Mickey Mouse is destined for the public domain. In fact, he should be there now. But due to legislative change, The Walt Disney Company has been able to delay its masthead character’s departure. Now, that delay could come to an end.
According to Fox News, Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo. is introducing legislation that will end the special protection for all favoring corporations and limit the length of new copyrights:
The “Copyright Clause Restoration Act of 2022” would cap the length of copyrights given corporations by Congress to 56 years and retroactively implement this change on companies, including Walt Disney.
“The age of Republican handouts to Big Business is over. Thanks to special copyright protections from Congress, woke corporations like Disney have earned billions while increasingly pandering to woke activists. It’s time to take away Disney’s special privileges and open up a new era of creativity and innovation,” Hawley told Fox News Digital in an exclusive statement.
Disney Fanatic explained how copyright law has evolved over the years in an earlier article (which you can read below). Under previous copyright law, Mickey Mouse was set to enter the public domain in 1984 and then again in 2003. Under the latest legislation–referred to as “the –, the for will expire in 2024. And, if Sen. Hawley’s copyright act gets passed, it could be it.
It should be noted that, just like with A. A. Winnie the Pooh characters, Mickey Mouse will continue to be a part of Disney’s identity and experience, and it can be argued that several technical exemptions will be put in place. However, Disney will lose the financial boon that comes with owning the famous Mouse’s copyright. It is estimated that Mickey Mouse generates $6 billion a year in revenue.
Only time will tell how and his team will work to maintain s over the .
We at Disney Fanatic will continue to monitor this story and other Disney news, and we will continue to update our readers as more developments come to light.