[Foundation-l] Public domain Mickey Mouse. At last.

Robin McCain robin at slmr.com
Wed Oct 26 01:45:06 UTC 2011

On 10/25/2011 2:57 PM, foundation-l-request at lists.wikimedia.org wrote:
> You've made quite a few incorrect assumptions there.
> Of course Commons editors should be deciding which images are PD.  But
> when there is a dispute, it makes no sense for people who don't even
> know what a derivative work and an underlying work are, to be
> discussing the applicable law.
> Anyway, the deletion process obviously doesn't work.  File:"Appreciate
> America. Come On Gang. All Out for Uncle Sam" (Mickey Mouse)" - NARA -
> 513869.tif is clearly not public domain.  And File:"Appreciate
> America. Come On Gang. All Out for Uncle Sam" (Mickey Mouse)" - NARA -
> 513869 - cropped and tidied.png is probably a copyvio.  Yet both
> remain, despite deletion discussions, marked as public domain.  (The
> deletion discussion over the latter is especially humorous.)
It is fair use - here's my 2 cents worth on why.

The purpose of this image was the sale of war bonds - not the display of 
a character whose image is owned by the Walt Disney Company. As a piece 
of history it is NOT a derivative use of Mickey Mouse. If someone were 
to remove the mouse image from context and try to pawn it off as being 
ok to use in unrelated creations, they would probably be sued - because 
that might be a derivative use.

NARA has many images of war bonds collateral and all were commissioned 
by or for the U.S. government - which means they are public domain 
unless otherwise specified. Walt Disney gave up control of this image in 
this context for the public good, as did everyone in the entertainment 
industry. See 

More information about the foundation-l mailing list