United Artists Corporation (UA) is an American film studio. The original studio using that name was founded in 1919 by D. W. Griffith, Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford, and Douglas Fairbanks, with the intention of controlling their own interests rather than depending upon the powerful commercial studios.
The current United Artists formed in November 2006 under a partnership between producer/actor Tom Cruise and his production partner, Paula Wagner, and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Paula Wagner left the studio on August 14, 2008. Cruise owned a small stake in the studio until late 2011. It is now a fully owned subsidiary of MGM, which itself is owned by MGM Holdings.
Starting in 1958 (the year a.a.p. shut down), United Artists became the owners of the a.a.p. library of pre- August 1948 Looney Tunes cartoons (which were technically under UA's television division). When United Artists was acquired by MGM in 1981, the rights to the pre- August 1948 Looney Tunes went to MGM.
Due to UA not having interest in renewing copyright, a handful of pre-1944 shorts have fallen into the public domain as a result of their actions. Turner has access to the original negatives and have restored some of these cartoons on DVD and Blu-Ray although the restored print is the original negative, thus it is still in the public domain.