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Disney to lose Mickey Mouse copyright control after 95 years on January 1, 2024

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The Copyright Death (and Rebirth) of Mickey Mouse - Puck
  1. Mickey Mouse’s original 1928 version from “Steamboat Willie” will enter the public domain as its copyright expires in 2024.
  2. This marks a symbolic moment after 95 years, allowing the use of the specific early, non-speaking Mickey character from the film.
  3. Disney’s more modern versions of Mickey remain unaffected by this expiration, ensuring their role as a global icon.
  4. Disney maintains trademarks on Mickey, preventing deceptive use, despite the earlier version becoming public.
  5. Legal discussions may arise regarding boundaries of Disney’s ownership beyond the expired copyright.

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