What are some Elvis Presley movies in the public domain?


Quick Answer

No film of Elvis Presley's is in the public domain as of 2015. For works created after 1923, the copyright extends to 70 years after the author's death. For corporate works, the copyright lasts for 95 years. "Love Me Tender" was Presley's first film. It premiered in 1956, and under current U.S. law, it remains under copyright protection.

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Full Answer

Presley appeared in 33 feature films between 1956 and 1972, including "Jailhouse Rock," "King Creole," "Blue Hawaii," "Kid Galahad" and "Viva Las Vegas." His final two films were the concert documentaries "Elvis," "That's the Way It Is" and "Elvis on Tour."

In the United States, the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act, which Congress passed in 1998, governs copyright law. It increased the length of copyright terms from a law passed in 1976. The European Union and other countries have different laws. It is possible for a work to enter the public domain in the European Union but remain under copyright protection in the United States.

Presley, who was born in 1935, first gained career success as a singer. He recorded his first song in 1953, and "Heartbreak Hotel" was his first hit single in 1955. He died of heart failure in 1977 at 42.

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