Hundreds of cartoon characters were created in the early and mid 1900s. Only a few became successful and one of them was Mickey. Why should Disney make that asset available free to the public because the luck, creative and technical skills in pulling off a creative masterpiece is a lot? Why do creators of copyrighted work owe free stuff to the public? Do members of the public mail at least one dollar bill per year to failed artists? No. But artists are supposed to be charitable to the public somehow.
So end this scam called limited times for copyrighted work. Disney and M. Mouse were valuable a few decades ago, are valuable today and will remain valuable a 100 years from today.
I really hope that's sarcasm. I can't really tell. Sorry, but it just doesn't read well in print without some kind of sarcasm tag or a whole lot of exclamation points or something to indicate it.
In the event that it's not, you do realize how stupid, ignorant, and deluded you are, right? The text of the constitution that authorizes copyright reads:
To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;
Notice the parts about promotion and limited that I highlighted? Yeah...copyright is a contract between the public and the artist. They get to make something, profit from it for a while, then we get to make something new out of it or just make it part of our culture and share it with others all we want. The current state of copyright has perverted that.