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Florida Republican Introduces Bill To Strip Disney of Copyright Protections

It has been a few weeks, but another shot has been taken in the battle between Disney and Florida Republicans. The two sides have been going back and forth since Disney spoke out against the passing of the controversial Parental Rights in Education Bill. Many thought that the bill would target the LGBTQ+ community, and Disney CEO Bob Chapek said that he would work to see the bill overturned. That ignited a firestorm between Disney and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and his fellow Republicans.

Not long after Disney spoke out against the bill — also known as the Don’t Say Gay Bill — Republicans in the Sunshine State worked to quickly pass a bill dissolving the Reedy Creek Improvement Act. Dissolving Reedy Creek essentially strips Disney of its self-governing status, something it has had since 1967. DeSantis has not said what will happen when that takes effect — which should be June 2023 —  but has said that he may create a different special district to oversee Disney at that time.

Reedy Creek

Credit: ClickOrlando

That was not the only aim Republicans took at The House of Mouse. Several have said that they are looking into stripping Disney of its airspace privileges— which currently prevents planes from flying over sections of Disneyland Walt Disney World — and Senator Josh Hawley tried to introduce a bill that would strip Disney of its copyright protections. Hawley’s bill has not gone anywhere at this time, and it has been called “blatantly unconstitutional” by law experts.

However, we are now learning that Hawley is not the only one who wants to go after Disney’s copyright. Florida Congressman Greg Steube, who is a member of the House of Representatives, has introduced a bill to the House to strip Disney’s copyright protections. The bill is titled the Copyright Restoration Clause Act, and it would limit copyright protections to 56 years and would be retroactive.

Mickey Mouse meet and greet

Credit: Disney

According to a report from Sun North Port:

In a news release, Steube states he is doing so because of moves Disney has made in recent years. He calls it “critical legislation.” It notes Disney shouldn’t receive “special favors” created in D.C. and Tallahassee from what Steube called “establishment politicians.”

“This legislation will remove their special privileges and even the playing field for all entertainment companies,” Steube stated in the news release. “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.”

Photo Credit: TheWaltDisneyCompany

The bill introduced by Steube reads, in part:
“(It) 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,” the news release stated. “Under this legislation, Disney would begin to lose protections for some of its oldest and most valuable copyrights.”
Steube’s bill is very similar to the one Hawley introduced into the Senate, so it most likely would also be considered unconstitutional by law experts. In addition to introducing the bill, Steube is one of 19 Congressmen who withdrew their support for extending Disney’s copyright of Mickey Mouse. That copyright is set to expire on January 1, 2024.

About Krysten Swensen

A born and bred New England girl living the Disney life in Southern California. I love to read, to watch The Golden Girls, and love everything to do with Disney and Universal. I also love to share daily doses of Disney on my Disney Instagram @BrazzleDazzleDisney!