It’s A Wonderful Life has become a holiday tradition bolstered by near constant plays on television as the film fell into the public domain in 1975. But in the 90s, a studio would regain control over the film and put copyright to the test.

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Thanks for this cool story – we shared it with our readers at planet5D today!

Lord Bron

Brilliant piece. I love the law, business and films, so this was a triply delicious mental feast.

It’s fascinating to see pathways of how creative works weave in and out of so many studios. As a creative person (writing and programming mostly, but have dabbled in film and music), I find copyright as one of those things that I imagine to be good (for the creator) yet bad (for the work).

I think of all those fairy tales that if hadn’t been public domain, would’ve left Walt with a whole lot of additional work to do aside from the animation and building of his studio.

Anyways, I have to get back to work but just wanted to say thank you for this brilliant piece. One thing that would be interesting is to post your sources so we can dig further into topics you brushed lightly upon.

This is my first visit to your site, but surely not my last.

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