As we’ve previously reported, the three 1928 Mickey Mouse cartoons were due to enter the public domain much earlier (on January 1, 1999), but due to the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act passed in 1998, that date was pushed back 25 years. It’s worth noting that this public domain admission doesn’t cover later versions of Mickey, and using the Mickey Mouse name commercially still has trademark implications. Expect those issues to be tested thoroughly over time now that the American public “owns” an early version of Mickey.

Source: Early Mickey Mouse is now in the public domain and AI is already on the case

This is huge for copyright.