Legal Ramifications of Character Interaction

Apparently Disney lawyers suddenly realized that whenever guests interact with characters, they are taking part in a performance of sorts. For that reason, the following text now appears on signs near key character-greeting locations:

“By interacting with a Disney character, you fully and irrevocably authorize Disney Enterprises, Inc. and any of its affiliated entities (collectively, “Disney”) to publish or use your performance in whole or in part in any manner, to distribute the performance in any medium and through any media formats, technologies, and channels now known or hereafter devised. Further, you represent and warrant that your own or have the necessary rights, without the need for any permission from, or payment to, any other person or entity to use, and to authorize Disney to use, the content of your performance. You acknowledge that you will not be provided with any payment or other consideration for any use of your performance including the viewing of your performance by any guests present at the time of the performance, and you acknowledge that you have no expectation to be compensated or provided any credit for any use of your performance.”

And on the flip side of this coin, Disney is now keeping a watchful eye out for those who use Disney intellectual property during “performances” — including those without interaction with Disney characters — within the park. Just yesterday, a guests complained that he was presented with a “cease and desist” order for singing the Tiki Room song on an Adventureland walkway without legal permission.

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