Thousands of copyrighted works published in 1928 are entering the public domain after their 95-year term expires, including Tigger, Peter Pan, and the original black-and-white version of Mickey Mouse, as reported by Justin Porter for the New York Times.
Tigger is one of the copyrighted works entering the public domain after its 95-year term expires. I Image: Disney
This means that those characters and stories can be remade without permission.
In February, Tigger is set to join his old friend in a slasher film — the sequel to “Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey,” in which that lovable bear becomes a sledgehammer-wielding maniac.
We could also get new versions of Peter Pan, the song “Mack the Knife,” Bertolt Brecht’s “Threepenny Opera,” or the D.H. Lawrence novel “Lady Chatterley’s Lover,” along with the works of Aldous Huxley, Evelyn Waugh, W. Somerset Maugham, Virginia Woolf, and Margaret Mead.
Other works that will enter the public domain in the next two decades include Buck Rogers in 2023, Mickey Mouse in 2024, Popeye in 2024, Frankenstein (film) in 2026, Conan the Barbarian in 2027, King Kong in 2028, Donald Duck in 2029, and Flash Gordon in 2029.
Expect a flood of books tweaked and rendered barely readable to enter the market and a rash of lawsuits from the estates of many authors.