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The Copyright Term Extension Act (CTEA)

  1. The Copyright Term Extension Act (CTEA) was passed in 1998.
    What are the purposes of the act? Specifically identify the copyright extension for both individuals as well as the corporations?
  2. The Act has also been called the Mickey Mouse Protection Act? Why? Specifically identify the threats companies like Disney faced and
    continue to face.
  3. How does this act specifically tie into the public domain?


Copyright Term Extension Act

The Copyright Term Extension Act was enacted in 1998 for purposes such as providing
sufficient copyright protection for American works and more so, to have a continuation of
economic benefits when copyrighted work are exploited. It also brought about job creation. With
the provision of adequate copyright protection, an important foundation is not only for the
present times, but also for the future. Less incentives will be experienced for individuals who
wish to become creators. It would also be fair deal to protect the works of authors for their
descendants. This would work by having the authors’ copyrights remain valuable resources for
their families. For individuals, the copyright would go for 50 years plus the author’s life, while
75 years are awarded to corporates.

The nickname “Mickey Mouse Protection Act” was brought about by the Disney
Company strategically lobbying for the Act, which as a result of delayed streaming and
production of the Mickey Mouse movies. Efforts trying to prevent the Extension Act from being
passed came from all sides, which caused a threat to the success of the term. For some, the
extension Act meant more costs to the American people, which did not get any benefit as per
their thoughts. Companies faced the claim that the legislation was totally unconstitutional in
accomplishing the State’s mandate to bring about improvement in science and arts. To support
this, they argue that majority of the works only fetch profits during the first years and go dormant
when pushed off the market, thus extending the term has no economic benefit. Copyright
protection does not last for life. This means that copyright does grow old and eventually dies,
and the efforts falls to the public.

The Act ties to the public domain in that when a work enters it, it means the public can
modify and own it, therefore, giving it a new look or a new sense as per their preference. The
work can be used without permission from anyone as it is owned by no one. The extension Act
had it that no new works would be pushed to the public domain until 2019. The Act also ties to
the public domain in that works without proper copyright notice were included in it too. All
published works ought to be published and if not, the work was put into the public domain.



Miller, M. (2014). “Walt Disney and the American Dream”

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