International Image/copyright

Lang Thompson wlt4
Tue Jan 5 15:32:38 EST 1999

>In the United States, for example, the copyright are what 60 years? plus
>one renewal.  The Disney company owns the rights to the cartoon
>character Mickey Mouse.  (Actually it's more complex and at one point
>the rights probably had belonged to the Disney family.)  Mickey has been
>around for more 60 years, so the copyright has either been renewed once
>or that ownership had changed hands.

Actually, there are two different issues involved.  Copyright (at least in
the US) only extends to a creative work, not to the characters (or title or
plotline) in it.  The character of Mickey Mouse (like those in Star Wars,
Star Trek, Warner Bros cartoons, etc) is trademarked and different laws
apply to that.  So while the cartoons themselves will eventually become
public domain, Mickey Mouse will still be a trademarked figure.
Lang Thompson

"Goethe once proposed that a museum of the 
inauthentic be created in Rome, in which plaster 
casts of all the antiquities that had been 
discovered could be displayed." - Moatti, Search
for Ancient Rome

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