happened there.)