U.S. Rep. Greg Steube seeks to hold the Walt Disney Co. accountable for woke politics that he sees as harmful to children.
The Sarasota Republican recently filed a bill that strips Disney of its special copyright privileges, which are rooted in the company’s most famous creation, Mickey Mouse.
Under his Copyright Restoration Clause Act, the exclusive legal protection granted to newly copyrighted materials would max out at 56 years – instead of the current 95 to 120 years.
In a statement, Steube noted his bill would also apply retroactively to “massive corporations like Disney that have been granted unnecessarily long copyright monopolies.”
Yet the congressman made clear that Disney is the impetus for this bill.
“This legislation will remove their special privileges and even the playing field for all entertainment companies,” Steube said in a statement. “It’s unacceptable that Disney has been allowed to use their privilege 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.”
Steube was referring to Disney not only making movies in China but censoring content to appease that nation’s communist leaders.
Yet at home, Disney also has openly promoted its pro-LGBTQ agenda and content aimed at children and has vowed to repeal or overturn Florida’s Parental Rights in Education law, which bans school districts and classroom teachers from implementing lesson plans based on sexual orientation or gender identity in grades K-3.
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More recently, following the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade, Disney pledged to pay travel expenses for employees seeking abortions.
For most of America’s history, copyrighted content was protected for exclusive use by its creator for a maximum of 56 years.
Congress changed that in 1976 and again in 1998. The latter revision to federal law extended the deadline to the life of the creator plus 70 years, or if it was created by a company, to 120 years after its creation or 95 years after publication.
The law was ridiculed as the “Mickey Mouse Protection Act” because Disney unveiled Mickey Mouse in 1928, which keeps Mickey from entering public domain until 2024.
In April, Steube was among 19 House Republicans who notified Disney that they would no longer extend protection of its copyrighted materials because of its woke politics. Also signing that letter from Florida were Reps. Byron Donalds of Naples and Kat Cammack of Gainesville.
In the letter to Disney CEO Bob Chapek, they wrote, “In recent years, Disney has sought to expand business in China by kowtowing to its Communist regime, which is actively engaged in human rights abuses and the theft of U.S. intellectual property. … At home, Disney has capitulated to far-left activists through hypocritical, woke corporate actions.”
“Given Disney’s continued work with a Communist Chinese regime that does not respect human rights or U.S. intellectual property and given your desire to influence young children with sexual material inappropriate for their age, (we) will not support further extensions applicable to your copyrights, which should become public domain.”
“It’s unfortunate that Disney, once an American success story, has allied with a hostile foreign regime and domestic ideologues who seek to tear our country apart.”