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Mickey Mouse Is Now In the Public Domain. Well, Sort Of.

Posted on AllSides January 2nd, 2024
From The Right
Illustration: Lex Villena; WALT DISNEY PICTURES/Newscom

The copyright on Mickey Mouse expires today, meaning The Walt Disney Company no longer has the exclusive rights to the character. Does this mean you can put Mickey in your own cartoon? Not exactly.

Under current law, works released between 1924 and 1978 are copyrighted for 95 years. As a result, the thousands of works copyrighted in 1928 enter the public domain today, meaning anyone can use or reprint them without permission. That includes books like D. H. Lawrence's Lady Chatterley's Lover and films like Charlie Chaplin's The Circus. But...

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