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Adam Ruins Everything - How Mickey Mouse Destroyed the Public Domain

ewensell3

Well-Known Member
#2
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Copyright rules on audio recordings are even better. In a nutshell audio recordings were covered under various state rules until 1972. None of them had any automatic expiration provisions. There are currently no audio recordings in the public domain that was not put there intentionally by their rights holders. The pre-1972 catalog enters the public domain in 2067, unless lobbying efforts of various interested parties is successful. The copyright of all other recordings created after 1972 expire 70 years after the death of the last surviving author. Again, depending on lobbying efforts.

PS - I thought WDC converted Mickey to a Trademark so he could be protected indefinitely.
 
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JakeSpadaro

Well-Known Member
#3
Copyright rules on audio recordings are even better. In a nutshell audio recordings were covered under various state rules until 1972. None of them had any automatic expiration provisions. There are currently no audio recordings in the public domain that was not put there intentionally by their rights holders. The pre-1972 catalog enters the public domain in 2067, unless lobbying efforts of various interested parties is successful. The copyright of all other recordings created after 1972 expire 70 years after the death of the last surviving author. Again, depending on lobbying efforts.

PS - I thought WDC converted Mickey to a Trademark so he could be protected indefinitely.
I've normally only seen the copyright for Mickey not a trademark, but Mickey won't ever go into public domain regardless.
 
#4
First, I have to agree with some of the YouTube comments that take issue with calling Walt himself a hypocrite when he passed long before any of this copyright extension stuff started.

While I can see how it can be nice to have works enter the public domain where you are free to take those characters and stories and adapt them, I can just as easily see the Disney Company's view. They are a still thriving company that uses Mickey and the other Disney and Pixar characters to promote their brand of family entertainment. If Mickey were allowed to enter the public domain, there's no legal reason someone couldn't do something like put him in a South Park style show or something. Obviously, Disney doesn't want that; so I'm sure they'll keep fighting every time they have to to make sure that Mickey stays out of the public domain and they can continue to control how he's presented. And I can't blame them for that.
 

AEfx

Well-Known Member
#5
I've normally only seen the copyright for Mickey not a trademark, but Mickey won't ever go into public domain regardless.
Early Mickey will, and they will give it up willingly. It's the only way they will be able to convince anyone that somehow legally Trademark trumps Copyright. It's a battle that Disney will again be on the forefront of. In short, the Trademark laws were not written with the idea that someone would copyright and trademark the same thing, thereby skirting the laws around them. The only logical thing for them to do is then separate the Mickey character into "classic", "modern", "contemporary", etc. eras. and let the old Mickey go. If you notice the resurgance in "early" (black and white) Mickey merch the last few years - I think you'll discover this is why.

Disney simply does not have the political power it did in the 1990's, they won't be able to pull what they did last time and get the laws rewritten for them. There is a reason it was called the "Mickey Mouse Act" unofficially.
 

Magenta Panther

Well-Known Member
#8
I hope Disney will fight to keep the ownership of Mickey "into infinity...and beyond". The Copyright Laws need to be changed, period. If a character or IP is still in use by a company when the copyright expires, then that company should be given the opportunity to file a new copyright for it. I don't see how that could be considered "unfair". A character is not like a car or a telephone, where someone who didn't invent something can use that something to improve that something when its original copyright expires. A character that is still robust should belong to the company/person that invested to develop that character. THAT is fair. Plus, we all know what would happen to Mickey if someone else could legally exploit him. The parodies are ferocious enough. I don't want the same things that have happened to Oz to happen to Mickey and the gang...
 
#10
Personally from a creators perspective I can see where Disney is going. The copy right rules back then didn’t really expect the huge change in the entertainment industry where an entertainment company lasted way longer than the creators life time. The Disney company it self will be 100 years old in less than 10 years now. While one not saying the copyright system is completely perfect I’m, it still has its positives. While I don’t agree with the medical field copyright I believe in the cartoon character copy right. I would hate to see my characters misused in someways. And I say people are blind to the things they already have. After watching this video people already believe they have their creativity with the characters completely gone they neglect the fact that there are still thousands of stories on fanfiction, and art on deviant art and tumblr and many other art places. If you look there are people making money off of making fan made comics of actual DISNEY shows like ducktales and star vs the forces of evil. We are still allowed, sure we can’t make major money but we still have the freedom to do certain things. It seemed to turn into a mob mentality where people only believed they were limited not paying attention to what major YouTube channels do. People are literally earning money of playing copyrighted video games. Making fan songs. Making fan animations. Movie analysis. Yes we are limited and some of it is flawed but we still have some freedom to do what we want with characters. And people take that for granted and want more. I
 
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