Popeye copyright goes free for European Union come January 1

December 30th, 2008 - 12:15 pm ICT by ANI  

London, December 30 (ANI): Iconic sailor Popeye will fall into public domain in Britain from January 1, when Elzie Segars copyright on the character expires.
The late Illinois creator of Popeye, his love interest Olive Oyl, and nemesis Bluto died in 1938.
His copyright on the character will be over with the New Years beginning, as a European Union law restricts the rights of authors to 70 years after their death.
The Popeye industry stretches from books, toys and action figures to computer games, a fast-food chain and the inevitable canned spinach. The character generates about 1.5billion pounds in annual sales.
The expiration of the copyright means that any member of the public would be free to print and sell Popeye posters, T-shirts and even make new comic strips from Thursday.
However, the character will still remain protected in the U.S. until 2024, as the countrys law protects a work for 95 years after its initial copyright.
King Features, a subsidiary of the U.S. entertainment giant Hearst Corporation, owns the Popeye trademark there. (ANI)

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