The End of Exclusivity, Mickey Mouse passes into the Public Domain

The Original Version of Mickey Mouse Enters Public Domain

The iconic character of Mickey Mouse, created in 1928 by Walt Disney, is about to experience a significant change in your legal status. From 1 January 2024, "Steamboat Willie," the original, black-and-white version of Mickey, will enter the public domain in the United States, marking the end of almost a century of exclusivity for Disney. This historic event will not only affect Mickey Mouse, but also other iconic characters, such as Minnie Mouse and Tigger, who will share creative freedom with artists from around the world.

Iván Rodríguez Gelfenstein The end of exclusivity Mickey Mouse passes into the public domain

Since his debut in the short film "Willie and the Steamboat" in 1928, Mickey Mouse has been the face of the inseparable from the Walt Disney Company brand. However, the duration of the Copyright, which was initially 56 years, was extended to 95 years thanks to the pressures of large corporations such as Disney and Warner Bros. Although Mickey Mouse should have entered the public domain in 1984, the "Mickey Mouse Act" in 1998 granted a 20-year extension Additional. Now, in 2024, the time has finally come when the original version of Mickey is released for public use.

'Steamboat Willie' isn't just a black-and-white animation; It's the point of game that brought Mickey Mouse and Walt Disney to fame. This work by Ubbe Iwwerks not only marked a before and after in animation, but also which also introduced the synchronicity of character movements and effects changing forever the way they were created and They enjoyed cartoons.

The U.S. Copyright Act states that after 95 years after the publication of a work, it enters the public domain. Although Disney has tried to extend Mickey's exclusivity in several ways. On January 1, 2024, 'Steamboat Willie' and other works will be released in that sphere of open access.

Mickey Mouse won't be alone in this new phase. Characters such as Minnie Mouse, Tigger, and literary works such as 'The Lover of Lady Chatterley' and 'Orlando' will also join the public domain in 2024. This event marks a milestone in the intellectual property and promises to inspire new creative interpretations that could transform Walt Disney's century-old legacy.

Despite the entry of 'Steamboat Willie' into the public domain, Disney ensures that the essence of Mickey Mouse will remain authentic. The company use trademark law to protect the character's image, ensuring that modern versions of Mickey are not affected by the expiration of copyright for 'Steamboat Willie'. Disney plans to be proactive in protecting its brand, avoiding confusion and possible unauthorized uses.

The passage of 'Steamboat Willie' into the public domain marks a major shift in The History of Intellectual Property. Although the original version of Mickey Mouse will be available to artists and creators, the essence of the character it will continue to be carefully protected by Disney. This event opens the door to new creative interpretations and promises to trigger a rebirth in the way we experience these beloved characters.

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