Joel Zimmerman aka Deadmau5 is getting hit with legal action courtesy of the Walt Disney Company over use of his ‘mouse’ logo. At issue are the similarities of Deadmau5’s ear headgear to the man…or rather The Mouse, that built the Disney empire, good ‘ol Mikey himself.
So the question you’re probably asking is why is Disney suing now? Why after all these years is Disney finally going after EDM’s Molly’d Mouse? DeadMau5 has been a mainstay on US and international charts for almost ten years. As a testament to the fact, Deadmou5’s latest release While (1<2) peaked at #9 on the Billboard 200 just this year.
Listen to “Seeya” from While (1<2)
Mickey Mouse, for his part, has been famous probably since Deadmau5’s grandparents were kids. Mickey made his debut in 1928’s “Steamboat Willie” – so surely, the folks at Disney tasked with keeping an eye Mickey these last eighty years were aware of Deadmau5, right?
The short answer to the question may be simple: Money.
EDM has become a cash cow and Deadmau5 is reported to have earned more than $20M in 2013. So much for the struggling artist versus the corporate giant – both are doing just fine.
Zimmerman owns the trademark to the Deadmau5 logo in 30 countries but didn’t get on Disney’s radar until he tried to file for the trademark in the United States. So it sounds like this case is really about whether Zimmerman can apply for the trademark in the United States, birth place of the Disney icon (that and money).
Only time will tell if these two will work out their differences and play nice like good Musketeers. In the meantime, Deadmau5, has been lighting up Disney on Twitter in what is becoming a very public battle.
In a recent Tweet, Deadmau5 disses Disney for using one of his tracks without permission.
— deadmau5 (@deadmau5) September 4, 2014
Disney Video Featuring Deadmau5