Disney to lose Classic Mickey Mouse copyright from January 2024
Disney to lose Classic Mickey Mouse copyright from January 2024
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Classic Mickey is no longer Disney’s sole property as its copyright ownership expired in January 2024 according to US laws. That means the ever endearing American pop culture icon can be shared, reused, repurposed and re-adapted in other products and platforms.


Several new ‘Classic Mickey’ have already stunned Mickey lovers recently. A trailer for a slasher film, featuring a masked killer dressed as Mickey Mouse, was released on 1 January. A new Mickey-inspired horror game, showing the rodent covered with blood stains, also dropped on the same day.


As US law allows copyright to be held for just 95 years, Disney's sole claim to the original version of characters has officially ended.


Most iconic character in American pop culture is now a part of the public domain. It means cartoonists, novelists and filmmakers can now rework and use the earliest versions of Mickey and Minnie. Anyone can use those versions without permission or cost.  


And it's not just Mickey Mouse that people can share, adapt, or remix, but all characters in “Steamboat Willie,” including the first iteration of Minnie Mouse.


The expiration of the copyright will not involve any other film made after 1928 in which Mickey Mouse features as a character nor the trademark on the character. The evolution of Mickey Mouse is still copyrighted. In particular, Mickey Mouse will remain under Disney's property because it is a registered trademark.

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