What an iconic character Mickey Mouse is. I'd be surprised if there's anyone who doesn't know or at least recognize Mickey created by Walt Disney. He was first brought to life in his very first movie, Steamboat Willie in 1928. And as they say, the rest is history.

As a matter of fact, according to the Disney Tips website this cultural phenomenon changed animation history as we know it. The film debuted on November 18 not only introducing the world to Mickey but marking a revolutionary moment as the first cartoon to feature synchronized sound and music.

However, according to The Guardian, Mickey Mouse will enter the public domain nearly 95 years after his creation as the copyright by Disney ends so technically this was Mickey's final November 18 birthday after decades of Disney traditions celebrating the birth of  Mickey Mouse with elaborate festivities and events reached an end due to trademark and copyright issues.

Disney will lose its copyright protection for Steamboat Willie on January 1, 2024, according to the Disney Tips website. This expectation means that Steamboat Willie will enter the public domain, allowing the iconic image of Mickey to be freely used by the public.

Disney Fans Attend "Minnie Besties Bash!” Parade
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In reality, this doesn't seem like that big of a deal to me personally. According to The Guardian, Disney retains its copyright on any subsequent variations in other films or artwork since the 1928 debut, that is until those characters reach the 95-year mark. In legal speak, that's the length of time when copyright on an anonymous or pseudo-anonymous body of artistic work expires.

According to the Disney Tips website, Disney itself is not losing the trademark to Mickey Mouse so technically Disney can do whatever it wants, celebrate however it likes, and enjoy the legendary mouse with the rest of the world any way it wants. Still, it’s an intriguing turn of events because who knows what can happen with Mickey Mouse elsewhere after January 1, 2024.

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