Just as Winnie the Pooh has become a serial killer with the movie «Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey» due to the rights of the character becoming public domain after 95 years since its creation. Mickey Mouse will also be free in 2024.
At that time, the most representative Disney character can be used in alternative projects. The House of Mouse presented the character for the first time in animated format with Steamboat Willie, on October 1st, 1928, with an indelible short film that we all have in our heads in one way or another.
The Walt Disney Company thus faces a problem if the copyright law does not change in the short term, since in approximately two years it will run out of the rights to Mickey Mouse. Now, what will remain free is the figure of the originally created character, not the variants that Disney has modeled.
Mickey Mouse will enter the public domain in 2024 by #copyright expiry, almost 95 years after his creation on 1 October 1928.
Disney's exclusivity will end and anyone wishing to use the characters or concepts will not have to request permission or pay copyright royalties. pic.twitter.com/5b8lzxDXZT
— Silver Kayondo (@SilverKayondo) July 4, 2022
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If someone touched those designs, they would have a problem because they could be accused of copyright, even if they make a short, series or movie that is related to the stories that we have already known about the character through Disney.
«You can use the character of Mickey Mouse as originally created to create your stories or stories with the character. But if you do it in a way that makes people think of Disney, which is quite likely because they’ve spent a lot of time on it, then Disney could put on the table that their copyright has been violated«, said Daniel Mayeda, associate director at UCLA.
Still, in general terms, Disney should not even worry about this because Mickey Mouse is too rooted in his roots and there are too many products tied to the company that make it almost impossible for the character to be touched on any animation-related front.