Deadmau5 and Disney Bare Their Copyright Claws


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It's Mouse vs mau5: Mickey is in a legal battle with the deejay who dares wear big ears. The copyright dispute between Joel Zimmerman, known more commonly by his stage name, began when he filed for a registered trademark in the United States on his logo, the mau5head, which he wears while performing. He has already successfully registered the logo in 30 other countries.

Here are the competing mouse heads:

Disney believes the mau5head is too close to their own Mickey Mouse, even though they have never raised a stink before. Dina LaPolt, Zimmerman's attorney, said Disney filed a 171 page opposition to the trademark due to the likeness. Since that time, Zimmerman has been raising a stink of his own against Disney. He had this to say:

The next day, Zimmerman filed a claim of his own against Disney. He sent Disney a cease and desist letter after the Mouse put up a video, both on their site and YouTube, using his song "Ghosts 'n' Stuff:"

undefined on Disney Video

As it turns out, the company accusing Zimmerman of infringing on a trademark was doing so while infringing on Zimmerman's ownership of "Ghosts 'n' Stuff," which he licensed exclusively to EMI, Virgin Records and Ultra Records. Disney does not appear to have any deals set up with those recording companies to use the song.

He then took it to the next level by making the cease and desist public on his Twitter account (with some choice language):

As of publishing time, Disney had not removed the infringing video. They have not issued a public comment on the matter.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.