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Old 17 January 2014, 07:34 PM
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snopes snopes is offline
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Germany 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?
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Old 17 January 2014, 07:38 PM
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That might be the case if the appearance of Neuschwanstein Castle were protected by trademark, but I don't think it is.
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Old 17 January 2014, 07:46 PM
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GenYus234 GenYus234 is offline
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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.
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Old 17 January 2014, 08:15 PM
jimmy101_again jimmy101_again is offline
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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. (
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Old 20 January 2014, 04:58 AM
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Don Enrico Don Enrico is offline
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Location: Hamburg, Germany
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"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.
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Old 21 January 2014, 12:41 AM
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RealityChuck RealityChuck is offline
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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.
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Old 17 January 2014, 07:44 PM
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Psihala Psihala is offline
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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.

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