Disney’s ‘Steamboat Willie’ YouTube Copyright Claim Is Back, This Time For Audio

Disney has once again demonetized a third-party Steamboat Willie video, after previously remonetizing it and dropping its copyright claim against it. This time taking issue with the video’s audio.

On Thursday, Mashable reported that Disney struck voice actor and YouTuber Brock Baker with a copyright claim quickly after he posted a Steamboat Willie video, despite the cartoon entering the public domain at the beginning of the year. Due to the copyright claim, Baker couldn’t make money off the video, which was also banned from third-party embeds and altogether in some countries.

Twenty-four hours later, Disney retracted its copyright claim and Baker’s video was remonetized. Now Baker has been hit with a different copyright claim, this time concerning the video’s audio.

YouTube’s latest copyright claim to Brock Baker. Credit: Brock Baker

The video titled “Steamboat Willie (Brock’s Dub)” features the entirety of the 1928 Disney animated short Steamboat Willie. Baker dubbed the nearly 8-minute cartoon with his own voiceover.

When Disney remonetized Baker’s video, it appeared to acknowledge that Steamboat Willie is public domain and available for a wide variety of creative uses of the film — including for-profit — but now that it’s hit “Steamboat Willie (Brock’s Dub)” with another copyright claim we’re back at square one.

Hopefully, Disney will quickly retract the copyright claim as they did before.