Friday, October 23, 2015

Netflix sued for streaming Bicycle Thieves 'without copyright'; Guardian, 10/23/15

Ben Child, Guardian; Netflix sued for streaming Bicycle Thieves 'without copyright' :
"Netflix has been accused of illegally streaming the classic Italian neo-realist drama Bicycle Thieves.
Corinth Films, which claims copyright for Vittorio De Sica’s famous 1948 tale of poverty-stricken postwar Rome, has filed a suit in a New York federal court. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the company accepts that Bicycle Thieves is in the public domain in the US but suggests the subtitled version of the film, which Netflix has previously included on its service, remains under copyright.
“At no time have defendants contacted the plaintiff in order to seek its license for the internet exhibition of the picture, either in whole or in excerpted portions,” the complaint reads. “Despite lacking any rights to exhibit the English subtitled version of the picture, defendants act as though they have exhibition rights.”
Bicycle Thieves, which is also known as The Bicycle Thief in the US, is considered by critics to be one of the greatest films of all time. In a 2008 review for the film’s re-release, The Guardian’s Peter Bradshaw described De Sica’s harrowing drama as a “brilliant, tactlessly real work of art”."

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