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Friday, April 15, 2022 

What if many corporate-owned creations besides Mickey Mouse became public domain?

Daniel Greenfield at Front Page Magazine's discussed how Republicans in Congress are considering taking steps to allow for Disney's iconic mascot to become public domain by the mid-2020's, because of the company's shocking turn to defending the grooming of children for LGBT ideology:
In 1998, Congress passed the Mickey Mouse Protection Act. In a classic case of bipartisan corruption, the bill brought together Republicans, along with Barney Frank and John Conyers, to do a special favor for Disney and for other entertainment industry companies.

The Mickey Mouse Act (formally the Copyright Term Extension Act) was one of a series of measures that took the original copyright system, meant to protect an author's rights, and instead turned it into a permanent monopoly cash cow for Hollywood studios.

Mickey Mouse, a character created in the 20s, will only become public domain in 2024.

That is if Republicans don’t once again decide to do a special favor for Disney, Warner Bros, and a number of other massively woke and wealthy entertainment industry monsters
.

In response to Disney's support for pushing sexual indoctrination on kindergarteners, Rep. Jim Banks has sent a letter warning that the free ride was over.

“It’s hard to believe that anyone would have considered extending the already lengthy term, but there’s no way they will get the ear of any Republicans after their radical political activism. America’s strong copyright protections helped make America great — they gave our creators and distributors the right incentives to produce content that shows the world the importance of freedom. But Congress should not add to Disney’s 90+ years of federal copyright protection to incentivize its new far left agenda,” Rep. Jim Jordan said.
Absolutely correct. Above all, it's disturbing how these conglomerates go out of their way to deconstruct famous creations and reassemble them to suit their one-sided notions of what entertainment should be like.

Besides Disney, which owns Marvel for over a dozen years now, there's also Time Warner/AT&T's ownership of DC, in example, to consider, and is brought up along with the Disney cast proper:
Disney had spent around $150,000 on members of Congress considering the bill in the 90s. The company these days allegedly spends millions on various direct and indirect lobbying efforts.

If Congress does nothing, Mickey's copyright will expire in 2024, followed by Pluto in 2026, Goofy in 2028, and Donald Duck in 2029. Snow White and the Seven Dwarves will lapse in 2032, followed by classic Disney movies like Pinocchio, Dumbo, Bambi and Cinderella.

Beyond Disney, Superman’s copyright ends in 2033, Batman’s copyright in 2034, and Wonder Woman in 2036. In another blow to Warners, Bugs Bunny goes public domain in 2035.

While the copyrights apply to specific works, like Mickey Mouse in Steamboat Willie or the first Superman comic, it would open up opportunities for independent creators and companies.

Including conservatives and traditionalists who want to recreate American culture
.

Disney and Warners, among others, would stand to lose billions in profits from these characters. They’ll fight for another copyright extension if they can, and if they can’t, will try to sneak in poison pills that will keep anyone else from being able to use them while bribing politicians left and right. Literally. Conservatives haven’t cared about this in the past. Now they should.

Opposing copyright extension is about more than just punishing Disney for wokeness.

Companies like Disney and Warners have built massive war chests of intellectual property that their current management and even ownership had nothing to do with creating while robbing the original creators, on whose behalf copyright laws and extensions were passed, of the profits.

Last year, Disney's Marvel filed five lawsuits to block the families of Stan Lee, Steve Ditko, and other creators of classic characters like Spiderman, Iron Man, Thor, and many others, from reclaiming copyright. This is the latest episode in a series of legal battles over comic rights (Superman creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster were originally paid $130 for the rights) and with the artists, creators, and animators who made the entire comic book industry possible.

Entertainment industry wokeness is built in large part on taking classic characters and “renewing” them by pushing them to be more politically radical, racially recasting them, or killing the characters off entirely and replacing them to prepare for the end of their copyrights.
This alone is reason to be alarmed. It proves what contempt these conglomerates really had for Lee, Ditko, Kirby, Siegel, Shuster and many more, all along. If DC does intend to get rid of Kal-El/Clark Kent - and Lois Lane - so they won't have to pay any residuals to the creator families anymore, that says all you need to know. It's the same if Marvel intends to do the same with any of Lee and Kirby's creations, and seeing how they've almost repeatedly, one instance after the other, tried to forcibly replace Steve Rogers with a politically motivated diversity token as Capt. America, that should tell all you need to know regarding the Star-Spangled Avenger too. And it's all been enabled by corporate ownership, which doesn't care for the creations beyond owning them, and since the publishers and film producers almost all share the same politics, that's why the latter couldn't care less about what badness the former is inflicting upon classic creations.

If all these copyrights were to expire, it could one day provide opportunities to build up Marvel/DC universes again in ways that I'd argued could benefit the creations far better. And if you think it'd be better to still keep the 2 shared universes separate from each other, of course even that's possible. Or should I say, one new publisher could take up work on a merged universe if they wanted, while another could continue more of the standard ones kept apart, and everybody could judge for themselves how well either/both worked out. And most important is entertainment value, and it's a shame conservatives of the past didn't show serious interest in building up entertainment products as they could now.

If all these copyrights could be abandoned for many creations leading up to the turn of the century, it would be doing a favor for the original creators whose whole original intention was entertainment value, not divisive politics. Hopefully, justice will prevail after all the trouble these conglomerates caused, especially of recent.

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  • I'm Avi Green
  • From Jerusalem, Israel
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