Disney character Mickey Mouse will become public domain. What does it mean

Mickey Mouse character from The cartoons Walt Disney and one of the company’s symbols will become public domain on January 1, 2024. The Times newspaper reports this.

The assignment of this status means that from this day on, directors, screenwriters and artists around the world will be able to use the image of the popular cartoon character for free. But the publication clarifies that this will only apply to the very first version of the character, shown in the black-and-white short animated film “Steamboat Willie” on November 18, 1928.

Under US copyright law, which has been changed several times under pressure from Disney and has even been nicknamed the Mickey Mouse Protection Act, a monopoly on the character can be maintained for 95 years. But this year it expires.

A week earlier, Jennifer Jenkins, director of the Center for the Study of the Public Domain at Duke University, called it a “big event” for the industry in a conversation with Variety. “The entire copyright community has been waiting for it with great excitement, and it’s finally here,” she said.

In 1932, the co-founder of Walt Disney Productions, Walt Disney, received an Oscar for his outstanding achievements in cinema, namely for creating Mickey Mouse. The character even has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Until 1947, Walt Disney personally voiced Mickey Mouse, but due to a chronic cough from smoking, he was forced to give way to Jimmy MacDonald. From 1977 to 2009, Mickey Mouse was voiced by Wayne Allwine. For the past 14 years, Bret Ivan has been the official voice of Mickey Mouse.

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