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Mot Morenzi

"The Lucy Show" - Public Domain

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Everybody knows, of course, that 30 episodes of The Lucy Show fell into the public domain. Other CBS shows like The Beverly Hillbillies, Petticoat Junction and The Andy Griffith Show also had episodes lapse into the public domain as well.

 

Does anyone know exactly how this happened, and when? It seems to be a pretty random selection of episodes in all cases. With The Lucy Show, 2 were from season one, 21 from season five and 7 from season six. I suppose I can understand the majority of season 5 being grouped together, but how did the 2 lone episodes from the first season get thrown into the mix?

 

Also, what is the legal status of these shows once they are in the Public Domain? I know a few releases replaced the theme music, which is technically still under copyright, but most did not. If they were truly illegal, wouldn't the copyright holders be able to order recalls?

 

I'd love more information on this if anybody knows. Was it a big scandal at the time, all these CBS properties having episodes lapse?

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Everybody knows, of course, that 30 episodes of The Lucy Show fell into the public domain. Other CBS shows like The Beverly Hillbillies, Petticoat Junction and The Andy Griffith Show also had episodes lapse into the public domain as well.

 

Does anyone know exactly how this happened, and when? It seems to be a pretty random selection of episodes in all cases. With The Lucy Show, 2 were from season one, 21 from season five and 7 from season six. I suppose I can understand the majority of season 5 being grouped together, but how did the 2 lone episodes from the first season get thrown into the mix?

 

Also, what is the legal status of these shows once they are in the Public Domain? I know a few releases replaced the theme music, which is technically still under copyright, but most did not. If they were truly illegal, wouldn't the copyright holders be able to order recalls?

 

I'd love more information on this if anybody knows. Was it a big scandal at the time, all these CBS properties having episodes lapse?

Deja vu!  :HALKING:

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I have a soft spot for the public domain episodes of The Lucy Show. Those were my introductions to Lucy's other other works. Of course I never felt they were as good as I Love Lucy, they were still good enough to entertain me,.  I remember watching Lucy and the Berles with my parents and how we all just roared with laughter over the salad dressing, We played the episode again.

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I have a soft spot for the public domain episodes of The Lucy Show. Those were my introductions to Lucy's other other works.

 

And despite the poor quality prints, that's why I'm happy that episodes of "The Lucy Show" fell into the public domain.  Many people who would have never seen this show got their introduction to it by way of the public domain episodes on TV and the countless VHS then DVD re-issues.

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As far as I know, there were complicated copyright laws up until sometime in the '80s.

Each episode had to have its copyright renewed exactly 28 years after it was originally copywritten. Maybe someone at CBS fell asleep at the switch?

Of course that's an awful lot of episodes for CBS to forget about...

Maybe they just wanted to disown season 5 of The Lucy Show because of its poor quality, lol! :hlLOL:

 

I wondered about music copyright, too. When I was really little I had some Beverly Hillbillies tapes with the theme songs replaced.

It seems like the episode with Frankie Avalon would have some laws on it because of all the musical numbers.

Plus "Lucy and Carol Burnett":

                                                 "They call her hard-hearted Hanna"! :mred:

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As far as I know, there were complicated copyright laws up until sometime in the '80s.

Each episode had to have its copyright renewed exactly 28 years after it was originally copywritten. Maybe someone at CBS fell asleep at the switch?

Of course that's an awful lot of episodes for CBS to forget about...

Maybe they just wanted to disown season 5 of The Lucy Show because of its poor quality, lol! :hlLOL:

 

I wondered about music copyright, too. When I was really little I had some Beverly Hillbillies tapes with the theme songs replaced.

It seems like the episode with Frankie Avalon would have some laws on it because of all the musical numbers.

Plus "Lucy and Carol Burnett":

"They call her hard-hearted Hanna"! :mred:

Interesting. Odd that several CBS shows got affected. Must've been some oversight.

The music issues have always made me curious. You hear people throw the terms "illegal" and "bootleg" around all the time. But if they truly are, why haven't any been recalled? Do license holders just not pay attention to PD releases? I am grateful for the Pat Collins PD copy to hear the music that got cut.

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"Perhaps Mrs. Carmichael could make that mistake, but I never could"....

It's all very confusing, but apparently it was a copy renewal oversight by a clerical person.  Why it was these particular episodes is the mysterious situation.

It seems to be limited to CBS shows, but since these weren't owned by CBS outright, wouldn't the copyright renewal been done by the production companies?

It's probably that this extended to other series as well...those that nobody is interested in.

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There's also some complicated business about how a copyright notice had to be included on a work for it to actually be considered copyrighted. (That rule has since changed.) If you notice, none of those season 5/6 episodes have a copyright notice in their credits. It's the reason a computer-generated notice was added to the episodes for DVD and why there's a 1978 copyright on a lot of Star Trek episodes that were produced more than a decade earlier.

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There's also some complicated business about how a copyright notice had to be included on a work for it to actually be considered copyrighted. (That rule has since changed.) If you notice, none of those season 5/6 episodes have a copyright notice in their credits. It's the reason a computer-generated notice was added to the episodes for DVD and why there's a 1978 copyright on a lot of Star Trek episodes that were produced more than a decade earlier.

 

A couple of months ago I found one of my DVDs from before the official seasons came out. I re-watched it, and even though the episodes were public domain, there was still a copyright notice at the beginning.

Does this mean you can't copy them to another DVD and sell them?

Or could you just download them legally from somewhere on the web?

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Interesting. Odd that several CBS shows got affected. Must've been some oversight.

The music issues have always made me curious. You hear people throw the terms "illegal" and "bootleg" around all the time. But if they truly are, why haven't any been recalled? Do license holders just not pay attention to PD releases? I am grateful for the Pat Collins PD copy to hear the music that got cut.

I see PD episodes on youtube all the time, and they are always in the same condition as the PD DVDs: crappy!

I'm sure licensers just look the other way. How did music get cut from the Pat Collins episode, I haven't watched that one in a while (for obvious reasons) was it where she sings a jazzy version of "That's All" at the end of her act?

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One thing that I find so strange is that the only fifth season episode not in the public domain is Lucy Puts Main Street on the Map, which is the second half of a two part episode.

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One thing that I find so strange is that the only fifth season episode not in the public domain is Lucy Puts Main Street on the Map, which is the second half of a two part episode.

I've often wondered about that too. Odd that every other season 5 show fell into PD but not that episode. Part of the reason I'm so curious is because of how inconsistent the selection is.

 

Different companies seem to have utilized different sources for their PD releases. Some seemed to use 16mm prints while others use tape transfers of said prints. The Mill Creek ones featured some edits that other releases didn't. Laserlight probably did the best work on the PD episodes. They even had Milton Berle do an introduction for the first volume.

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I see PD episodes on youtube all the time, and they are always in the same condition as the PD DVDs: crappy!

I'm sure licensers just look the other way. How did music get cut from the Pat Collins episode, I haven't watched that one in a while (for obvious reasons) was it where she sings a jazzy version of "That's All" at the end of her act?

Yes they cut That's All. Odd they could license it for LDCH but not that episode.

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Yes they cut That's All. Odd they could license it for LDCH but not that episode.

Just rewatched both versions of the episode. Maybe it was cut to avoid paying royalties for such a short amount of time for Pat to be singing the song.

The Comedy Hour episode featured the song in its entirety, whereas Miss Collins changes some of the lyrics. Plus if they had left "That's All" out of 'Lucy Meets The Moustache' it would be considered sacrilege!

Didn't the complete series of "Mama's Family" leave out some musical numbers?

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Just rewatched both versions of the episode. Maybe it was cut to avoid paying royalties for such a short amount of time for Pat to be singing the song.

The Comedy Hour episode featured the song in its entirety, whereas Miss Collins changes some of the lyrics. Plus if they had left "That's All" out of 'Lucy Meets The Moustache' it would be considered sacrilege!

Didn't the complete series of "Mama's Family" leave out some musical numbers?

Good points. Maybe it had to do with how brief it was. Maybe the fees are the same regardless of how much of the song is used.

 

Yes, Mama's Family left out a few songs but nothing major. The editing was so seamless it'd be impossible to tell unless you'd seen those episodes many times before.

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Good points. Maybe it had to do with how brief it was. Maybe the fees are the same regardless of how much of the song is used.

 

Yes, Mama's Family left out a few songs but nothing major. The editing was so seamless it'd be impossible to tell unless you'd seen those episodes many times before.

 

Thanks for the info! :peachonthebeach:

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No problem. Here's a complete analysis of the set and a list of all music changes/cuts.

http://www.justeg.com/thefanperspective/

WOW! :HALKING:  :HALKING:  :HALKING:  :HALKING:

That was a pretty in-depth list! Just glancing over it, I actually remember some of the numbers that got cut; mostly from season five. In fact, I probably still have the full versions on tape sitting in a box in my basement!

Thanks a million again B)

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One thing that I find so strange is that the only fifth season episode not in the public domain is Lucy Puts Main Street on the Map, which is the second half of a two part episode.

Perhaps one more episode with Mel Torme was too much for even the public domain vultures to stomach.

If they were going to pick one episode to eliminate from this season, I think I'd pick this one, maybe even over "Mooney the Monkey" and "Baby Sitter" (which I haven't watched in a while, so they may not be as bad as their reputation).

Main Street 2 smacks of "we built this set and we're going to get two episodes out of it even if we have nothing more to add".

Season 5 is actually pretty solid.   Though  I'm not wild about "Sheldon Leonard" or "Phil Silvers", they're not dreadful.

If we were to make one episode combining the worst of all the series, it might be the premise that "Mooney and the Gorboona Get Drafted" 

--and if we want to go all the way: "....and their basic training officer: the Guard Goose"

...and even further "and they all put on a Western show for the USO" (for "The Mooney-Gorboona Comedy Hour")

 

And yes they have a helluva nerve putting a copyright on something that's in public domain.

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Perhaps one more episode with Mel Torme was too much for even the public domain vultures to stomach.

If they were going to pick one episode to eliminate from this season, I think I'd pick this one, maybe even over "Mooney the Monkey" and "Baby Sitter" (which I haven't watched in a while, so they may not be as bad as their reputation).

Main Street 2 smacks of "we built this set and we're going to get two episodes out of it even if we have nothing more to add".

Season 5 is actually pretty solid.   Though  I'm not wild about "Sheldon Leonard" or "Phil Silvers", they're not dreadful.

If we were to make one episode combining the worst of all the series, it might be the premise that "Mooney and the Gorboona Get Drafted" 

--and if we want to go all the way: "....and their basic training officer: the Guard Goose"

...and even further "and they all put on a Western show for the USO" (for "The Mooney-Gorboona Comedy Hour")

 

And yes they have a helluva nerve putting a copyright on something that's in public domain.

II haen't watched Lucy's Safari in years (since I first got the season 1 DVD) I think I'll brave that episode again.

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And at least they don't have a Lucy Ricardo picture on the cover.  The unaware would naturally think they're buying "lost" episodes of I Love Lucy.

 

My favorite PD packaging in a "The Lucy Show" lunch box.

51XSGZRTEDL.jpg

Laserlight/Delta did the best job in regards to packaging. They also had the best sources that featured none of the cuts a few on the Mill Creek set had. 

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