Answered By: Brandy Karl
Last Updated: Oct 11, 2019     Views: 42

Penn State is not able to grant permissions for use of material from these films.

Here is some additional information about the films that may assist you in your copyright search.

  • The Transorbital Lobotomy films were made in 1949–1950 by Walter Jackson Freeman II, who died in 1972.
  • The initial title slide of one of the films reads "Transorbital Lobotomy / by Walter Freeman, M.D., Ph.D. / Washington, D.C."
  • The films were listed in the Psychological Cinema Register, which was published by the Audio-Visual Aids Library at what was then the Pennsylvania State College (now Pennsylvania State University). A 1944 edition of the Register is open online in HathiTrust and includes a section on the The Nature and Purpose of the Psychological Cinema Register.
  • Some library catalog records, including this record on WorldCat, list Penn State AV Services as the publisher. PSU Libraries has no documentation to indicate that Penn State owns or administers the copyright to this work.
  • GWU, home of the Walter Freeman papers, may have additional information. The films may have been made at GWU. 

For general information on copyright permission, we recommend the University of Michigan's guide Obtaining Copyright Permissions. You might find this chart on the Public Domain useful to help think about whether or not there is copyright in this work. Finally, even if the video may be protected by copyright, that doesn't necessarily prohibit you from using it.

Depending on how you want to use material from the films, you may want to consider whether fair use would allow you to use that material without permission. A few excellent resources on fair use are:

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