Hastings Communications and Entertainment Law Journal


Until the 1940s, motion pictures were almost always received, filmed, and shown in black-and-white. Recently, several companies have begun to mechanically add color to these old and often classic films. This process, known as colorization or color-recoding, has motion picture artists enraged. These filmmakers believe that no one should have the right to alter a completed work of art. The author reviews the background of this controversy, surveys several possible legal causes of action which filmmakers may use to protect their black-and-white films, and concludes that directors and other film artists are not powerless and can successfully use existing laws to prevent color-recoding.