The first motion picture to be copyrighted in the U.S. was of a man sneezing.

The first U.S. copyright for an identifiable motion picture was given to Edison for Fred Ott’s Sneeze.

During the first week of January 1894, a five-second film starring an Edison technician was shot at the Black Maria; Fred Ott’s Sneeze, as it is now widely known, was made expressly to produce a sequence of images for an article in Harper’s magazine. Never intended for exhibition, it would become one of the most famous Edison films and the first identifiable motion picture to receive a U.S. copyright. Three months later, the Kinetoscope’s true epochal moment arrived.

Read more about this film.


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