Copyright law is complex and often difficult to grasp. But one thing that is apparently important is getting the date right on your copyright notice. However, to do so, it helps to have a firm grasp of Roman numerals. This was unfortunately not the case for the 1954 movie The Last Time I Saw Paris, starring Elizabeth Taylor, which has a copyright notice reading “MCMXLIV”, or 1944. This meant that the normal 28-year copyright term granted at the time started 10 years before the movie was released, and it expired 18 years later. The studio, assuming it had another 10 years before it needed to file for renewal, did nothing, and the movie thus entered the public domain in the US in 1972. And so we present The Last Time I Saw Paris in its entirety below.

Personally, I struggle with Roman Numerals until I get to 159, then it CLIX.



David Crotty

David Crotty

David Crotty is a Senior Consultant at Clarke & Esposito, a boutique management consulting firm focused on strategic issues related to professional and academic publishing and information services. Previously, David was the Editorial Director, Journals Policy for Oxford University Press. He oversaw journal policy across OUP’s journals program, drove technological innovation, and served as an information officer. David acquired and managed a suite of research society-owned journals with OUP, and before that was the Executive Editor for Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, where he created and edited new science books and journals, along with serving as a journal Editor-in-Chief. He has served on the Board of Directors for the STM Association, the Society for Scholarly Publishing and CHOR, Inc., as well as The AAP-PSP Executive Council. David received his PhD in Genetics from Columbia University and did developmental neuroscience research at Caltech before moving from the bench to publishing.


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