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Mickey's copyright adventure: Early Disney creation to be public property

The version of the iconic character from "Steamboat Willie" will enter the public domain in 2024. But those trying to take advantage could end up in a legal mousetrap

Mickey and Minnie Mouse Mascots
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Mickey and Minnie Mouse Mascots

Brooks Barnes | NYT
There is nothing soft and cuddly about the way Disney protects the characters it brings to life.

This is a company that once forced a Florida day care center to remove an unauthorized Minnie Mouse mural. In 2006, Disney told a stonemason that carving Winnie the Pooh into a child’s gravestone would violate its copyright. The company pushed so hard for an extension of copyright protections in 1998 that the result was derisively nicknamed the Mickey Mouse Protection Act.

For the first time, however, one of Disney’s marquee characters — Mickey himself — is set to enter the public domain.

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First Published: Dec 29 2022 | 8:56 AM IST

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