Senator Introduces Legislation to End Disney’s Special Copyright Protections

Mickey Mouse Copyright
Credit: Fox (left); Disney (right)

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.

Mickey Mouse

Credit: Disney

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.

Sen. Josh Hawley

Credit: Fox News

Related: Disney Stock Continues Drop, Completely Eliminates 5-Year Gains

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 Mickey Mouse Protection Act”–, the copyright for Mickey Mouse will expire in 2024. And, if Sen. Hawley’s copyright act gets passed, it could be it.

Steamboat WIllie

Credit: Disney

Read More: Disney has Special Protection on Mickey Mouse — Lawmakers Want it Gone

It should be noted that, just like with A. A. Milne’s 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 Disney CEO Bob Chapek and his team will work to maintain exclusive rights over the iconic character.

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.

About T.K. Bosacki

Born and raised in Tampa, Florida, TK Bosacki is a professional writer, amateur adventurer, and lifelong Disney Fanatic. His Disney Park days include Space Mountain, Tower of Terror, Kilimanjaro Safaris, and Nomad Lounge. He believes in starting at the Canada pavilion (IYKYK), and the Monorail is superior to all Ferry Boats.

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