FAEBL (Free All Eternally Beloved Lore) anticipates the release of the world’s most recognizable rodent from the control of the Walt Disney Company. This will have been, barring any more last-minute extensions, a very long time coming. Ever since Mickey first appeared as a steamboat pilot a year before the Great Depression, the length of creative copyright has been extended again and again.

Once upon a time, U.S. copyright laws lasted only 14 years. But through some bullshit legislative wizardry, it was stretched to 95 years. 

Year after year, a coalition of media companies uses its endless financial leverage to lobby Congress, preventing society’s beloved stories from entering the public domain. In the spotlight, of course, we have Disney - the puppet master behind the ironically named "Mickey Mouse Protection Act" of 1998. That’s why some of our favorite characters have been imprisoned for so long.

Luckily at the start of each year on January 1st, a new crop of works (books, music, paintings, poems, films, and photographs) enter the public domain, freeing them for use and adaptation.

Disney’s well-funded legal division will not relinquish control easily—especially when other complementary protections like trademarks may yet provide the means to keep the Mouse in the House. But over time, protectionism is a losing game, especially as Mickey and others have long lived within the public imagination, if not yet the public domain. 

For a generation of American children, Disney theme parks serve as the ultimate destination, as “I’m going to Disneyland” became synonymous with winning the Super Bowl or the NBA Finals. God bless American Marketing! 

These same theme parks crystallized the export of American mass culture through subsidiaries in Paris, Tokyo, Hong Kong, and Shanghai, becoming objects of scorn, derision, and fascination all at once. Cultural critic Jean Baudrillard referred to Disneyland as “a perfect model of all the entangled orders of simulation,” a fantasy that masks the unreality of everyday life lived through proliferating layers of electronic signals. 

“Free The Mouse'' sits as the premise of this FAEBL, a collective effort that aims for a striking reversal of this overpowering magnetic field. We aim to reimagine an algorithmic character, the pinnacle of creative automation, into the aesthetic anti-matter aimed back at the corporation that first weaponized control over intellectual property. 

Which is to say, what once was theirs will become all of ours.

So, what's our north star? We're not just shaking these characters free from their age-old narratives, we're giving them a shot at a second life in a world that's a bit more adult, a tad more real - starting with our 18+ animated series. We see a massive opportunity in the emerging world of the public domain, molding the endless pipeline of freed and soon-to-be free characters into new shapes, and experimenting with fresh narratives.

FAEBL isn't just a brand; it's a revolutionary movement - we're not just proving a point here, we're redefining what fable means for the modern age, with a generous dash of humor, a sprinkle of irreverence, and a heaping serving of audacious creativity.

Free The Mouse.