The Daily Valet. - 1/2/24, Tuesday

✔️ About All That Public Domain Chatter ...

The Daily Valet.
The Daily Valet.

Tuesday, January 2nd Edition

Cory Ohlendorf

By Cory Ohlendorf, Valet. Editor

We're back! And we got all of your notes wondering where we'd gone ... which, I have to admit, made me feel really appreciated.

Today’s Big Story

Mickey Is Now in His Public Domain Era

It's not just the mouse: 10 characters and cultural works have lost some copyright protection, from Peter Pan to Charlie Chaplin

Mickey Mouse

We knew this time would come. New Year's Day now doubles as Public Domain Day, when a fresh trove of vintage artistic creations becomes available each year for anyone to use, adapt and exploit as their 95-year copyrights expire. And at least emblematically, the big game this year is the first cinematic iterations of Mickey Mouse—what you might call the poster child for extended copyright protections.To be clear, the Washington Post points out that this is not the Mickey and Minnie most of us know. It's not even the one our parents' generation grew up with. But it is a rather famous Mickey. On Monday, the public gained the right to creatively use the breakout black-and-white Disney characters strictly as they appear in the 1928 animated short film Steamboat Willie.As The Verge points out, there's still a complicated mess of protections around Mickey, but this is a moment that many public domain advocates have awaited for decades—and there are plenty of other exciting new entries as well. Prominent works whose copyright protections have just lapsed include D.H. Lawrence's scandalous, oft-censored Lady Chatterley's Lover, Virginia Woolf's Orlando, along with J. M. Barrie's play Peter Pan; or the Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up (which was a 1904 play but not published for copyright purposes until 1928).So what does this mean, exactly? When a once-copyrighted work gets released into the public domain?  It means that those characters and stories can be remade—on the page, stage or screen—without permission. Disney has faced losing the copyright over its original cartoons several times in the past. According to the BBC, the characters were first expected to go into the public domain in 1984, but Congress extended the term by 20 years. Before the next expiry date came up in 2004, another 20-year extension was passed. There's a little irony here, since some of Disney's earliest hits (Snow White and Sleeping Beauty, for examples) were stories pulled from the public domain.According to the Hollywood Reporter, the current copyright term passed in 1998 brought the U.S. into closer sync with the European Union, making it unlikely Congress would extend it now. There are also now powerful companies, including Amazon with its fan-fiction-heavy publishing arm and Google with its books project, that in some cases advocate for the public domain. “There's actually more pushback now than there was 20-some years ago when the Mickey Mouse act was passed,” said Paul Heald, a professor at the University of Illinois who specializes in copyright and international intellectual property law.

So, It Begins:

On Monday, a trailer dropped for a horror comedy film featuring none other than Mickey Mouse as the killer.

This Could Be the Worst Year Ever for ‘Overtourism’

But some cities, like Venice, are taking steps to soften the impact on the local community

Following several years of a pandemic-induced downturn, the travel sector is not only back, it's positively booming. The World Travel & Tourism Council reports that the industry is expected to bring in some $9.5 trillion in 2023—which accounts for 95% of its pre-pandemic levels. Nowhere is this surge more evident than at popular tourist hot spots around the world, many of which have experienced record visitor numbers over the past year.According to CNN, these surges come with notable downsides: increased noise, pollution, traffic and strain on public resources; a lower quality of life for locals; and a diminished visitor experience, just to name a few. And the UN's World Tourism Organization told Sky News that 2024 could be a record year for international arrivals across the globe, contributing to some uncomfortable overcrowding.Which is why cities like Venice will limit the size of tour groups this summer, while taking other measures to soften the impact of tourism on the local community. According to NPR, the Italian travel hub known for its picturesque canals and ornate architecture has struggled to manage the millions of out-of-towners who flock to the city, most just for the day. The new municipal resolution will cap tour groups at 25 people—or roughly half of the passengers on a standard tour bus—and ban loudspeakers that “may cause confusion and disturbance,” the city said in a statement.

Dig Deeper:

Overtourism upsets locals and worries governments, but if overseas travel stopped there would be serious consequences.

Allow Us to Butt In

Big behinds (for meN) are the surprising 2024 fitness trend

It's nothing new for the ladies, of course, but men are finally coming up from behind. While the ample assets of female celebrities have popularized the big behind look—leading to surging demand for treatments like fat injections to accentuate the buttocks—it seems like the trend has spread across genders. Men are increasingly seeking the same look, according to fitness and fashion insiders.“I've definitely noticed a rise in the number of men focusing on glute work in the clubs recently,” Eric Cobb, Group Fitness Manager at Equinox's East 63rd New York City location, told the New York Post. “On the workout floor, you used to see men focusing mainly on chest, biceps and abs. Now, squat racks and other glute-focused equipment are seeing a lot more use by them.” Equinox even added a speciality class focused on the area.“More guys are looking to build the strength and size of their glutes now,” certified strength and conditioning specialist Gareth Sapstead also confirmed to Men's Health. Backsides have officially become a priority for guys—and not just for aesthetics, either. The gluteus maximus is the largest and most powerful muscle in the human body and has an important role in any form of movement. Plus, it's a workout goal that's instantly noticeable. “You can hide a lack of abs,” one trainer told Men's Health, “But you can't hide if you have a pancake butt!”


A recent study by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons discovered the “ideal” male derrière shape.

American Beer Consumption at Its Lowest in Decades 

It Appears to be an odd time for the beer world 

I'm not sure what you toasted with at midnight to ring in the new year, but 2023 has been a rough year for the domestic beer market, reports InsideHook. There's been everything from culture wars surrounding Bud Light to the closure of a craft beer pioneer—and that's just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to news of an industry weathering challenges on all sides. And that's only part of the story around domestic beer. There's also the fact that Americans are drinking a lot less beer than they once did.They put it like this: Someone who had their first legal drink in 2023 would not have been born the last time beer consumption in the U.S. was this low. According to NBC News, beer shipments in 2023 will be under 200 million barrels. That's the lowest the figure has been since 1999. And many think it's due to the fact that there's a whole lot more competition out there—everything from non-alcoholic drinks to boozy waters and teas. Yet even as overall volume consumption declined, the largest beer makers remain financially resilient thanks to prices that climbed alongside—or even surpassed—broader inflation, Beer Marketer's Insights told reporters. Beer drinkers also continued to shift toward more expensive beer brands, especially imports like Modelo Especial, which became the No. 1 beer in America last year. As for what 2024 might look like for domestic beer, a recent article in Craft Brewing Business found several industry sources predicting some trends continuing in the coming year, including a reliance on IPAs and an expansion of pilsners. 


America's average alcohol drinker is now an “elder Millennial”.

In Other News

Japan earthquake

Nearly 100,000 residents were ordered to evacuate.

Have you heard about ...

British chocolate
31 Days

Be a Modern Gentleman

Two dozen ways to be a man of substance and style

Modern gentleman

The new year means one thing for Valet. '31 Days' is back … And 2024 ushers in volume 16. Truly, I'm as surprised as you are—that means for 16 years now, Valet. has been helping guys start the year off with a month's worth of information, inspiration and motivation to make the most of things and be the best versions of themselves. It's an honor and responsibility that we don't take lightly.This is the time when we ask ourselves, “Who do I want to be? And what do I want to change or improve?” For 2024, we're focusing on not just looking and feeling our best, but helping those around us feel good, too. We want to be the guys people rely on at work and the men others can look up to—we're vowing to work smarter, live healthier and have a lot more fun without feeling so bogged down. That's really what this annual series is all about. Taking control of your life and improving your self little by little. Those small actions add up. After all, investing in yourself is the only no-risk investment. Check back everyday for clever tricks and expert tips on some of our favorite subjects from life and work to style and grooming. And we're kicking things off with a really fun read on the dos and don'ts of being a good guy.


How does one become a modern man? Here are two dozen ways to be a man of substance and style in 2024.


What We’re Buying

A cropped hoodie

One of the big trends being talked about for 2024 is cropped tops. Not so short to bare your belly, but just snipped enough for a boxy fit up top, to show off your relaxed pants. A&F already makes some of the best sweatshirts for your money—the only problem is that they often sell out. The brand just introduced this cropped hoodie style ($70 / $59.50) in a range of colors, all with the same enzyme wash for a smooth, soft finish that feels like you've had the sweatshirt for years. But you'd better get it now before these sell out, too.

Want more?

The five stylish items you should be buying this week.

Morning Motto

Time for a fresh start.

Trust in new beginnings.


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