Hollywood Renegades Archive

The Society of Independent Motion Picture Producers

Book Cover


Charlie Chaplin's Title Registration Problem

"The Dictator"

24 Sept 1940 Look magazine advance cover story for Chaplin's "The Dictator" (released as The Great Dictator).

When submitting the copyright for The Dictator in November 1938, Chaplin ran into opposition from Paramount who had dibs on the proposed title. Although titles are not subject to copyright protection, Hollywood had long-practiced a self-regulated policy of Title Registration. Chaplin decided to alter the title rather than pay Paramount the $25,000 it asked to transfer these title rights to the Chaplin Studio.

This title reservation policy is still in effect in the industry today, as administered by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA).

CLICK HERE to read about the MPAA's Title Registration Division.

The Paramount movie called The Dictator with Wallance Reid from the 1920s.


Chaplin, My Autobiography, pp. 391-392.

See Bibliography.


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