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Monday, 24 November 2003


The Sunday Telegraph reports that Disney has pulled out of the new live-action Peter Pan film just five weeks before its release date. The decision is the result of a row between the studio and Great Ormond Street Hospital in London, which inherited the copyright in Peter Pan under the will of JM Barrie. Disney has argued that it should not have to pay any royalties to the hospital on the film-related merchandise that it sells since it has been making regular payments to secure the animated rights to the story and has made voluntary payments from its income from merchandise associated with its animated “Peter Pan” film. Disney however feels that its partners in making the film, Sony and Revolution Studios, should have to pay over a proportion of their merchandising profits.

The IPKat is somewhat perturbed. While Great Ormond Street is undoubtedly the copyright holder in Peter Pan, the IPKat does not see why this should automatically entitle it to merchandising rights in all things Peter Pan, unless we’re going to recognise copyright in names. Disney plans to merchandise books, board games, soft toys and computer games, but only books really involve making use of Great Ormond Street’s copyright material. The IPKat says that this is a trade mark or passing off issue, rather than a copyright issue.

Read the book here
Sing like Peter Pan here
Travel like Peter Pan here
Act like Peter Pan here

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