Prof. Michael Carroll Quoted in Bloomberg Law Story on Sen. Hawley's Copyright Bill Targeting Disney's Copyright Protection

May 18, 2022

Image Caption
Steamboat Willie, Disney, 1928

Sen. Josh Hawley has introduced the “Copyright Clause Restoration Act”, which would limit copyright terms to 56 years, and apply the shorter term retroactively to works owned by large corporations. The act is intended to punish Disney for - as stated in Hawley's press release - "pandering to woke activists." Disney famously benefits from Mickey Mouse's copyright protection, nearly 100 years after the character was introduced. 

PIJIP Faculty Director Michael Carroll was quoted in a recent Bloomberg Law story on the legislation. They story notes that many observers think the current copyright in the U.S. (120 years after the creation or 95 years after the publication of a work for hire) is too long, for a variety of reasons. The story states: "Michael Carroll, a law professor at American University’s Washington College of Law, said that another problem that arises with longer copyright terms is how to treat works with unknown owners. Procedural guidance is lacking for those trying to clear the use of such “orphaned works,” effectively prohibiting derivative uses that might stem from them."

Click here for the Bloomberg story.