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

Nobody really cares much about them anymore but there are dozens of old 
cartoon characters that are in the public domain today.

But add to what you say the point that there hasn't been such a well liked 
character before Mickey that part of the issue here is that if the courts don;t 
accept the arguments of Eldred v Ashcarft that they are saying "Lady 
Justice is not Blind here. Copyright terms are not equal. Clearly Mickey 
Mouse is worth more than anything else and must be preserved" whereas 
they should be saying "Look you made your money. Terms over. Find 
somthing else to do"

Subject:        	RE: [dvd-discuss] Eldred v. Ashcroft Accepted 
From:           	Steve Stearns <sterno@bigbrother.net>
To:             	dvd-discuss@eon.law.harvard.edu
Date sent:      	20 Feb 2002 18:31:36 -0600
Send reply to:  	dvd-discuss@eon.law.harvard.edu

> 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?  
> ---Steve