Tuesday, February 20, 2007
Disney Wants the Honey Jar Too
Disney (although not the plaintiff) lost a court case to have the rights to the Winnie the Pooh characters returned to the family of AA Milne and illustrator E.H Shepard. Disney and the relatives were seeking to overturn an earlier case that said that Clair Milne could not void an agreement that renewed the license to Stephan Slesinger in 1983. Slesinger obtained the original rights in 1930 and in 1961 passed those rights to Disney in exchange for royalties. The Slesinger family have also been fighting Disney for more than 10 years for unpaid royalties which they estimate could exceed a $1.0billion. According to Reuters, Pooh generated over $6.0billion in retail sales in 2005 alone.