The Daily Telegraph reports on the latest twist to the battle over the rights to Winnie the Pooh. The author, AA Milne transferred the rights to Stephen Slesinger in 1929. His widow licensed the use of Winnie the Pooh to Disney but she now claims that she is owed royalties on DVDs, videos and software that were not covered by the original licensing agreement. However, Disney claims that it does not have to pay as it has made a deal with Clare Milne, the grand-daughter of AA Milne, who argues that she is entitled to reclaim the rights from the Slesinger family following the passage of the Sony Bono Copyright Act. Previously the US judge had rejected Clare Milne’s claim but now she has said that "substantial ground for a difference of opinion" and Milne has been granted the right to appeal.

The IPKat notes that this case is possible because the US Copyright Act contains a provision allowing authors and their heirs and successors in title to reclaim copyright that they have licensed to others after a certain period of time. The IPKat would be very interested hear about any jurisdictions that have similar provisions in their copyright laws.

The section of the US Copyright Act allowing for copyright licences to be terminated here
The Sony Bono Act here
AA Milne here
Christopher Robin here but not here
More about Winnie the Pooh than you wanted to know here, here and here
Play Pooh Sticks here or here
Pathology in the Hundred Acre Wood here

WHY A BEAR LICENCE ISN'T ALWAYS A GOOD IDEA <strong>WHY A BEAR LICENCE ISN'T ALWAYS A GOOD IDEA</strong> Reviewed by Unknown on Sunday, November 02, 2003 Rating: 5

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