Just saw this segment on Tru TV's Adam Ruins Everything. Thoughts?
I've normally only seen the copyright for Mickey not a trademark, but Mickey won't ever go into public domain regardless.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.
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.I've normally only seen the copyright for Mickey not a trademark, but Mickey won't ever go into public domain regardless.