CBS refuses to release public domain, un-aired TV show episodes

by Paul William Tenny

Long story made short: some people who are fans of Jack Benny discovered that CBS had a number of unaired episodes in their archives that have fallen into the public domain (meaning the copyright on them has expired, although CBS does still own the physical medium the episodes are stored on which is all that matters.)

CBS laid out terms for the episodes to be released (somebody else has to pay for everything, which was agreed to) and then reneged, deciding to keep the episodes in their archives apparently forever.

And perhaps the worst part of this mess is that CBS took their sweet time -- nine months -- to give the original "yes" that they just turned into a no.

I strongly support copyright reform because at this point you could draw a picture as a baby and still not see the copyright expire on it until your own children are in their 60s. Sadly that won't have any effect on situations like this where corporate greed and laziness are literally destroying parts of our culture because they can't be troubled to let someone else bring it back to life.

If you want to complain, feel free, CBS I'm sure would be more than happy to hear from you:

Sumner Redstone, Executive Chairman
Leslie Moonves, President and CEO

51 West 52 Street
New York, New York 10019-6188

h/t: BoingBoing.

in Legal, Television


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