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Q: Status of old Dumont Television Network programs? ( No Answer,   3 Comments )
Subject: Status of old Dumont Television Network programs?
Category: Arts and Entertainment > Television
Asked by: lflanders14-ga
List Price: $3.00
Posted: 15 Nov 2006 11:36 PST
Expires: 01 Dec 2006 12:23 PST
Question ID: 783016
The long-defunct Dumont Network had some great shows like Ted Mack's
Amateur Hour and Arthur Murray's Party. Can you point me to what the
status of those tapes is (available? are they still under copyright
protection, or can they be freely reused)?
There is no answer at this time.

Subject: Re: Status of old Dumont Television Network programs?
From: kemlo-ga on 15 Nov 2006 11:49 PST
Did they record them in those days?
Subject: Re: Status of old Dumont Television Network programs?
From: tr1234-ga on 15 Nov 2006 13:56 PST
>Did they record them in those days?

Even before videotape was invented, the technology existed for early
television shows to be recorded on kinescopes. However, there wasn't a
lot of thought into archiving material, so many kinescopes were
discarded over the years.

(In the case of DuMont, this site: reports that many DuMont
kinescopes were indeed discarded, though some survive in museums.
Doesn't answer the copyright question, tho'...)
Subject: Re: Status of old Dumont Television Network programs?
From: cryptica-ga on 22 Nov 2006 20:02 PST

When I was looking for footage from the Dumont Networks' "Mary Kay and
Johnny," the first TV show to feature a married couple sharing a bed
(brilliantly researched for me by researcher Pinkfreud), the path led
to NBC, which owns the copyright, as well as many other Dumont
programs.  I'm not sure they own them all, though.

Here's a fast way to find out what you want to know about specific Dumont shows:

First, use IMDB.COM  (Internet Movie Data Base).  Type in the name of
the show you're looking for and
on the right hand side will come up an Amazon box telling you whether
it exists on DVD or not.

While you're on the iIMDB entry, on the column on the left, click on
"Company Credits."   The new page will list the production companies
and distributors and years of ownership.

IMDB is often wrong, though, with incorrect or incomplete info.  So
another invaluable source is the MUSEUM OF TELEVISION & RADIO.  Their
reference librarians/consultants are super nice and helpful.

If they don't have the copyright holder info, they'll track it down
for you.    You can also go there in person and watch old TV shows and
listen to old radio shows.  (And new ones, too).

I only know the New York branch (there's also one in LA).
Here's the contact info for a reference librarian:
Tuesdays to Fridays, from 4:00 to 5:45 p.m. (EST) only, call
212.621.6600, press "0" to speak to an operator, and ask for the
library; OR e-mail"

Since you mentioned Ted Mack's Amateur Hour, just for the hell of it,
I looked it up on IMDB.
The Amazon box shows that it IS available on DVD, distributed by SRO. 
(Standing Room Only.)
The "Company Credits" list it as owned by Dumont, CBS and NBC . . . so
this would be one of those times you'd want to verify with the Museum
of TV & Radio. . .depending on which year(s) you were interested in.

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