Disney is attempting to do something really underhanded.
Quick background on how things work. Let’s say a hit movie is being released. A writer is hired to write a novelization of it. The movie comes out, the book is published, and then the parent company that produced the film and hired the writer pays royalty to said writer from the sales, usually a percentage of the earnings. For an average mass market paperback, for example, it would amount to about $1.60 or so.
Lucasfilm hired Alan Dean Foster to write many novelizations. He was the ghost writer for Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. He wrote Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, Star Wars: The Approaching Storm, Alien, Aliens, etc. Everything went as expected.
Disney bought Lucasfilm. They are claiming that they bought the rights only and so they don’t have to honor any of the contractual obligations. They are saying that they don’t have to pay Alan Dean Foster a dime, even though they are collecting money off the sale of his books every day.
Disney is a giant corporation. This is a dangerous precedent and it’s ridiculous.
Here is an article that lays it out in detail: Disney Attempts to Withhold Royalty Payments from Veteran Star Wars Author Alan Dean Foster As SFWA Sparks Hashtag #DisneyMustPay
Mr. Foster has cancer. He and his family could really use the money now, not years from now, not months from now, now.
What can we do about it? We can tweet and Facebook at Disney. “Kowal concluded her statement by asking fans of Foster “to please let Disney know” that they felt the author should be properly compensated and putting forth the hashtags #DearMickey and #DisneyMustPay.”
Aman Sidhu says
I would like to help, what can I do to help? Is he setting up a funding page to fight this legally?
We can hit Disney where it counts. Cancel Disney+ and resolve not to purchase disney products.
Just canceled my subscription, and gave their treatment of Alan Dean Foster as the reason.
I’m putting my money, or taking them away, where my mouth is.
We just did the same thing. It may seem like a tiny gesture – but many tiny gestures can combine to make a big statement, and we want to be part of that statement.
“Kowal concluded her statement by asking fans of Foster “to please let Disney know” that they felt the author should be properly compensated and putting forth the hashtags #DearMickey and #DisneyMustPay.”
Right now this is all we have. We can get very loud about it and hope the tide of negative publicity will be enough. I will update if there is a GoFundMe.
Toni Causey says
Thank you for posting about this. This is *heinous* and I will spread the word.
Aman Sidhu says
Thank you! Posted on both Twitter and Instagram. I don’t really use Facebook, hopefully people will like and share.
Aminah Cherry says
so glad you posted this. This sets up huge legal precedent
It really doesn’t. What generally happens is this — judge says “no way, pay him,” Disney appeals, repeat until victim is out completely of money for lawyers. No judge will rule FOR Disney on this, but they have the cash and full-time lawyers on staff to bankrupt someone. As soon as the victim can’t fund a legal team to appear, the case is over, Disney wins. Precedent is never set, law is never changed, and yet Disney/GE/Microsoft get their way anyway. What IS set is an example to the next person they try this on that fighting is useless.
Would they have to pay attorney’s fee in retrospect? I don’t know US laws..
This is terrible. I also didn’t know Mr Foster had cancer, so this is a double blow.
This just adds to theory that the Mouse is a Dark Lord of the Sith! Reprehensible behavior.
Debbie B. says
I agree! ????????
Magdalen Braden says
I never did contract law, but that doesn’t sound right to me, even aside from the PR debacle it is. Disney may have purchased the property rights to the royalties but someone is still in privity of contract with the author. He can sue whoever that is, and they can and should bring Disney into the lawsuit on the grounds that if Disney is collecting royalties, they either owe the author’s share to LucasFilm (who would then pass it along to the author) or they owe it directly to the author. Unless his contract says explicitly that sale of the underlying rights severs his claim, he has contractual rights outstanding.
But it raises a different point that all authors should be aware of. Your copyrights are property rights and they should be included in your estate planning. Make sure you appoint a literary executor and discuss with that person what you want done with your books over time.
The problem is that Disney has ALL the lawyers. They’ve pulled this kind of stunt before. Mr. Foster can sue, and should, but Disney’s lawyers can keep it in court for years and years. It’s extremely rare that a single person can afford to hire a legal team that can take on the kind of legal team a corporation can field. GE has pulled stuff like this, too, over patents. It’s very deliberate, because they decide to make one person an example (I was in a meeting with a past head of GE Legal, and I got to overhear this on the break). They make one person an example and bankrupt the poor sap with legal fees and when they try it to the next person, the next person has that example in front of them.
I assume they are reaching out to other LucasFilm contributors (and those of other companies Disney has purchased) right now, in case Disney is screwing others over, too. The victim’s best chance here is to be able to make it a class action suit. Well. The best chance after public shaming. If enough people are made aware, and tsking, a quick settlement is much more likely.
The timing of this is perfect, from Disney’s POV. Covid, police torture, Trump not conceding the election, Kenosha — the news is so bad on all sides that it becomes difficult to care about one relatively famous dude getting screwed by the big evil corporation that has a history of screwing people. :/
Chiray Koo says
Cancer is rough. It takes a lot of energy to bring a lawsuit, and he may not have the energy. Better that we shame disney into doing the right thing so he can devote his energy to healing. We just lost Rachel Caine, so sad about ADF.
This sounds like Disney is doing what the Donald Trump Companies are doing to small sub contractors. What bothers me even more is that many people believe what Disney and Trump are doing is good business.
Bill from nj says
Yep, I wonder how many who support him,or vote for other politicians like him,realize how much they have created a world where all the power is with corporations and his lawyers. I had uncle’s who were contractors in NYC,and while they never did work for Trump, scores if small contractors were screwed by Trump,he basically would simply say ‘I am not going to pay you don’t like it,sure me’. His deranged pit bull Giuliani did that when he was mayor,they would not pay out accounts payable or refuse to pay at all,claiming the work wasn’t good ,then tell the contractor to sue them.
The myth of equal protection under the law is a myth, basically he who has the biggest dog wins
Thank you for posting this. I just bought his book Relic – the plot summary looks wonderful.
If Company A buys Company B, then Company A is responsible for all of Company B’s obligations. This includes outstanding lawsuits filed against Company B, and includes all contractual obligations. The former is why some mergers/buyouts fall through — there is a huge lawsuit on the horizon that Company A doesn’t want to assume, so they drop the merger/buyout of Company B.
Foster definitely has grounds to sue, in my opinion. I hope he does. He can add emotional distress to the lawsuit.
Yet another reason why Disney sucks… I never understood the worship of disneyland etc.
Is there any way that we can help, I wonder? Seems like the best way would be to “shame” disney into acting.
“Kowal concluded her statement by asking fans of Foster “to please let Disney know” that they felt the author should be properly compensated and putting forth the hashtags #DearMickey and #DisneyMustPay.”
This is why I posted. 🙂 Let talk about it and make sure we are very clear that this is not okay.
This is atrocious behaviour by a large corporate entity. I hope they do the ethical thing and pay him.
Harriet Chow says
That’s despicable. A large corporation like Disney can afford to pay out their contracts according to its obligations.
This is genuinely terrifying. Easy loophole to have someone do work and then profit off it and not pay them.
“All a publisher would have to do to break a contract would be to sell it to a sibling company.”
I wonder is this will head to the Supreme Court. Disney is now a juggernaut and owns the rights to many franchise movies. I wonder if this holds true to Stan Lee and marvel?
As far as I understand, the Supreme Court only accepts cases where legal problems have to be considered in relation to the constitution.
This is not one of them. Disney cannot purchase half a contract. Otherwise you could just take a multi-billion credit, buy Disney, fire the assholes, gift it to someone and tell the bank to kiss their credit goodbye because the ownership was transferred and their half of the contract magically disappeared…
This is so openly criminal that Foster should go to the police so that the ones responsible are brought up on criminal charges.
Search AARP magazine. The current issue has an article on Stan Lee as a cautionary tale of elder abuse. Stan Lee never held the rights to any of his creations.
Bill from nj says
Not likely to get there, not a constitional issue here, really a matter of contract law which isn’t really covered by the constitution, matter of the UCC ,state statute and precedent.
If SCOTUS did take it, you think the current majority would find for the little guy when corporate money basically bought their way on the court?
Disney is not a nice company. My older brother was a resident at a home for special needs children for many years. At one point the home opened a beautiful new playroom for the children and decorated the walls with murals of of the children’s favorite Disney characters. Within a few monthe the home received a legal order debarring the use of the Disney characters and threatening a lawsuit if said images were not removed. Disney would not compromise and the murals had to be painted over, much to the childrens distress. Ever since then I have not had a great deal of respect for Disney. So I am not surprised that they are treating Mr Foster as you describe and I wish him well.
That is normal for a big company. You have to protect your brand. Imagine if a new author will started writing about Kate Daniels, carrying forward from the Andrews last book. But did not have permissions or pay any royalties. They can try claiming it is not plagiarism as they are writing a new story but this is Ilona and Andrews intellectual property.
Murals painted on a wall like this may seem to be innocent homage to the brand and they are not seeking to profit from the use. Unfortunately they open a door to setting a presidence for others to take over brand recognition. It sucks, but companies have to be vigilant in protecting their identity.
Bill from nj says
That doesn’t hold water, when it comes to copyright violations courts have held that you have to prove damage. If I write a Kate Daniels novel and is stinks ( which it would if I wrote it) it hurts the brand bc people would assume I was approved to do that,plus it also denies them rights to the characters they created,plus it competes with their book.
Disney couldn’t prove that if they wanted to, those images don’t hurt them at all. Yeah,they can argue if the home wanted Disney images that can buy branded wallpaper at 40 bucks a roll, but that is ludicrous, we are talking painted images.
It was like when ASCAP and BMI sued the girl scouts and boy scouts and other youth groups for illegal use of copyrighted songs,arguing such use was covered by the performing rights portion of music ( basically w music there is the mechanical rights to the sheet music,there are rights that the composer has if it is recorded and played, then there is live performance). Given that these were kids singing around a campfire kind of things,the courts threw it out and had not kind words for the lawyers.
And yes,unless as part of the deal to buy lucasfilm Disney settled w Mt foster to buy out their obligations, they assume that obligation,they can’t could a contract made by an acquisition unless it was bought in bankruptcy and the contract was discharged by the court. This is exactly what this is,Disney and their team of corporate slimeball lawyers basically beating up a little guy because they can. This is why those people who claim that we don’t need regulations on products,that fear of lawsuits would stop them,corporations have teams of lawyers to handle that so it isn’t much of a balance. Insurance companies thanks to the slime at McKimsey and company do this all the time, if your house is destroyed they pay at a fraction of the cost of rebuilding it and when you complain, say ‘sue me’. It is why people telling me that supposedly conservative politicians are out for the ‘little guy’ makes me cringe, this kind of corporate power is now de facto supported many courts,where might makes right.
The only tool we have is to cancel Disney+ and refuse to use anything that involves Disney,though these days that includes abc tv,ESPN, along with the movie stuff.
I never bought into Disney as this family values,wholesome crap that has been presented,it is just that
Disney himself was a racist, he personally approved anything they did and they produced things like Song of the South. Disney also in the golden age didn’t treat the animators very well, for all the image of this elite group they didn’t pay well and routinely fired employees if they somehow weren’t ‘right’. They are as much the cold,heartless,ruthless corporation of any stereotype, this is GM of the 1950s on steroids,could see whatever mutant that is head of it saying ‘what is good for Disney is good for the US’
Disney owns Lucas Films, Marvel Entertainment, Pixar, ABC, ESPN, 21st Century Fox, Disney Channel, FX, National Geographic, History Channel, A & E Network and Lifetime TV. Disney owns thirty Percent of Hulu.
You can Google or Bing it to find out how pervasive Disney is.
Fun fact. One of my favored authors stopped publishing years ago and has recently started writing again. The book that is next to come out? An instruction manual on copyright law. A short story that recently came out? An author fighting for the rights to her work against a corrupt judge.
Methinks there’s a lot of autobiography here.
I think Disney might be struggling right now (along with everyone else), but that doesn’t excuse them from paying their obligations. If they couldn’t afford to pay them, they shouldn’t have purchased the company. I hope he gets a quick resolution to this (unfortunately, a lawsuit probably won’t be quick) and gets his money, plus interest.
If there’s a petition to sign or some actual way that I can help, please let me know. That’s just not right.
He has been fighting them on this for several years.
I’m sorry to hear that. If you know him personally, could you perhaps see if he’s willing to let someone post a petition on change.org? It may not do any good, but sometimes it gets results. I understand that as an author, it might not be something that you can do, but it sounds like there are many who would be willing to start it on his behalf and it might bring more attention to the matter.
That is a great idea
I’m following a petition over there concerning entertainment that is at nearly 1.5 million signatures. Today they de-listed the link and removed it from their search results. Basically, if you don’t have a direct link, you can’t find it anymore. Very shady and not cool.
Melissa Bible says
This bugs me so much as it reminds me of the book 1984 and Farenheit 451. I re-read Farenheit when my middle schooler had to read it 5 years ago and oh wow it was amazing to see how a lot of what he wrote in the 50’s has come true! Parts of me feels like our society is regressing to like medieval times. I’ll shut up as I don’t want to cause anyone to be upset. Love this blog, love everyone’s comments, and love your books and artistry Ilona and Gordon. Thank you for all you do!
Bill from nj says
Disney is not struggling, when ESPN thanks to huge contracts w sports leagues and cable cutting has problems,Disney corporate has done incredibly well thanks to Disney plus. Movies that would have been released in the theaters were in PPV at theater prices,plus they have like 70 million subscribers and growing.
I quit following the news earlier this year (it was too stressful), so I’m sure you’re correct. I didn’t think about when Disney Plus came out. The last I saw was when everything was shut down and before the streaming service. But to be fair, what is struggling to one, (like a billionaire) is unbelievably well off to another (like a single parent living paycheck to paycheck). Regardless, they should pay him though.
This is ridiculous. You don’t just purchase the rights to something – you purchase the obligations as well. This is basic.
Beyond that, this is wrong – they’re making money from his work, they need to honor that. That’s just the right thing to do
Annamarie Schmidt says
I have disliked Disney for YEARS so this doesn’t surprise me one bit!
Alan Dean Foster has written many other wonderful books (Pip and Flinx, Spellsinger). Perhaps we can support by purchasing some of the non-Star Wars series?
Absolutely. He writes great books.
Debbie B. says
Own them, already!
Yes, but do you own them on Kindle or in another ebook format? I’ve put my first editions away and added a kindle version for rereading. I’m also gradually replacing selected books (that are mostly worn to tatters) with ebooks, when available. I’m also trying to find a way to leave my Amazon account ebook library to my family members.
I LOVE the Flinx series, as well as others that he wrote outside of SW, et al. I use to work for Walden Books (US bookstore found in malls) before they went out of business and was grateful to be assigned the SiFi/ Fantasy section as my “specialty”. I haven’t thought of that series in years! Great idea to purchase other books — hope he still gets royalties off those — anybody know if there is a way to verify what he still gets royalties for? We can support that while also following the directive of spreading the public knowledge.
Gonna go see if it’s available on Kindle… Have an ancient paper copy.
Which book format, audible, kindle, or paper, gives the author the biggest financial benefit? If I’m going to try to help by purchasing his books, I’d like to help in the best way possible.
This makes me so sad and angry. Foster was an early and wonderful intro to Science Fiction during my childhood. I didn’t realize he wrote for the Star Wars sagas but it fits with his always-humorous and personality-laden depictions of aliens in his novels and short stories. I’ll definitely call Disney out in as many public ways as possible. They are shameful.
I am not on Twitter or Facebook… how can I help?
Is there a petition on change.org.?
Can’t Mr. Foster sue Disney?
Mary Beth says
Disney has a long history of screwing everyone out of their money. My Father-in-law was ripped off by Disney, and when he took it to court? Disney sent in an entire team of lawyers. They burned him. He had to uproot his family and move to find work afterward. (This was in the early 60’s.)
Unless there is overwhelming public pressure don’t expect to see any action. Even then, I’m doubtful. Disney is a greedy, shameless juggernaut.
That said, I’d jump on a Gofundme for Foster.
To help keep it alive: post #DisneyMustPay on your favorite social network.
Ellen D says
I’m a huge fan of his writing!
I for one, in the spirit of Kent Brockman, welcome our new mouse eared overlords and look forward to writing and making them lots of money while earning little or nothing for ourselves. In conclusion, to the company that sues the parents of children who die on their rides, into ruin for daring to speak of it, please don’t take us to court.
Kateřina T. says
Oh, dear! ????
Thanks, Gordon! I miss Your POVs ????
Is there a way to contact Disney other than @ing them on Twitter or using the #DisneyMustPay hashtag? I’m not on Twitter (or Facebook), but I would like to share a strongly worded letter… The contact info I’m finding online is all things like technical help for Disney+, merchandise inquiries from their store, and things like that.
A change.org petition could start ticking over. Star Wars fans are normally very well prepared to take action and make their disgruntlement heard.
Kathleen Bylsma says
What a buch of creeps…but then, I’ve always thought Walt Disney was more than a little creepy…seems the culture is pervasive…Love Alan Dean Foster!
I also read about the problem with Audible and returns this week. I’m not sure whether you’ve seen the article and are aware of the problem:
Ilona: Hey Simone, there are a number of problems with that article and I don’t really want to give it a forum, so I edited out your link. You did nothing wrong and this is by no means a moderation. It’s just that I am not ready to discuss this topic at this time.
Mary Tanzer says
This man deserves to be paid. Disney should not benefit from the sale of these books and not include the author of the books.
The greed of the big corporations has no limits. It is disgusting, having in mind US is the most loud country about author’s rights.How could we make Disney know what we think in the most efficient way- meaning how can we make it most painful for them?
LeAnna Brun says
Thank you for this information. He is one of the top writers in the early Sci-Fi/Fantasy genre easily switching from serious to comedy and all in between. He is one of the reasons my mind was open to wonderful writers, such as yourselves. I will write Disney and check for other ways to help him. His Spell Singer series brought much laughter to my household (I’ve always hoped it would go to the silver screen- I picture Rupert Everett as Mudge). I know writers rarely become wealthy from their vocation and mostly hope to pay for their habit- losing this income must be devastating . Thanks again!
The irony of this being that copyright only extends so long because of Disney in the first place and their need to control the mouse. Very much one set of rules for us and another set of rules for you which also favor us.
I wonder if they are extending this not paying royalties to the film side of things too of if the unions on that side of things won’t respond.
One of the worst parts of this is that Disney was requiring an NDA to even discuss it so who knows how many people have tried discussing it and gotten NDA’s.
This is why we figured out that monopolies are bad a century ago. Disney should not have been allowed to grow this large because once they control everything, there are no other voices and they can steamroll everyone.
It is hypocritical that Disney has been one of the main lobbyists for extending copyright to the life of the author plus 75 years (included in some recently negotiated treaties) to protect its characters at the same time that it is stiffing its creators.
Can we copy and repost this?? I find what they are doing despicable.
Yes. The wider this goes, the better.
I saw this in the Guardian yesterday. The more places this news gets out the better. Thank you for sharing and shame on Disney.
Jeez, that’s low.
Thanks for letting us know about this; ADF was one of my favorite authors at one time. I’ve shared the link on social media and with a blogger/author (and former Disney employee) with whom I’ve exchanged thoughts, and who hopefully will do his part in spreading the word.
Debbie B. says
I SHARE-ed the article to my fb page, with my header; So Disney=The EVIL Empire!! For Shame!! THIS House Will NOT Buy Into ANY Thing Disney!!
Foster Needs That Money In His Fight Against Cancer NOW!!. If there’s a way to send him some donation, I’d like to And SHARE that as well!
Keeping in mind that the money is his and he has a right to it, cancer or not.
Star Trek fans and Star Wars fans can join together to fight this one, and all science fiction fans as well – Alan Dean Foster belongs to all our tribes!!
The Disney corporation should be embarrassed by this!!
Patricia Schlorke says
This is bad. It reminds me of musicians whose music is pirated or used without their permission. It makes me wonder what was in the contract with Lucasfilm before they were bought by Disney? It also makes me wonder if Lucasfilm warned him they were being taken over by Disney?
With ticket prices at the resorts so high and now this, I’m surprised people still go to the parks and buy their stuff.
I have read Alan Dean Foster’s books when I was younger (thanks to my mom). He is one of the most great science fiction writers (at the time wrote fictional science, not what we are use to reading today). He deserves better than this.
Maria Z says
I don’t like The Mandolorian, it is so bad and said so on a tv show fan site. Gees you wouldn’t believe how angry folks became because I stated I didn’t like the show.
Some Disney fans are so rabid they need their shots.
That aside I posted the hashtags is there anything else one can do?
Also buy the flinx and pip books by the author. They are excellent and the money goes right to the most deserving. Disney doesn’t need any more money.
This is horrible. It just goes to show how bad all these big corporates are. I’m already unhappy with how they treated Johnny Depp, Warner Bros as well. They should all be ashamed.
#DisneyMustPay seems to be gaining a good amount of attention.
That is a scummy way to attempt to get out of royalties, and I guess scummy is expected of Disney. I guess it is time that I don’t buy from someone with such practices anymore. Well I don’t watch all that many of their movies anyway by virtue of not watching all that many movies so it shouldn’t be hard.
Thank you for posting about this.
It’s a disgrace what Disney is doing. The whole “we recognize the rights and reap the benefits, but we don’t recognize the obligations” is a truly bonkers argument.
I’m very sorry about this happening to ADF and any other creator and I hope SFWA and Mary Robinette Kowal will manage to do something for Alan by taking this public. It’s scary to think what would authors not as known as him be able to do in similar situation.
Rebecca Elliott says
#Disney must pay!!
Thanks for the info! Went and boosted the hashtag on what little social media I’m on.
Kelly Jacobs says
I copied and pasted your post so that I could put it into Instagram, but it was easier to just go to your Facebook page and click the share button to put it on my many Facebook pages.
Debra K Hoffmaster says
Oh no. I love ADF’s books. This is terrible.
Theodore D. says
This is basically ‘breach of contract’ even if Disney didn’t sign a contract, Disney owns the properties for and on which a contract was signed, whether they like it or not…
You cannot selectively disregard contracts because you bought something and don’t think you didn’t get the baggage to go with it…
Wow, now I know why I haven’t watched anything Disney nor gone near them for a while now… this behavior stinks!
I am a hunter and work in a field full of outdoorsmen and women, including a LOT of hunters and fishers. Disney has a very anti-sustained use (regulated hunting and fishing, best practices forestry) agenda and portrays everyone engaged in those activites as evil, though most are law abiding and conservation minded….
Plus they ruined my favorite childhood fairy tales and now it’s all Ariel this and Belle that and i just want to clench my teeth and scream… But then I remember Bedknobs and Broomsticks ???? I loved that movie.
I loved that movie too! Not as much as I loved “Mary Poppins”, though. ????????????
Disney has a Facebook page. I just posted the Kowal article on their Facebook page with the two hashtags. I posted the article in response to one of the Disney posts.
Terrie Cunningham says
I will go to FB too, along with the tweets. t
Ming Diaz says
A Welsch of any magnitude is theft. If the contract carries forward, the very respected ADF is due what is his. For a corporation of this size to nickel-dime on royalties is at the very low level of breaking a contract just because.
This is yet another blow to the creative talent that fuels corporate media.
Unfortunately, Disney is so embedded that it would be difficult to hurt them in a boycott. ABC and ESPN are part of Disney. And just try explaining to little ones they will no longer get to see their beloved animated films any longer. Good luck with that.
As previously mentioned, Mr. Foster is a prolific writer. While not one of my faves, I do own some of his work. Time to go thru a list of his works and see if there is anything that I missed.
Patricia Schlorke says
Yeah. Apple+ tried to do that with the Charlie Brown yearly films in the U.S. People were so outraged that Apple is partnering with PBS to have the films aired on PBS. Also, in the U.S. I noticed to watch some of the matches of the English Premier League you have to have a subscription to Peacock Premium (NBC).
I don’t have any online streaming services subscriptions. If I want to find out how Premier League matches finished, I’ll look on the BBC.
It’s getting crazy on what companies will do to get money during this time.
Bill from nj says
You make a good point, the cord cutters who protest cable TV cost are going to find out you pay one way or the other. With the streaming services proliferating, where they are rapidly becoming exclusive with their library , people are going to find they will be paying 100 bucks for streaming services and another 100 for broadband ( the cable companies who are also broadband providers, will make up for loss of revenue by raising internet prices).
ADF’s newest book, Madrenga, was just released. Check for it at your favorite book place. I just got mine, about to start reading it!
Joanna Schoettler says
Walt Disney had more integrity than that! Shame on Disney!
Bill from nj says
Walt Disney didn’t,that is a myth they promoted,Disney was ruthless, they treated their workers like crap, they ruthlessly went after competitors through lawsuits and other means, he was not a nice man. I enjoyed Tom Hanks playing him in Saving Mr. Banks, but that was like Jimmy Stewart playing Lindbergh, a nice guy playing an utter rotter.
Make a change.org petition.
It’s all well and good to send a message on Twitter and Facebook but the messages are the same and possibly from the same people…. it’s to much noise that doesn’t compute.
This is bullshit, no doubt but this isn’t the first time this has happened and the precedent has been set. Ghostwriters. Tricky business. That it’s Disney pulling this kind of shit is just, wow…..so disappointing and it needs to be heard that they are doing this. Then they should send it to celebrities who will possibly care. Seth Rogan, Mark Hamil, the 2 Jimmy’s, George RR Martin, whoever can get the word out. They need buzz and this deserves buzz because maybe if this is brought up enough then it won’t happen again.
What books of Alan’s can I buy where the royalties will go to him and not Disney?
Flinx, in fact all books from the Homanx Universe, Spellsinger,….
Crescent Wells says
I shared the linked article and did the hashtags. How horrible. I hope we can help. I’ve read Mr. Foster since I was a teen. And that’s a long time ago!
Terrie Cunningham says
I tweeted, more than once
Laura Martinez says
Tweet and hashtag sent. This is outrageous.
Maria Schneider says
I heard about this earlier this week and tweeted at the time. I’ve also helped share the post on facebook. I can’t hurt their wallet–we don’t get tv or movies out where I live, but I’ll tweet and retweet and share wherever and whenever I can. It’s ridiculous that a company would even try this nonsense. I’ll also blog the news as you did. My blog is pretty small, but it can’t hurt to have it out there one more time.
AnnaMarie Zurawski-Lubow says
Alan Dean Foster along with Heinlein was my gateway to Sci-Fi books. Pip and Flinx is a series I’ve read over and over again. I’m going to purchase both the kindle books and the audible version so that I have the complete series again because I had to sell my entire paperback collection during the last recession.
I’m greatly saddened by the Shadowrun future appearing in real-time as MegaCorps take over with their legal teams to the detriment of all. We don’t even have the re-emergence of Magic to fall back on.
This year just blows.
So when I worked at an entertainment company that handled rights for film and tv intellectual properties, on occasion the company would pick up licenses from other companies that for one reason or another passed it on (like they’d gone out of business).
Unless a new contract was specifically negotiated for a new royalty rate at the time of the acquisition, the company always had to honor what came before. This is and has been standard operating procedure.
I’m absolutely flabbergasted.
The house of mouse is in part the reason our copyright law in the modern era is so weird, and by that I mean, the rights vary base on what year range things were published in.
Works published in 1978 or later (including today) — life of the original creator plus 70 years. For anonymous works, 120 years from the date of creation or 90 years from the date publication, whichever is shorter. So if by some miracle I live to be 113, it’d be 183 years before it was in the public domain.
Works published between 1964 and 1977 — 95 years from the date of publication.
Works published between 1923 and 1963 — 28 years from date of publication unless it was renewed, then 95 years.
Works published before 1923 are no longer protected by copyright and are in the public domain.
Disney has used their financial might and weight to help push for extensions of copyright, in part to protect their own intellectual property, i.e Mickey Mouse. So to have them trying to flout things, is not only a really bad, dick move, but a bit hypocritical given their history. Makes me wonder what SAG-AFTRA has to say, because screenwriting and related should be under their union. Can you imagine if they decided to blackball Disney? @_@
I’m gesticulating at my screen, seriously. This is the shittiest thing I’ve heard in a while.
Jean Morgan says
Agree completely with you! No Shame! Yes, I too have worked in the Tele/Communications business.
Donna A says
Thanks for bringing this to our attention. I don’t do much twitter but have tweeted my disgust.
I’d been waiting to see if you would post something about this because it really does seem outrageous.
The thing that really gave me pause was this part of the statement from SFWA :
“Disney’s argument is that they have purchased the rights but not the obligations of the contract. In other words, they believe they have the right to publish work, but are not obligated to pay the writer no matter what the contract says. If we let this stand, it could set precedent to fundamentally alter the way copyright and contracts operate in the United States. All a publisher would have to do to break a contract would be to sell it to a sibling company.”
If they get away with this, it would be an industry-breaking precedent.
Jean Morgan says
This is just terrible. I shared to Facebook, Shame, Shame on Disney.
May I have your permission to repost this on some of the screenwriter and writer’s forums that I am part of?
That cannot be even remotely legal. If you buy a company, you owe their debts and contractual obligations. Because, gee, if you can get away with not paying the debts of the company you just bought, why didn’t I just buy out one of those stores that went bankrupt and keep it going without paying what they owed? The answer, of course, is because you can’t do that. And Disney can’t be allowed to do it, either. It’s time to smash the monopoly.
What they need to do is find an attorney’s office that is not terrified of the Disney name and get them to sue for this money that’s owed. Yes, Disney has a ton of attorneys and they can fight for years, but the laws are on the side of the author here. Go for an immediate judgement.
I have zero social media accounts, can’t do anything to shame Disney, but really, if you think about it, does Disney care about shame? I don’t see it. It’s all about the Benjamins with them. As long as they rake in those, they’re happy and whistle a little tune as they steamboat along. I don’t have any Disney channels, I don’t buy their movies on DVD’s unless it’s something I really want to see or I don’t realize it’s even them I’m paying, and they get nothing from me, for the most part already.
It’s a wonder those people can sleep at night.
Posted the article to my FB Newsfeed with the #DisneyMustPay hashtag just now. Highway robbery. Jerks. So much irony. Corporations are NOT people, but they *are* enormously powerful entities which must be held to account.
K M D says
I saw this yesterday on Reddit. It is absolutely sickening. I either own or have read every single one of his non tie-in novels. If someone starts a go fund me or something of the sort to help him out, please also post that here. He’s brought me so many hours of pleasure with his books, I’d like to recommend some of my favorites.
Journeys of the Catechist (trilogy)
Spellsinger (six books)
(Also, if you are buying any of his books, know that Disney also owns Alien and Predator franchises now. Foster has written tie ins for those too, though I don’t know if they have started to screw people over with those ones yet.)
Melissa B says
That is RIDICULOUS and I imagine how they can get away with it legally. I was part of the participation accounting team having to handle these issues when Turner Broadcasting bought MGM/UA in the late 80’s. Turner bought the whole film library, then sold the UA titles back. Whatever participation agreements each movie/tv product had in place also transferred to Turner Broadcasting including paying residuals to the guilds. Whenever the products aired, the participants earned a fee and then we paid that out to whatever director/producer/actor etc. If Disney gets away with it this has a huge domino affect for all artist and their work!
Done. Mr. foster was my first Fantasy/SciFi author. Decades of enjoying his stories.
Public social media pressure is one tool to use in helping Foster and his family.
I’m so glad to hear of an avenue to address this. I can’t believe they are so cheap. Walt Disney, if he were still alive, would have never let this happen. Speaking from first hand experience it is horribly difficult to advocate for yourself when you are fighting cancer. I’m glad we can do something to help.
I’m about to tweet these fools into oblivion!
A family member worked doing ‘inking’ and artwork on comic books and did several Disney comics. Disney is famous for their stingy and mean interactions. Artwork that was done for use in comic books received a per page fee, and months /years later, Disney would reuse that same art work but with translations for foreign markets, or take images from the comics to use in coloring books, or tshirts or advertising. This is the old media version of ‘working for the exposure’ – the ‘prestige’ of having worked with Disney.
Begone Corporate Rodent Promoters says
You would think Disney’s lawyers would have their hands full trying to prevent the expiration of the copyright for Steamboat Willie (and with it Mickey) – which will happen on Jan 1, 2024. The copyrights to Superman, Batman, Disney’s Snow White, and early Looney Tunes characters will all fall into the public domain between 2031 and 2035.
I adore a Pip and Flinx! Alan Dean Foster RULES! Disney ????. They are like a 99% cocoa. You want to stuff your face with it but it’s just bad.
Thank you for brining this to our attention. It terribly easy to get lost in our every day DRAMA. USA + COVID + (he who must not be named)????. Yes, I’m talking about Darth Vader not Voldemort. Darth had kids, Voldemort not so much. Honestly, besides the heavy breathing I can’t recall his catch phrase. ????
I am not on Twitter and such but did send an email to Disney. This really tans my hide. I am in on the boycott. Thank you for letting us know about this!
Becca T says
And I thought that Disney reopening the parks in the middle of a Covid wave was bad enough. Smh.
I never read any of the star wars novelizations, in general i do not read books based on movies. But I AM an Alan Dean Foster fan and have read and reread and rereread the books set in his Humanx universe.
I have many issues with Disney and this is just one more thing to hold against them. I guess I have a love/hate relationship with them, since many of their films are icons of my childhood and i love them. But it is a greedy basssss… erm basket case of a Corporation with an agenda well beyond entertaining kids and families.
Is there an email address or a street address where we can send our disgust with this treatment. I do not have the cable channel for Disney, but I would like to send them a letter to let them know the cost of such conduct.
Disney Corporate Offices are located at
500 S. Buena Vista St.
Burbank, CA 91521-9722
Phone (818) 560-1000
Fax (818) 560-1930
Here is the current executive leadership at Disney
Current head of Disney is Iger
Several of the executives have their emails listed here:
Other contact info listed here:
J. M. says
Tweeted! It goes without saying but I’ll say it anyway: SHAME on Disney!
Disney Plus cancelled. “Alan Dean Foster” entered when reason requested.
Just tweeted at Disney!
My daughter and I are planning a modest Christmas this year. We decided on purchasing a few nice ‘family gifts’ to stretch the budget and maximize our fun together. We selected an expensive board game that we enjoy immensely, cake decorating tips for making extravagant cupcakes, and a year of Disney+ for entertainment. However, learning that Disney is cheating Alan Dean Foster is far too ugly to ignore.
We’re supporting Alan Dean Foster with a hard pass on ALL Disney and Disney related products this holiday season.
Jean Reads says
I read some of Alan Dean Foster’s Start Wars books. My first ADF book was Nor Crystal Tears. It remained one of my favorite sci-fi books for years, and hooked me on first contact novels.
I am sorry (although sadly not surprised) to hear what is happening. I hope Disney backs down and abides by the contracts.
What if he transfers the potential earnings of this contract, as a record, to the estate? This way the contract isn’t void when he dies.
This is also a disturbing abuse
Thank you for sharing this. I doubt I would have heard of it otherwise…
This kind of behavior is shameful and disgusting. I really hope Disney rethinks it’s stance so he doesn’t have to try to fight them in court.
According to the very end of a Newsweek article from 11/20 Disney claims they are back in discussions with Alan Dean Foster. FYI, my son had already heard about this through the channels he follows. I’ve been watching to see if more mainstream media picked up the story too.
Idiotic. That legal idea never hold in a legal court. Guess they think that because in the US your legal costs are yours (at least at the start) they can throw your megabillion dollar weight around. Ugly.
Just pay the guy. You’re making money hand over fist for his work. Walt Disney is probably ashamed of all of you. Lost my respect and money I would have spent. Passing it down the line.
I canceled my subscription to Disney+ and told them this was why, and that they would not get anymore of my money until they paid him his. It’s a small thing, but maybe it will help.
Mark L. Fisher says
If you have time, write Disney a physical letter. Letters are supposed to be 10+ more effective than electronic communication. If we inundate Disney with physical letters, they will sit up and take notice. This is a very bad look for them – horrible optics when they need our eyeballs the most.
Walt Disney Company
500 S. Buena Vista St