Disney Is Suing Deadmau5 Over His Mouse Head Trademark
Do you ever get Mickey Mouse confused with the EDM artist Deadmau5? No? Well good, that means you have at least two functional brain cells firin’ away in that noggin’ of yours. Disney, on the other hand, thinks you’re braindead and can’t tell the difference between a cartoon mouse and a dude throwin’ down a DJ set with a bunch of flashing lasers beaming everywhere.
Disney, a notoriously litigious overlord of trademarks and copyrights, initiated an investigation of Deadmau5′s trademarked logo with the Patent and Trademark office. According to EDM Chicago the USPTO gave Disney three months to craft a legal argument, during which time they assembled the argument that people might confuse Deadmau5 with Mickey Mouse.
Not likely. The mau5-head is clearly a nod to Mickey, but there’s something sinister about it—an alternate-reality Mickey on bad acid. It’s impossible that anyone who exposed to Deadmau5 would think he was actually watching Mickey Mouse. Any Disney execs who think so have obviously never been to a Deadmau5 show.
But it’s the same logic Facebook has used to sue anyone out of using any variation of “____ book” as a website name. By arguing that consumers might confuse parody sites or other legitimate businesses with Facebook, they’ve essentially blocked everyone else from using anything-book on the internet.
By the old trademark laws Disney’s Mickey trademark would have expired already—but thanks to tireless lobbying from Disney the limit has been pushed from 50 years after the author’s death to 70 years. So Deadmau5 will probably need to fight this one rather than wait it out.
Even Deadmau5, who drives a frickin’ Nyan Cat ferrari around, is like “welp ur dumb.”
landed home to some interesting news: looks like Disney officially just filed in opposition of my trademark… lawyer up mickey.
— deadmau5 (@deadmau5) September 3, 2014
Disney thinks you might confuse an established electronic musician / performer with a cartoon mouse. That’s how stupid they think you are. — deadmau5 (@deadmau5) September 3, 2014
Could not have said it better myself.