FAQ About Public Domain Movies Public Domain Films


Call us at (310) 622-7267 during business hours or email us with your want list of movie trailers (Include your name, company name and delivery format preference). Composing your want list yields the most accurate quote.

Usually 2-3 business days, but can vary with the size of the order.

We can deliver any high quality digital format you wish including Apple Quicktime ProRes Quicktime with other file formats and Code-ecs such as MPEG2, MPEG4,   Some titles are available in 1080p high definition.  Standard Definition movie trailers are available in NTSC and PAL standards.


Movie Trailers are sent over for you with a link to download or at times we may send them to your FTP server with provided credentials.
In most cases, the source masters that are in standard defiintion are from Digital Beta Master tapes transferred directly from the best available film prints making for high broadcast quality features for your use. You will not find better any place else. High definition titles were generally originated from film. The elements of certain rare archival footage are of varying degrees of condition and we always tell you up front what to expect .
There are several ways a film becomes a public domain movie. The work was either never registered with the United States Copyright Office or the renewal of the registration on the 28th year was not made. If copyright notice was not given during the years when such was a requirement, the film becomes public domain. Also, production paid for by the U.S. Government are public domain.
All available titles have been researched with the U.S. Library of Congress and are public domain. As an international distributor, we could not sell them to you if they were not. Many British, German, and French titles are only public domain inside the United States. If you are not familiar with how US copyright laws apply in your country please do your own due diligence. Titles list from the 1980’s are referred to as “non-registered” titles, which means that they were never registered with the Copyright Office, and as a result, can be distributed like public domain titles.

Except for in very rare instances, the music, if part of the original program, is free and clear to use when aired alongside the picture. As part of the production, music was assigned “synchronization rights”.

You cannot, separate the music and use in another production; or use a recognizable face to endorse a product. Otherwise, you are free to do what you wish with the material.

Possibly. Though we often sell to those in need of footage for various projects, we do not do clip research. However, if your request is general such as “UFO’s” we know the library well enough to be able to help make suggestions. The cost of an entire program is usually less than it would be to pay a stock footage house for a 2-3 minute clip of the same material. With a purchase from The RetroFilm Vault, you can have the footage you want and a master to keep which can be used at any time, now or in the future, with no extra costs or licensing fees. You may use the second search box at the top of this page and type in a specific subject like the word “Irish” or just browse through our catalog.
We accept wire transfer for larger orders and Visa, MasterCard, and American Express for very small orders (like a couple of trailers or cartoons)
Public Domain Movies
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