Winnie the Pooh presents: From honey to blood - and how does all this relate to copyright?
What is the connection between the expiration of US copyright, and beloved childhood heroes in the form of psychopathic murderers?
Adv. Andre and Paniarsky
Thursday, 30 June 2022, 12:14 Updated: Saturday, 02 July 2022, 06:32
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Winnie the Pooh, illustration for auction (Photo: Nate D. Sanders Auctions)
Recently the copyright on the original characters of Winnie the Pooh and his piglet friend, the mythological book by Alan Alexander Milne, expired 95 years after its publication.
Following the publication of the book, Milne sold to an American agent his rights to the commercial use of the story and characters of Poe and his merry gang, in connection with television productions and product marketing in the US and Canada. The American agent who
a pioneer in the copyright trade industry in its modern form, after acquiring the rights from Milan, imprinted on a record from the early 1930s the first colorful cartoon character of Poe, in a red shirt so familiar today.
Disney acquired the commercial rights in the story and characters of Poe and his friends in the early 1960s.
During the period of exclusivity in rights, Disney has produced no less than six cartoons and a number of TV series about Pooh, alongside extensive marketing of hundreds of products that are based and branded in its image.
Disney's version of the familiar and endearing cartoon character, of a chubby yellow teddy bear, in a red shirt that was several sizes smaller than it, was published in the mid-1960s.
Therefore the copyright on the cartoon character who stars in Disney cult films will remain in effect for decades to come.
Along with copyright, Disney also protects the character portrayed in many trademarks it has registered around the world, the rights to which will not expire in the foreseeable future.
Therefore, any commercial use of the familiar cartoon character will remain and remain the sole property of Disney.
However, the rights to the literary and abstract characters themselves, of Poe and the Piglet from Milne's book, as opposed to the familiar cartoon character from Disney movies, have recently become public domain and are now available to the public, inter alia for making derivative characters and variations or variations.
An abstract or literary figure is protected by copyright, if its behavior is sufficiently characterized.
Behavior is considered characteristic, if one can expect a reaction of the character in a particular situation, for example the requested behavior of characters from the Hasamba gang or expected statements by Sherlock Holmes to his friend. You will also meet a lesser-known character of Po ...
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Winnie the Pooh in the character as a serial killer?
Well, soon Pooh and his friend the piglet will indeed star in a new horror movie "Pooh the Bear: Blood and Honey".
As the filmmaker recently reported in an interview with Variety culture magazine, in the new version the lives of Poe and his piglet friend degenerate into the execution of a brutal massacre mask, which includes a series of violent murders.
Several photos from the set of filming in England, which have reached the media and are now circulating on the net, provide a glimpse into the characters and obscure scenes from director and screenwriter Rhys Frake-Waterfield in his new film Winnie-The-Pooh: Blood and Honey.
Whether it was a leak or a deliberate leak, the images from the set aroused quite a bit of interest in the media and raised the bar of expectations for the film's launch.
The production was done in a hurry and the whole film was shot in 10 days.
So it's hard to believe that this is a work of cinematic or artistic value, that can find an original or new way to scare and excite us, as he excelled in his Hitchcock scripts with clever plot and protagonist psychology or Kubrick with a visual aspect with meticulous direction on the compulsive border, "The Birds" (1963) or in a classic like "The Spark" (1980).
Is there in the new film an artistic provocation, a kind of cinematic opportunism or rather an act of legitimate original creation?
Disney's official reference has not yet been released and it is not known what its response will be.
It is clear to the members of the production that they are walking on a "thin rope" and therefore they receive close legal assistance,
Copyright is limited in time to a fairly long period of 95 years in which about three generations will pass and upon their expiration the rights to the work and the characters become public domain.
This arrangement should on the one hand take into account the public's interest in freedom of expression and action, on the way of making derivative works and figures and on the other hand balance the public interest against artistic integrity and the legitimate commercial interest of the creator.
By the way, the film's point curiosity, the question arises again: in the modern age, do they still have to pass three generations, in order for the rights to expire?
The characters will then be able to be released to the public domain to be used as raw material by the creators, in order to create new derivatives and interpretations, even if particularly dark and violent.
Adv. Andre and Paniarsky (Photo: Hilit Kadouri)
The author, Adv. Andrei Paniarsky, is the owner of a law firm that specializes in intellectual property. The article may mention examples or details from cases in his work that are in the public domain. Or a recommendation to perform any action or to refrain from doing so.The information presented is for general information only and is in no way a substitute for professional advice.Whoever makes any use of the information presented does so at his own risk and responsibility.
Winnie the Pooh