Free Steamboat Willie

All topics relating to Disney-branded content.
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Rumpelstiltskin
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Free Steamboat Willie

Post by Rumpelstiltskin »

One get the impression that Disney refuse to let Steamboat Willie (and The Gallopin' Gaucho) go, because they know that once the Mickey Mouse cartoons starts entering public domain, one cartoon after the other will follow the next years and decades. And they want to keep them for themselves forever.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/worl ... 53398.html
A number of Republican lawmakers have signalled they may block Disney from renewing copyright on an iconic Mickey Mouse cartoon as punishment for the company’s stance on Florida’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill.
Is Disney really planning to extend the copyright? If not, it does seem strange that politicians are sending letters to them with threats that they will not support their efforts to prevent Mickey Mouse from entering public domain. That would be like sending a text message to some friend telling them that unless they apologize to you, you will not help them fix their car when they have never asked you to do so, or even told you there is anything wrong with the car.

I really hope Disney is not looking for a loophole, like Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc. did when they sued Dynamite Comics after they published a comic book version of material already in public domain, or when the Arthur Conan Doyle estate sued Netflix over Enola Holmes because Sherlock's personality in the movie did not fully reflect his personality before in the later stories, where there is still a couple in public domain.
If these rather small estates (compared to a giant like Disney) tries to interfere with the public domain, it wouldn't exactly be surprising if Disney did the same.
carolinakid
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Re: Free Steamboat Willie

Post by carolinakid »

If Disney cartoons DO start to enter the public domain, maybe Disney will make them more available to the public, uncensored and of highest quality to compete for the dollars coming from people who wish to purchase or even just view these films without a hassle. Actually I’m surprised Disney never has kept the shorts ( the WD Treasures series) permanently available to the public as classic films should be. I can’t wait for Song of the South to enter the public domain, although I’ll be 87 and probably dead by then.
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Kyle
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Re: Free Steamboat Willie

Post by Kyle »

I don't understand the whole public domain thing in the first place. I thought that law was more about properties that go unused. Mickey is in no danger of that, wouldn't they own all his cartoons indefinitely?
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Rumpelstiltskin
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Re: Free Steamboat Willie

Post by Rumpelstiltskin »

carolinakid wrote:If Disney cartoons DO start to enter the public domain, maybe Disney will make them more available to the public, uncensored and of highest quality to compete for the dollars coming from people who wish to purchase or even just view these films without a hassle. Actually I’m surprised Disney never has kept the shorts ( the WD Treasures series) permanently available to the public as classic films should be. I can’t wait for Song of the South to enter the public domain, although I’ll be 87 and probably dead by then.
Yes. If collectors are given the option between a low quality DVD or seeing the cartoons on Youtube, or buy a superior product from Disney, most will be willing to pay a little extra.

Because the animated features canon has been released several times, I always assumed that would be the case with the cartoons too. Sadly it seems like I was wrong.

And don't worry about Song of the South. You'll still be around, and even if not in public domain yet, it is still available some place or another.
Kyle wrote:I don't understand the whole public domain thing in the first place. I thought that law was more about properties that go unused. Mickey is in no danger of that, wouldn't they own all his cartoons indefinitely?
No, the law is about intellectual property in general. In the rest of the world, that I'm aware of, it will enter public domain after a certain years after the creators passed away have passed. But in USA it is different. There it is about when a work was first made available for the public, not the lifetime of the creators. Even if USA will change that in some decades to become like the rest of the world.

If there is a loophole, there are always someone who will find a way to use it for their own benefit. And it's about the cultural heritage and how having access to the works is benefical for the culture as a whole. Research have shown that there is not much to benefit from extending copyrights.

Steamboat Willie is already available on Youtube and elsewhere. The question is; what would Disney lose if their cartoons start entering public domain? Not much, and trying to stop them from entering it only makes them look bad.

Then there is the censorship. I a character smokes in a scene in an old cartoon, Disney wants it removed. If it is in public domain, they can't do that. Or they can stop Song of the South from ever entering public domain.

There should also have been a law that says all original material must be protected for future generations. As we know, George Lucas has done his best to erase the original edition of the original Star Wars trilogy.
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blackcauldron85
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Re: Free Steamboat Willie

Post by blackcauldron85 »

U.S. Senator Introducing Legislation to End Disney’s Copyright Protections
https://wdwnt.com/?p=682665
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scarletunicorn
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Re: Free Steamboat Willie

Post by scarletunicorn »

Good. I believe Disney is an evil empire. #ReleaseSOTS #Revive2DAnimation
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Rumpelstiltskin
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Re: Free Steamboat Willie

Post by Rumpelstiltskin »

For years, Disney has gotten special copyright protections from the federal government – allowing them to charge consumers more. Woke corporations shouldn’t get sweetheart deals. I’ll introduce legislation this week to end their special protections – enough is enough
The post had me a little confused. It doesn't sound like copyright extension, but a reference to some sort of special copyright protections that already exist and allows them to charge consumers more than they should be allowed to do. Charge consumers more for what? Merchandise, theatrical movies or physical media or something else?

Hopefully someone will be more specific about it soon.

Also ironic that Josh Hawley is senator in Missouri, the state where Disney spent most of his early years and run his first animation studio.
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