All Disney fans will likely already know that Mickey Mouse has entered the public domain in 2024. However, there appears to be quite a bit of confusion still surrounding what this actually means.In a new video posted to YouTube by Provost Park, this subject is explained further to iron out any uncertainties and explain exactly what this will mean for Disney and us as consumers.The video starts by explaining what is meant by the term, “public domain”. In summary, “public domain” is a list of items that everyone is entitled to which started back in Rome with air and sun. In the seventeenth century, copyright law was created to protect people’s work for a certain amount of time.In basic terms, copyright law used to be 50 years after an individual person died that their work would go into the public domain and for a corporation it would be 70 years,In 1999 this was extended so for an individual their work would be protected for 70 after they died and for a corporation it would be 95 years.So, with this being said, 2024 sees Mickey Mouse being released into the public domain for the first time. Now, it is very important to understand that there are actually only two versions of Mickey Mouse that are currently in the public domain.The most well known version which every Disney fan will know is, The Steamboat Willie version of Mickey Mouse which was published in 1928. This can be seen in the video embedded below.The other version which also enters the public domain which is a lot lesser known is Plane Crazy where Mickey Mouse has big eyes. This can be seen in the video embedded below.Interestingly, two other big Disney names have also been released into the public domain in 2024. These are Peter Pan and Tigger from the classic Winnie The Pooh.What can you do with Steamboat Willie Mickey Mouse?Basically with the Steamboat Willie Mickey Mouse now being in the public domain you can pretty much do anything you want with it. We expect to see a full range of merchandise released featuring the iconic Steamboat Willie Mickey Mouse in the coming weeks and months.It is also likely that there will be cartoons and possibly films made by various companies. What can you not do with Steamboat Willie Mickey Mouse?The key point to note when thinking what you can not do with Steamboat Willie comes down to the fact that you can not produce anything using the Steamboat Willie Mickey Mouse and try to insinuate that it is a Disney sponsored product.Interestingly, if you look at Disney and how it has created it’s iconic characters and films, perhaps you will be surprised to find out that Disney has in fact used the public domain to create majority of its content. This includes; Frozen which was inspired by Hans Christian Anderson, The Lion King draws from Shakespeare’s Hamlet, The Little Mermaid, Pinocchio, Alice In Wonderland, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella amongst others.Disney took the original stories from the public domain and updated them, modernised them and made them into classics.Image: DisneyIt will be very interesting to see what happens to The Steamboat Willie Mickey Mouse in 2024 and beyond. Let us know your thoughts by leaving us a comment below or on our Facebook page.

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