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Non-US Copyright Rules

OpenFlix is based in the United States and views copyright protection from a US perspective. Site visitors from other countries need to be aware that their own domestic copyright laws apply to their use of movies listed in OpenFlix. Copyright works for which OpenFlix obtains liscense will be available internationally.


Listed below are some basic copyright rules in other countries and links to more information. Site visitors should only use this material as an initial starting point. While OpenFlix endeavors to provide accurate information these are not legal opinions and may become outdated over time.


The World Intellectual Property Organization provides a wealth of information about copyright laws throughout the world. In particular, there is CLEA - the Collection of Laws for Electronic Access that provides information in English, French, and Spanish. If your country is a member UNESCO state, their website is also a good place to look for updated links to copyright rules in your country.


The most important thing to know is whether or not your country follows the Rule of the Shorter Term. According to this rule, if the duration of the copyright periods differs in your own country and the country where the film was first published, whichever is shortest applies. Since most of the films listed in the OpenFlix directory are from the US and OpenFlix uses US copyright rules, these films will be in the public domain of countries that use the Rule of the Shorter Term. If your country does not follow this rule, for the most part, you will not be allowed to use non-liscened works from the OpenFlix directory.


Country

Shorter
Term

Notes

More Information

Argentina YES   UNESCO - English
UNESCO - Spanish
Australia YES   Australian Copyright Council
UNESCO
Belgium YES   UNESCO - English
The Belgian Office For Intellectual Property
Brazil YES   UNESCO - English
Brazil's Biblioteca National - Portuguese
Canada NO Canadian law is somewhat confusing. For the non-licensed films listed by OpenFlix, copyright protection probably lasts for the life of the author plus 50 years. It is also not clear who the authors of a film are: the producers, the director, and/or musical composer. Canadian IP Office
China NO Copyright protection for movies lasts for 50 years from date of publication or if unpublished from date of creation UNESCO - English
National Copyright Administration - Chinese
France YES   UNESCO - English
Copyright Law -French
Germany ?? Shorter Term most likely doesn't apply, but the law is ambiguous for works before September 16, 1965. German visitors should most likely stick to German law which protects movies for 70 after the death of the last author which includes the principal director, screenplay and dialog writers, and musical composers WIPO -English
Copyright Law - German
Greece YES   WIPO - English
Hungary YES   WIPO - English
India YES   Copyright Act 1957 -English
Israel YES   UNESCO - English
Italy YES   WIPO - English
Japan YES   WIPO - English
Netherlands YES   Official Website - Dutch UNESCO - English
Poland YES   WIPO - English
Spain YES   UNESCO - English UNESCO - Spanish
Sweden YES   UNESCO - English
Switzerland NO Protection lasts for 70 years after the death of the director Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property Law - French
United Kingdom ?? Followed Rule of Shorter Term up to 1956 so US public domain movies 1928 or before are public domain in the UK. Otherwise term is 70 years after the death of the last to survive of the principal director, the authors of the screenplay and dialogue, and the composer of any music specially created UK Patent Office Government Information Site
United States NO Details on US Copyright Rules