Back in November 2020, author Alan Dean Foster — who's written novelizations of Aliens, Star Wars, and many other properties —came forward to say that Disney had not been paying him any royalties after purchasing the franchise. It seems doesn't end at prose publishing, either: Steven DeKnight, who served as showrunner for the Netflix Daredevil show, has also not seen a penny since Disney took the property from Netflix and added it to their own streaming library.
So speaking of Daredevil, as showrunner of S1, part of my deal includes a little sliver of the backend. Never expected to see any on Netflix. But then Marvel/Disney pulled it and it ended up on Disney +. Now I'm part of an audit to try to get the money they owe me and others.
In the aforementioned case of Alan Dean Foster, Disney at one point claimed that it had only purchased the rights to certain intellectual properties, not the pre-existing contractual liabilities that accompanied those rights. In other words — or in the case of Steven DeKnight — Disney owns all of the Marvel content ever produced, including the rights to distribute and profit from content like the Netflix Daredevil show. But they did not purchase the legal obligations attached to all of that content they acquired — such as the contracts agreed to be the creative teams.
Just one more notch in the WGA's grievance belt!
Daredevil Showrunner Is Still Owed for Season 1 Residuals [Zachary Cimaglio / Comic Book Resources]