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Comment Re:The Firefox OS project needs to be terminated. (Score 1) 103

Thanks again for proving my point as you cannot name a single feature without simply parroting "free and open" over and over.

And I'm sorry but I have all of computer history on my side, from Linux on the desktop (which has never gone beyond 2% in 22 years, despite the competition cost over $100 USD) to Open Pandora game consoles, From OpenMoko to that open GPU that is on life support if the only thing you have is your definition of free and open you are DEAD, because NO CONSUMER CARES nor will they take a shoddy half ass worse.in.every.way. experience so they can have something "free and open".

So lets hear it, I gave you a list of features that the competition has...can you name ONE THING, just one, that a consumer that is NOT a developer will give a single flying flipping fuck about? I'm betting you can't, which means we'll be here reading about the death of FXOS in a year or two, when Moz gets tired of pissing money down a rat hole for something nobody cares about. Hell they can't even try for the "free as in beer" angle as any company can sign up and get Android and WinPhone for free, BOTH of which has more and better quality apps.

Comment Re:A service to the community: release the text (Score 1) 53

I don't think it would matter as they were a corp with money and you are most likely not. Like it or not according to a friend who works at the state crime lab running something like a Tor exit node or Freenet and you can be charged with child porn distribution whether you ever had access to the offending material or not.

The way it was explained to me was like this.."imagine I give you a safe to carry to the next town. this safe is locked, you have NO way to access this safe or know the contents. Now the cops pull you over, break open the safe and find CP. The ways the laws are currently written you are guilty of distribution even though you had no way of accessing or knowing because you chose to carry the safe no different than how you chose to run Freenet or Tor".

Now is this wrong and fucked up? Sure it is but the way the CP laws are written you WILL be looking at a couple years of court, costing tens to hundreds of thousands, and of course you'll have your reputation destroyed, probably lose your job, and will most likely never see any of your electronic equipment ever again. If you don't believe this just look at guys getting their lives destroyed over a virus infected computer which any Geek Squad could have detected in 5 minutes or less. What is more you can go to Wikileaks and look up "confessions of a child pornographer" and read that he BRAGS about this exact attack, which he does because he thinks its "funny" and leaves cops chasing innocents instead of his customers. What does the prosecutor say when shown the evidence " He infected his PC on purpose as an excuse" showing the cops do not give a single flying fuck whether they get the right person or not, just that they get somebody. The reason why is simple, prosecutors wanna be governor some day and by showing you are "tough on perverts" you can get votes, no reporter ever checks to see if those busts were actually legit or not.

So I would strongly think twice if you use this software and ask yourself "can I afford a couple years of my life gone in court, and the risk of decades in prison? Is there anybody that counts on me for income?" because thanks to the fucked up red scare vague as fuck laws we have in the US when it comes to CP that is what you are risking by running this software.

Comment Re:The Firefox OS project needs to be terminated. (Score 1) 103

Thank you for perfectly illustrating my point as you can't name a single thing a consumer would care about and keep having to harp on and on (even slumming in FUDLand for a bit) about "free and open", thus proving my point better than I ever could that FXOS is a dead man walking, thanks.

As others have said if you believe what you are saying? Put up or shut up, name some features that a consumer would care about that have absolutely NOTHING to do with, or depend on, the words "free" or "open". If you can't or don't respond? You have perfectly proven my point yet again, thx in advance.

Comment Re:Microsoft (Score 1) 184

What good would opening up Symbian have done? It would have been like opening Windows 3.11 in 2005, it was a dead end arch that could never be made to compete.

What killed Nokia is the same thing that killed Palm and so many others, what I call "sat on ass" syndrome, in that when they were on top they sat on ass instead of looking forward and by the time they realized they needed to think ahead? They did like 90s Apple pre Jobs and just threw shit at the wall hoping something would work. They ended up with something like 3 different OSes at one point, Symbian, Meego (which needed a good 2 years to be able to compete with what Apple and Google had out then, if the devs are to be believed) and the Java one, all fighting and headhunting and backstabbing...yeah they were fucked long before Elop showed up.

Comment Re:Mickey Mouse copyirght extenstions... (Score 1) 177

if they used the LEGO term, even to say they were compatible with LEGO, even with all explicit trademark acknowledgements, it would be at LEGO's discretion to either issue a C&D or not to bar them from continuing to refer to them, unless they company were somehow able to show that they were not a competitor for LEGO in any way

Sigh. I'm getting tired of having to do your homework for you:

It is the wholesale prohibition of nominative use ... that would be unfair. It would be unfair to merchants seeking to communicate the nature of the service or product offered at their sites. And it would be unfair to consumers, who would be deprived of an increasingly important means of receiving such information. As noted, this would have serious First Amendment implications. The only winners would be companies like Toyota, which would acquire greater control over the markets for goods and services related to their trademarked brands, to the detriment of competition and consumers. The nominative fair use doctrine is designed to prevent this type of abuse of the rights granted by the Lanham Act. ...

Trademarks are part of our common language, and we all have some right to use them to communicate in truthful, non-misleading ways.

That's from Toyota Motor Sales, Inc. v. Tabari, 610 F.3d 1171 (9th Cir. 2010). Hint: Toyota's LEXUS mark was at issue, and had been used by a competitor, and the court did not come down on the side of Toyota.

Nominative use is a doctrine in US trademark law by which parties other than a trademark holder can use a trademark without permission if:

1) The product is not readily identifiable without using the mark. (LEGO bricks are not readily identifiable without using the LEGO mark to refer to them; otherwise you'd have to say something stupid like 'plastic toy bricks made by a well-known Danish plastic toy brick company')

2) The defendant does not use more of the mark than necessary. (The word LEGO in an ordinary typeface would be fine; the red, yellow, black and white square-shaped LEGO mark, with its distinctive balloonish typeface, on the other hand, would be too much merely to indicate compatibility)

3) The defendant cannot falsely suggest sponsorship or endorsement by the trademark holder. (This is typically done by not using the mark in a way that suggests a relationship, while also disclaiming any relationship. It doesn't require not using the mark at all, however; the public recognizes that not all uses of a mark indicate endorsement)

Note, there is no requirement that the defendant claiming nominative use not compete with Lego. That's perfectly fine. If I make toy bricks and I want to say that based on a survey, children prefer my bricks 10 to 1 over LEGO brand bricks, I'm totally free to do so. (Provided, of course, that I have got such a survey; I can't just make crap up)

The decision of whether advertising should directly refer to competitors (e.g. People who took the Pepsi challenge preferred Pepsi to Coke) or whether it should not (e.g. Our dishwashing liquid works better and faster than brand X) is entirely one of the advertiser's preference. There is no legal requirement compelling one over the other, provided that the ad is truthful and (to some extent) not misleading.

I am suggesting that Steamboat Willie describes the cartoon, and Mickey Mouse describes the character.

If the MICKEY MOUSE mark describes the character, and the copyright on the Mickey Mouse character lapses such that anyone can create works featuring the Mickey Mouse character (which is a copyright issue), the MICKEY MOUSE mark no longer is capable of indicating that all such marked goods originate from a common source, which is a fundamental requirement for a trademark. Thus, the MICKEY MOUSE trademark is lost with regard to such goods, e.g. DVDs, comic books, and the like.

So if one makes an unauthorized copy of Steamboat Willie, they are not actually using the trademark in Mickey Mouse without permission

Yes, they are. "Without permission" means the same thing as "unauthorized," genius. It's no different than if I make an unauthorized copy of a Louis Vuitton purse.

Copyright and Trademark protect different things

Yes, but different aspects of a single object can be protected by different sorts of rights.

Consider a humble glass bottle of refreshing Coca-Cola. The shape of the bottle is protected by a design patent. The COCA-COLA mark is protected as a trademark. The formula for the liquid inside is protected as a trade secret. If it's a decorative bottle with a picture of Santa or a bear, or Santa Bear, the artwork is likely copyrighted. If the artwork is of a particular real person, it may also be protected by that person's right of publicity. And if they make the bottle out of some new sort of safety glass, the formula for the glass itself may be an invention protected by a patent. All this wrapped up in a single item that you can get out of a vending machine with the change in your pocket.

The Mickey Mouse character is protected, in different capacities, even in the same work, by both copyright and trademark. This is not even slightly unusual.

As I said, even though their trademark continues to be respected, the copyright on their oldest cartoons have already expired in several first-world countries with IP laws quite similar to those in the USA, and that did not extend their copyright as the US did. I live in one such country. The character was never freely copyable here even though the cartoon itself was.

I have no idea what your country is or what its laws are like, and as I said before, I really don't care. I've been discussing US law this entire time, which is reasonable on a US-based website, like this one, and that's all I'm really interested in.

Comment Re:Mickey Mouse copyirght extenstions... (Score 1) 177

when the Steamboat Willy copyright expires ...

Someone could make a derivative work of the Disney short and call the title character something other than Mickey Mouse, but if they tried to call him Mickey Mouse, Disney could take action against them for using their trademark without permission.

Wrong, because the instant the copyright expires, a large part of the trademark lapses. Disney no longer has any rights to base a cause of action on. The reason for this is that because copyright law no longer prevents anyone from making copies or derivatives and putting them into commerce, the MICKEY MOUSE mark changes from being descriptive (of the character named Mickey Mouse) with secondary meaning (which can only originate from Disney) to being merely descriptive, without secondary meaning.

It looks to me as though you're putting the cart before the horse, incorrectly believing that the trademark survives the entry of the work into the public domain. But it does not; only a few fragments of the trademark survive.

Ultimately, copyright and Trademark are two wholly different pieces of intellectual property that govern entirely different things, handled almost entirely orthogonally to eachother, and in practically all cases, one has absolutely no effect on the other.

Sure. But this is one of those exceptional cases.

The only way that trademark could possibly be affected by Steamboat Willie falling into public domain is if that would or might cause the public to not realize who Mickey Mouse belongs to, but since the copied work is still a *COPY* of the work, and so would still be clear who owns the intellectual property that is still very much alive.

Actually that is exactly what happens; when everyone and his dog can legally create new, derivative, Mickey Mouse cartoons, because the underlying copyright has expired, the public is assumed to no longer associate the MICKEY MOUSE mark, to the extent it pertains to goods including creative works, only with such goods made by Disney. This is SHREDDED WHEAT, which I'll get to in a moment.

Also, note that trademark doesn't care about whether a work is a reproduction of something or not. It cares about the origin of a specific, tangible copy, not of the underlying work. If you start Mark-T Press, and print up copies of Romeo and Juliet, I am not allowed to start Kangarooski Press and print up copies that bear your mark. OTOH, I am perfectly entitled to print up copies of Romeo and Juliet under my own mark. In fact, so long as you're just reprinting the play (and not making such substantial changes as to amount to a new work, which is a bit more difficult than you'd think), I'm even entitled to make copies of your version, so long as I take care to not use your mark and to only use my own, thanks to Dastar, which eliminated reverse passing-off for works (and hopefully is the beginning of a trend of eliminating reverse passing-off altogether).

Be aware that the copyright status on the short has already expired in several countries that do not practice the copyright durations the US currently has in place, and the cartoon can be freely distributed or copied in said jurisdictions, while the trademark status has remained entirely unaffected.

I'm only familiar with US law, and that's all I've been discussing the entire time. I have no knowledge or interest in how other countries handle this, except as how it might provide us with good ideas or cautionary examples in our own legal reform efforts.

I am not directly familiar with the Shredded Wheat case you mentioned

It is Kellogg Co. v. National Biscuit Co., 305 U.S. 111 (1938).

The relevant language:

The plaintiff [Nabisco] has no exclusive right to the use of the term 'Shredded Wheat' as a trade name. For that is the generic term of the article, which describes it with a fair degree of accuracy; and is the term by which the biscuit in pillow-shaped form is generally known by the public. Since the term is generic, the original maker of the product acquired no exclusive right to use it. As [defendant] Kellogg Company had the right to make the article, it had, also, the right to use the term by which the public knows it. ...

Moreover, the name 'Shredded Wheat', as well as the product, the process and the machinery employed in making it, has been dedicated to the public. ... Since during the life of the patents 'Shredded Wheat' was the general designation of the patented product, there passed to the public upon the expiration of the patent, not only the right to make the article as it was made during the patent period, but also the right to apply thereto the name by which it had become known. ...

It is contended that the plaintiff has the exclusive right to the name 'Shredded Wheat', because those words acquired the 'secondary meaning' of shredded wheat made at Niagara Falls by the plaintiff's predecessor. There is no basis here for applying the doctrine of secondary meaning. The evidence shows only that due to the long period in which the plaintiff or its predecessor was the only manufacturer of the product, many people have come to associate the product, and as a consequence the name by which the product is generally known, with the plaintiff's factory at Niagara Falls. But to establish a trade name in the term 'shredded wheat' the plaintiff must show more than a subordinate meaning which applies to it. It must show that the primary significance of the term in the minds of the consuming public is not the product but the producer. This it has not done. The showing which it has made does not entitle it to the exclusive use of the term shredded wheat but merely entitles it to require that the defendant use reasonable care to inform the public of the source of its product.

the terminology accurately described the product in the first place

Are you suggesting that MICKEY MOUSE does not 'accurately describe' a product including the Mickey Mouse character?

As a counter-example, while Lego's last standing patent on Lego bricks expired in 1989, nobody else that makes so-called compatible building blocks is allowed to call their product Lego, nor are they allowed to even explicitly say they are compatible with Lego (even if they are) without first getting permission from Lego to do so (and they would be extremely unlikely to receive such permission, since they would be a direct competitor), because Lego still holds trademark status on the term in the context of a toy (and also as a company name).

As the last part of the quote from SHREDDED WHEAT discusses, there is a difference between a mark that is associated with a product, and a mark that is associated with the source of a product. If you sell ELEVATOR-brand vertical conveyance devices, you're doing okay. But if the public associates the ELEVATOR mark with the actual device itself, then you lose your trademark because it has become a generic term for any such device. This is genericide. It's happened with ELEVATOR, TRAMPOLINE, ESCALATOR, THERMOS, and YO-YO. It came very close to happening with SANKA but then people started using decaf as a generic term instead. XEROX, BAND-AID, VELCRO, KLEENEX, Q-TIP, and in fact, LEGO have been teetering on the precipice for years. But this is why you see their advertising very clearly refer to things like VELCRO-brand hook and loop fasteners, KLEENEX-brand tissues, and in the case of legos, LEGO bricks. Xerox has been running public awareness ads for decades in order to keep their mark alive. My favorite had the tagline 'You can't xerox a xerox on the xerox,' pointing out that they would greatly prefer it if people did not use the XEROX mark as a generic term for photocopying, photocopies, and photocopiers, respectively.

If the applicable patents are expired, then anyone can make LEGO compatible bricks. And thanks to the nominative use doctrine of trademark law, anyone who does make LEGO compatible bricks is allowed to say that they are compatible with LEGO bricks, so long as they don't misrepresent their bricks as originating from the Lego company itself.

But Lego NEVER refers to their product as LEGOs. That would be to invite the loss of the LEGO mark. They refer to their product as bricks. Go ahead and tell me that MICKEY MOUSE doesn't mean the Mickey Mouse character, in the minds of the relevant portion of the public.

Of course, if Disney had trademarked the title "Steamboat Willie", they would lose certainly lose trademark protection on that title once the work with that fell into public domain.

You can't trademark the title of a creative work for the same reason; it's a descriptive term for the work itself, without secondary meaning. When you see a trademark in a title, it's because it's part of a series of similarly named works. Like for Harry Potter books, the HARRY POTTER mark can only arise because all the books are named Harry Potter and the something something. If the titles were all totally distinct (e.g. "The Sorcerer's Stone," "The Chamber of Secrets," etc.) without an overarching series name, the titles would not be trademarkable.

Comment Re:The Firefox OS project needs to be terminated. (Score 1) 103

If the ONLY thing your product has to offer over the competition is your personal definition of "open" then YOU WILL LOSE, because nobody cares about your definition of "open" when your product is inferior in every.single.way. when compared to the other choices.

Apple has the walled garden which offers a unified user experience, Android has the app support and wide choice of devices your apps will run on, even MSFT has an advantage in the "bang for the buck" of their quite affordable offerings and the ability to integrate it into your Windows 10 desktop...what does FXOS have? It has Mozilla's definition of "open" which last I checked doesn't even jive with the GPL version of the same word...yep, not got a chance.

We have seen this time and time again, from "open" phones to "open" game consoles to "open" tablets and in every case? The results are the same, either death or usage numbers so low as to be below the margin for error. FXOS will peter out, the slow death of fading relevance and lack of support because of the simple fact that it has nothing to offer the consumer other than the Moz definition of "open".

Comment Re: Mickey Mouse copyirght extenstions... (Score 1) 177

If you create something, you have the natural, "god-given" right to exclude others from doing anything with it.

Wrong. You only have a natural right to control whether or not you create it at all.

someone else's free speech rights don't extend to seeing or copying it at all.

A third party certainly doesn't have a right to compel you to reveal your work to them. But if you do deliberately or inadvertently reveal it, they do have a natural free speech right to copy it and to distribute those copies as they see fit.

Comment Re:Mickey Mouse copyirght extenstions... (Score 1) 177

Not quite. It has always been a balancing act

All you've identified there is a gap between what copyright policy requires and what we actually have implemented. I'd be the last person to say that our copyright laws, as enacted, have lived up to our proper policy goals. But that doesn't change what the correct policy is.

Copyright doesn't exist absent affirmative action by the government, and it is wholly utilitarian in nature. This means that there is no policy of balancing interests. Rather, it is a question of how it can best serve the public interest; if giving something to authors may accomplish that, then we should do it to an appropriate extent, and if not, we shouldn't do it.

It's little different than the farmer who wants to haul his carrot harvest to market in a wagon pulled by a mule. He might have to feed the mule some of the carrots to get it to pull the wagon, but there's no balancing act between the farmer and the mule. (Indeed, as soon as it's more cost-effective for the farmer to just get a gas-powered truck, the mule gets sent to the glue factory)

copyright has been deliberately adjusted to make sure that it's society that benefits from the release of works into the public domain and not a second degree economic interest.

That's not true. You're arguing in favor of monopolies controlling commodity goods, which is an odd stance to take. Society benefits tremendously from works being in the public domain, and available for the economic exploitation of any and every party that cares to give it a go. So long as anyone is free to make copies of Shakespeare, it doesn't hurt society if some publishers charge for copies of it. Given that competition is possible for copies of the same public domain work, all that will happen if one publisher tries to charge too much is that someone else will step in and sell it for less. This all works to bring the price of copies down, which in turn increases the public's access to the work, which is necessary for the work to be of use.

after the discussions about estates providing for heirs began to get serious in the 1830s and later, to make sure that families wouldn't be unduly burdened by the premature death of their income earner.

The widows and orphans argument has always been unmitigated bullshit. Works usually have zero copyright-related economic value; of the few that do have such value, they usually burn through the vast majority of it within a short time after the first publication in a given medium. Only the tiniest fraction of works have long-lasting copyright related economic value.

Suggesting that the survivors of a deceased author need longer terms in order to live off the value of a copyright requires that it be a copyright of this sort. Given the rarity of such works, it's as stupid a suggestion as saying that you might as well leave them a shoebox full of lottery tickets.

If you actually care about providing for your family, you need to take out a life insurance policy, and you need to save and invest your money wisely in a diverse portfolio. And just to be safe, you'd better vote for politicians who will enact government programs to provide actual, useful assistance to poor people.

The reality behind the widows and orphans argument is that a handful of authors and publishers who already won the lottery, as it were, by holding the copyrights on works with long-lasting copyright related economic value, wanted to preserve their gravy train. It's as if the winner of a $100 million dollar jackpot used some of that money to successfully lobby for a retroactive increase to a $200 million dollar jackpot.

Fundamentally, the idea of a copyright term that exceeds the commercial relevance of the work is to discourage people from being able to step in due to expiration and start profiting from the works of others, in furtherance of the incentive to produce new works of cultural enrichment, by making it harder for moochers to swoop in. We've gone too far because of a small number of intensely valuable outliers, but the answer is not extremism in the other direction, either.

I'm not arguing in favor of extremism in any direction. I don't think that copyrights should be short, I think that they should be no longer than absolutely necessary. An overly-long copyright is harmful to the public because it is waste. An overly-short copyright is harmful to the public because it doesn't incentivize authors as much as is appropriate. What we need are copyright terms (and scope) that hit the sweet spot where we get the most efficiency: the most works created and published yet for the least restrictions on the public.

But this also means that your disrespect for 'moochers' is totally inappropriate. Ideally we could grant copyright terms (we'll set aside scope for now) on a case-by-case basis. If the minimum copyright incentive that author Smith needs to write and publish his book is 3 years, then we grant him 3 years. If the minimum copyright incentive that filmmaker Jones needs to film and distribute his movie is 10 years, then we grant him 10 years. If the minimum copyright incentive that painter Brown needs to paint and sell copies of his painting is 0 years, we don't grant him a copyright at all. Does this allow for third parties to compete against Smith in 3 years, Jones in 10 years, and Brown from day one? Sure. But who cares? Granting one day's worth of a longer term to any of them is pointless, because they've already got the minimum amount they needed to do what we want them to do: create and publish works. It's as wasteful to grant them more as it would be to offer a construction project to the lowest bidder, yet to then double the payment to the winner just for the hell of it.

In practice, we can't fine tune copyright grants that well; we'd need to staff the Copyright Office with a legion of psychics. But we can still try to make it work efficiently. For example, requiring registration helps us weed out authors like Brown who have so little reason to care about copyright that they wouldn't bother to register. Offering short terms and renewals helps us weed out authors like Smith, who only care about copyright for a little while, and then stop because it's no longer valuable enough to them to merit filing the renewal. (We know that few works were ever renewed historically, so that's a real thing) And for authors like Jones, longer maximum term lengths -- up to a point -- could still be available. They just wouldn't be automatic, so that we don't inadvertently grant such long terms to Smith and Brown, who don't need them.

And as for authors like Black, who create a work but insist on a copyright that lasts forever, or at least for an immensely long time, even if that really is the necessary term in order to incentivize the creation and publication of the work, we can say fuck it; Black wants more than the work is worth to the public. It might be nice to have that work created and published, but a sane copyright system is more valuable than that particular work, so we'll just all have to live without, and Black can get a job doing something else.

At no point however, is the idea that we should discourage third parties from being able to compete freely ever considered, because it's dumb, basically. The copyright monopoly should not last any longer than it needs to to get works created and published. If this allows for third parties to step in while a work is commercially viable (and given that people still reprint works from antiquity, that can be a very long length of time indeed!) then so be it. There's nothing at all wrong with it. In fact, it's great, because it drives down prices and increases access to works.

Comment Re: Why not just forgo paid content? (Score 1) 103

If you don't want a crippled DRM stick? Then accept you are gonna need an HTPC. You can get one of the Chinese ARM boxes but I find they are rather limited on the amount of software you can run on 'em, a better choice IMHO would be to get one of the AMD Socket AM1 chips which is what I've been using at the shop. Crazy low power (average around 8w-12w according to kill-a-watt), GPU powerful enough to do 1080P with no sweat or lagging, and if you don't want to spend $$$ on an OS you can slap on OpenELEC and have a 10 foot UI OOTB.

But if all you want is the cheap stick? You are gonna have to accept they are nothing but DRM delivery medium, your only real choices are the cheapo Chinese ARM nettops (which again severely limited on apps, no OS updates make them vulnerable to hack, limited playback and media options) or go with a full blown HTPC. Considering that HDMI makes everything plug and play, the AM1 makes an APU powerful enough and ULV while being cheap easy to come by, and the sheer amount of options an HTPC gives you from serving media to your entire house by slapping a multi TB drive and having your entire media library always accessible to streaming and casual gaming makes the HTPC a no brainer IMHO. I know a lot of my HTPC customers start with the sticks then quickly get tired of the limitations and want to "trade up" to something with more options.

Try one, I bet you'll find it does all you want it to do.

Comment Re:Mickey Mouse copyirght extenstions... (Score 1) 177

I don't understand your comment. I'm saying that whatever Disney's trademark rights in the Mickey Mouse character are, once the first work in which the character appears enters the public domain, that opens the door for third parties -- that is, parties other than Disney -- to use the character, at least in some ways, and it limits the scope of Disney's trademark.

How the hell did you get from that to shilling in favor of Disney? I think perhaps you should read posts more carefully before replying.

Comment Re:Why build one (Score 1) 451

A ferry would be orders of magnitude cheaper and achieve the same.

Agreed. It could also avoid the ice and bad weather by using a more southern route, like directly from Shanghai to Long Beach.

why would I want to sit on that when I can drive it? don't you know that on-demand is all the rage?

Comment Re:Mickey Mouse copyirght extenstions... (Score 1) 177

If the copyright on "Steamboat Willie" expired, anyone could copy the work or create derivative works from it featuring a similar character, but they could not call the character in derivative works Mickey Mouse, nor use Mickey Mouse's image in such works.

No, when the Steamboat Willy copyright expires, there is no longer a copyright which prohibits people from making or distributing additional copies of the work, from publicly performing or displaying the work, or from preparing new derivative works based on it (such as a new Mickey Mouse short in which he commands a homemade submarine powered by barnyard animals or something). Of course, attributes of the Mickey Mouse character which originated in later, still copyrighted material would not be available; thus you're using the original 1928 black and white Mickey, or forking a new version of the character off from there. Can't give him a dog named Pluto, nor even the distinctive Mickey Mouse voice, as those both appeared in later films.

They would, however, be able to still freely copy the original work even though it featured said character that is still under trademark because the copy of the work is not considered a new work, it is considered a *COPY*

I don't know why that would matter from a trademark perspective. Trademark is concerned with goods bearing a mark all originating from the same source, so as to protect consumer expectations regarding consistent levels of quality. Even the goods of two different sellers are indistinguishable, that alone doesn't mean that one is free to use the trademark of the other.

The trademark issue here is whether the MICKEY MOUSE trademark even survives, at least with regard to goods such as motion pictures. This is because the MICKEY MOUSE trademark is inescapably connected to the Mickey Mouse character, and now the character is free for all to use, meaning that his presence in a work no longer indicates that it comes from a single source. That -- the freedom to use the character, and the loss of the single source expectation of consumers -- is what kills the trademark. And we know that the copyright lapsing will control what happens to the trademark based on precedents like Dastar (where the Supreme Court said that trademark is not allowed to operate like a perpetual form of copyright), and SHREDDED WHEAT (where the Supreme Court said that where a patent expires, anyone is free to use the invention and to use the previously trademarked, descriptive name of the invention).

the work uses the trademark with permission

First, there would largely no longer be a trademark. Second, that would be clear naked licensing, which would likely invalidate the mark anyway.

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