Long ago, in a galaxy far, far away, the authors of Star wars the novels received royalty checks for their work. But this practice apparently ended around 2012.
Now the Empire is on the verge of retaliation, as group action from the authors of the adaptations of Star Wars and other franchises goes public. They claim that Disney has refused to pay royalties on book contracts since it absorbed Lucasfilms in 2012 in a $ 4 billion deal, according to a Wall Street Journal report.
These writers say Disney has delayed dealing with their complaints or stiffened them over checks that rarely total a few thousand dollars each. And the Star Wars franchise isn’t the only source of trouble.
The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America Association claims other authors of books related to Indiana Jones projects at Buffy the Vampire Slayer came up with similar stories of non-payment, all under similar circumstances to the Star Wars issue. Once Disney acquired the properties, the checks were no longer in the mail.
The WSJ report says it’s hard to guess how much money may be owed, as sales and royalties for the books affected have fluctuated wildly over time.
A Disney spokesperson told the WSJ, “We are carefully reviewing whether any royalty payments may have been missed as a result of the acquisition integration and will take appropriate corrective action if so.”
At least half a dozen writers at a range of Disney-owned properties reported that no checks were received, said Mary Robinette Kowal, president of Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.