Sen. Josh Hawley introduced legislation on May 10 that would strip “woke companies like Disney” of their unique copyright rights.
In a May 10 press statement, Hawley stated, “The Copyright Clause Preservation Act of 2022 would restrict new copyright laws to 56 years.”
“It would make the measure retroactive for huge businesses like Disney that have been given unreasonably extended copyright monopoly.”
Disney and other businesses are currently protected by the Sonny Bono Copyright Act, which was established by Congress in 1998.
It provides copyright protection to corporation work for 95 years from the date of publication or 120 years from the date of conception, whichever comes first. This protection will last until 2024 for Disney’s iconic Mickey Mouse character.
If implemented, Hawley’s plan would reinstate the original period of copyrighted material for artistic works, which was 56 years before Disney successfully fought for a 76-year stretch in 1976.
According to the press release, this 56-year term provides “enough incentive to stimulate authorship.”
According to the announcement, the bill would automatically apply to the “largest entertainment firms, including Disney,” which the bill defined as organizations with a market valuation of much more than $150 billion.
Josh Hawley either slept through his time at Yale Law School or knows his proposed taking of Disney’s intellectual property without compensation is flagrantly unconstitutional. Maybe both. What a piece of work! https://t.co/Qk0ckyRBw4
— Laurence Tribe (@tribelaw) May 11, 2022
According to Hawley’s office, the approval of this legislation would abolish copyright laws from a few of Disney’s “earliest and most famous” characters, including Micky Mouse, who will enter the public realm.
“The era of Republican corporate welfare is finished. Woke companies like Disney made billions while appealing to woke protestors, due to special copyright laws from Congress.”
“It’s past time to strip Disney of its unique privileges and usher in a new era of innovative thinking,” Hawley stated.
Disney’s collaboration with the Communist Chinese government, as well as its objection to Florida’s new familial rights law, (which prohibits educators from teaching gender identity or sexual preference to children in grades three and under), prompted Hawley’s bill.
They’re Not So Woke
The Republicans Study Group wrote to Disney CEO Bob Chapek in April, claiming Disney “tried to seek to increase business in China by bowing down to its communist leadership.”
Communist China is actively involved in human rights violations and the stealing of U.S. intellectual property.
Disney even shot a film in the Xinjiang region, where rulers are presently conducting extermination against Uyghur Muslims, and praised the local Communist Party government in the titles.
DeSantis notches legal win in battle over law revoking Disney's special tax district https://t.co/w4COcb9szX
— Fox News (@FoxNews) May 11, 2022
“I will not endorse further additional features relevant to your copyright laws, which must become publicly available,” said Rep. Jim Banks, who helped lead the letter.
“Given Disney’s ongoing efforts with a Communist Chinese government, which does not respect human rights or U.S. proprietary information, and provided your power to control small kids with sexual content improper for their maturity level, I will not endorse further additions relevant to your copyright laws.”
Disney’s market cap shrank by approximately $34 billion between late March, when it declared opposition to the Florida parental rights law.
It again shrank on April 22, when Gov. Ron DeSantis signed legislation dissolving Disney World’s private administration.