An anonymous reader writes: US Court of Appeals officially recognizes that under the current regime, characters like Betty Boopy "would essentially never enter the public domain".
"Apparently the Fleischer estate has lost a court battle for the rights to Betty Boop, a character created by Grim Natwick at Max Fleischer’s studio in 1930."
"The Fleischer Studio tried to sue Avela Inc. over its licensing of public domain Betty Boop poster images (for handbags and T-shirts). The 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (based in San Francisco) ruled against the Fleischers, saying in their decision, “If we ruled that AVELA’s depictions of Betty Boop infringed Fleischer’s trademarks, the Betty Boop character would essentially never enter the public domain.”"
"So where does that leave Ms. Boop? No longer represented by the heirs of Max Fleischer and King Features Syndicate? Does this make Harvey Comics – or by extention, its current owner Classic Media – the owner of the property? Or is the character now in public domain."