Proposed bill targeting Disney's copyrights would shorten copyright duration to 56 years

Sharon&Susan

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Not a bill that's likely to pass, but the implications of this are interesting. If this did get initiated into law this year that'd mean that every movie made by the company during Walt Disney's lifetime, tons of Marvel comics including origin stories of major characters, and a big chunk of the 20th Century catalogue (including Sound of Music) would go into the public domain and be able to be used for commercial purposes by everyone:

 

Disney Irish

Premium Member
Not a bill that's likely to pass, but the implications of this are interesting. If this did get initiated into law this year that'd mean that every movie made by the company during Walt Disney's lifetime, tons of Marvel comics including origin stories of major characters, and a big chunk of the 20th Century catalogue (including Sound of Music) would go into the public domain and be able to be used for commercial purposes by everyone:

This would have wide reaching impacts that are unimagined at this point. Forget Disney this would impact ALL of Hollywood and anyone who creates copyrighted material, and would likely be fought hard against by everyone. Because what these specific lawmakers aren't realizing is that these "special privileges" given to Disney actually are given to others as well.

And whats funny, it likely wouldn't have the impact on Disney that they think it does. As has been discussed here before Disney still has trademarks in place, which gives them protections over their characters and so they would still control Mickey and who use him.
 

lazyboy97o

Well-Known Member
This seems like the sort of move that, if done by any other country, would find them on the Special 301 Report.

Isn’t retroactive synonymous with ex post facto?

The US is a signatory to the Berne Convention, which calls for a minimum copyright term of 50 afters after the creator’s death. This legislation just calls for a maximum of 56 years which involves a formal renewal process which has not existed for some time.
 

sedati

Well-Known Member
Not a bill that's likely to pass, but the implications of this are interesting. If this did get initiated into law this year that'd mean that every movie made by the company during Walt Disney's lifetime, tons of Marvel comics including origin stories of major characters, and a big chunk of the 20th Century catalogue (including Sound of Music) would go into the public domain and be able to be used for commercial purposes by everyone:

They’d punish Disney by allowing others to use their old creations while rewarding Disney with a catalog of creations by others that they could soon utilize freely.
 

Vegas Disney Fan

Well-Known Member
Always room for more…

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I never would have guessed that sweetheart Disney could become the new favorite target of politicians.
 

Karakasa

Well-Known Member
Well, isn't this a mixed bag? Fixing copyright law is important, but doing it as a clapback to a company exercising their First Amendment rights is... frankly, a very silly thing to do. It feels like political theater, especially since every other company is also going to be against this, not just Disney. Those backing the law surely know it won't pass.

... On the other hand, if this passes, hey, they can finally build that Godzilla Mt. Fuji coaster at Epcot. They'd just need to use one of his older designs! :p
 

lazyboy97o

Well-Known Member
Well, isn't this a mixed bag? Fixing copyright law is important, but doing it as a clapback to a company exercising their First Amendment rights is... frankly, a very silly thing to do. It feels like political theater, especially since every other company is also going to be against this, not just Disney. Those backing the law surely know it won't pass.

... On the other hand, if this passes, hey, they can finally build that Godzilla Mt. Fuji coaster at Epcot. They'd just need to use one of his older designs! :p
This is in no way a serious attempt to fix copyright law. It is a complete regression that ignores many international agreements that the United States has been a major player in pushing other countries to adopt.
 

Casper Gutman

Well-Known Member
People have a massive normalcy bias or there would be a lot more worry about the future of this country right now. The radicalism, punitive politics, and general vindictiveness of the current moment are not “normal.” This bill is part of a concerted attack on free speech that is antithetical to the fundamental principles of the USA. The fact that folks are so nonchalant is… deeply troubling.

Folks need to get worried. Right now.
 

AJ92

Active Member
In the Parks
No
People have a massive normalcy bias or there would be a lot more worry about the future of this country right now. The radicalism, punitive politics, and general vindictiveness of the current moment are not “normal.” This bill is part of a concerted attack on free speech that is antithetical to the fundamental principles of the USA. The fact that folks are so nonchalant is… deeply troubling.

Folks need to get worried. Right now.
It is alarming isn't it? I admit that I, myself, had my head in the sand for the longest time. But given the recent spite involving Disney "thine eyes have seen the glory" per say. Even if these are trivial lawsuits or desires, they shouldn't be happening. Not in the USA, ever.
 

Karakasa

Well-Known Member
This is in no way a serious attempt to fix copyright law. It is a complete regression that ignores many international agreements that the United States has been a major player in pushing other countries to adopt.
Yeah, I knew it was vindictive nonsense, but reading over the text now (I didn't last night because I thought the article covered it), it is completely unconstitutional. Now, technically congress isn't bound by those international agreements (though that would lead to consequences for the US for not following them), but the fact it's unconstitutional anyway means that doesn't matter. The whole ex post facto thing makes the bill dead in the water in theory, and hopefully other senators note that, given how important ex post facto is to maintain.
People have a massive normalcy bias or there would be a lot more worry about the future of this country right now. The radicalism, punitive politics, and general vindictiveness of the current moment are not “normal.” This bill is part of a concerted attack on free speech that is antithetical to the fundamental principles of the USA. The fact that folks are so nonchalant is… deeply troubling.

Folks need to get worried. Right now.
Oh don't be mistaken I'm very worried. Very worried indeed. The current political climate these past few months caused me a bit of a mental breakdown a few weeks back. I just wasn't sure how much I was allowed to express that worry. End of my post was to bring a bit of levity to the situation. I apologize if at all I was making light of it instead.
 
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Ghost93

Well-Known Member
I actually wouldn't object to the copyright law being reduced. People still wouldn't be able to make derivative knock-off works with Mickey Mouse as Mickey is trademarked. They simply would be able to watch old Disney movies without subscribing to Disney Plus. The movies Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, Bambi, Pinocchio, Peter Pan, etc. would be freely available to watch anywhere. People just couldn't make their own works with the Disney versions of the characters as long as trademarks were in place.

So really, people wanting to make their own versions of Disney properties would likely only be able to do so with the stuff Disney hasn't bothered to trademark — stuff like Victory Through Airpower and Song of the South probably.

Here is a list of Disney trademarks: https://www.gerbenlaw.com/trademarks/entertainment/disney/
 

Sharon&Susan

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
If ownership of ideas can expire, why not other things like land or any form of property for that matter?
There's only so much you can do with one piece of physical property. As a Christmas Carol, fairytales, and Shakespeare has shown, with one idea there are a literal millions ways to remix it into something different.
 

GuyFawkes

Active Member
If ownership of ideas can expire, why not other things like land or any form of property for that matter?
Property comes to an end when you die or the state takes it a way for not paying taxes. Would you prefer copyrights expire on the death of the maker?????
 

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