Paris, Europe Brief News – Disney may be about to lose the rights to its most well-known and beloved character, Mickey Mouse.
Mickey will become available for the public domain in 2024 under U.S. copyright law that states intellectual property on artistic work expires 95 years after first publication.
Mickey Mouse first appeared in the 1920s and has become both the symbol for media conglomerate Disney and one of the most recognizable animated characters.
When he first appeared in 1928, Disney’s copyright was protected for 56 years but as the beloved cartoon character approached the end of its copyright, Disney successfully lobbied for the Copyright Act of 1976 which extended protections to 75 years.
And then in 1998, Disney lobbied for a further extension, giving it protection for 95 years.
It is unclear whether the entertainment giant plans to make another move before 2023 to prevent Mickey from being moved into the public domain. DailyMail.com has reached out for comment.
Once the copyright expires, anyone wishing to use characters or concepts from everyone’s favorite rodent will not have to request permission or pay copyright charges.
This means creatives could make Mickey the center of non-Disney stories.
The character could follow in the footsteps of Winnie the Pooh which recently entered the public domain after its copyright expired in January.