Mickey Mouse is ours now!

DALL·E 2024
Image generated via Dall-e

Nobody can escape their own end, not even Mickey Mouse. Thus, after 95 years of protection, the copyright associated with the cartoon character has finally entered the public domain. Yes, you read that correctly! The cheeriest of mice is no longer under the exclusive control of its creators or a giant corporation.

For decades, Mickey Mouse has been a symbol of childhood joy, but also of corporate profit, stringently protected by copyright laws. The protection afforded by copyright, much like Cinderella’s magical evening, does not last forever, but for 95 years in this case. Therefore, considering that Mickey Mouse made his debut in 1928, it is no longer protected.

However, it should be noted that not all iterations of Mickey Mouse have entered the public domain, but only the version illustrated in the “Steamboat Willie” cartoons. Hence, not everything is as simple as it seems in the world of intellectual property. While the classic version of Mickey is now free, later versions and other Disney characters might still be off-limits for use without prior consent. It’s a complex labyrinth, similar to those in which our beloved mouse often found himself.

“Steamboat Willie”, Credit…LMPC, via Getty Images

What does this mean for artists, entrepreneurs, and mouse enthusiasts around the world? A whole world of possibilities! And now you can use Mickey in your art, you can use his image in your products, or even create new stories for him, without needing a magic wand, the permission of rights holders or an impressive budget.

In conclusion, as Mickey Mouse joins the public domain, we are reminded of the ever-evolving nature of copyright law. So, grab your pencils, brushes, laptops, and entrepreneurial spirit, and let’s see what magic unfolds in this new era of Mickey Mouse.

If you also want to protect your copyrights or have other questions about the world of law, contact us!

We can help you protect your IP rights!

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