Disney copyright two-edged sword

An article in Fortune: The Curse of Pooh, covers the ongoing legal battle between Disney and the descendants of A. A. Milne’s American distributor over the rights to Winnie the Pooh merchandising royalties. It’s a fairly reasonable summary, but not all that interesting, apart from one little bit:

The best indication is the federal lawsuit the company [Disney] filed in November seeking to terminate Stephen Slesinger Inc.’s rights under U.S. copyright law in 2004.

What? Did I read that right? They’re claiming that Slesinger’s rights time out in 2004 because of copyright law? This is the same Disney that violently opposes copyright law timeouts because Mickey Mouse is about to undergo the same fate? Did I just drop into the Twilight Zone or something?

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