Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Mickey Mouse Protection Act

The Copyright Term Extension Act (CTEA) of 1998 extended copyright terms in the United States by 20 years ,..., the Walt Disney Company (whose extensive lobbying efforts inspired the nickname "The Mickey Mouse Protection Act")..supported the act

Disney are very pro copyright. Here is Clay Shirky talking about how you can't let kids draw a picture of Mickey Mouse and put it on a cake without getting sued by Disney for copyright violation

They seem oddly pro remixing, homage and parody when it come to other peoples creative output. I am not talking here about the companies cartoons based on traditional folk tales but about their Joy Division T-Shirt.
Disney's description of the shirt:

Inspired by the iconic sleeve of Joy Division's Unknown Pleasures album, this Waves Mickey Mouse Tee incorporates Mickey's image within the graphic of the pulse of a star. That's appropriate given few stars have made bigger waves than Mickey!

This is Disney's photo.

Hook confirmed that he had not given permission for Disney to use the image, adding that it was a legal grey area. "From a legal point of view, the image is in the public domain, as Disney know and, in a funny way, it's quite a compliment for a huge conglomerate like Disney to pick up on a poor little Manchester band that only existed for a couple of years, it's quite startling," he commented. "I'm amazed they're that hard up that they need to prey on little indie bands,
The bassist added that though he spends a chunk of his time "policing" Joy Division bootlegs, all he usually required was that wannabe bootleggers made a contribution to an Epilepsy charity in memory of Ian Curtis and called on Disney to do the same.

Joy Division do not get asked for permission nor do they or their charity make any money from this T-Shirt but Disney will sue a shop for printing children's pictures on a cake? If Disney like to control their creative work to such a huge extent why don't they obey the same rules for others work?

'I hope that [Disney] will be as understanding when we start doing Donald Duck shirts' said Hook

From Wesley Morgan Paraham here
*edit "A representative from Disney says, "As soon as we became aware there could be an issue, we pulled it from our shelves and our online store to review the situation further.""


The Beer Nut said...

The question now is whether they'll do what every other bootlegger who gets caught by Hooky does and make a donation to Joy Division's nominated epilepsy charity.

red dave said...

Who would win in a fight Hooky or Cookie Monster?

The Beer Nut said...

More to the point: have you ever seen them in the same room at the same time?

Disney doesn't own Cookie Monster, btw. Neither Sesame Street nor Fraggle Rock were included in the 2004 takeover of Henson properties. I understand both locations had been heavily rigged with explosives against just such an eventuality.

Dave Masterson said...

Confused - its not the same image, so how would Joy Division have any copyright claim over it? Sure, its in the same style, but does copy right extend like that - I didn't think so. Then again, I know very little about copyright law....

The Beer Nut said...

Quite right: it's not strictly copyright infringement as it's a derived work.

In exactly the same way Mickey Mouse on a cake or creche window is a derived work and not copyright infringement.

It's one of those saucy-goosey situations.

red dave said...

I think the new Joy division Album cover will prove popular