Staff Report, The Daily Sun, June 28, 2022.
U.S. Rep. Greg Steube is launching a congressional bill to strip Disney of copyright protections for Mickey Mouse, his office announced Tuesday.
WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Greg Steube is the latest Florida politician to take on Disney.
Months after Gov. Ron DeSantis removed a special district status from areas of Walt Disney World, putting the region in flux on how it will operate in the future, Steube is sponsoring a bill that would eliminate copyright protections for Mickey Mouse.
In a news release, Steube states he is doing so because of moves Disney has made in recent years. He calls it “critical legislation.” It notes Disney shouldn’t receive “special favors” created in D.C. and Tallahassee from what Steube called “establishment politicians.”
“This legislation will remove their special privileges and even the playing field for all entertainment companies,” Steube stated in the news release. “Disney has leveraged their privileges to conduct reprehensible work with the Chinese Communist regime, force sexual indoctrination on America’s youth, and most recently, aid the murder of unborn babies.”
Steube represents Charlotte, Sarasota and DeSoto counties — along with a large swath of south central Florida. He does not represent the area where Disney keeps much of its properties.
The bill is titled the Copyright Restoration Clause Act.
“(It) would limit new copyright protections to 56 years and make the change retroactive for massive corporations like Disney that have been granted unnecessarily long copyright monopolies,” the news release stated. “Under this legislation, Disney would begin to lose protections for some of its oldest and most valuable copyrights.”
U.S. Sen Josh Hawley, R-Missouri, is sponsoring a Senate version of the bill.
“The age of Republican handouts to Big Business is over,” Hawley stated in the news release. “Thanks to special copyright protections from Congress, woke corporations like Disney have earned billions while increasingly pandering to woke activists. It’s time to take away Disney’s special privileges and open up a new era of creativity and innovation.”
Disney had its copyright on certain creations extended up to 120 years, according to the news release. Originally, copyright protections were 28 years, it notes.
“This legislation would crack down on copyright monopolies to ensure they only last long enough to encourage innovation,” the news release states.
The news release also rakes Disney with a letter Steube and 19 other House Republicans signed where they withdrew their support for extending the copyright of Mickey Mouse, set to expire Jan. 1, 2024.
“Given Disney’s continued work with a Communist Chinese regime that does not respect human rights or U.S. intellectual property, and given your desire to influence young children with sexual material inappropriate for their age, I will not support further extensions applicable to your copyrights, which should become public domain,” the letter stated.