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Updated January 2nd, 2024 at 18:10 IST

Mickey Mouse NFT surges on OpenSea after copyright expires

Mickey Mouse entry into the public domain for the first time propelled three related Non-Fungible Token (NFT) collections to top rankings on the OpenSea.

Business Desk
Mickey Mouse
Mickey Mouse | Image:Unsplash
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Mickey Mouse for all: A seminal version of Disney's iconic character, Mickey Mouse, has captured the spotlight as its copyright from the 1928 short film "Steamboat Willie" expired on January 1. The character's entry into the public domain for the first time propelled three related Non-Fungible Token (NFT) collections to top rankings on the OpenSea marketplace.

Leading the charge, the NFT collection named ‘Steamboat Willie Public Domain 2024’ secured the number one position on OpenSea's 24-hour trending list, amassing approximately $1.2 million in trading volume. Concurrently, two other collections, "Steamboat Willie" and "Steamboat Willie's Riverboat," clinched the second and third spots, respectively.

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Steamboat Willie NFT | Image credit: OpenSea

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Moreover, this collection made its mark on the broader NFT landscape by securing the sixth and eighth positions on OpenSea's 24-hour top charts, sharing the spotlight with established collections like the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) and Pudgy Penguins.

While this specific iteration of Mickey Mouse has transitioned into the public domain due to US copyright laws that permit a 95-year protection period, Disney underlined that contemporary iterations of the beloved character remain under the company's exclusive rights. 

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Steamboat Willie's Riverboat NFT | Image credit: OpenSea

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Addressing potential ambiguities, a Disney spokesperson reaffirmed the company's commitment to safeguarding its intellectual property, including modern renditions of Mickey Mouse and other iconic figures, to mitigate consumer confusion arising from unauthorized utilisations.

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Published January 2nd, 2024 at 17:14 IST

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