Disney Must Pay

Depressing news from the corporate bigwigs at Disney.


The headline points —

  • Alan Dean Foster is an sf legend - a writer who produced a shelf of original novels but also made a reputation novelizing movies and TV from Star Wars to Aliens, turning out books that transcended quickie adaptations, becoming beloved bestsellers in their own right.

  • Disney now owns a bunch of these books, thanks to their acquisitions of Lucas and Fox, and these books continue to sell briskly. Disney not only isn’t paying Foster any royalties for these books - they’re refusing to even issue him royalty statements.

  • This is Disney’s theory: When they bought Lucas and Fox, they acquired the copyright licenses that enabled them to sell the Foster’s books - but not the liability, the legal obligation to pay him for his books.

  • Foster’s case is a gross injustice. He has cancer and his wife is ill. He wrote these books, Disney bought them. They’re making money from them. They owe him money. Period.

The hashtag #DisneyMustPay is now trending on Twitter.


I know you understand legal issues way better than I could pretend to, but yeah, it seems pretty clear that US contract law states that any party buying property from another party acquires both the rights and the obligations. It seems to be hung up on Foster having to sign an NDA to even be able to discuss the issue with Disney. I would guess this gets sorted out the right way legally eventually, but unfortunately, there is not much “eventually” left in Foster’s life. Am I getting the legal part of this right, or is there more to it? I definitely agree with the spirit of Disney continuing those royalties and not playing games with this.

1 Like