Elon Musk gives his two cents on Disney’s copyright issues

Since his bid to acquire Twitter was accepted by the social media company’s board of directors, Elon Musk has given his two cents on several issues, from the war in Ukraine to woke politics and lately, Disney copyright issues.

In a recent tweet, Elon Musk took sides in the somewhat contentious debate over the protection of authors’ and creators’ rights. Musk also talked about the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), which addresses issues between copyright and online content.

Musk’s comments came in response to news about U.S. Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo), who recently introduced a bill to strip Disney of special copyright protections. If Hawley’s bill passes, Disney’s most famous character, Mickey Mouse – especially his iteration in the 1928 short Steamer Willie — would enter the public domain.

Weighing in on the matter, Musk said copyright law goes far beyond simply protecting the original creator of a work. He also shared some pointed thoughts on the “overzealous DMCA.”

“Current copyright law generally goes far beyond the protection of the original creator. The overzealous DMCA is a scourge on humanity,” Musk wrote.

Musk’s tweets suggest he supports, at least to some degree, the idea of ​​lowering copyright terms.

Disney definitely benefited from extended copyright terms. When the 1928 Mickey Mouse short was first released, the character was protected for 56 years. When that copyright was about to expire in 1984, however, Disney lobbied the federal government, extending protections for Steamer Willie Mickey for 75 years. More lobbying over the next few years eventually extended Disney’s copyright on the character to 95, which would expire in 2024.

Although Disney may lose copyright to Mickey Mouse Steamer Willie iteration, however, that doesn’t mean other versions of the popular character will automatically enter the public domain. Disney, for example, still owns the copyright for other versions of the character, like the movie’s “Sorcerer Mickey.” Fancy.

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Elon Musk gives his two cents on Disney’s copyright issues

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