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What does a copyright protect?



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Have you ever heard of Mickey Mouse? Donald Duck? Things like that? Have you ever heard of storybooks? Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, things like that. Those are typically handled from an intellectual property perspective through copyright.

A copyright gives the person that acquires the copyright the absolute right in that for an extended period of time. For a work that’s created after 1978, it’s the life of the author plus 75 years.

So if you take a look at it from the perspective of someone who might have Disney, might have one to copyright Mickey Mouse, they can do that. But Mickey Mouse, every so many years when it approaches that the copyright rights in the product or in Mickey Mouse will go away, Disney thinks up a new way and gets a law passed. Now, the next time you’re gonna be concerned about Mickey Mouse will occur in 2023, which is when the current copyright on Mickey Mouse, Steamboat Willy, the very first cartoon that starred Mickey Mouse in it, will expire. So be looking, listening, to changes in the law at that period of time and you’ll understand better what a copyright is.