Save Orphan Films!

Orphan films are movies that were created and subsequently abandoned by their copyright owners. They are documentaries, newsreels, independent productions, glimpses of the daily life of immigrant communities and racial or ethnic minorities, and commercial works whose owners have abandoned or forgotten them. In many cases, they were captured on a medium which is literally disintegrating faster than the term of their copyright protection.

Movie preservationists, archivists, and enthusiasts wish to save these films so they will be available for future generations. The overwhelming majority of these films are not being commercially exploited and have been abandoned by their original owners. However, under current law, to restore these and make them available to the public, one needs to hunt down an elusive copyright owner to get permission. This is costly, and often impossible. Since there would never be a commercial benefit from most of these films, they disintegrate without being preserved.

Here we will discuss efforts to Save Orphan Films! by allowing them to pass into the public domain. Our mission-- to preserve our film heritage for future generations.