Disney is all about protecting creative expression when it serves their bottom line. They're definitely not about actually paying for said creative expression.
Leave it to companies like Disney to plead poverty when it comes to paying the talent.
Disclaimer: Disney owes us, pay us. Having said that:
It's more complicated than this. Many of us believe that Disney *cannot* pay us. They do not have the data.
Publishing contracts are unlike any other IP contract. The terms are insane in normal business. They require tracking data that most companies would consider irrelevant, such as: which titles were sold to which channels under which terms.
I believe that they did not track this data. For years. Maybe decades. Disney also fired everyone who understood this data.
There are reasons why indie authors are selling more titles to Hollywood than ever, while trad deals are rarer and rarer.
They did not PAY Alan Dean Foster. They SETTLED with him. Totally different.
@mwlucas Oh I know. It's the same kinds of accounting that told David Prowse that three Star Wars movies had yet to make a profit.
At some point it would be nice for a writer-of-means to actually fund a lawsuit to do a deep-dive discovery into how fucked things are and get them on record. Doubly so if they can get up to "criminal negligence" instead of just corporate negligence.
@mwlucas Also I consider Alan Dean Foster a corner case in all of this. He's in the same category as Kirby and all of the other folks that got steamrollered for creating a whole playground for a company and only getting the credit and none of the rewards.
it would be fascinating, yes, but I doubt any will.
Authors with those pockets build their own companies and present publishers with complete book packages, including covers and editing. There's a reason Brandon Sanderson has a staff.
Y'know, given the absolutely ludicrous statutory minima for copyright infringement, an actual copyright lawsuit against Disney for Foster's work could be worth billions.
So it might make sense for a group of investors to buy Foster's claim and then sue Disney for the full infringement. It'd be hugely expensive and long, but the payout is big enough to justify the risk.
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