Mickey The Free
As the internet by and large has already reported not just today, but for the past months in speculation and anticipation; Mickey Mouse, in specific the iteration based on the 1928 shorts ‘Steamboat Willie’ and ‘Plane Crazy,’ are in the public domain. There was no eleventh hour save. No gotcha. Nothing that wasn’t already anticipated.
Say what you will about the insanity in US politics as of right now, but between that and Disney’s own financial situation there seemed to be no ‘Mickey Mouse Bill 2 Electric Boogaloo.’
I am not an expert in copyright law, and just because the Steamboat Willie iterations of Mickey, Minnie, and other characters are public domain does not automatically prevent disney from suing (them using the rule of ‘I have more money than you’ as well as their own uses of ‘willie’ in later media either as identifier logo or other uses to muddy the waters on what is and isn’t kosher,) it is still a known and absolute that Das Maus is in the public domain.
Which is a day I had not thought would happen truth be told.
So, while copyright might be extended and or modified, we still have a very iconic creation hit the public domain. Unlike Winnie the pooh’s ‘blood and honey’ horror film (which I think was made purely ‘because it could be’ rather than any talent or want to tell a coherent story,) this is a creation that isn’t just known the world over but is part and parcel with a corporation’s identity. So there are going to be lawsuits. There are going to be counter-suits.
Given Devon (Legal Eagle) specializes in copyright law? I honestly am looking forward to his video on the matter.
Now I just have to somehow make it into 2078 for the entire original Star Wars Trilogy to make it into the public domain.