Mickey Mouse horror movie? Beloved Disney characters enter public domain

While January 1st marks the start of the new year, it's also a late Christmas for creatives as copyright expires on iconic older characters.   

This year, the world's most famous mouse enters the public domain, so any work you want to do with the oldest versions of Micky Mouse are good to go.   

"It means these bits of imagery or copyright have left their period of protection, so it's been 75 years since the death of the creator - depending on what country they're in," said Arran Hunt, a lawyer who specialises in technology.   

"Now can be used publicly by anyone without any payment to the original owner of the copyright."  

Micky joins Winnie the Pooh in the public domain alongside the bear's best friend, Tigger.  

"Winnie the pooh came through a few years ago and we now have tigger coming through on jan 1st as to accompany him," Hunt said.  

"So you might see tigger in the next blood and honey sequel."  

It was pubic domain that allowed that horrifying version of Pooh Bear to terrorize our screens this year.

"You do see a lot of derivative work because of it, but I think it gives people options to actually adapt and create. It's a fundamentally good thing when things enter the public domain," said film critic Jordan Tini.  

However, it's only the original characters, not their modern Disney counterparts that are fair game.  

"It comes down to being very clear with your item," said Hunt   

"I'm not saying go out and do this! This is not legal advice. It's about doing something that won't be passed off as being Disney, it will be very clear that it is not Disney making this product."   

2025 will see Popeye, the spinach munching sailor, also enter public domain.  

"We're going to see a lot of creativity and also maybe some things that are just as bad as blood and honey.... just make everything a horror film let's see what we can do," said Tini.  

"I would love to see a steamboat willie film in the style of the ring. He comes out of the TV and starts murdering everyone, why not!"