Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) said he plans to file legislation this week targeting the copyright protections of Disney and “woke corporations.”
Hawley made the announcement in a Monday afternoon tweet, although he didn’t provide details about what the legislation would entail. Other Republican lawmakers have previously suggested that they might try to use an expiring copyright on Mickey Mouse to punish Disney for its opposition to a controversial Florida education bill.
“For years, @Disney has gotten special copyright protections from the federal government — allowing them to charge consumers more. Woke corporations shouldn’t get sweetheart deals. I’ll introduce legislation this week to end their special protections — enough is enough,” the senator wrote.
The Washington Examiner has contacted Hawley’s office for more details about the plan.
DISNEY HAS LOST $50 BILLION IN VALUE SINCE WAR WITH FLORIDA BEGAN
The copyright on Disney’s classic Steamboat Willie Mickey Mouse, the first iteration of the character, is set to expire at the end of 2023, and Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN) recently wrote to Disney CEO Bob Chapek telling him that he and some other GOP lawmakers oppose “further extensions applicable” to the company’s copyrights. Banks argued those should become public domain.
Republicans in both Florida and Washington, D.C., have been upset about Disney’s public lobbying against the Florida legislation, which is called the Parental Rights in Education bill but has been branded the “Don't Say Gay” bill by critics. The legislation bans classroom instruction of sexual orientation and gender identity through the third grade.
Disney has successfully lobbied for copyright extensions in the past. Disney pushed for the Copyright Act of 1976 and then worked to get the Copyright Term Extension Act of 1998 signed into law. Detractors of the latter bill had branded it the “Mickey Mouse Protection Act.”
CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER
“Disney’s profits will give the woke left more control over our kids, and conservatives in Congress should oppose any legislation that would unfairly advantage Disney,” Banks told the National Review.
Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) also recently tweeted, “Next year, the woke Disney lobbyists will ask Congress to extend Micky Mouse’s trademark. I think not.”