Just in time to celebrate Christmas, Ninety-five years after the original creation of Disney’s iconic “Steamboat Willie” animation, Mickey Mouse will enter the public domain on 1 January 2024, yes, you heard it right, Mickey Mouse is finally for the people.
Although there are a few stipulations, You can’t use Mickey Mouse to mislead consumers, and new works cannot suggest any affiliation with the Disney brand, and the stories, characters and even the numerous Disney logos all carry an iconic legacy, so it will be interesting to see how the public uses this legendary creation.
“Steamboat Willie” was produced in 1928, it was a groundbreaking invention due to its use of synchronised sound, it became one of the most popular animations of its time.
But Disney still retains the rights to modern Mickey and Minnie notably, the copyright expiration only pertains to the classic black-and-white depictions of Mickey and Minnie Mouse, leaving later interpretations created by Disney still protected. Some legal experts are also already speculating that Disney may still work to defend the characters when it comes to certain uses, such as a project similar to “Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey,” after that classics enter the public domain.
The Iconic Character has long been a symbol in the copyright wars. Beyond the practical impact, the expiration.
There was also a case in 1971, When Dan O’Neill launched a countercultural attack on Mickey Mouse by drawing his underground comic book, “Air Pirates Funnies,” the lovable mouse was seen smuggling drugs and performing oral sex on Minnie, but after eight years in court, he could not pay to continue, So he decided to stay out of prison, he agreed never to draw Mickey Mouse again.
With the iconic 20s animation style of the soon-to-be-freed Mickey, we could expect to see a revival in art, animation and also product marketing and such.