Executive summary: several days after a Navy SEAL team excised Osama bin Laden, the Disney Corporation applied to trademark the term “SEAL Team 6,” on the grounds that there’s money in it it’s an integral and necessary part of the Disney gestalt. The Navy is… not happy about this, and is pursuing the matter because there’s money in it they wish to keep their personnel from being exploited. Now, there’s some argument whether or not Disney’s first-come, first-served tactic will prevail against the Navy’s they-actually-have-Navy-SEALs defense; but let us assume for the moment that it is in fact legal for the Mouse to keep the trademark.
But, hey! Do you know what else would be legal? Why, repealing the Mickey Mouse Protection Act*, which is currently keeping quite a lot of Disney’s material out of the public domain until at least 2019. Or just letting that act expire: I’m pretty sure that the Republic can survive having “Steamboat Willie” freely available for public use, and I’m absolutely sure that I could care less if a mega-corporation is inconvenienced by that, considering that said corporation is also willing to try to exclusively profit from everyday Americans’ deep, heartfelt respect for the sacrifices made by our armed forces.
In other words, is the Mouse really sure that it wants to fight the US Navy on this one? Really, really sure? – because we’re scheduled to have another fight over copyright law and the public domain by the end of the decade, and if comes down to a public relations fight between Disney and the military, the military wins. Which is as it should be. I mean, I like cartoons as well as the next person; but it wasn’t Mickey Mouse that double-tapped bin Laden.
Moe Lane (crosspost)
(Via AoSHQ Headlines)
*More boringly known as the “Copyright Term Extension Act,” and as memorials for Sonny Bono go… well, I’d rather that they had just sang “I Got You, Babe” on the Senate floor, instead.