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Mickey Mouse law under fire: Copyright term is being shortened

In the US, work is now underway at the highest level to finally free copyright protection terms from the long hold of the Walt Disney Group. Significantly shorter maturities would result from this. Protection of intangibles expires after the death of the author. Originally, this period was quite manageable but has expanded over time. The accompanying regulations are also jokingly referred to as the “Mickey Mouse Protection Act” in the US, as the expansion has been repeatedly pushed out by massive lobbying from the Disney group — because it would naturally want to prevent works by company founder Walt from Disney like Mickey Mouse. , on which much of the company is based, is in the public domain.

The so-called standard protection period in the US and most other industrialized countries – including Germany – is now 70 years from the author’s death. Just over a hundred years ago, the period was limited to just 30 years and has been extended in several steps. In the US, however, there is now talk of the “Copyright Clause Restoration Act of 2022”, which should bring about a reduction.

Revenge on the media industry

The bill was drafted by Republican Senator Josh Hawley. “The days of Republican subsidies to big companies are over,” he said. However, it should not be read that the Republicans suddenly get socialist impulses. Hawley is more likely to follow Trump’s course here and act against a so-called establishment that wants to re-educate the population.

He sees the shortening of the deadline as a kind of revenge on so-called ‘woke’ efforts in the media industry. “Thanks to the special copyright protections offered by Congress, wakeful companies like Disney have made billions as they gain more and more favor with wakeful activists. It’s time to end Disney’s special privileges and create a new era of creativity and innovation”, said Hawley in an exclusive statement to Fox News.

Mark Goodman

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