M-i-c-k-e-y-$ Disney copyright: Hollywood heavyweights go all out to retain rights to Mickey Mouse and friends.

October 27, 1998

WHAT DO Mickey Mouse, Snow White, "Rhapsody in Blue," "The Great Gatsby" and "Gone With the Wind" have in common? They all faced expiration of their copyrights.

But Congress has ridden to the rescue of entertainers, Hollywood conglomerates and heirs to literary and recorded works. It passed a bill extending the current 75-year copyright protection to 95 years. So Mickey Mouse's clock won't run out in 2003 -- followed by Snow White, Goofy and Dumbo -- but in 2023 instead.

That aligns U.S. copyrights with European standards. More important for The Walt Disney Co., it retains its most lucrative and identifiable symbol. Disney showed its appreciation, in advance, by funneling $21,000 in campaign contributions to Senate Republicans.

For a mouse, Mickey sure knows how to play politics.

Pub Date: 10/27/98

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.