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Disney pays big for Pooh

Rights sale is England's largest literary contract

LONDON — Britain’s honey-guzzling cartoon character Winnie the Pooh has been sold for a massive £240 million ($350 million) in the country’s biggest literary contract.

The sale of the rights to the lovable bear to Disney this weekend was reported in the Sunday Times newspaper.

Disney first bought the rights to the Winnie the Pooh characters in the 1960s, and has since been paying twice-yearly royalties to the beneficiaries, which include the Westminster School and Garrick Club and the Royal Literary Society. It will now pay the lump sum for the rights to Winnie until the copyright expires in 2026, the paper said.

Christopher Robin Milne, the son of Winnie’s creator A.A. Milne, sold half of his quarter share of the story’s royalties before he died five years ago. The other half was handed over to set up a fund for his daughter, Clare, who was born with cerebral palsy.

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