UPDATE: Disney has responded to Deadmau5’s complaint. “Disney vigorously protects its trademark rights, and we oppose Mr. Zimmerman’s attempt to register a logo that is nearly identical to our trademarks for his commercial exploitation,” a Disney spokesperson tells Rolling Stone. “Our opposition is not about the use of the Deadmau5 costume. The music was appropriately licensed, and there is no merit to his statement.”
Deadmau5 is taking Disney’s trademark infringement suit seriously, recently firing back at the company for allegedly using one of his songs in a cartoon without permission. “OK, mouse, I never gave Disney a license to use my track,” he wrote on Twitter. “So we emailed you a [cease and desist].” He linked to a video on Disney’s website titled “Ghosts ‘n’ Stuff Re-Micks,” a clip that bears the caption, “Enjoy a spooky cartoon Re-Micks to the tune of Deadmau5’s ‘Ghosts ‘n’ Stuff,'” a track off the EDM artist’s 2009 LP For Lack of a Better Name.
“So now, Disney is illegally using my work, and confusing people that I’d actualyly [sic] work with these twats,” he tweeted. He also tweeted out images of the legal paperwork showing that he had indeed prepared a formal cease-and-desist request. “Have a magical fucking day,” he wrote. And later, “Can I has trademark now? Thnks [sic].”
“Accordingly, not only is Disney violating the rights of Zimmerman [Deadmau5’s real last name], but it is also infringing upon the rights of EMI Music Publishing Limited, Virgin Records Limited and Ultra Records, LLC,” the complaint says. “Disney prominently features the Deadmau5 Mark next to the Infringing Video, implying a non-existent endorsement by Zimmerman.”
A representative for Disney was not immediately available for comment.
The producer also speculated that if Disney were not such a “corperation [sic]” that they could have “done great things together.” He also alleged that the reason Disney had targeted him was because of a compilation of Disney-themed remixes that came out in April 2014 called Dconstructed, an album to which he did not contribute. “They wanna cash in on EDM, too,” he wrote. “Some interesting names on there lol….” (Producers who contributed to the compilation include Avicii, Armin Van Buuren, U.N.K.L.E., Kaskade and others.)
Earlier this week, Deadmau5 reported that Disney had filed a lawsuit opposing a trademark for his own “mau5head” logo in the United States, with the company alleging that it looked too similar to its own logo. “Lawyer up, Mickey,” he tweeted at the time.
“Our client will not be bullied by Disney and is prepared to fight to protect his rights to his property,” Deadmau5’s lawyer said in a statement to Rolling Stone.