Mickey is the only character I know that is immediately recognizable — even in his basic three-circle form ºoº — and inspires delighted joy and magic.
Disney has forever been associated with Mickey — you might argue that Mickey IS Disney.
But, that might all be about to change.
According to ComicBook.com, in just two short years, Mickey and his likeness will be part of the public domain.
The way the crazy U.S. Copyright Laws work, Mickey is about to be free fodder for every artist and company to use at their will.
If you are at all aware of the lengths that Disney has gone to in the past to stop people from using Mickey in any way, shape, or form, you know that this probably doesn’t sit well with the House of the Mouse.
Historically, Disney has aggressively lobbied to change U.S. copyright laws in order to keep business “as is” for Disney and other corporations.
They want copyrights nearing their natural expiration date to stay with the companies that own them.
But, nothing seems to have changed on the U.S. Copyright front, which could mean HUGE changes for Mickey.
Mickey has been a part of American — nay — global culture since he first burst onto the scene in 1928 with the animated short “Steamboat Willie.”
That copyright is set to expire in 2023, and it all goes downhill for Disney from there.
I guess U.S. Copyright laws are only meant to last about 95 years. Which is kinda sad for those that own them — kinda cool for everyone that wants to take advantage of the free public domain.
What do you think about Disney losing the rights to Mickey?