$350M For Winnie The Pooh
Created 03/05/2001 - 01:00
files/pictures/picture-35.jpgThe Walt Disney Co. has purchased the rights to Winnie the Pooh for an amazing $350 million. Former rights holders Westminster School and the Garrick Club will receive $88 million each and the Royal Literary Society will gain $132 million. Disney first licensed the rights to Winnie in the 1960s and has been paying twice-yearly royalties to the owners. Disney will hold the copyright until it expires in 2026. The last relative of POOH creator A. A. Milne to hold a share in the copyright was Christopher Robin Milne. However, he sold his quarter share right before his death to the Literary fund for $225,000. Half of that cash was used to set up a fund for his daughter, Clare, who was born with cerebral palsy. Now upon the sale, Clare will receive a one-time fee of $44 million. Christopher Robin's widow, Lesley, will receive nothing. However, she said to the LONDON SUNDAY TIMES, "Christopher was very anti-Disney. He hated what they had done with the books and the characters. Christopher just wasn't interested in money, either." Disney was unavailable at press time for comment.