Lars Olav Karlsen donald at
Wed Aug 4 15:42:27 CEST 2004

I can not answer many of those questions because I am not working in
either Egmont or Gemstone, but I bet that those with the knowledge
doesn't answer as well because much of it would be considered classified
business information. Who gets what money should not be of interest to
us I guess.

All I know from my knowledge of the Walt Disney Company is that they
maintain full control over most of their asset so I can't see anything
different here. I bet there are lots of clauses in the contract between
Disney and the publishers. But I do not believe that the Walt Disney
Company is doing much to interfere with the publishers.

But I can answer this question: "And last but not least: May the
publisher or Disney change anything created by the creator? Can a
creator demand _not_ to have his name on his creation?"

Again, the Disney Company are not doing much to interfere here (from
what I believe), the artists can't have much contact with Disney and I
know for sure that Don Rosa clearly expresses that he isn't working for
But I do know that the publisher has the complete right to change
whatever they want in the artwork. I have several times seen Don Rosa
write that this or that was changed by the publisher. The contract
between the artists and the publishers must include some clause that the
publisher owns the rights to do whatever they want with the cartoons.

When it comes to signatures the Disney Company demands that nobody
else's signature shall be on the work then Walt Disney's. It was not
until the 80's that people found out that the artists were and that Carl
Barks became famous. So to answer your last question: the artist can
demand neither to remove nor to include the signature. The signature
will never be there.
This is the reason to why Don Rosa must hide the D.U.C.K dedications
that he has because it looks too much like a signature.

But when I read along with your conclusion I see that you have made a
mistake because from what I know it is the publisher that remains the
rights to the stories, but Disney owns the characters. That means that
Disney can not just take the stories to another publisher, but they can
take the characters to another publisher (if the contract between Disney
and the current publishers allows that). You must remember that there
are complicated contracts that both parties must withhold. As long as
Egmont has a contract with Disney they would be stupid to pay what they
have to and not make new stories. Only Egmont would loose money on that
because Disney would still get what they always did.

You also state that the cartoons are hot in America, but I have
understood it totally opposite. The last publisher Gladstone had to
close down and the current Gemstone are not that successful either on
the American market. In America the kids are more interested in Marvel
comics and superheroes then in good old Donald.

Lars Olav Karlsen
Oslo, Norway

-----Original Message-----
From: Cord Wiljes [mailto:cord at] 
Sent: 4. august 2004 12:52
To: 'Lars Olav Karlsen'; dcml at
Cc: Cord Wiljes
Subject: AW: Royalties

Lars Olav Karlsen wrote: 

> So the artists are not working for Disney at all, they are 
> working for the publishers like Egmont and Gemstone.
> Disney is getting royalties for the right to use the
> characters and names, and the artists are getting paid for the work.

So what happens if Gemstone reprints a story which was produced by
Egmont? Does Egmont get any payment for this reprint? Are there cases in
which the creator does get an additional payment for a reprint? Can
Gemstone chose stories from any Disney publisher worldwide - and just
pay royalties to Disney?

Would Disney object any individual contract between a publisher and a
creator in which the publisher promises payments to the creator for
future reprints? 

And last but not least: May the publisher or Disney change anything
created by the creator? Can a creator demand _not_ to have his name on
his creation?

If we compare the role of Disney creators with an actor who is paid for
acting in a movie: The finished film is the sole property of the studio.
And the actor will get no additional payments for the DVD-Release, TV
airings etc. The difference seems to be that a studio filming a Tarzan
movie will pay royalties to the heirs of Edgar Rice Burroughs, but will
own the finished movie. Whereas Egmont will pay royalties to Disney and
_not_ own the finished comics. Why is this so? Especially considering
the fact that (at least in the U.S.) Disney comics are that hot a
property that Disney could pick and choose among interested publishers.
So what would happen if Egmont said: "From now on we want to own the
stories we pay for - or otherwise we will stop having any new ones


More information about the DCML mailing list