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Film Superlist: Motion Pictures in the U.S. Public Domain is a series of copyright reference books created by attorney Walter Hurst (1930-1991).
Each Film Superlist volume contains the main text of the Cumulative Copyright Catalog of Motion Pictures for the period covered. Each film entry has, at a minimum, the title, copyright registration number, and copyright registration date. For films that were renewed, the renewal registration number and date have been added. Under United States copyright law, films registered prior to 1964 required renewal during the 28th year following registration in order to continue copyright protection in the U.S. The United States Copyright Office published renewals in its semi-annual copyright catalogs for all renewals through the end of 1977. 
From 1978 onward, all renewals are available online at the Library of Congress Copyright Office website.
Hurst created each Film Superlist volume by instructing his staff to match each copyright renewal with its registration record in the Cumulative Copyright Catalog of Motion Pictures. The task of matching all renewals with their original registration entries could not be completed until 28 years had elapsed following the end of the period covered by each Cumulative Copyright Catalog; for example, the renewals claimed in 1967 had to be completed in order for all the film entries in the Cumulative Copyright Catalog for 1912-1939 to be confirmed as renewed or not renewed.
Hypothetically, after every renewal had been added to its original registration, any entry lacking a renewal had lapsed into the public domain. The Film Superlist books acknowledge that they are not perfect because of the following --
- Not all original motion pictures copyright registrations were published in each Cumulative Copyright Catalog of Motion Pictures.
- Not all renewals were published in the semi-annual Copyright Catalogs of Motion Pictures.
- Hurst’s staff members who created the Film Superlist volumes did not match 100% of the renewals with their original registrations.
For selected non-renewed films (presumably the ones of greatest interest), each volume includes an appendix of search reports. Most of the search reports are a statement by the Copyright Office that they conducted a search on a particular film, and did not find a renewal.
Volume 1 1894-1939
- Film Superlist: Motion Pictures in the U.S. Public Domain 1894-1939, which incorporates the Cumulative Copyright Catalog 1894-1912 (with 8,506 films), published in 1953, and the Cumulative Copyright Catalog 1912-1939 (with 51,112 films), published in 1951. The most recent edition (2007) has an appendix of copyright search reports for approximately 500 selected movies without renewals. ISBN 0-913616-26-5 (ISBN-13: 978-0-913616-26-0)
Volume 2 1940-1949
- Film Superlist: Motion Pictures in the U.S. Public Domain 1940-1949, which incorporates the Cumulative Copyright Catalog 1940-1949 (with 18,767 films), published in 1953. The most recent edition (2008) has an appendix of copyright search reports for approximately 450 selected movies without renewals. ISBN 0-913616-27-3 (ISBN-13: 978-0-913616-27-7)
Volume 3 1950-1959
- Film Superlist: Motion Pictures in the U.S. Public Domain 1950-1959, which incorporates the Cumulative Copyright Catalog 1950-1959 (with 27,310 films and TV programs), published in 1960. The appendix of copyright search reports contains approximately 100 selected movies without renewals. ISBN 0-913616-29-X (ISBN-13: 978-0-913616-29-1)
Each Film Superlist has an index of copyright owners, distributors and original authors. .
Hurst owned Seven Arts Press, Inc. (defunct), which published the Film Superlist series and other entertainment law books.
Following Hurst’s death, publication of the Film Superlist books was continued by Hollywood Film Archive. The current Film Superlist editor is D. Richard Baer.
In reviewing the 1992 updated edition of Film Superlist 1940-1949, Library Journal stated, "This volume, part of a three-volume set, updates and emends the excellent earlier (1979) edition by Walter Hurst. With the main text derived from the U.S. Copyright Office's Catalogue of Copyright Entries: Motion Pictures 1940-1949 , editor Baer assists the user in ascertaining the copyrighted status of 18,767 films copyrighted in the United States from 1940 to 1949." 
- Public domain film
- List of films in the public domain in the United States
- United States Copyright Office