Winnie The Pooh Has Entered Into The Public Domain

The 1926 classic book by British author A. A. Milne has officially entered into the public domain in the United States, 95 years after its original publication. Though the character technically entered into the public domain in 2020 due to his first short story appearance in 1924’s When We Were Very Young, the story most associated with the character is now available for anyone to reproduce or alter. But don’t get too exited, because there are a few exceptions.

The 1926 book is public domain, but if you want the full stories by A. A. Milne you’ll have to wait until 2024 when 1928 sequel book, The House at Pooh Corner, to have access to Tigger and the rest of the characters and stories. Not to mention the Disney problem.

Of course many people think go the popular Disney version of the character, which was introduced in the 1966 short Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree, but Disney still owns that version of the character. The image of a blonde bear in a red shirt is still theirs and theirs alone. And believe me, Disney will do ANYTHING to keep their ownership of the brand. Ever since their ownership of the license Disney has made over $75 Billion on merchandise and toys as well as being in the top 5 most successful brands in the world. Due to its popularity with toddlers and young children it is usually one of the first brands most children are introduced to. So you can bet parents buy up Pooh merchandise like crazy. 

Personally I think Pooh becoming public domain is a good thing. This means that after so many years we can now potentially see new stories in the traditional A. A. Milne style of both writing and story. Simple and sweet stories about childhood. But I do recommend waiting a couple more years so you can also add Tigger.

So if you want to write a book or movie using the character keep it as divorced from the Disney version as possible and stay as close to the book as you can. Agents and Lawyers, Agents and Lawyers, steal money, beware, beware.

Source: Washington Post

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