Disney Officially Loses Copyright of Winnie the Pooh

From the Walt Disney World News and written by: Sean Sposato

Some of the magic that comes from The Walt Disney Company’s movies is from their incredible characters–which are highly protected by the house of mouse. However, it seems the company is in the midst of a copyright nightmare as Disney’s copyright protection for Winnie the Pooh has officially expired.

If you’re not familiar with the character, Winnie the Pooh first appeared in book form in 1926 by author A.A. Milne. This was followed by a series of books and poems, which were all a success for the late writer.

The book series was so successful it attracted the eyes and ears of the house of mouse and in 1961 Walt Disney Productions licensed certain films and other rights from Winnie the Pooh stories from the estate of A. A. Milne. This led to the creation of a series of films and TV shows–all of which were a major hit for Disney. In fact, the character has been so successful for the company that it has actually brought in billions of dollars in profits.

For those who are not aware, copyright protection lasts for the life of the author (A. A. Milne) plus an additional 70 years. Companies are give the ability to extend this protection. However, it is up to a judge to rule in the favor of the plaintiff for this to happen. Disney has extended this copyright in the past. Although, the chances of this happening again seem quite slim to many legal professionals.

At this time, Winnie the Pooh is currently in public domain. This means that the characters and setting of the book can legally be shared, without permission or fee. With Winnie-the-Pooh in the public domain, technically speaking, other movie studios now have the ability to adapt the character and his friends.

What are your thoughts on The Walt Disney Company’s copyright of Winnie the Pooh finally coming to an expiration in 2022? Let us know in the comments! 

The post Disney Officially Loses Copyright of Winnie the Pooh appeared first on The Main Street Mouse.

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