Mountie no longer Disney's

The characteristic red-coated Mountie image belongs once more to the RCMP after the police force decided not to renew its five-year contract with the Walt Disney Company.

Control of the trademarks had been given over to Disney when the RCMP hired the company to promote their image and protect them from being abused in the commercial marketplace.

That meant anyone wanting to use the image -- to put a Mountie on a T-shirt, a key-chain, or anything else -- had to pay a licensing fee or be charged with stealing "intellectual property."

The RCMP say the Mounties now have enough knowledge and experience with commercial licensing to protect the image on their own.