I’ve recently been made aware that Disney is not paying Alan Dean Foster royalties for the still-in-print Star Wars novels he wrote prior to said company’s purchase of said franchise. You can read all about it right here.
If you purport to be a “big fan” of Star Wars and don’t know who ADF is, stop embarrassing yourself and go familiarize yourself with his work.
If you do know who he is, and if you, like me, grew up reading his film and TV adaptations, this should piss you off. If you’re a writer, this should piss you off.
ADF’s contributions to Star Wars lore are incalculable. All of the film adaptations of his that I’ve read greatly elevated and enriched the source material, going the extra mile to make them actually worth reading.
Besides The Mandalorian, which is an absolute delight, I can take or leave most Star Wars produced after the original trilogy, the non-mutilated version of which isn’t even commercially available anymore. The new stuff is okay, but it ain’t no big deal for me to just stop giving them money. I’ll sign up for another free Disney Plus trial should I decide to check out Mando season 2, but otherwise, fuck ’em. Frankly, after hearing about this ADF debacle, I’m not even in the mood to watch it.
Disney’s always been super preachy about piracy hurting creators, but just like the music industry, it’s not about the artist. It never has been. The suits at the top don’t care about anybody but themselves. They know that “If you pirate this movie, I may not be able to afford a new Lamborghini” doesn’t play as well as “If you pirate this movie, the creative community suffers.”
They’ll always be able to afford that Lamborghini, though. Ten of them. Twenty of them. Thirty of them. There’s no limit. Their disposable income is infinite.
So why not just pay Mr. Foster what he’s owed? Why are they stealing from him? Because they can, that’s why.
See, when regular folks owe money to some big, rich, corporate entity, said entity comes after them will the full resources of the law and gets paid. Always.
When they owe you money, though, the law says “Best of luck to ya, LOL.”
Make some noise about it. Make them start valuing the creators who make the content they use to fund their gold-plated shark tanks. Don’t let them get away with this shit.
Remember when Ice Cube smashed up a Priority Records exec’s office when he didn’t get paid what was contractually owed to him? And he got paid, didn’t he?
Obviously that kind of scenario isn’t in the cards, but pressure must be applied, and ADF must get paid. If he doesn’t, that’s bad for all of us. If you’re a writer, and ADF doesn’t get what he’s owed, the message should be clear: You don’t matter. Tell Disney how you feel about that.