Rights to Mickey Mouse

No Longer Theirs: Disney Loses the Rights to Mickey Mouse

After almost 100 years in which the Disney company fought for the rights to the well-known character of Mickey Mouse, the character of the human mouse will belong to everyone from 2024.

(Courtesy: Disney)

In 1928, the producer Walt Disney created a new character in the form of a human mouse, wearing red shorts, large yellow shoes and white gloves and called him "Mickey Mouse", a character that became one of the most well-known and famous in the world. Before becoming the familiar mouse that he is today, Mickey Mouse first appeared in the unknown silent film "Plane Crazy", and received public recognition for the first time in the short "Steamboat Willie" (1928), one of the first animated films, shown in black and white.

Since then, the famous mouse received his own comic strip, appeared in many television series and even became the symbol of Disney theme parks around the world. But now, the character that belonged to Walt Disney and the company itself, becomes ours.

When Walt Disney created the black and white Mickey Mouse in 1928, the law stated that rights expired after 56 years. The Disney company fought twice to extend the rights to the cartoon character, the first time they managed to extend it to 75 years, and then to 95 years.

Another attempt by the company failed, so tonight (1.1.24) their 95 years will end and Disney will lose its rights to the cartoon character, and the use of the famous mouse will be allowed to everyone free of charge.

But don't rush to go and print Mickey Mouse on any product you want, the expired rights refer only to the character of the original mouse, the same one that appeared in black and white in the movie "Steamboat Willy", and not to the current and modern characters of today.

Mickey Mouse as he is known today (photo: Shutterstock/firevectors)

The reason for this is that after the betrayal of a film producer who worked alongside him, Charles Mintz, who tried to take over the Disney company and get rid of Walt himself, Walt Disney realized that he had to make sure he owned the rights to all the characters produced by his company.


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