Is Disney Getting Rid of Mickey Mouse? Here Is What Is Happening

Mickey Mouse.
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When we look at the Disney brand, it is incredibly difficult not to think about the iconic Mickey Mouse because he has always been the Disney mascot for the longest time possible, as he is the most recognizable Disney character. However, recent reports say that Disney could be getting rid of Mickey Mouse as its mascot. But is there any truth to it?

Disney is not getting rid of Mickey Mouse as its mascot. There is no truth behind any of that. The only truth is that the Mickey Mouse featured in Steamboat Willie, which is the first film featuring the character, will be entering the public domain by 2024 and will no longer be exclusive to Disney.

The truth is that Mickey Mouse is still a Disney product and will not be available to the public domain anytime soon. However, the Steamboat Willie version of Mickey Mouse will lose its copyright protection by 2024. This is where the news regarding the Mickey Mouse issue with Disney is rooted on. So, to understand this topic, let’s look at it in greater detail.

Will Disney Replace Mickey Mouse?

No one can doubt that Mickey Mouse is the most recognizable icon when it comes to cartoon characters, as people know that this character has always been associated with the Disney brand, considering that Mickey was one of Walt Disney’s first creations. Of course, Mickey Mouse helped launch the entire Disney brand with his first appearance in the 1928 Steamboat Willie animated film.

mickey

In that regard, Mickey Mouse has been synonymous with the Disney brand for nearly a hundred years, and people immediately think about Disney whenever they see this iconic mouse character. But while that may be true, there are rumors about the possibility of Disney replacing Mickey Mouse as its mascot or even getting rid of him. So, is there any truth to the reports that Disney will be getting rid of Mickey Mouse?

Mouse Trap News, a satirical website, first reported the rumor that Disney would replace Mickey Mouse. That means that there is no truth to the report made by this website, as its content is purely satirical and not based on fact. As such, Disney won’t replace Mickey Mouse as its iconic mascot anytime soon.

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However, while it may be true that Disney isn’t replacing or getting rid of Mickey Mouse, there is something that fans of the iconic mouse should learn about. And this is about Disney’s hold over Mickey Mouse.

Disney’s Mickey Mouse Situation Explained

The satirical news made by Mouse Trap News regarding the possibility of Disney replacing Mickey Mouse is rooted in the fact that Mickey Mouse’s copyright will expire soon. That means that the mouse will soon enter the public domain and will be a character that anyone can use for their benefit without getting in trouble with the law. But there is still more to this story.

While it may be true that Disney will soon lose its copyright hold over Mickey Mouse, the thing is that the only version of Mickey Mouse that is going to enter the public domain in 2024 is one that we saw in the 1928 Steamboat Willie film, which was the mouse’s first appearance as a character. 

steamboat mickey disney

Released in 1928, Steamboat Willie was set to lose its copyright in 1983 as the old law only allowed protected works to enjoy protection for 56 years from their creation. However, the expiry date was moved to 2003 because Congress passed the law allowing protected works to stay protected for 50 years after the author’s or creator’s death. But it was in 1997 that Congress finally extended copyright protection to 95 years. That is why Mickey Mouse in Steamboat Willie’s final year as a copyright-protected character is 2023.

Nevertheless, fans should understand that the expiration regarding the status of Mickey Mouse’s copyright protection will only cover Steamboat Willie and not the character as a whole. That’s because the expiration doesn’t cover any other film after 1928 in which Mickey Mouse was featured as a character. The expiration of the copyright doesn’t even affect Disney’s trademark over Mickey Mouse.

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That means that the rest of Mickey Mouse’s stories will still be copyright protected and that only the 1928 version we saw in Steamboat Willie will enter the public domain. But any other subsequent versions of the character or his evolutions are still protected by copyright law. And that means that Mickey Mouse is still under copyright protection, at least until 2030.

As such, there is no reason to fret about the possibility of Mickey Mouse suddenly becoming a character that the public domain can freely use. Mickey Mouse is still under Disney’s property because it is a registered trademark of the company. And that means it is unlikely that Disney will ever relinquish Mickey Mouse, considering that the company will likely keep ownership of the character as its trademark for as long as possible (and even forever).

So, with that said, Disney won’t be replacing or getting rid of Mickey Mouse anytime soon or at any point. Mickey Mouse has always been an iconic character in the history of Disney, which means there won’t be a Disney brand without Mickey Mouse. But we can’t be sure whether or not Mickey Mouse will be protected by copyright laws forever, especially considering that copyright protection does expire. Still, rest assured that Disney will remain the ownership of the Mickey Mouse trademark forever.

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