Stan’s Obligatory Blog


Winnie the Pooh, Legal Problems

Filed under: — stan @ 7:21 am

Is it weird that I sometimes find the most entertaining things on the L.A. Times Obituary page?

Today, we have the story of Shirley Slesinger Laswell. Her first husband had bought the merchandising rights to Winnie the Pooh from A.A. Milne in 1930. When he died, she supported herself by designing and selling Pooh merchandise. But in 1961, Walt Disney came and made a deal for marketing Pooh, and agreed to pay her royalties.

“The battle over Pooh’s money pot had its genesis in a 1981 trip to Disney World in Florida, Lasswell told The Times. Lasswell, a self-describe ‘Pooh shopaholic’ noticed that she wasn’t receiving royalties for much of the merchandise she bought — and hired a lawyer.”

So the battle was joined.

“More than three judges and a dozen law firms were involved in the breach-of-contract suit. Disney was chastised for destroying more than 40 boxes that contained Pooh papers, including one marked ‘Winnie the Pooh, Legal Problems’.”

Read the whole story at the Times web site.

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