The [Disney] Magic of The Public Domain

Disney Public Domain

I love the attention that the concept of the public domain is receiving this year after the first version of Mickey Mouse is finally in the public domain for all to use.

Over at Trung Phan’s blog, he writes about how Disney itself only exists because they were able to re-use stories in the public domain.

There are at least 50 of them and — for some solid laughs — I made a table of select films in which Disney double-dipped the same Public Domain work: first with an animated version then a live-action remake.

Just 8 of these sources — including Rudyard Kipling (The Jungle Book), Hans Christian Andersen (The Little Sea Maid), Lewis Carroll (Alice’s Adventure in Wonderland) and some little-known writer named Shakespeare (Hamlet) — have accounted for more than $16B at the box office

Disney Loves (and Hates) Public Domain

It’s a pretty amazing time to be alive. We not only get to enjoy all the work being created now, but all the human creativity of thousands of years ago.

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