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Old 11-22-2020, 02:15 PM   #1
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Disney Arrogance

#DisneyMustPay

https://sfwa.org/2020/11/18/disney-must-pay/

How many other people are Disney cheating and have been bullied into NDAs and settlements?

Greedy mouse factory. They also are major lobbyist for unreasonable extending of Copyright. Especially their own. Not to benefit actual creators or their children.

Also lobbyist for DRM, which never stops piracy or protects copyright but controls consumers.

They think they are unilaterally able to ignore their obligations on copyright royalty to writers just because they bought the studio?
Pixar, Fox, Lucas etc.
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Old 11-22-2020, 05:46 PM   #2
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This is an astonishing move by Disney, which I hope they will swiftly reverse. Although why it should have got to this stage is beyond me.

The idea that you can buy a company and acquire all the rights in contacts held by that company but none of the obligations makes a nonsense of contract law.

E.g. I set up a company that enters into a 50-year lease on a property for an agreed rent. I set up a second company. Then the first company sells itself to the second company, but only the rights, not the obligations. Voila, according to Disney, the second company now has the right to occupy the property for the next 50 years, but no obligation to pay anything to the owner of the property. What's left of the first company goes bankrupt.

A sweet deal for me and the second company. Not so good for the property owner.

I can't see any way Disney could win this in court. So they must be planning on using all legal delay tactics at their disposal to wait out the other side.
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Old 11-22-2020, 08:02 PM   #3
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The only way I know of to get out of financial obligations is to declare bankruptcy and I can not see Disney doing that. Back when Zales Jewelers declared bankruptcy in 1992 they had millions of dollars in goods on memo from a company called Town and Country. Memo goods you do not own they are loaned to you with the understanding that when you sell something you pay for it. The company can ask for the goods to be returned at any time. The judge presiding over the bankruptcy decided that Zales did not have to pay for or return the goods that they still held. Zales to this day brags about how they emerged from bankruptcy a stronger company. Town and Country went out of business.
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Old 11-22-2020, 08:25 PM   #4
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I tend to agree with one of the comments to the initial article, why in the world hasn't Allan Dean Foster (I have his two Star Wars books, btw, both in paper and ebook) sued Disney? I would have thought that would be the first thing that he did when it became clear that Disney had no intention in paying him. Of course, it simply could be that the court cost of suing Disney is more than the royalties involved. Those books have been out a long while and I would be surprised if we are talking large sums of money. Of course, you can include court cost in lawsuits.
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Old 11-22-2020, 10:40 PM   #5
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P.S. It looks like he's going through the union, and they decided to go public about this. I got that mixed up with the WOTC lawsuits where at least 3 authors are going through the courts.

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Old 11-23-2020, 03:41 AM   #6
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I tend to agree with one of the comments to the initial article, why in the world hasn't Allan Dean Foster (I have his two Star Wars books, btw, both in paper and ebook) sued Disney? I would have thought that would be the first thing that he did when it became clear that Disney had no intention in paying him. Of course, it simply could be that the court cost of suing Disney is more than the royalties involved. Those books have been out a long while and I would be surprised if we are talking large sums of money. Of course, you can include court cost in lawsuits.
Because lawsuits are (unfortunately) expensive and take a long time, no matter how clear-cut the issue, especially when one side has very deep pockets.
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Old 11-23-2020, 05:48 AM   #7
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Because lawsuits are (unfortunately) expensive and take a long time, no matter how clear-cut the issue, especially when one side has very deep pockets.
No doubt there's also the physical toll to be considered, especially with serious illness involved
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Old 11-23-2020, 06:28 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Apache View Post
The only way I know of to get out of financial obligations is to declare bankruptcy and I can not see Disney doing that. Back when Zales Jewelers declared bankruptcy in 1992 they had millions of dollars in goods on memo from a company called Town and Country. Memo goods you do not own they are loaned to you with the understanding that when you sell something you pay for it. The company can ask for the goods to be returned at any time. The judge presiding over the bankruptcy decided that Zales did not have to pay for or return the goods that they still held. Zales to this day brags about how they emerged from bankruptcy a stronger company. Town and Country went out of business.
Apache
Quite common, actually.

In bankruptcies the court sees two classes of claims: secured and unsecured. Secured claims get paid as best as possible and the unsecured get paid if anything is left over. And any valuables in control of the company at the moment of bankruptcy are considered assets. That includes products on consignment. All is at the discretion of the bankruptcy court.

As it turns out, in publishing books are considered assets and authors unsecured creditors. That leads to things like the Nightshade/Skyhorse mess of a few years back where authors were forced to take lower royalties so Skyhorse could buy out Nightshade or see Nighshade go into bankptcy court and get nothing for years, possibly forever.

http://www.michaelastackpole.com/?p=3288

It's not just consumers who need to beware who they do business with.

Last edited by fjtorres; 11-23-2020 at 06:32 AM.
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Old 11-23-2020, 07:38 AM   #9
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If that is the case then Zales should have ended up owning all of the jewelry being repaired, that was in their physical possession at the time of the filing. But wait, that might have pissed off Zale"s customers.
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Old 11-23-2020, 07:45 AM   #10
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If that is the case then Zales should have ended up owning all of the jewelry being repaired, that was in their physical possession at the time of the filing. But wait, that might have pissed off Zale"s customers.
Apache
Possibly. I'm fairly sure it has happened with computers.
It depends on the paperwork.
(Also, a lot of repair work gets farmed out.)

Bankruptcy is about ordered resolution and preserving (or liquidating) the business, not fairness. That's why union and/or rental agreements get voided.

Here:

https://www.justia.com/consumer/cons...pt-businesses/

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Old 11-23-2020, 09:26 AM   #11
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Because lawsuits are (unfortunately) expensive and take a long time, no matter how clear-cut the issue, especially when one side has very deep pockets.
It can be, of course, but civil suits frequently include court costs. It's entirely possible that Disney isn't going to take him seriously until he actually does file a law suit.
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Old 11-23-2020, 01:42 PM   #12
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I tend to agree with one of the comments to the initial article, why in the world hasn't Allan Dean Foster (I have his two Star Wars books, btw, both in paper and ebook) sued Disney?
Neil Gaiman wrote about this:

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When a very rich but ethically challenged publisher simply refused to pay me, and said “Sue me if you don’t like it”, (as I learned he had done to other creators) I sued him and his company. I won on all counts. I won on appeal. I won again on the points they challenged on. But—

I was only able to afford to sue him because I had become a NYT bestselling author. His legal tactic was to “paper” me: his legal team filed pointless motions that my team had to respond to, costing me money. (His lawyers were covered by his insurance, I was paying for mine.)

I won the case (and the appeal judgement codified points of copyright law in creators’ favour, such that young lawyers come up to me and tell me they studied Gaiman Vs McFarlane at Law School). It cost an unbelievable amount of money, time and stress, and at the end...

I donated all the money I got from the case to charities. If the publisher had stuck to his agreements it wouldn’t have been necessary. AND Most writers don’t have my resources, which is why we need @sfwa and @Soc_of_Authors etc, to remind publishers to uphold agreements.
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Old 11-23-2020, 02:40 PM   #13
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This is an astonishing move by Disney, which I hope they will swiftly reverse. Although why it should have got to this stage is beyond me.

The idea that you can buy a company and acquire all the rights in contacts held by that company but none of the obligations makes a nonsense of contract law.

E.g. I set up a company that enters into a 50-year lease on a property for an agreed rent. I set up a second company. Then the first company sells itself to the second company, but only the rights, not the obligations. Voila, according to Disney, the second company now has the right to occupy the property for the next 50 years, but no obligation to pay anything to the owner of the property. What's left of the first company goes bankrupt.

A sweet deal for me and the second company. Not so good for the property owner.

I can't see any way Disney could win this in court. So they must be planning on using all legal delay tactics at their disposal to wait out the other side.
Disney will delay the legal resolution of the case using unethical but legal delaying tactics. The plaintiffs goes bankrupt or dies before the process is resolved.

I wonder, if the plaintiff sues and wins, can he claim for legal expenses incurred.
As side note, Gaimon's post above notes that corporations can insure for legal costs. They probably don't need to claim on insurance as plaintiffs can's afford to sue them.

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Old 11-23-2020, 04:40 PM   #14
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In defense of Disney. Nope. Can't do it. There is no defense. I hope Foster gets punitives.
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Old 11-23-2020, 04:51 PM   #15
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From Wiki:

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In August 2020, just under two-thirds of the stock was owned by large financial institutions.
I wonder if this is standard practice for large publicly-traded media corporations. i.e. screw the little guy who can't afford to fight back. Hey, it's just business.
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