[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

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

Steve Stearns writes:

: 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
: protected.  
: 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?  

As long as you were careful to make clear that your new work was not
from Disney you should not be infringing their trademark.  And, for
that matter, you could distribute a copy of Steamboat Willy without
infringing Disney's trademark.

Peter D. Junger--Case Western Reserve University Law School--Cleveland, OH
 EMAIL: junger@samsara.law.cwru.edu    URL:  http://samsara.law.cwru.edu   
        NOTE: junger@pdj2-ra.f-remote.cwru.edu no longer exists