Disney breaks contract with Alan Dean Foster, refuses to pay royalties on older STAR WARS books

Werthead

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In a bizarre move, Disney has unilaterally suspended royalty payments to author Alan Dean Foster for his early Star Wars novels and Alien film novelisations. The SFWA (Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America), the closest thing US SFF authors have to a union, has taken up the case.

Disney's argument is extraordinary: they claim that when they inherited the contractual rights to Foster's previous work (from Lucasfilm in 2012 and Fox in 2019), they inherited the "rights of the contract but not the obligations of the contract." Or in other words, they can continue to sell Foster's Star Wars and Alien books but not pay him royalties for those works. Rather obviously, Foster and the SFWA disagree rather forcefully, and are prepared to take the matter further until they agree to honour the in-place contracts.

Other Star Wars writers have been contacted and they are now querying their own royalty payments to see if anything is amiss. It sounds like the estate of A.C. Crispin is already concerned that they have not received royalty payments either.
 

Bick

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That's bloomin' awful! As a fan of ADF, and knowing what a lovely, humble fella he is, this is just so dreadful. I already hated Disney, but now I'd march!
 

Bick

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I didn't know he was fighting cancer either - very saddened by that. Perhaps a heap of us here should all buy just one ADF book this month to show our support - but not a Disney-owned title!
 

reiver33

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Odds are they'll mire this in the courts, hoping he dies
 

Vince W

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I didn't know he was fighting cancer either - very saddened by that. Perhaps a heap of us here should all buy just one ADF book this month to show our support - but not a Disney-owned title!
There are number to choose from. Any recommendations? I'm leaning towards Midworld.
 

Bick

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There are number to choose from. Any recommendations? I'm leaning towards Midworld.
Midworld is good - but can you find it as a current purchase?
If not - then you'll be able to find one of his more recent novels - Relic. This is good - have you read it?
 

Robert Zwilling

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I thought that was standard hollywood practice for getting around paying royalties and even outright theft of work by buying the company that negotiated the contracts and then saying only the property was bought not the original rights which became null and void. Several years ago I had read an article on the web that a new author whose work had been submitted, accepted and contracted for a movie to be made but the company went out of business and the author lost all rights to their work when another company bought the assets. I had always thought it was a cautionary tale not to send anything to hollywood without a high priced lawyer attached to it. Perhaps it was just urban legend.
 

Vince W

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Midworld is good - but can you find it as a current purchase?
If not - then you'll be able to find one of his more recent novels - Relic. This is good - have you read it?
I've not read it. Midworld is available as an e-book. It's a shame his novelisation of The Thing isn't available. I'd buy that again just to thumb my nose at the Disney Alien franchise.
 

biodroid

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Does Disney not have money to pay him? I am losing respect for Disney as they are becoming like EA (Electronic Arts), buying every film/TV franchise and pushing out content and trying to make as much money as possible at the expense of the content creators.
 

CupofJoe

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That doesn't surprises me at all.
The method of their business model used to be controlled releases of material on a 5-7 year cycle so there would be a new crop of consumers [aka kids] for it. They are a very successful company with in the entertainment sector and they didn't get there by being nice to people.
 

Foxbat

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This is disgusting. Time to boycott Disney and all its franchises as far as I’m concerned.
 
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