Mickey Mouse: Birthday celebrations and copyright expirations | IN 60 SECONDS

Mickey Mouse: Birthday celebrations and copyright expirations | IN 60 SECONDS

On November 18th, 1928, Mickey Mouse was
introduced to the world in the film Steamboat Willie. But this may be one of
the last birthdays Mickey celebrates as the intellectual property of Disney.
Copyrights for the popular character are set to expire on January 1st, 2024. Mickey
might have become public property sooner except that each time the copyright on
Steamboat Willie was set to lapse, Disney and others pushed Congress to lengthen
US copyright terms. By 1998, works of corporate authorship were exclusive
company property for 95 years from publication. But this time around, there
doesn’t seem to be any serious effort to extend Disney’s copyright for several
reasons. First, each version of Mickey Mouse has a separate copyright, so only
the Steamboat Willie version will enter the public domain in 2024. Second, Disney
has clearly diversified its stable of copyrighted characters. Third, copyright
activists have out-organized Hollywood. And fourth, it’s unlikely the public
would accept a copyright extension beyond 95 years. So enjoy your day Mickey, because soon you will belong to your adoring public. What do you think? Will
Disney let its copyrights on Mickey expire? Let us know in our poll. Also, let
us know what other topics you’d like our scholars to cover in 60 seconds, and be
sure to LIKE and subscribe for more research and videos from AEI.


  1. Ken Sharp says:

    Disney has turned into a terrible company with a terrible message. I don't like Mickey I don't wish him a happy birthday.

    No it isn't because he is gay. It's because he's rotten.

  2. Jeremy Sumrak says:

    I only recognize the South Park version of Mickey as canon.

  3. Luke Zuzga says:

    As long as Disney controls as much of the media as it does and and so much of the congress on the pay roll, they will get whatever they want.

  4. metatech says:

    The last copyright extension was an outright crime. Disney can not be trusted.

  5. Triple fife says:

    We all know how this is going to go down. Disney is going to get lobbyists out there to push copyright back even further. I have no skin in this game, but I can see the looming problems with copyright being in as it is so over bloated today vs what it was when it started.

  6. Triple fife says:

    >When copyright first started "This will protect the individual author from having their ideas ripped off from the printing press!"

    >Today "I would sure love to make some small amount of money off my fan project. To bad. I guess we only get the corporate approved version."

  7. Ace Hardy says:


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