Disney lawyers enstupidize ride with dumb legal disclaimer

Louis sez, "The Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor in Walt Disney World lets you text in jokes to be used in the ride, a comedy club where CGI characters voiced and choreographed by castmembers backstage do standup and interact with the audience. Disney's lawyers shoehorned this lengthy, decidedly Un-Magic disclaimer into all the signage in the ride, letting you know that Mike Wyzowski, Monsters Inc and, now, your jokes are owned by Disney. Now go have fun, kids!" Link (Thanks, Louis!)


  1. How’s this going to work anyway? The most likely joke-submitters will be kids under 18, and they can’t sign a binding contract.

  2. this seems to only say that you can’t sue them for using a joke that you sent them to use. Am I missing something?

  3. It does fall short of saying that the contributor has no further right to use the joke themself, but it wouldn’t be too big a leap for them to start asserting that. I suppose modern intellectual property law is in such a state that corporations adopt a “scorched earth” policy — “We can only protect ourselves from legal action by seizing sole, unquestioned rights to all material.”

  4. Also, how many of the passably funny jokes are actually original to the submitter? Probably none, or close enough to it.

  5. …Here’s how you throw the Mouse House a major monkey wrench: If they own your jokes after you participate, then don’t use original jokes. Use ones that came from sources that love to sue over misuse. Best example off the top of my head would be the Midget with a Mouth, Harlan Ellison. Just use some of the snotty gabbling he’s quiffed over the past years in joke form, and then let him come trying to sue Disney!

  6. #6: and then disney references the phone number that the joke was texted in from, cites the second part of that sign, and directs mr ellison to your front door.

    if he doesn’t sue you at the very least he’ll write a scathing editorial about it.

  7. dn’t s nythng wrng wth ths trms.

    Thy bsclly sy, “Y gv s prmssn t s yr jk. f yr jk s th prprty f Snfld r whtvr, t’s yr flt fr gvng t t s nt r flt fr sng t.”

    hv n d whr y’ll r gttng th “wnd by Dsny” bt frm. dn’t s tht nywhr n th sgn. s thr 3rd sctn nt dsplyd?

  8. The point is that Disney is stealing the kid’s rights (many of which they don’t know they have) by taking advantage of their innocence. Sure any reader of this site would automatically assume that Disney would claim full rights, but expecting that of the average Disney World kid enthusiast is, well… stupid.

  9. Taking pictures from anywhere inside to Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor (TM) is a breech of the the Walt Disney World Rules and Regulations as stipulated by the other sign hanging there. They now own this image and all subsequent usage of said image.

  10. What if its to prevent asshats from sending a joke and then suing Disney to pay them for using the joke? Why does it always have to be corporate asshattery instead of just corporate CYAing?


  11. I just want to see Harlan sue Disney over a joke that some kid text messaged while on the Monsters (INC!) ride. Is that so wrong?

    And I think “Harlan Sue Disney” would be a nifty name for a band, too.

  12. I hate the analogy of ownership. You can’t own a joke. Kids don’t own jokes (even if they’re funny and original), Disney doesn’t own jokes. It’s a goddamn idea, not a unicycle or whatnot.

  13. Another commenter hit it on the head: children can’t enter contracts. This really wouldn’t hold up.

  14. @9, Md Httr —
    Wht rghts r bng tkn wy, xctly? Qt th sntnc n th pctr y’r tlkng bt, cs dn’t s t.

  15. Arrghiamapirate, I have a feeling that an “agreement” you’re not allowed to make a copy of for your own reference is even *less* binding than your standard bullshit EULA.

  16. Just got back from there – and I submitted a joke! I think they didn’t use it specifically because it’s not original!

    Anyway, it’s a funny show (not a ride) – a 3D animated live uses 2 jokes that are txted in.

    Reply txt said: “Buena Vista Internet Group; we got your joke! Thanks! Yours monstrously Mike Wazowski – 407-939-6244”

  17. Cory, It makes me wonder how many paralegals sitting in cubicles they are going to expend to track the originality of every joke. The point of the whole matter is, nobody is going to chase them for using a kid-friendly, kid-sized joke on the laugh floor. Unfortunately to participate they have to cover every angle just in case. It turned me off when I first saw it in person. I still took pictures in there and do not feel one ounce of remorse for breaking the agreement.
    Yes, I understand that a joke can be owned (god forbid), you can trademark just about anything. At best they could expect a cease and desist letter to which they would push down the ranks into the pool of paper pushers would print a form apology letter and have it signed with a rubber stamp, the end. The saddest part for us both (unless I have read you wrong these past years) is the stripping away a little at a time of the Magic. WDW should never feel like it is a business. A half stunned goldfish would see that it is, but the attractions themselves should be held sacred in a sense.
    If agree to all of their legal junk by walking through the turnstiles I shouldn’t have to think about it when I take a right turn off of Main Street. It just sounds to me like someone didn’t understand the concept of theatre.

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