I’m figuring Disney would see many Micky mouse products Cute Dachshund Flower Hope Shirt create some new buzz around the mouse and then create something for themselves with the mouse. The “original source” would make some money from that. Today you’d have to drum up some real costly advertising to create a buzz about the mouse. It going to the public domain would do that for free. We’re reading this news right now of something that’ll happen next year. It’s also one of the reasons people are saying you can trademark characters. Then you would be able to extend copyright indefinitely.
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If Mickey Mouse can be trademarked, what is to stop author and Cute Dachshund Flower Hope Shirt. This would create a copyright hybrid that previous Supreme Courts have warned against. Disney always managed to pull some ace out of their sleeve that allowed them to push the copyright expiration date back before, and now they have even more money. The value of Steamboat Willy and their other cartoons in that era is probably way less than the PR hit. I suspect Steamboat Willy will hit the public domain in 2024 due to these factors.
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A salesman is one person with limited resources. Disney is thousands of people with billions of dollars worth of resources and they’re ubiquitous. The big difference is that I haven’t Cute Dachshund Flower Hope Shirt been sold on the salesman’s product. We’ve already been sold all of Disney’s products for years to come because of Disney. That’s orders of magnitude easier to slip by the customer. Patents expire after twenty years. If a drug company spends a billion dollars to develop and test a new drug, it can only profit from it for twenty years. In comparison, it costs very little to create a book, a movie script, or a piece of music. Yet copyright protection lasts at least seventy years.
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