When MBA students discuss Disney, it is usually within contexts such as vertical integration, creativity, and the like. But a large part of Disney’s revenues depend on constantly extending the copyright protections it enjoys. This is why every time that the copyright over Mickey Mouse is about to expire, Disney lobbies heavily–and successfully–to change federal laws and extend (retroactively!) the protection it enjoys. The Mickey Mouse case illustrates how policies meant to incentivize innovation can be co-opted to stifle it.
Suitable Courses: The case appeals to courses on business strategy, entertainment industry, and intellectual property, as well as regulation and political economy.
Bigger picture: Raises issues of intellectual property protection–how much is too much from a societal perspective? And who gets to dictate the answers?
Publication Date: November 14, 2017
Length: 15 p, English PDF
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