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Disney Lost the Mice Today

Community Expert ,
Jan 01, 2024 Jan 01, 2024

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On Jan 1, 2024, copyright to Disney's legendary Mickey & Minnie Mouse cartoon characters expired. They are in the public domain now.  See below for more details.

 

Nancy O'Shea— Product User, Community Expert & Moderator
Alt-Web Design & Publishing ~ Web : Print : Graphics : Media

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Community Expert ,
Jan 02, 2024 Jan 02, 2024

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Per Google search... Mickey Mouse's first appearance was in the 1928 short film 'Steamboat Willie

 

Disney disn't lose anything, the copyright simply timed out and ended

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Community Expert ,
Jan 02, 2024 Jan 02, 2024

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I'm sure Disney's not celebrating.

 

Mickey and Minnie were originally scheduled to enter the public domain in 2004 — the customary 75 year mark.  However it was so important for Disney to retain copyright, they fought tooth & nail for a 20 year extension from Congress.  But that's as far as they could take it.

 

Nancy O'Shea— Product User, Community Expert & Moderator
Alt-Web Design & Publishing ~ Web : Print : Graphics : Media

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Community Expert ,
Jan 04, 2024 Jan 04, 2024

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Disney didn't seek a prolongation. They once got one for an additional 20 years, for most work that would be enough, but for someone like Disney, that is like a dying cash cow…

ABAMBO | Hard- and Software Engineer | Photographer

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Community Expert ,
Jan 08, 2024 Jan 08, 2024

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@John T Smith, as I understand it, the image of Mickey in “Steamboat Willie” is the only public-domain image. Even if you add his trademark gloves, which came later, you may be subject to a copyright violation. If they lost claim to one (crappy) image of Mickey Mouse, I don't think it's too much to crow about.

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Community Expert ,
Jan 08, 2024 Jan 08, 2024

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LATEST

@J E L ,

…and not to forget: Disney owns the trademark to Mikey! That's the smoking gun to sue anyone coming only near to the Mikey design. Trademarks are valid forever, as long as they are used and proof of use can be provided. 

 

I collected year for year proof of use of our trademarks to prove the use in specific regions of the world, when the renewal date came along. 

 

ABAMBO | Hard- and Software Engineer | Photographer

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Community Expert ,
Jan 02, 2024 Jan 02, 2024

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They didn't waste any time!  This slasher movie trailor dropped the same day Mickey went public domain.

 

Nancy O'Shea— Product User, Community Expert & Moderator
Alt-Web Design & Publishing ~ Web : Print : Graphics : Media

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Community Expert ,
Jan 02, 2024 Jan 02, 2024

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Goodness! Who watches that trashy stuff?  But I guess one mans' trash is another person's meal for the eyes. 😝

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Community Expert ,
Jan 04, 2024 Jan 04, 2024

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Yea, I was amazed how fast this movie came out. Needless to say, I won't be watching it.

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Community Expert ,
Jan 04, 2024 Jan 04, 2024

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>amazed how fast this movie came out

 

I didn't know the copyright was expiring until reading this message

 

I'm sure the people making that movie started weeks/months ago and announced when it was legal

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Community Expert ,
Jan 05, 2024 Jan 05, 2024

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Absolutely! Just kind of crazy that the first use is a horror movie.

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