MOVIE NEWS – The media giant struggles to keep Mickey in his hands. If a proposed bill passes, will Disney lose Mickey Mouse’s copyright?
Mickey Mouse has always been the face of many key themes. For some, it represents child innocence. For others, it is a mascot of a giant company. Disney, as a company, has always made sure Mickey stays firmly in their legal hands, and that much effort may be a thing of the past. According to a Deadline report, a new bill has been put forward to “let go” between the small mouse and the public treasure.
The bill was tabled by Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) and was born to target Disney directly. Hawley filed the bill to restore the maximum copyright protection to 56 years. The bill was drafted as a retaliation by the Walt Disney Company for taking a stand against the infamous “Don’t Say It’s Gay” bill. Hawley said the following in a press release about the bill.
“The age of Republican aid to large corporations is over. Thanks to Congress’ special copyright protection, vigilant companies like Disney have earned billions while increasingly favouring vigilant activists. It’s time to take away Disney’s special privileges. and usher in a new era of creativity and innovation. “
Mickey Mouse was featured in the 1928 cartoon Steamboat Willy. The film has since been the subject of several debates grouped around copyright. The film was planned to be made a public treasure in 1955, then in 1986, 2003, and 2023. Disney has been lobbying every time to extend the character’s protection. What was originally a law designed to ensure that creators could benefit from their work until their deaths have since become a stronghold of creative intellectual property and franchises? Critics have since pointed out that Disney’s intervention has harmed the public domain, freezing other properties from falling into the hands of the public as they should and being stuck in creative limbo.
While Disney losing power over Mickey seems like a pleasant thought, there is another side to the argument. Other voices have also raised their voices to criticize the drastic bill. Keith Kupferscmid, CEO of the Copyright Alliance, said the bill would have a negative impact not only on Disney but on businesses across the country.
“This legislation would harm millions of ordinary Americans in all fifty states whose livelihoods depend on copyright in the creative industries, which are largely dominated by independent and small businesses.”
While this bill may seem daunting to Disney, Deadline reports that the actual breakthrough of the bill is highly unlikely. This is because both sides favour the current copyright rules in the Senate. Disney has not yet made a statement on the bill. The company hasn’t even talked about its plans for next year when Mickey Mouse is again in danger of becoming a public treasure. They will likely try to appeal for another extension, but it will not be an easy fight. There is only enough time left for Disney to lose power over Mickey smoothly.