One year into #DisneyMustPay campaign, Disney is still screwing creators on royalties

Originally published at: One year into #DisneyMustPay campaign, Disney is still screwing creators on royalties | Boing Boing


I still don’t understand Disney’s strategy on this stuff. The company is stupid rich and can easily afford to pay these very small royalties.

Are they just hoping they can overturn a century or two of contract law and declare contracts are no longer legally binding? I’m not sure there’s a court in the country that’d agree (suddenly remembers the Supreme Court) Oh, never mind.


Remember, the rich don’t get rich by giving money away- if they can’t keep it they will stop being rich. They don’t care if they are legally obliged to give that money away, they will keep it if they can.
It’s a similar tactic to employers who don’t want to cover unemployment costs-they make your life a misery until you leave. Disney will just continue to do as little as possible until people give up and go away. The fact that Disney has more aggressive lawyers and more money means that the system will work in its favor. I wonder if there are enough creators out there to make a class-action suit possible.


Also, writing for a franchise is a shit-show all around. I was asked once years ago to edit stuff for a franchise that must remain nameless (as in I had to sign an NDA just for the interview, a clear warning sign) and was appalled at what I saw – works were made by just jamming together the best parts of the slush pile, paying the named author the contractual per word rate just for the parts he/she/it wrote and stealing the rest, and generally relying on editors paid a low wage (the job I was offered) to make the resulting Frankenstein monster just barely good enough that the readers wouldn’t switch to another romance line. I declined.


Disney could generate so much goodwill here by saying “Yes, we realize this is a mess because of all of these different companies with all of these agreements, so we’re going to standardize all of this and ensure we have a clear process going forward, and will make everyone whole”. Problably costs them a pittance, and creators are reassured that working with Disney will be a good experience.

Instead they are totally missing that opportunity by being obstinate and obtuse. Shame.


God damn it, Disney, you would be NOTHING if it wasn’t for the creatives. Pay them what they are owed.


Further proof that anything dealing with the law wasn’t meant to protect the interests of the everyday person. There’s no good way for most to approach this in court, and the fact that Disney can just assume a lack of liability suggests a fuzzy area that should not exist. Better contacts need to be hammered out moving forward, and credible claims like this shouldn’t fall apart because the aggrieved can’t afford to take on the much more advantaged.

The realistic alternative is that Disney will hire creatives as work-for-hire with a royalty-free flat fee. Don’t like the terms? They’ll find someone else, because there will be others more desperate to take it.


Shrug, like Atlas. Don’t want to get ripped off by a corporation? Create nothing. Then you can never have anything stolen from you.

1 Like

The term for this practise, here in Australia, is “creative dismissal” If proven, which admittedly can be difficult, it costs the company a LOT.

This topic was automatically closed after 5 days. New replies are no longer allowed.