First, without prejudice, may I say that the the content of this article has no reflection on my Aba Brothers, who may have infringed on the Copyright of Walt Disney long before the Congress Men came to protect it or even afterwards...Aba boys, I hail...every print was hit, back to back, from "money grows like grass" to "ama kip kip" even to "oga at the top", street ti take over!
Now to more serious matters, some years ago I was interested in a news that concerns Walt Disney's animal cartoon character, Mickey Mouse, probably the oldest animated cartoon in the world. It was been argued that the copyright held by Walt Disney had lapsed and therefore Mickey is now available to all cartoonist to do as they please with it. For most of history, a great character or story or song has passed from its original creator into the public domain. Under the copyright law (US) before 1998, the copyright which Walt Disney holds would have expired in 2004, consequent upon which the same shall enter the public domain, free for all to use as they please. Mickey Mouse first appeared on screen in 1928.
|Walt Disney (1945)|
18 years ago , President Clinton signed the Copyright Term Extension Act, which retroactively extended copyright protection. As a result, the great creative output of the 20th century, from Superman to "Gone With the Wind" to Gershwin’s "Rhapsody in Blue," were locked down for an extra 20 years freezing the hopes of cartoonist who had sharpened their pencils to make a better and lively Mickey Mouse! Over the years, many have criticized Walt Disney for producing boring animations of Mickey Mouse and wished it was in the public domain, so better ideas would come into its creation.
Ok, here now is the deal, by 1st day of January, 2024, the extension lapses.and hurray, now I can start my version of Mickey Mouse! But do not rejoice yet o ye Micley-thirsty-cartoonist, as thoust hast reasons to fast and pray! Mickey Mouse was registered as trademark in the year 2004. This means that even though the copyright expires in 2024, the trademark does not. However, Aba boys are now legally free to make copies of all Mickey Mouse animation and sell them. The use of Mickey Mouse as logo, on branded products etc will still remain prohibited. How then can you create an animation of Mickey Mouse when Mickey is in itself a registered trademark? Copyright on "Tarzan" has lapsed and now in the public domain, but there has not been any one rival story of Tarzan and this is because the name "Tarzan" has been registered as a trademark. There have been so much argument, but i wouldn't delve into that, I am a retired cartoonist, with no published work though (lol) but my colleagues still remain in the business, I hope Godwin Adoro does get his hand on this Mickey someday, he's great with his pencil.