Tweet of the Day, If This Is True Then It’s Absolute Bullsh*ttery edition.

I think it’s true: but the problem is, it’s deep in Too Bad To Be True territory. The short version is, Alan Dean Foster did a press conference today with the SFWA about how he’s reportedly not getting paid royalties on books that Disney now prints (the Star Wars stuff, basically). According to them, the reason he isn’t getting paid is because Disney bought ‘the rights, but not the obligations.’ Which… makes no sense. If the contract says Foster gets paid royalties, he gets paid royalties.

And, yeah, I have a nasty, suspicious mind about Too Bad To Be True stories, too. Which is why I’m keeping an eye on this one. If it falls apart, we’ll know soon enough. But if it doesn’t… jeez. Basic contract law, people. Or, hell, basic PR. Pay the damn royalties.

8 thoughts on “Tweet of the Day, If This Is True Then It’s Absolute Bullsh*ttery edition.”

  1. Well, that’s a novel interpretation of rights and obligations. I wonder how the local, state and federal government feel about that, especially regarding things such as back taxes.

    1. One of the things that make me think this story is real was the way everybody involved sounded legit confused that this was what they’re being told. They’re certain that if they can just find somebody at Disney who understands contract law as it applies to book royalties, the problem would get resolved virtually instantly; they just can’t get that person looped in on this.

  2. I used to really look forward to his books, but I haven’t seen a new one in stores for…
    (He’s still been writing. I looked him up when I heard Christopher Stasheff had died.)
    Sadly, it’s not much different from what the publishing houses have been doing. Disney just isn’t bothering to pretend.
    I am so $&-$ing over this “laws are for the little people” #$_&.

  3. Given the way SFWA presents Griefcom as working (something I have no reason to disbelieve) and the way it’s being presented on the SFWA site, there’s very few plausible paths of fabrication left. It could conceivably have been the result of a hack of the website, but if so, we would have heard about that by now. Barring that, it would pretty much require that the president of the SFWA herself be the one doing the fabricating, and doing so in a way that would be deeply damaging to her own credibility and to the credibility of her organization once it inevitably came out. That’s… not plausible.

  4. Depends on what the Lucasfilm purchase agreement was. I can envision some legalese BS that would absolve Disney from paying certain things. This is the company that single-handedly re-defines copyright whenever their stuff is in danger.

    OTOH, Given the utter skin-suited dumpster that is the SFWA, can they BOTH lose?

    1. The only out for Disney in this scenario is if the purchase contract states that Lucasfilm is still responsible for those royalties, in which case his beef is with Lucas, not Disney. Either way, he’s owed his royalties.

  5. I’ve been thinking about this.
    Three things keep jumping out at me.
    One of the very first things Disney did when they aquired the franchise, was to declare that the extended universe was not canon.
    Second, the existence of the extended universe, and its continued popularity, stands as an open rebuke to what they’ve done with the franchise.
    Third, The extended universe books remain available for purchase, despite the obvious fact that Kathleen Kennedy hates them with a passion.
    This leads me to believe that Disney is contractually obligated to keep the books in print unless and until the authors release them from the obligation.
    So why not piss them off?
    They might react emotionally and quit.
    Worst case, they won’t want to do business with you anymore, so you might be able to pay them to go away.

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