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The very first Mickey – the Steamboat Willie one – passed into the public domain yesterday. This follows a series of emergency copyright continuances beginning in 1955(!).

People have been celebrating by using the image above to post memes, but I’m pretty sure you could have done that any time you wanted. People make memes from aggressively copyrighted images all the time and ‘fair use’ has covered it.

Someone is also working on a game in the Steamboat Willie style – which looks pretty cool, but it’s a first person shooter. Which means you never actually see Willie. Which means you could have made this game any time, too.

So really the only real change – unless you want to master a whole-ass cartoon using the character – is you can play the original cartoon for free. Disney released it for free on the web, so even that isn’t a big deal.

No, the real result is it pisses Disney off. After the thoroughly rotten 2023 Disney had, the very first thing they got in 2024 was a kick up the ass. Sweet.


Comment from Uncle Al
Time: January 2, 2024, 8:28 pm

Steamboat Willie XXX/Adult version coming in 3…2…1…

Comment from Durnedyankee
Time: January 2, 2024, 9:17 pm

Couldn’t have happened to a nicer bunch of groomers.

Comment from Anonymous
Time: January 2, 2024, 10:17 pm

Uncle Al – Just a few years too late…
I had a “Disneyland” poster back in the early ’70s.
Not quite the same, but do a search for ’70s disneyland poster wally wood.

Comment from Jon
Time: January 3, 2024, 7:07 pm

State of South Carolina divesting itself of Disney investment is another kick in the nether regions.

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