Is Steve Jobs About To Move His Cheese?

from the goodbye-Disney,-hello...? dept

People were surprised last year when Disney head Michael Eisner publicly trashed Steve Jobs and Apple for their “Rip, Mix, Burn” campaign, saying that it was promoting theft. Since Disney has been relying on Steve Jobs’ Pixar to make many of its hit movies, it didn’t seem wise to upset Jobs. Now that the Disney-Pixar contract is nearing its end, Jobs is apparently doing his best to freak people at Disney out by meeting with execs from other studios and hinting that he’s going to leave Disney high and dry. As if to tweak them a bit more, Pixar has apparently started working on a movie that has a mouse as the lead character. This movie wouldn’t be completed until after the Disney deal was over… meaning it could be put out by some other studio (just imagine if the Eldred decision had gone the other way, and Mickey was public domain…). Many people think that Disney and Pixar will renew their agreement, but that this “posturing” is designed to squeeze some extra cash out of Disney. I wonder how much of it, though, is simply “payback” for Eisner’s comments?

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Comments on “Is Steve Jobs About To Move His Cheese?”

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Joshua L. Weinberg says:


“(just imagine if the Eldred decision had gone the other way, and Mickey was public domain…)”

Even if this decision had gone the other way, the character of Mickey Mouse would not have become public domain. The character and representations of it are covered under other IP laws (not sure if its trademark or other) would still be protected.

But, some early uses of the character may have lost protection. For example the actual movie Steam Boat Willy. But because the character Mickey Mouse would still be protected under other laws, its not really clear if the film would have really fallen fully into the public domain.

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