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Corporations Are Not Your Friend; Corporations Are Never Your Friend

For those wondering if I’m still employed, I did not tell a VP-level executive that everybody working for them is fucking around and needs to be replaced by somebody willing to do their godsdamned jobs.

I did say it a director-level executive, who was impressed by the receipts I brought, most especially the logged trouble ticket (it’s got an 8-digit ID number, but we’ll call it “A”) that directed responders to a second ticket (we’ll call this one “B”), that was in turn redirected to a third ticket (yep, “C”), that finally instructed people that further updates and actions should be logged back to ticket A. I may have used the words Möbius clown shoes to describe the situation.

I am far too jaded to assume anything will be fixed anytime soon, but I at least have an acknowledgment that customer-impacting things were fucked for months in precisely the way I’ve been saying they were fucked and if you think that isn’t going right on top of any future responses I have to write to HR, then you don’t know how willing I am to keep a paper trail that proves my point for decades if necessary. I have saved correspondence from a cable company that no longer exists, admitting that they fucked up because they didn’t manage to cash my checks for more than a year (finding out they wouldn’t be honored by the bank) after I’d called them numerous times to ask them to please take my money. That was sixteen years ago and I reread it from time to time to bask in the warm glow it gives me.

Now let’s talk about a corporation for which I have considerably more disdain than my employers¹ — Disney. I’ve never been a Disney fan (Pixar selling out to them was a sad day for me), but their latest bullshit has shocked even me. I trust you’ve seen this:

Disney’s argument is that they have purchased the rights but not the obligations of the contract. In other words, they believe they have the right to publish work, but are not obligated to pay the writer no matter what the contract says. If we let this stand, it could set precedent to fundamentally alter the way copyright and contracts operate in the United States. All a publisher would have to do to break a contract would be to sell it to a sibling company.

If you didn’t read the whole thing, that’s Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America president Mary Robinette Kowal on the situation that legendary SFF writer Alan Dean Foster has found himself in. Through their purchases of Lucasfilm and 20th Century Fox, Disney owns the rights to several of Foster’s books, and for years now has neither paid him royalties nor provided royalty statements because FUCK YOU, WE’RE THE MOUSE, THAT’S WHY.

This is, simply put, a whole lotta bullshit. Disney won’t even talk to Foster and his representatives unless they sign an NDA first, which is unbelievably bullshit. So this is your notice that if you have anything to do with any entity owned or operated by Disney, they are stating by their actions that they don’t think you should be paid and cannot be trusted to honor contracts they sign.

And, while I am not a lawyer, if you are working with any entity not owned or operated by Disney, they might buy them out in the future and try this utterly risible bullshit on you, too, so maybe your next contract should have an explicit Disney clause in there. Something along the lines of if your contract is ever acquired by Disney, they have 30 days to either immediately affirm — in writing, naturally — their obligations under the existing contract to you, or release your IP back to you with a kill fee equal to the previous five years of royalties or US$100,000, whichever is greater.

Oh, and on the off chance that you have licensed anything from Disney, there are lawyers on the sosh-meeds offering pro bono services for you to sell your license to a friend who can then use the Disney stuff without paying for it because hey — they started this bullshit, somebody ought to feed some of it back to them.

In the meantime, my determination to never pay Disney tax² is redoubled, and I will be avoiding their properties even more determinedly in the future. Not sure I buy anything that flows back to Disney except the occasional Marvel comic, so ought to be pretty easy.

Spam of the day:

Make the best espresso of your life

I don’t drink coffee. Is this some kind of weird sex thing?

¹ Who at least don’t try to convince me to love them. The pay is good, the check are on time and don’t bounce, and that is that absolute extent of the slack I give to them. My immediate manager I would follow into a wall of flame because she’s gone to bat for me on numerous occasions, but the entire org chart above her? Strangers that I work for, not some kind of feel-good “family”.

² I swear, half of my decision to not have kids involved never wanting to give the Disney corporation money.

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