In what is likely the final bars of the opera that has been the Slesinger’s families legal battle against the Walt Disney Company over the rights to the Winnie The Pooh characters, the courts have decided that Disney owns the rights, but still owes royalties to the family. Disney now owns the rights to the trademark and copyright for the entire 100-acre woods gang.
This series of lawsuits has been under way since 1991 when the Slesinger’s sued Disney for breach of contract. That suit was eventually tossed due to misconduct on the plaintiff’s part.
With the Pooh franchises either first or second in terms of value for Disney each year, the Slesinger’s should be pretty happy that this is all behind them and Disney is free to continue to develop the characters which means more royalties for them. That’s just what Disney has in mind with a brand new hand-drawn animated Winnie The Pooh feature currently in production at the studios.
(via the LA Times)