Remember the legal wrangling over Winnie the Pooh? That kept lawyers employed for decades. But that’s old news. The news these days, especially in legal circles, is about Roger Rabbit. From Reuters/Hollywood Reporter comes this report on the fight between author Gary Wolf and Disney Enterprises, Inc.:
The case already has spawned at least two significant judicial setbacks for profit participants trying to collect damages from studios. And just last week, a California court of appeal sent a portion of the case back to the trial court, illustrating the uphill and often unending battle facing talent who dare challenge studio accounting.
Like many authors, Wolf signed a 1983 option agreement that gave him 5% of “gross receipts” from Disney’s exploitation of neurotic Roger, curvy Jessica Rabbit, cigar-chomping Baby Herman and the rest of his characters. The parties didn’t bother to define “gross receipts” (hey, this was the early 1980s), and Wolf later claimed that he was owed millions for his share of everything from nonmonetary promotional partnerships with McDonalds to the value of Roger Rabbit “walk arounds” at Disney theme parks.
Follow the link. It is worth a read.