Disney Annoys Fans With #MayThe4th Tweet

Company claimed people using the hashtag were agreeing to its terms
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 28, 2020 7:05 PM CDT
Disney Annoys Fans With #MayThe4th Tweet
Adam Driver is seen as Kylo Ren with his Lightsaber in a scene from "Star Wars: The Force Awakens."   (Film Frame/Disney/Copyright Lucasfilm 2015 via AP, File)

Disney has owned the Star Wars franchise since 2012, and fans are now accusing it of trying to take ownership of Star Wars Day as well. The company faced a backlash after a Monday tweet in which it asked fans to share their favorite Star Wars memory using the #MayThe4th hashtag, and added that anybody sharing the message using the hashtag was agreeing "to our use of the message and your account name in all media and our terms of use here," the BBC reports. Copyright lawyers called the move dubious and users quickly pushed back. "By having my tweet in your thread you hereby waive all your copyright to the public domain," joked one.

Copyright experts said it was "risky and presumptuous" for Disney to assume that people using the hashtag would have seen its tweet—and, in any case, Twitter policy states that users own the content they post. Disney later backtracked and added a disclaimer: "The above legal language applies ONLY to replies to this tweet using #MayThe4th and mentioning @DisneyPlus. These replies may appear in something special on May the 4th!" May the 4th—as in "May the Fourth be with you"—has long been known as Star Wars Day, but Disney has stepped up celebrations since buying the franchise and—in normal years—holds major events at its theme parks on the day, Newsweek reports. (Read more Star Wars stories.)

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