Disney recusa publicar epílogo de Don Rosa

Don Rosa, que nos visitou no Salão do Porto em 1997, um dos mais importantes autores da Disney, nomeadamente nos comics de Donald Duck e Uncle Scrooge, viu recusado o seu epílogo “Why I Quit Comics” que iria aparecer no volume final do The Don Rosa Collection, publicado pela Egmont.
São várias as razões que aponta e que levaram ao fim da sua carreira em 2012. Desde problemas de visão, depressão e a sua natureza de “workaholic”. Mas o principal motivo para a discórdia foi quando abordou o assunto do “Sistema da Disney”, em que esta não lhe paga nenhum tipo de royalties. O que é curioso porque fazem sempre questão de colocar o seu nome no título das suas colecções. A sua resposta foi engenhosa: Don Rosa decide fazer copyright ao seu nome, de maneira a que os editores lhe tenham que pedir permissão para promover os seus livros.

But it’s an unfortunate fact that there have never been, and I ultimately realized there never will be, any royalties paid to the people who write or draw or otherwise create all the Disney comics you’ve ever read. We are paid a flat rate per page by one publisher for whom we work directly. After that, no matter how many times that story is used by other Disney publishers around the world, no matter how many times the story is reprinted in other comics, album series, hardback books, special editions, etc., etc., no matter how well it sells, we never receive another cent for having created that work…

Then one country started producing a series of all-Rosa albums. Another two countries started producing annual all-Rosa pin-up calendars. Then several more countries started producing all-Rosa special hardback editions which became best-sellers. I was called on to do promotional tours to help sell books of my work even though I was never paid royalties on those sales. What? Huh?..

And on these promotional media events when I did press conferences and appearances on national TV talk-shows, some interviewers would privately comment about how nice it must be for me to be getting so rich off something I obviously enjoyed doing so much. Eventually it hit me — all the European fans assumed that I was a millionaire…

Then the publishers took the next inevitable step. A new reprint album of my Scrooge McDuck adventures was not to be titled Scrooge McDuck #1, but Don Rosa #1. The annual “Donald Duck Calendar” was to become the annual “Don Rosa Calendar”…
What I did was hire a lawyer, at no small expense, and copyright my name across Europe and South America. Disney publishers certainly had every right to use my comic stories — those were Disney property. But my name is not Disney property – it is my property…

I did not ask for royalties. I decided to ask simply for an annual fee for the use of my name to sell products…

My publisher Egmont immediately agreed! I suppose they were simply waiting for me to say something. After all, they are a big company… in fact, a non-profit charitable organization… so why would they offer me a fee until I demanded it?…

With the non-Egmont publishers it is a different story. I let them know that they could no longer publish the all-Rosa albums and books using my name to promote them unless they had my permission. All they had to do was ask. But they would not…

So, to this day, that’s why you see all-Rosa book series in France, Brazil, the Netherlands, Italy, Greece and Indonesia (and probably other countries I haven’t found out about) which are attributed to an “anonymous” author…

Fans who did know what an unfair system we Disney comics people work in have often said to me “you’ve made a name for yourself now! Why not stop this thankless work and produce comics of some character that you create yourself?” And publishers have often told me they would publish anything I decided to create for them. But my reply has always been “Any character I might create next week… I would not have grown up with that character. I wouldn’t care about him. My thrill is in creating stories about characters I’ve loved all my life.” I’m a fan.

E é a esse estatuto que Don Rosa regressa. O seu texto na íntegra (donrosa.de).

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