Disney – When You Wish Upon a Lawsuit

Recently the Walt Disney Company went after a Berkeley elementary school for showing The Lion King at a PTA fundraising event, fining them $250 for copyright violation – more than a third of the money they had raised. This situation is especially ironic, because the only reason parents and teachers have to do their own fund-raising for their schools in the first place is because local and state governments keep slashing education budgets, and one of the reasons often cited for this is that major corporations like Disney barely pay anything in state property taxes.

Copyright laws, property tax laws…none of these things are meant to work for everyone equally. They are designed to protect the power of banks and corporations against poor and working people. In the case of this Berkeley elementary school, the parents were at least fortunate enough to have the resources to attract media attention and embarrass Disney into making a public apology. But the fact is, Disney and corporations like them sue working and poor people for minor infractions all the time, while they can call on armies of lawyers and lobby groups any time anyone tries to sue them back.