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RE: [dvd-discuss] Eldred v. Ashcroft Accepted forReviewbySCOTUS

On Wed, 2002-02-20 at 18:10, Richard Hartman wrote:

> I still don't see why they need copyright extension to protect
> Mickey Mouse.  Aren't trademark protections essentially unlimited?
> Can't they trademark both the phrase "Mickey Mouse" and the image?

Is there any example of something where a trademarked character came
into the public domain?  Let's assume that a Mickey Mouse movie is
released into the public domain.  At that point, I can create derivative
works and do whatever I want to that item since it is no longer

So couldn't I, in theory, construct entirely new cartoons as derivatives
of that original work?  I mean if I took a screen capture of Mickey, and
made it so I could re-animate him in whatever way I wanted, wouldn't
that be legitimate?  Perhaps I couldn't call him Mickey Mouse in this
new work, but could I use his image legitimately?