After commercial motion picture film stock was invented and produced
by Eastman Kodak, the kinetograph-kinetoscope project advanced rapidly
and became the foundation for the commercial development of movies.
Dickson made a short film titled "Edison
Kinetoscopic Record of a Sneeze" to demonstrate the invention.
The film captures Edison employee Fred Ott sneezing. It was received
in the U.S. Copyright Office
on Jan. 9, 1894, as a copyright deposit. “Edison Kinetoscopic
Record of a Sneeze” is the earliest extant copyrighted motion
picture in the Library of Congress collections. "The
Life of Thomas A. Edison," a special presentation, documents
the genius of Edison’s inventions as well as his genius in
Motion pictures were originally registered in the Copyright Office
as a series of photographs because it was not until Aug. 24, 1912,
that Congress added motion pictures to classes of works protected
by copyright. These films on paper are part of the Paper
Print Film Collection of the Library. Since then films themselves
have been registered for copyright.
In 1870, copyright functions for the nation were centralized in
the Library of Congress under the direction of then Librarian of
Congress Ainsworth Rand Spofford. The Copyright Office became a
separate department of the Library of Congress in 1897, and Thorvald
Solberg was appointed the first Register of Copyrights.
For information on the Copyright Office and registering creative
works, go to the Copyright
A. W.K.L. Dickson, “Edison Kinetoscopic
Record of a Sneeze,” Edison Manufacturing Co., 1894. Motion
Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division. Call No.: LC
26A (paper pos)