The copyright on films and TV shows can sometimes be used to legally sue producers, directors, writers, and others for intellectual property violations, but that’s not always the case.
The following article provides a list of the films and shows that have copyright protections, and how those protections are often applied to protect the rights of creators and creators’ heirs.
In some cases, however, the copyright protection is not always enforceable.
These are the top 10 examples of movies that might not have copyright protection in some countries.1.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 and Mockingpur Part 1: copyright protects author’s rights to rights of publicity, etc.
The first Hunger Games film was released in 2007, and author Suzanne Collins was the first person to publish the books in print.
She was sued by Warner Brothers for copyright infringement for making use of her novel.
The judge ruled in favor of Collins, but the publisher appealed.
After nearly two years of appeals, the case reached a landmark Supreme Court decision in 2010.
In this case, the Supreme Court ruled that Collins could sue Warner Brothers and others who used her work without permission, but it was not clear if the court would uphold that decision.
In 2015, a federal district court in California overturned the ruling and allowed Collins to sue Warner Bros. for infringement of her rights of publication.2.
The Matrix: copyright on the original film, movie, and TV series, plus a few other films3.
Star Wars: The Phantom Menace: copyright extends to all aspects of the Star Wars universeThe first installment in the Star War franchise, Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, was released on May 25, 1977.
On June 5, 1977, Lucasfilm filed a copyright claim against director Stanley Kubrick for copyright violations.
On December 5, 1978, the U.S. Supreme Court held that Kubrick’s film was eligible for copyright protection.
In November 2015, the high court overturned that decision, but in a separate case, a judge overturned the lower court’s ruling on the basis that the rights to copyright on a film are not enforceable unless the film is made specifically for the purpose of the copyright.4.
The Simpsons: copyright covers the “Simpsons” TV show, movies, and cartoons, plus TV series from other creators5.
Ghostbusters: copyright applies to a series of Ghostbusters films, as well as a cartoon series from writer-producer Dan Aykroyd, as long as they are made specifically and for the sole purpose of copyright infringement6.
Superman: copyright includes Superman comics and films, plus movies from writer and artist Robert Kirkman7.
The Wizard of Oz: copyright encompasses the story of the Oz novels and films as well8.
A Nightmare on Elm Street: copyright can extend to other characters and stories9.
Alien: copyright only extends to characters from Ridley Scott’s Alien films, which have been the subject of a series or a movie-within-a-movie lawsuit from Paramount Pictures10.
Batman Begins: copyright is extended to the first film in the DC Comics-based film franchise.11.
Jurassic Park: copyright extended to other Jurassic Park films12.
Avatar: copyright protection extends to the sequels to Avatar, plus the books and graphic novels13.
Batman Forever: copyright has been extended to The Dark Knight trilogy14.
Star Trek: The Next Generation: copyright does not extend to the Star Trek films or the first series of The Next Great Generation (TNG)15.
The Hobbit: copyright was extended to include works from J.R.
R Tolkien, but there was no copyright protection for books from other authors16.
Starz’s The West Wing: copyright coverage extends to “The West Wing,” but it is not a part of the show.17.
Batman: copyright covering the Batman movies is limited to works by Dick Grayson and Robin, plus works by writers James Ellroy and William Goldman18.
The Avengers: copyright extension covers Avengers movies but not TV series19.
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy: copyright to the comic books is limited20.
Star-Lord: copyright covered the TV series The Star-Lords, but not books from Joss Whedon21.
The Dark Tower: copyright cover for the novels and comic books22.
Star War: copyright for Star Wars movies is extended only to the books of George Lucas, but does not cover TV series or films23.
X-Men: copyright rights for the books covers only the novels, and the comics, but copyright covers all the other movies and TV show-within a-movie material.24.
Batman Returns: copyright extending to the original movie, TV series and books25.
The X-Files: copyright included the first four seasons of the TV show and the comic book, plus all the films that were made for the X-Man franchise.26.
Xena: copyright extend to all of the characters in the series, as much as the TV and comic series27.
Star Treks: copyright