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Is Felix The Cat Public Domain

Is Felix the Cat Public Domain? (It's Complicated!)



04 April 20242 min read

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Is Felix the Cat Public Domain? (It's Complicated!)

Step right up and take a walk through film history as we unravel the story of Felix the Cat, a character whose nine lives have spanned over a century.

Once a silent film sensation, Felix has moved his way into the realm of the public domain, becoming a symbol of the ebb and flow of copyright laws.

Who or what is Felix the Cat?

Meet Felix the Cat, the whiskered wizard of the silent film era.

Created in 1919, this plucky feline made his mark in Paramount Pictures' "Feline Follies."

His creators, Pat Sullivan and Otto Messmer, unleashed a character brimming with charisma and mischief that continues to captivate audiences today.

You bet!

Felix is to cartoons what peanut butter is to jelly - an absolute classic.

The Felix cartoons made their first appearance when silent films were all the rage, and since then, he's been nothing short of a global sensation.

Consider him the silent film superstar, preceding even Mickey Mouse in fame.

Have you seen "Felix The Cat Official"? Our furry friend has a YouTube channel!

So, is Felix the Cat actually in the public domain?

The plot thickens here.

While specific early works of Felix the Cat, particularly those before 1923, have entered the public domain, the story doesn't end there.

These public domain works include classics like "Felix Laughs it Off" (1926) and "Felix Trumps the Ace" (1926), which became free for public use in 2023.

However, the Felix character as a whole, especially newer content, and certain trademarks, still enjoy copyright protection.

Are you an artist or creative? Protect your own copyright at Copyrightable by Trademarkia. 

Additional resources

We've been exploring different characters and stories that may have leaped into the public domain - check it out:


Did Disney buy Felix the Cat?

No, Felix the cat is not owned by DisneyDreamWorks Animation currently holds the rights, a part of NBCUniversal, which is a separate entity from Disney​.

Why do characters enter the public domain?

Characters enter the public domain when their copyright protections expire. This transition allows them to be freely used by the public, inspiring new creative works and interpretations without the need for copyright permissions.

Who owns the rights to Felix the Cat?

As of 2014, DreamWorks Animation, now part of NBCUniversal, owns the rights to Felix the Cat. This includes the rights to newer iterations and certain trademarks of Felix​.

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