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Film ► TARZAN: what’s Disney got against it?



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WaltK

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What is Disney’s damage against Tarzan?

Ever since...I wanna say 2005, besides continuing to make the movie and its sequels available on home media, they just refuse to market it or its characters.

As far as I know, none of the characters are meet and greet-able at the Disney parks anymore. Even the official Disney Stores, which usually have merchandise available for several of the renaissance era movies at some point or another, never do anything for the movie: their range of Christmas ornaments often do special figures for certain movies to mark a special anniversary (last year, Pocahontas got a 25th anniversary ornament, and even Rescuers Down Under got one for its 30th anniversary); never saw one for Tarzan’s 20th in 2019. They also recently expanded their fashion doll range to include characters like Esmeralda. Okay. Where the hell is Jane?

The rights problems shouldn’t be an issue anymore because, if my understanding of copyright law is correct, Tarzan has been in the public domain for the last 9 years!
 

AdrianXXII

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I'm pretty sure it still is an issue about rights. If I'm not mistaking Tarzan isn't entirely in the public domain. I think I heard somewhere that only the first book is in the public domain, but the characters aren't quite public domain yet. Something about the characters being trademarked, which is appearantly different from simple copyright.
 

Oracle Spockanort

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Tarzan is still wrapped up with some wild rights bs. The final novel featuring Tarzan was published in 1995, and the ERB estate has also trademarked Tarzan the character if I remember correctly.

These ghouls have done their best to squeeze every penny from Tarzan as possible and to use loopholes to keep control of the character even if they can't retain the rights to the books.

While the earlier novels are indeed part of public domain, with the trademark in place, ERB's estate can continually demand money from the use of Tarzan.

Disney doesn't want to have to fuck around with that.
 

AdrianXXII

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Right? And it's coming back to kick them in the ass anyways. They delayed and delayed and all of their older animated works and characters are about to enter public domain lol
Yep. I'm actually kind of excited to see a world in which some of these characters and ideas are public domain. I think there's some cool stuff that could come out of it.
 

Soldier

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Well, it's only a matter of time until they lose the trademark right? I mean, the original Mickey Mouse shorts are now public domain if I'm not mistaken, and those were made in the 1920's. So that means we'd have to wait..... until 2097 I guess? Better get looking for that fountain of youth.
 

WaltK

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the original Mickey Mouse shorts are now public domain if I'm not mistaken

The only Mickey short currently in the public domain, for reasons I don’t really understand, is The Mad Doctor, as is the wartime Donald Duck short The Spirit of ‘43.

From what I understand, it usually takes a hundred years before something becomes public domain. So Steamboat Willie would theoretically become public domain in 2028.
 
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