Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education

Front Page



UK Politics







Talking Point
On Air
Low Graphics

Friday, August 14, 1998 Published at 14:55 GMT 15:55 UK

Business: The Company File

Winnie the Pooh divides the spoils

Millions in Pooh earnings up for grabs

The Garrick Club for men has voted to divide the spoils of a possible 50m ($80m) Winnie the Pooh copyright windfall between charity and renovations to their headquarters.

Only 400 of the 1,000-strong membership turned up to vote, but they decided to support the club management committee's plan, under chairman Anthony Butcher, to devote the money to the setting up of a charitable fund and improvements to the Drury Lane London club.

The prospect of finding themselves with the large honeypot had caused an internal squabble in the club over what to do with the money, which could have resulted in a 39,000 pay-out per member.

One member said after the meeting the decision was in keeping with the club's reputation as an "honourable institution."

The Disney Corporation holds the film, TV and licensing rights for Winnie the Pooh until 2006 after they were sold by the beneficiaries of Pooh creator AA Milne's estate, which include the Garrick Club.

[ image: Lamont wanted his share]
Lamont wanted his share
But under proposed changes to US copyright law, Disney may be able to tie up the rights for a further 20 years earning copyright fees of about 200m ($320m) for Winnie the Pooh's 'owners', the beneficiaries.

Other beneficiaries are Milne's family, his old school Westminster College, the Royal Literary Fund, and the family of former Pooh illustrator E.H.Shepard.

Lamont loses out

Former Tory chancellor Lord Lamont reportedly supported the money being divided up between the members.

Others suggested that members are wealthy enough already and should give the money away to charity, saying that this what the author would have wanted.

If the US's proposed copyright changes do not go through, rights to Pooh under current laws will dissolve in 2006, 50 years after Milne's death.

Advanced options | Search tips

Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage |

The Company File Contents

Internet Links

Pooh's Pleasure Page

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

In this section

Microsoft trial mediator welcomed

Vodafone takeover battle heats up

Christmas turkey strike vote

NatWest bid timetable frozen

France faces EU action over electricity

Pace enters US cable heartland

Mannesmann fights back

Storehouse splits up Mothercare and Bhs

The rapid rise of Vodafone

The hidden shopping bills

Europe's top net stock

Safeway faces cash demand probe

Mitchell intervenes to help shipyard

New factory creates 500 jobs

Drugs company announces 300 jobs

BT speeds internet access

ICL creates 1,000 UK jobs

National Power splits in two

NTT to slash workforce

Scoot links up with Vivendi

New freedom for Post Office

Insolvent firms to get breathing space

Airtours profits jump 12%

Freeserve shares surge

LVMH buys UK auction house

Rover - a car firm's troubles