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Celebrating Mickey Mouse’s Entry into Public Domain with an NFT Collection

Steamboat Willie, the 1928 animated short that introduced the world to one of the most beloved characters of all time, Mickey Mouse, has entered the public domain in the United States, freeing up the depiction of the character in the animation. In celebration of this momentous occasion, a limited edition non-fungible token (NFT) collection featuring the character as seen in the original animation has been launched. The NFT collection and a meme coin mark an important moment for the intersection of copyright law and the world of NFTs.

Celebrating Mickey Mouse’s Entry into Public Domain with an NFT Collection
Source: Gencraft

The First Depiction of Mickey Mouse Enters Public Domain

The entrance of the “Steamboat Willie” animation into the public domain means that the original depiction of Mickey Mouse seen in the animation is now free from copyright owned by Disney. While this only allows the usage of the character as seen in the animation, it still represents a significant moment in the world of copyright law and NFTs.

Limited Edition NFT Collection Featuring Steamboat Willie’s Mickey Mouse

Truth co-founder Alexander Taub has launched a limited edition NFT collection featuring an image of Mickey Mouse at the rudder of a ship as seen in the 1928 animation. Each of the 2,000 identical tokens has been priced at 0.001 ETH, equivalent to approximately $2. This is the first time that the original depiction of the character has been separated from Disney rights, enabling creators to use this version of the character in their derivatives.

Legal Questions Surround Mickey Mouse’s Entry into the Public Domain

Although the 1928 version of Mickey Mouse is in the public domain under US law, Oscar Franklin Tan, the chief legal officer of Atlas cautions that the trademark and brand of Mickey Mouse remain under Disney control. Creators of derivatives using the public domain version must avoid affiliation with Disney and make it clear that their product is not affiliated with the company. The entrance of Mickey Mouse into the public domain raises significant legal questions about the use of copyrighted material in the NFT space.

Mickey Mouse-Themed Meme Coin Launched to Celebrate Public Domain Entry

Along with the NFT collection, a Mickey Mouse-themed meme coin called $MICKEY has been launched on the Ethereum network to celebrate Steamboat Willie’s entry into the public domain. The page for the meme coin states that Mickey is a timeless icon of culture, and the token marks his release into the public domain. The coin has a more modest market cap of $500,000 compared to the NFT collection’s $1.2 million 24-hour trading volume.


The entrance of Steamboat Willie’s Mickey Mouse into the public domain is an exciting moment that opens creative possibilities for derivatives featuring the original version of the character. The launch of the NFT collection and meme coin to commemorate the occasion further highlights the potential for public domain assets in the NFT space. However, it also raises important legal questions about the use of copyrighted material and the responsibility of creators to avoid affiliation with the original owners. As more works enter the public domain, it will be interesting to observe how they are incorporated into the NFT market and how creators navigate these legal hurdles while still embracing the creative opportunities.

January 8, 2024 at 9:00 pm

Updated January 8, 2024 at 9:00 pm


Remember, investing in cryptocurrencies involves risks, and it’s important to conduct thorough research and seek professional advice before making any financial decisions. (Please keep in mind that this post is solely for informative purposes and should not be construed as financial or investment advice.)


NFTs are unique digital assets stored on blockchains, representing various digital items.

To create a unique NFT, you mint it by uploading a digital file to a blockchain platform.

NFTs can be a good investment for collectors, but research and understanding risks are essential.

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