Rep. Steube Introduces Legislation to Strip Disney of Special Copyright Protections
WASHINGTON— Today, U.S. Representative Greg Steube (R-Fla.) introduced the Copyright Restoration Clause Act to strip Disney of its special copyright protections. The bill would limit new copyright protections to 56 years and make the change retroactive for massive corporations like Disney that have been granted unnecessarily long copyright monopolies. This bill is the House companion bill to legislation introduced by Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) in the U.S. Senate.
“Disney should no longer benefit from special favors created by establishment politicians in Washington and Tallahassee. This legislation will remove their special privileges and even the playing field for all entertainment companies,” said Congressman Greg Steube. “Disney has leveraged their privileges to conduct reprehensible work with the Chinese Communist regime, force sexual indoctrination on America’s youth, and most recently, aid the murder of unborn babies. I’m pleased to work with Senator Hawley on this critical legislation.”
Senator Hawley said, “The age of Republican handouts to Big Business is over. 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.”
Under Congress’s current sweetheart deal, companies like Disney have been granted certain copyright protections for up to 120 years—well beyond the original maximum of 28 years. This legislation would crack down on copyright monopolies to ensure they only last long enough to encourage innovation.
Earlier this year, Congressman Steube joined 19 of his House Republican colleagues in sending a letter to the Chief Executive Officer of The Walt Disney Company withdrawing their support for the approval of a forthcoming extension of the Mickey Mouse copyright, which is set to expire January 1, 2024. The letter states: “Given Disney’s continued work with a Communist Chinese regime that does not respect human rights or U.S. intellectual property, and given your desire to influence young children with sexual material inappropriate for their age, I will not support further extensions applicable to your copyrights, which should become public domain.” The full letter can be found here.
The Copyright Clause Restoration Act would:
- Limit new copyrights to 56 years, the same period that persisted for most of the 20th century, which is plenty of incentive to encourage authorship.
- Make this change retroactive for the biggest entertainment companies, including Disney, that were granted unnecessarily long monopolies. Under this legislation, Disney would begin to lose protections for some of its oldest and most valuable copyrights.
- Delay implementation for certain license holders, to reasonably protect pre-existing contracts