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Disney Could Lose Rights To Mickey Mouse Under New Bill

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Disney Could Lose Rights To Mickey Mouse Under New Bill

Disney may lose the rights to Mickey Mouse, by far the franchise’s most iconic character, if a new Republican bill passes into law.

Republican senator Josh Hawley has proposed the bill, that would reduce copyright protections from 95 years to 56.

If passed, Disney would immediately lose the copyright for Mickey Mouse - who was created in 1928 - as the legislation takes aim at entertainment or theme park corporations worth over $150 billion in market value.

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Hawley said in a press release, published on Deadline: "The age of Republican handouts to Big Business is over. Thanks to special copyright protections from Congress, woke corporations like Disney have earned billions while increasingly pandering to woke activists.”

Josh Hawley has proposed a bill that would reduce copyright protections. Credit: Alamy
Josh Hawley has proposed a bill that would reduce copyright protections. Credit: Alamy

He added: “It's time to take away Disney's special privileges and open up a new era of creativity and innovation."

Hawley’s proposed bill does include a provision to delay implementation for up to a decade, but Deadline points out it’s unlikely to find much success as Democrats control the senate. 

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Speaking on Tuesday, Keith Kupferschmid, CEO of the Copyright Alliance, argued that Hawley’s legislation would have a negative impact on millions of Americans. 

Kupferschmid said in a statement: “This legislation would harm those millions of everyday Americans in all fifty states who rely on copyright for their livelihoods in creative industries largely dominated by independent and small businesses."

UNILAD has approached Disney for comment.

Mickey Mouse was originally created way back in 1928. Credit: Alamy
Mickey Mouse was originally created way back in 1928. Credit: Alamy
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Hawley's proposed bill comes shortly after a Disney heir spoke out against Republicans’ Don’t Say Gay bill, which was recently signed into law in Florida.

After his child Charlee came out as transgender, Roy P Disney, great-nephew of Walt Disney and the co-founder of Walt Disney Co, pledged $500,000 to an LGBTQ+ advocacy group.

He said in a statement: “Our child, Charlee, is transgender and a proud member of the LGBTQ+ community.”

Charlee, who uses they/them pronouns, added: “I had very few openly gay role models, and I certainly didn’t have any trans or nonbinary role models. I didn’t see myself reflected in anyone, and that made me feel like there was something wrong with me.”

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Charlee went on to express shock at Florida’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill, which prevents the teaching of sexual orientation and gender identity from pre-school to third grade and was signed into law in March by Ron DeSantis.

Noting that LGBTQ+ children already face higher rates of depression and bullying, Charlee said: “Then to put something like this law on top of that? They can’t learn about their community and their history at school, or play sports or use the bathroom they want to use?"

If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected] 

Featured Image Credit: Alamy/Disney

Topics: News, Disney, LGBTQ

Aisha Nozari
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