Disney faces fresh bid from Republicans to strip it of its Mickey Mouse copyright amid 'Don't Say Gay' bill tension

While the bill has little chance of success, it further signifies Republican dismay towards the company due to its 'Don't Say Gay' bill opposition

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Disney's copyright protection for Mickey Mouse is facing a new challenge, as Senator Josh Hawley unveiled a bill on Tuesday that would see the company stripped of its control.

While the bill has little chance of success, it further signifies Republican dismay towards the company due to its 'Don't Say Gay' bill opposition.

The bill, formally known as the Parental Rights in Education bill, was signed into law by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, and it aims to restrict schools in the state from teaching children about sexual orientation and gender issues.

Mr Hawley's bill would limit copyright protection to 56 years, which would effectively give everyone access to images of Mickey Mouse, who debuted in a 1928 production.

In a defiant statement, Mr Hawley said: "The age of Republican handouts to big business is over.

The 'Don't Say Gay' bill has faced opposition from many across the US, including Disney.
The 'Don't Say Gay' bill has faced opposition from many across the US, including Disney.

"Thanks to special copyright protections from Congress, woke corporations like Disney have earned billions while increasingly pandering to woke activists.

"It's time to take away Disney's special privileges and open up a new era of creativity and innovation."

His office say companies such as Disney have been able to surpass the original copyright protection duration of 28 years, instead being able to gain 120 years worth of protection.

Republicans have been looking for ways to hurt the company as a result of their opposition to the bill.
Republicans have been looking for ways to hurt the company as a result of their opposition to the bill.

The bill would crack down on copyright monopolies and allow for more innovation, Mr Hawley's office said.

The bill has little chance of progression through the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives and Senate, but it's a further signal of the ongoing culture wars in the US.

Disney's copyright for the character was protected for 56 years when it first appeared.

Protesters called for Disney to voice their opposition to the bill before they eventually did so.
Protesters called for Disney to voice their opposition to the bill before they eventually did so.

The Copyright Act of 1976, supported by Disney, allowed the protection to be extended for 75 years.

Disney then lobbied for a further extension in 1998, which was granted with a 95 year extension.

The Florida Parental Rights in Education legislation is one of a series of moves by Republican-controlled states to enact new restrictions on public education in the run-up to the midterm elections later this year.

Supporters say such measures give parents more control over their children's education, but opponents say they mostly unfairly infringe the rights of transgender and other marginalised students.

Disney initially failed to publicly oppose the legislation, prompting criticism last month by many in the LGBTQ community and some employees.

Later Disney, condemned the law and said it would suspend political donations in Florida pending a review.