Will Mickey Mouse Stay in the Game After Entering the Public Domain?

As we all know, Mickey Mouse has been a cornerstone character in the world of Disney, having been part of its stories for over 90 years. However, at the very beginning of 2024, Mickey Mouse is subject to end up in the public domain, resulting in the character being free of copyright and available to anyone who so wants to use him for their own gain.


For those of you who did not already know, Winnie the Pooh has also fallen into the public domain on January 1st of this year, as proven by the release of the indie slasher film Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey, and yet he remains a playable hero in the DHBM lineup, as well as a handful of his fellow Hundred Acre Wood residents.

The question at hand is… will Mickey Mouse be removed from the game once 2024 lands and the character enters the public domain, or will Disney’s key rodent remain in the game despite other changes in Disney’s properties such as TV shows, merchandise, and even appearing as the mascot for Disney Parks?



Winnie the Pooh has entered public domain, and he is still in the game. So I think Mickey is not leaving the game.

To clear things up it’s the Steamboat Willie short that’s entering the Public Domain not the character of Mickey.


Even if Disney allows Mickey to enter PD…why should they get rid of him? Losing exclusive rights doesn’t mean losing rights at all, right? I mean, a lot of Disney franchises are based on IPs that are concidered PD. Yes, those are their versions, but still. That should mean that no one can just say Disney “We have the exclusive rights, delete this character”. Because no one has these rights.


Exactly. Snow White has been in the public domain forever. So has Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty.
Obviously, that doesn’t mean anything for them. Sure, Mickey is one of the few Disney characters created by Disney but that doesn’t mean much. And it’s not like the current version of Mickey or Pooh are in the public domain. Only that original representation is. So, if you want to create derivative works based on these characters, you have to base your works on the original version, not the current Disney version.

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Disney still has the rights of Mickey Mouse, but the original can be used for everyone. If they made a Mickey Mouse horror film, it will have the same mixed feelings as Winnie the Pooh: Blood And Honey.

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