Mickey Mouse’s Copyright To Be Public Property Soon – Disney’s Earliest Creation
Disney is very possessive of its copyrights of Mickey Mouse along with other popular characters.
The company once forced a Florida day care center to remove an unauthorized Minnie Mouse mural.
In 2006, Disney told a stonemason that carving Winnie the Pooh into a child’s gravestone would vitiate its copyright.
The company pushed so hard for an extension of copyright protection in 1998 that the result was nicknamed the Mickey Mouse Protection Act.
For the first, however, Mickey himself is set to enter the public domain.
”Steamstone Willie”, the 1928 short film that introduced Mickey to the world, will lose copyright protection in the US & a few other countries at the end of next year.
The expiration of the “Steamboat Willie “ copyright means that the black and white short can be shown without Disney’s permission & even resold by third parties.
The topic of Mickey Mouse & copyright has loomed in the public consciousness since the late 1990s.
In 2003, the Supreme Court ruled 7 to 2 to uphold what Congress had done in 1998.
In short, early versions of Popeye, King Kong, Donald Duck, Flash Gordon, Porky Pig & Superman will enter the public domain at various levels over the next decade.
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