Copyright and the First Mickey Mouse

The pages we were assigned to read for class discussed the many implications, benefits, and drawbacks to the creation of the copyright protection.

Before reading this assignment, I had little knowledge about the history, creation, and early days of copyright patenting. I am now aware, however, that copyrighting is relatively new.

The reading started by noting that our society is now immersed within a Big Media/technological-based world, and a consequence to this is that now we are “less and less of a free culture, more and more a permission culture,” (8) which is the idea that, although we may have many creative and original thoughts and ideas, we are having to restrict those ideas. Similarly, we must fight to make sure that our ideas are able to be kept as ours.

The reading also discussed what they claimed was a “war against piracy.” Instead of generalizing the core and simply stating that piracy is wrong and we should not do it, we must protect people’s copyright/legality rights in order to protect the individual’s creativity. What the reading called the “Rise of the Creative Class” seems like it is describing a positive thing, until, with it comes the “rise of the regulation of this creative class,” (20).

Walt Disney, who created the first cartoon-jazz music synchronization, borrowed his cartoon and song from other people, which is somewhat similar to how, in music, frequently hip-hop and rap, there is “sampling” or referring to another person or group’s work. This can be a way to allude to the other work, and to recall it’s greatness for a new generation. The “Walt Disney Creativity” is now described as “a form of expression and genius that builds upon the culture around us and makes it something different,” (24). It is odd to think about how short a copyright term lasts for, and then how that material is up for the taking for the entire public to do what they please to the work.

Image courtesy of


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