The Times podcast: The fight to use Mickey Mouse

A person in a Mickey Mouse costume on Hollywood's Walk of Fame
Street performer Javei Rubio, dressed as Mickey Mouse, looks for customers to pose for photos on a deserted section of Hollywood’s Walk of Fame in Hollywood
(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

Mickey Mouse has been the mascot for Disney going back to the days of, well, Walt himself. But the copyright for the mouse that Disney has zealously guarded for decades is set to expire in just two years. That means the black-and-white version of Mickey Mouse depicted in “Steamboat Willie” would be in the public domain, where anyone can do anything with him and all of his magic and fame.

A group of Republicans, mad at some of Disney stances on social issues recently, want that to happen. Disney though, ain’t going to let Mickey go without putting up a hell of a fight. Read the full transcript here.


Host: Gustavo Arellano

Guests: L.A. Times travel reporter Hugo Martín

More reading:

Republicans are trying to exterminate Mickey Mouse. Does anyone care?

Whose mouse is it anyway?

Disney Wins Big in Battle to Keep Company Icons

Disney Led Push to Add 20 Years to Copyrights

About The Times

“The Times” is made by columnist Gustavo Arellano, senior producers Denise Guerra, Shannon Lin and Kasia Broussalian and producers David Toledo, Ashlea Brown and Angel Carreras. Our engineers are Mario Diaz and Mark Nieto. Our editor is Kinsee Morlan. Our executive producers are Jazmín Aguilera and Shani O. Hilton. Our theme song was composed by Andrew Eapen.