Is it just us or does it seem like Disney’s accounting department, especially when it comes to royalty payments takes creativity very seriously? Remember the issue recently with author Alan Dean Foster and others (see: Alan Dean Foster Isn’t The Only Author Not Receiving Royalties from Disney says The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America)
For years, Disney has been keeping 80% of the revenue from older shows that it distributes to streaming platforms, leaving only 20% to be available to stars and other profit participants. It does so by classifying the revenue as “home video.” Under a formula dating from the introduction of the VCR, Disney subtracts an 80% royalty to its in-house distributor to cover the costs of distribution.Disney Takes 80% of Streaming Revenue by Calling It ‘Home Video’ – Variety
No false illusions, Disney is a business and it seeks to make deals that benefits their business. It’s too bad that so much money is made off the backs of creative people. New technology rolls in, creative works seem to become less valuable except the biggest corporations that “own” the publishing rights.
I can see why creative people are fighting back, but it just bolsters the idea the only way to get around this is to keep your publishing rights. Self-publish. The minute you sign a pact with one of these major studios you’re giving up the lion’s share of profits from the publishing and distribution. Some deals these companies make benefit the creative people, but the older contracts don’t seem to have a way of dealing with new technology.
In time this will change.