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-   -   Disney pays Germany for its logo (http://message.snopes.com/showthread.php?t=88386)

snopes 17 January 2014 07:34 PM

Disney pays Germany for its logo
 
Comment: There is a castle in Bavaria, Germany called 'Neuschwanstein'
that is pretty amazing looking. In the tourist information it says that
it was the inspiration for Cinderella's castle in the famous Disney movie,
and therefore the basis for the Disney logo.

This is believable due to the resemblance, but I've heard a couple of
places now that Disney even has to pay royalties yearly to the government
of Germany for the use of this image. This sounds a bit far fetched, but
in my short search I found a couple of tourist websites that repeat this
claim (however without citation).

Does Disney really pay Germany for the use of this castle as their logo?

snopes 17 January 2014 07:38 PM

That might be the case if the appearance of Neuschwanstein Castle were protected by trademark, but I don't think it is.

Psihala 17 January 2014 07:44 PM

Disney isn't obligated to pay royalties to Germany for anything that only served as an inspirational source. Cinderella castle isn't a carbon copy of Neuschwanstein.

~Psihala

GenYus234 17 January 2014 07:46 PM

It's a bit old for this to be likely, but if the architect had lived long enough after it that the copyright (if such a thing exists for buildings) on the design was still valid, Disney might have to pay the heirs or the country if the rights had reverted to the country for some reason.

jimmy101_again 17 January 2014 08:15 PM

Like Snopes said, I think the issue would be Trademark and not Copyright. Trademarks persist as long as the image is being used for commercial purposes. (And gov't or not-for-profit qualify as "commercial" in this context.) Many US Gov't agencies have Trademarks on various things. For example, ToxCast™ is Trademarked by the US EPA. (http://www.epa.gov/ncct/toxcast/)

Don Enrico 20 January 2014 04:58 AM

"Neuschwanstein" and "Schloss Neuschwanstein", sometimes together with a picture or siluette of the castle, are protected under German trade mark law for a variety of goods and services, from milk products to marketing (List). None of these trademarks looks as if it would be violated by Disney using it's logo.

ETA: And none of the trademarks is registered to the Federal Republic of Germany, although some belong to the state of Bavaria.

RealityChuck 21 January 2014 12:41 AM

The two castles don't look alike. Cinderella's has far more turrets and towers. In addition, the German castle's turrets are cylinders; Cinderella's are very slightly conical so that it looks taller and further away than it really is.

Wikipedia indicates the design was based upon several castles.

ganzfeld 21 January 2014 03:29 AM

What links Neuschwanstein to the logo is that it was just as kitschy retro when it was built as Disneyland's a century later.

Onyx_TKD 21 January 2014 05:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RealityChuck (Post 1796447)
The two castles don't look alike. Cinderella's has far more turrets and towers. In addition, the German castle's turrets are cylinders; Cinderella's are very slightly conical so that it looks taller and further away than it really is.

Wikipedia indicates the design was based upon several castles.

What I've heard before was that Disneyland's Sleeping Beauty castle, not Disney World's Cinderella castle, was the one based on Neuschwanstein. IMO, the shape of the Sleeping Beauty castle (photo here) does bear a strong resemblance to the upper part of Neuschwanstein (photo here).

Quote:

Originally Posted by ganzfeld (Post 1796474)
What links Neuschwanstein to the logo is that it was just as kitschy retro when it was built as Disneyland's a century later.

That, too. ;) When my family took the tour of Neuschwanstein, we joked that King Ludwig must have been reincarnated as Walt Disney. Not only did finally got to finish one of his beloved castles, but he figured out how to make a profit on them instead of going into debt!

Jusenkyo no Pikachu 16 January 2019 08:30 AM

https://www.news.com.au/finance/busi...bdf4ed2d0667a5

If you want to say Disney committed a possible trademark violation, pick one that actually makes a bit of sense. Like the similarity in the story linked.

Psihala 16 January 2019 10:23 AM

The thread was started in 2014. The news article in your link was posted in 2017. At the time, how exactly was there a choice and what does this new story have to do with the specific question in the OP?

The thread isn't about possible Disney copyright or trademark violations, but whether Disney could be obligated to pay Germany specifically for the look of the castle.

~Psihala
(*But, to humor you, until the ABCTV logo came up in the story, the Movies Anywhere logo looked like a video game controller to me.)


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