How Mickey Mouse Evades Public Domain


Source: Priceonomics

What's been said:

Discussions found on the web:
  1. machinehead commented on Jan 10

    Locking up culture for more than a human lifetime is just wrong.

    A book that I’d like to adapt to film, published the year after I was born, won’t be in the public domain till I’m 110.

    It’s enough to drive one to piracy.

    • intlacct commented on Jan 12

      “Locking up culture for more than a human lifetime is just wrong.”

      Try doing it for 1,000 years. Obviously we need more people with those attitudes, not less. 😉

  2. Lyle commented on Jan 10

    Since Disney wants the public to grant them the right to sue over the use of Mickey Mouse, I say charge them a large fee for the priviledge. For each of the movies involved charge $100,000 the first year, 200,000 the second year up to 1,000,000 a year after 10 years. Allow anyone who holds a copyright after 95 years to renew it on this basis with the fee of $1,000,000 per year after 105 years. This is just a fee to buy the right to sue, and allows the copyright holder to decide if it is worth it to continue the privilege. It is not a tax but a fee for service. For example whoever holds the rights to Gone with the Wind would start paying in 2034 and for the Wizard of Oz original movie it is the same time. Essentially this harvests the value add by extending the copyright back to the public.

  3. Non Sequor commented on Jan 10

    I’ve never really understood the significance to Disney of the copyright on the early Mickey Mouse shorts. If that expired, you would be able to copy the shorts in their entirety, but Mickey Mouse would still be trademarked, so I’m not sure that anyone could reappropriate Mickey in original works or do anything else that substantially threatens Disney.

Read this next.

Posted Under