Ryan Reynolds Winnie-the-Screwed ad taunts Disney copyright

Since Disney acquired the rights to Winnie-the-Pooh tales by A.A. Milne again in 1961, the corporate has used them to create content material and merchandise which have since generated billions of {dollars}, and made Pooh and his buddies as in style as Mickey Mouse. But Ryan Reynolds didn’t should pay any licensing charges for his latest ad for Mint Mobile and its new mobile bill-based spoof of the youngsters’s basic, “Winnie-the -Screwed.”

That’s as a result of this 12 months, the unique Milne tales enter the general public area, which means they will legally be freely shared, carried out, repurposed or sampled.

Other well-known works joining the original Pooh book in the public domain this 12 months embody Felix Salten’s Bambi, Ernest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises, Langston Hughes’s The Weary Blues, and Dorothy Parker’s Enough Rope. It’s vital to notice that not all of Milne’s or Disney’s Winnie-the-Pooh works turned free to make use of; simply the unique tales. Disney nonetheless retains the rights to Milne’s books and characters created after 1926.


Why 1926? Under American copyright legislation, the Copyright Term Extension Act of 1998 (often known as the Mickey Mouse Protection Act) protects an organization’s copyright for 95 years from a piece’s first publication or 120 years after its creation, whichever ends first.

The new Mint Mobile ad is typical Reynolds ad fare, rapidly and creatively tapping right into a broader cultural dialog for one in every of his manufacturers. That cultural dialog, nonetheless, is barely going to get louder, particularly for Disney. While it’s symbolic that the unique Mickey Mouse cartoon, Steamboat Willie, is up for public area two years from now, extra urgent are the copyright points dealing with key Marvel characters this 12 months.

As reported final fall, a number of former Marvel creators and their estates are challenging Disney with ongoing copyright termination cases round characters like Thor, Spider-Man, Iron Man, and Dr. Strange. These circumstances, which may go as excessive because the Supreme Court (because it virtually did again in 2014, when the company reached a settlement with the estate of Jack Kirby), stem from the Copyright Revision Act of 1976, which supplied a chance for authors or their heirs to regain possession of a product after a given variety of years.

If any of these circumstances are determined or settled this 12 months, relaxation assured, we are able to most likely count on an Aviation Gin ad making enjoyable of it.


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