1. Who hosts these files? (DISCLAIMER)
This site does not host any of the streaming media and the owner has not uploaded any of the material to the video hosting servers. Anyone can find the same content on Google Video or YouTube by them selves.
However, Top Documentary Films is a pro-DMCA website and as such Content Owners can use the DMCA protocol to request removal of embedded videos that they believe infringe their copyright.
2. What is public domain?
Many of the old movie are in public domain. Note that most of the newer videos are probably not in public domain.
“When a work’s copyright or patent restrictions expire, it enters the public domain and may be used by anyone for any purpose.” Read more on wikipedia.
From Archive.org: “If the work was made in 1923 or earlier, it is probably public domain and can be uploaded. NOTE! Restored versions of the film or new soundtracks for silent films can have more recent copyrights that are still valid – usually a copyright notice for a new soundtrack or restoration will appear in the film.
For works made from 1923 to 1949, post a question to the movie forum on this site [at Archive.org] before you upload. The copyright could have been renewed and there isn’t a way online to check a film’s copyright status.
For works made from 1950 to 1963, you can check the title at the Library of Congress Copyright Database for copyright renewals. This will list copyright renewals for most films.”
A video may fall under public domain if: (1) the term of copyright for the video has expired; (2) the author failed to satisfy statutory formalities to perfect the copyright or (3) the video is a work of the U.S. Government.
3. Can I download a video?
You should only download movies that are in public domain/open source/creative commons.
4. How do I watch in full screen?
Click the full screen button located beside the volume control. To return to the original size, hit Esc.
5. Are there other similar resources?
Archive.org – “This collection contains thousands of videos which range from classic full-length movies, to daily alternative news broadcasts, to user-uploaded videos of every genre. We hope you enjoy this vast and diverse collection!”
Publicdomaintorrents.com – “Public Domain Movie Torrents hosts a wide variety of movies now in the public domain that you can download for free using BitTorrent technology. Many for PDA iPod PSP and other mobile devices.”
The Association of Moving Image Archivists (AMIA) is a non-profit professional association established to advance the field of moving image archiving by fostering cooperation among individuals and organizations concerned with the acquisition, preservation, exhibition and use of moving image materials.
Footage.net – “Since 1994, FOOTAGE.net has been the premiere stock footage resource to reach the trade’s best stock footage sources – news, creative, archival, and RF. Now find better content faster than ever before.”
Creative Commons – “Creative Commons provides free tools that let authors, scientists, artists, and educators easily mark their creative work with the freedoms they want it to carry. You can use CC to change your copyright terms from ‘All Rights Reserved’ to ‘Some Rights Reserved.’”
6. I want to use material featured on this site. How?
Do not ask me to send you material – I don’t have any. You can only use material that is in public domain, open source or published under CCL (creative commons license). Use archive.org and openflix.com to verify which of the material is in public domain.
Use these sites:
Archive.org – Study the site and read their FAQ.
OpenFlix.com – “OpenFlix makes a good faith effort to determine the United States public domain status of movies listed in our directory.”
The Public-Domain Movie Database – “Created to assist people in their search for public domain movies and to develop a better understanding of the public domain laws, this database is intended to serve as a source for this need.”
Creativecommons.org – “Enabling the legal sharing and reuse of cultural, educational, and scientific works”
Spinxpress.com – “The best way to search for Creative Commons licensed media.”
Creative Commons (Wikipedia)
Public Domain (Wikipedia)
Fair Use (Wikipedia)
Again, do not ask me to send you material – I don’t have any. Do not ask me to provide you with information about movies in the public domain. Use the sites above.
7. I want have my film listed on this site. How?
If you are the copyright holder, just upload the film to any of the video sharing sites and send me the link.
8. I have problem viewing the streaming videos. Help!
(Note: If the screen is blank and nothing happens the video has probably been removed). If the video plays but suddenly stops, try moving the video timeline pointer past the point where it stops.
Download Firefox. I use it and I have no problems. Still having problems? There’s nothing more I can do about it.
9. Why have some videos been removed?
They have been removed by GoogleVideo, YouTube or a similar video hosting service by any number of reasons. That is why on some of the posts there are only previews/trailers of the documentaries.
10. Who updates this site and how did it all start?
My name is Vlatko and I’m the owner of this site. It all started some time ago when I “fell in love” with documentaries in quest for more knowledge. I then started searching for documentaries and found a whole bunch and decided to put them all on this site. Read more.
11. I want to advertise on this site. How much?
See the advertising page.
Also don’t forget to read through the Commenting Policy on TDF. Thanks.