Shall Figure of Mickey be Protected by Copyright Law in DPRK?

By Albert Chen

Mickey Mouse’s showing up in the show for Kim Jong-un, the new leader of DPRK, has provoked the coverage of news reports worldwide. The swift reaction by Disney stated that “This was not licensed or authorized by The Walt Disney”, which in turn made the event gather more controversy. Moreover, the State Council of USA also expressed its concern on the issue.

Not limited to the politics behind the event, the copyright matters involved in the character performance is also very interesting. This brings forth the question; does the performance constitute the infringement against Disney? In my opinion, the answer to the question shall lay on the answers to another two more basic questions: 1) Is Mickey Mouse still in his protection period? 2) Could copyright be protected through DPRK and USA?