Disney is undeniably one of the most prolific mass media conglomerates to ever exist; with an estimated $81 billion fortune, there’s no mistaking which mouse wears the red pants in this town. But what do you do when you’ve spent all this time establishing yourself as the main mouse on campus and then in comes a newbie with a greater ear:head ratio? Find solace in the traditions of Americas favourite past-time of course… sue him!
That’s right, Mickey is taking Dead to court on the basis of trademark infringement. Despite the mau5head having been successfully registered as a trademark in 30 countries, Disney filed a 171-page ‘trademark opposition proceeding’ against his application in the US, citing that the ‘Applicant’s Mouse Ears Mark is nearly identical in appearance, connotation, and overall commercial impression to the Disney’s Mouse Ears Marks’. In effect, if Disney is successful in denying deadmau5’s trademark (ie: legally protected right to use the ears), any future use of the contentious deadmau5 logo in the US could potentially open him up to lashings of legal woes.
“Lawyer up Mickey” was the response on Twitter, with an understandably sassy and snide tone Deadmau5 continued “Disney thinks you might confuse an established electronic musician/performer with a cartoon mouse. That’s how stupid they think you are.” Perhaps not the most elegant response by Dead, but his lawyers have come out strong, insisting that they wont cower at the overbearing hands of a big bully. We do feel sympathetic, but unfortunately this story isn’t unlike the millions of intellectual property cases that have come before, and the many thousands more that will be filed by the end of work today.
A few hours ago deadmau5 sent a cease and desist letter to Disney HQ claiming that their use of his song ‘Ghosts ‘n’ Stuff’ in a cartoon on their website was unauthorised, as deadmau5 never licensed it to them. Seems Dead has hired himself a decent team of legal banditos and is in with a fighting chance. Now if only someone could curtail his liberal use of social media… throwing up screenshots of your legal notices on twitter is probably not going to be beneficial to your case, especially when your accompanying tweets are aggressively childish and somewhat dyslexic.