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Steamboat Willie (film) The first Mickey Mouse cartoon released, public domain.

Steamboat Willie (film) The first Mickey Mouse cartoon released, and the first cartoon with synchronized sound. Directed by Walt Disney. After unsuccessfully trying to make a deal to record through RCA or Western Electric, Disney contracted with the bootleg Powers Cinephone process and, after an initial disastrous recording session, finally recorded the sound track with a 15-piece band and his own squeaks for Mickey.



In the United States, copyright for works created by corporate entities is generally protected for 95 years from the date of publication. This means that some of Disney's earliest works, particularly those released in the late 1920s, might be entering the



around 2024. This includes some of the earliest Mickey Mouse cartoons like "Steamboat Willie" (1928), which is often noted for its significant role in Disney's history.


Once a work enters the public domain, it is no longer under copyright protection. This means that anyone can use the work without seeking permission or paying royalties. This can include reproducing the work, creating derivative works, or using it for commercial purposes.

It's important to clarify that while the specific films might enter the public domain, trademark rights often still protect the characters.

For example, while the specific cartoonSteamboat Willie (film) The first Mickey Mouse cartoon released, and the first cartoon with synchronized sound. Directed by Walt Disney. After unsuccessfully trying to make a deal to record through RCA or Western Electric, Disney contracted with the bootleg Powers Cinephone process and, after an initial disastrous recording session, finally recorded the sound track with a 15-piece band and his own squeaks for Mickey., Mickey Mouse as a character is a trademarked entity, and the use of the character could still be restricted.


This transition of early Disney films into the public domain could have a significant impact on how these early works are used and shared, potentially leading to new adaptations, merchandising, or other creative interpretations free from the constraints of copyright.

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