Professor Victoria Schwartz Quoted on Disney Character Trademark Protections - Wired Magazine
Professor Victoria L. Schwartz is quoted on Disney character trademark protections in the Wired magazine article, "Why the World Needs a Rampaging, Murderous Winnie the Pooh." The article examines Congress's implementation of the Constitution's copyright protections for artistic works.
Excerpt from "Why the World Needs a Rampaging, Murderous Winnie the Pooh"
The Steamboat Willie version of Mickey Mouse is due to enter the public domain in 2024. Victoria Schwartz, professor of law at Pepperdine’s Caruso School of Law, explains that the trademark Disney holds on the Steamboat Mickey might give the company some coverage when copyright law no longer can. Copyrights expire, but trademark protections can last indefinitely, providing their holders keep their registration up-to-date.
“If you watch any Disney movies recently (I have a toddler, so we watch a lot), you will notice that they open the film with a small clip from Steamboat Willie,” she writes over email. This keeps that version of Mickey connected to Disney in the public’s mind. Still, this protection is more limited: People will still be able to use that first Mickey Mouse, as long as their interpretation cannot be construed to be Disney’s.
The complete article may be found at Wired