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Disney, please sell the rights to Monkey Island back to its creator Ron Gilbert (change.org)
273 points by doener 6 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 105 comments



Has Disney ever sold rights to anything? Their business model is to accumulate vast amounts of IP with emotional attachments to consumers. The more people sign this petition the more Disney will value the Monkey Island IP.


Nice insight! I agree 100%. The more signatures, the less likely to sell it!

But more likely that they use it for something someday, at least...


Is there a reason for why Ron Gilbert can't pull a Perfect Dark and make a game with the same sort of gameplay, but a new setting & new characters?

It wouldn't even have to be that far removed from the current characters. E.g. Spaceballs didn't need permission from Lucasarts, you're allowed to parody other works. He could make a game that would parody Monkey Island.


Doesn't Thimbleweed Park count. I guess rather than a parody it's more of a homage, but he has made another ironic point and click.

https://thimbleweedpark.com/


As someone who grew up with LucasArts games, I really enjoyed Thimbleweed Park.

However, I wonder how much it would resonate with kids today who might not be nostalgic for this genre of gaming.


Indeed. I'm a huge MI fan but if these are the original concepts he can come up with then why not more like this? Thimbleweed Park is a classic IMO.


I love that game! So many fun anecdotes to the 90's, X-Files and a lot of silly humor. Would like see him make more of those, but with a fantasy theme.


> He could make a game that would parody Monkey Island.

Now that you mention it, I think that would be even more awesome than a regular sequel. I cannot imagine what a parody of Monkey Island would look like, but I cannot wait to see it. ;-)


It may not have been required but Brooks did get Lucas's blessing, and it came with a provision that they not merchandise anything.

See: http://mentalfloss.com/article/65691/14-things-you-might-not...


He could call it Pirates of the Caribbean :-)


If I understand correctly, the first two PotC movies actually pulled ideas from a never-shot script for a Monkey Island movie.

http://monkeyisland.wikia.com/wiki/The_Curse_of_Monkey_Islan...


And this is exactly why Disney will not give the rights or even sell the rights to monkey island. Potc is a massive cash cow for them, I think they're up to six movies at this point. Giving away the rights to something that ties in so closely to that franchise would be seen as a financial liability.

But since we're talking who inspired whom, both monkey island and the second third and forth potc movies drew heavily on Tim Powers novel On Stranger Tides, and by the time they got to the fourth movie they just flat out optioned the book, title and all.


I believe I've read somewhere that Curse of Monkey Island drew some heavy influences from the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, which originally opened in the sixties.


"The Gift of Donkey Island"


This would be a nice thing for Disney to do, but they won't. Iron Man was a second rate Marvel character that they ignored for years, and they've subsequently made so much money from that. Monkey Island is an excellent storyline and world and Disney will happily ignore it until Pirates of the Carribean is forgotten they they will find the right treatment and throw some celebrities in there and make a bunch of money. Or not do anything and deprive someone else from doing the same thing. Not saying that's good or bad, just saying that's what will happen.


Pirates of the Caribbean is basically already a Monkey Island adaptation. Naive young protagonist falls in love with governor('s daughter), love interested is kidnapped by ghost pirate, there's a secret island you can only visit by magical means, turns out love interest didn't really need all that much saving anyway...

There's no rubber chicken with a pulley in the middle, but basically all the parts are there.


... literally.

""" The Monkey Island movie never got the green light and years later Ted Elliott wrote 'Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl', which took several ideas from Monkey Island. So basically the first two PotC movies are the Monkey Island movie. """

http://monkeyisland.wikia.com/wiki/The_Curse_of_Monkey_Islan...


I've said it already on this thread but both MI and PotC, while influenced by each other (yes, MI is also influenced by the original pirates of the Caribbean ride) both have more in common with On Stranger Tides by Tim Powers. Ron Gilbert has stated in interviews that the book was a big inspiration, and the fourth PotC film is actually called On Stranger Tides and is essentially an adaptation.

The second and third movies also borrowed a lot from it, most memorably the scene where two characters get married during a swordfight is lifted straight from the book


That's a rather important part. Without it, everything else completely falls apart. And the only monkey didn't even have three heads.


By the way, I'm getting increasingly worried about the sheer dominance that Disney is increasingly having in the children entertainment business. Looks like they're aiming at owning all the relevant franchises in that field...


I feel like its a failure of government, and it's happening pretty much everywhere. https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-3n_GbJVCIuI/UnUmZ-3ntzI/AAAAAAAAX... There are charts like this for banks and anything else you can imagine, so its not "just" those companies.


Honest question: Are there some convincing arguments for why this isn’t also a failure of free-market capitalism? It appears to me that without government regulation (the irony!) most if not all free markets end up as oligopolies sooner or later. Indeed, isn’t that exactly how we got antitrust legislation in the first place?


You have to start one step before this: Are there convincing arguments that this is a failure at all? Children's entertainment isn't an exclusionary arena, nothing about the number of options Disney provides prevents someone else from putting out option N+1. It was true on cable TV, and it's infinitely more true in the streaming world of today. In such a market, Disney's dominance need not mean anything more than being really good at servicing this market.

Copyright is really an orthogonal concern here. Yes, it certainly endows Disney with some rents that they shouldn't have, but their dominance is based on a continuous supply of new content, not derivatives of Mickey Mouse.


In all seriousness, Disney does not own my children's childhoods. I don't systematically exclude them, but it's certainly a minority in my household. It's not even something I've tried that hard to do.


We do not allow any clothes or items with a character in our house. So no shirts, no undies, no dolls, no toys. Most toys are more neutral, stuff like meliss & doug wood blocks.

Not surprisingly, non-character stuff tends to be way better quality.

We do have a few items from gifts over the years. Our 2 year old calls a gifted Minnie Mouse doll "Elmo". Makes me proud.


"Free" doesn't mean unregulated free-for-all, it specifically means that people are free to enter the market as buyers or sellers, and free to choose what and when to exchange, at what price. The government does not regulate who is allowed in the market, nor the prices; but rather would get involved by protecting those freedoms to engage & price.

Monopolies work against a free market, as do barriers to entry. Businesses make more money if the market is not free, i.e. if others in the market are not free to choose competitors' products or to become a competitor themselves. The "invisible hand" is about reflecting pricing movement of free exchange, not enforcing the freedoms. If a society wants a free market, they need to set up rules that promote market freedom as a societal goal, which would (ideally) end up working against individual profit maximization (compared to a usurpable market) but for greater overall robustness and correction.


The answer is economies of scale. Banks, for instance, have significant economies of scale. Bigger banks can lend for lower rates and offer better services overall. Ironically bigger banks are also safer [1].

So economists have to weigh the disadvantages of oligopolies against the advantage of efficient production. For instance you wouldn't want several electric grids competing against each other. On the other hand oligopolies can have powerful lobbies distorting the political process.

It's a complex balancing act overall. If you're interested, this is a field of economics called "industrial organization".

1. Canada, for instance, has only 6 banks, none of which failed in 2008. The problem with banks is their being over-leveraged (that is taking excessive risks) and inter-connectedness, as well as human shortsightedness and managerial incentives encouraging excessive risk taking. The problem with large banks is generally their political power.


> free-market

On the Disney topic their dominance doesn’t come from free-market but IP holding though. It’s a worse of both world situation where they fought hard to carve a protected niche for themselves.


Often the kind of “free-market capitalism” that leads to oligopolies benefit from regulatory protections and hurdles. Take away patents, financial regulations, and regulations that only large companies can afford which protect large incumbents and those oligopolies go away.


I'm reading this as "There are no oligopolies in the Wild (deregulated) West", and that doesn't feel intuitively true.


That is a misreading. I said often, not always.


> that Disney is increasingly having in the children entertainment business.

This is one of the evils of Copyright as it actually exists. Companies own culture. They own every story and character you grew up until after the day you will be dead.

Add to that the lax anti-monopoly rules and you end with empires like Disney.

Facebook or Disney are cultural trends that are impossible to ignore for an individual that wants to be a normal part of society.

I am happy that Alice in Wonderland, Jack and the Beanstalk, Roman culture, Egyptian culture, ... are free to use.


Alice in Wonderland is free to use because the copyright has expired. During the time it existed, it allowed Lewis Carrol to pay his rent (and various other things useful in producing creative works). There's an issue, but it may be with copyright lifetimes rather than copyright itself.


There definitely is a problem with how long copyright lasts, and Disney is directly responsible for strongly lobbying to make it last longer.


Counter argument: Would a movie like Star Wars lose it’s cultural value if anyone could make a star wars movie — creating so many rip-offs that the soul of the original was lost? I think Disney has been a good custodian of the franchise and might not have invested so much into it if they didn’t have that exclusivity.


Personally, I'd be happy with a regime where copyright lasts, say, 20 years, but trademarks last as long as you are actively using them and defending them. This would mean that "Star Wars" would fall out of copyright, and anyone could sell Star Wars DVD/Blurays at whatever cost they like, could use the material in various creative ways at will, but nobody could actually make "Star Wars 24: The Cheap Sucking Cash Grab That's Totally The Next Star Wars, So Fork It Over Moviegoing Slobs". You'd have to call it something else that makes it very clear that it's not actually "Star Wars".

What Disney wants is to grab everything it can. Not that surprising. What it needs is to be able to protect its reputation and for its name brand to mean something. That does not require multi-century copyright terms... it requires trademarks.

Making me less happy, I'd be comfortable with a regime where copyrights expire after 10/20 years or something, but companies can indefinitely renew them on an exponentially-growing basis every decade or something, making companies have to decide whether they are actively using a property or whether it's more economical to just let it go. The major problem with the copyright term being so long isn't that it covers Steamboat Willie... the major problem is that it covers everything. An absurd amount of culture is not just tied up in copyrights, but copyrights that literally nobody knows where they reside, because who wants to track the rights to some kids book from 80 years ago carefully or something?


They already made the "Cheap Sucking Cash Grab..." back in 2015, and then its sequel in 2017. Next cash grab seems to be scheduled for 2019.


I like the idea of a property tax on IP after a certain period of time. Maybe something based on revenue of the ultimate rights holder. Would be hard to escalate that tax from disuse however since you could trivially do something.


I wouldn't escalate on disuse, just straight-up time. Exponential I chose to make it cheap to hold on to for a couple of decades, but by the time a company is claiming something for the 80th or 90th year, they better be doing something pretty darned awesome and profitable with it to justify keeping it out of the public domain.

And if they are... I really don't mind. I'm a bit less incensed at the fundamental idea of "culture being locked up"; if something is being maintained as Star Wars is, for instance, let Disney have it for as long as they can homestead it, basically. I'm personally far more aggrieved about the pile of stuff that nobody owns and nobody particularly wants, but is locked up because Disney wants to own Steamboat Willy. My pragmatic solution is to basically let them, but to do so with much, much less collateral damage.


Are you aware of all the Star Wars licensed books and artwork?

Even when other people gain the right to make derivative works, the cultural concept of canon separates certain works as authoritative from the mass of non-canonical fanfiction.

If Disney did not own copyright over the existing Monkey Island games, and trademarks on the Monkey Island characters and settings, a new game by the original creators of the game would almost certainly be received as canonical.

It would be like Tim Cain making another Fallout game, even though Bethesda owns the rights to the franchise now. Indeed, with both him and Feargus Urquhart together at Obsidian, one might argue that they have at least as much canon right to the franchise as Bethesda, who owns the actual legal rights. Similar with Fargo, Stackpole, and Danforth at inXile making Wasteland sequels, except they actually had to buy the rights to the trademarks. Or it would be like Meretzky making another Planetfall sequel, yet Activision has just been sitting on the rights to do that for decades.

The original rights have long been transferred to different corporate owners, in some cases several times.

There is definitely room to change copyright and trademark such that some rights are permanently invested in the individual contributors to a work, that cannot be quashed or transferred, regardless of work-for-hire status or corporate transfers. When a studio goes under and fires everyone, yet retains all rights that get transferred to a successor company that just sits on them, that isn't encouraging the creation of new works. It's forcing the actual creators to go find new jobs, where they are legally forbidden from continuing their previous work. It might be appropriate to allow some rights to escheat back to the creators, with the successor corporation getting something more like an automatic license.

Imagine if someone like Disney lost the right to draw Oswald the Lucky Rabbit to Universal Studios, who poached all his animators out from beneath him except Iwerks. They'd have to start all over with a completely new character that no one knew about, and directly compete against their own previous work, that would then be out of their control. And then they'd have to see Oswald pulled away from even those poached animators, by corporate fiat and a poker bet by Lantz, only to be buried shortly thereafter by Woody Woodpecker.

Separating the rights from the creatives entirely seems to have been somewhat unwise, judging by the history. Some rights now are literally too complicated for anyone to unravel, thereby preventing not only derivative works, but even just new copies on the market. How bad would it be, really, to just go to the named author (or their estate) to grant new licenses, instead of trying to chase down a corporate paper trail of transfers and contracts?


I don't think the law has any place adjudicating canonicity, so I just plain don't consider it a problem. And to the extent that it does, trademarks can do the job just fine.

"It would be like Tim Cain making another Fallout game, even though Bethesda owns the rights to the franchise now."

A very bizarre choice of example, since Fallout is precisely what got made because they couldn't get the rights to make Wasteland 2, so Fallout is already "another Wasteland game"! http://wasteland.rockdud.net/fallout.html


I'm not talking about canonicity, but about the copyrights themselves. Right now, copyrights can be entirely divorced from the creator of the work. But the motivation of a corporation to hire someone to create a work for them and that of a creator to get paid for their work are different enough that we shouldn't be treating corporations the same as people in this instance.

The example was intentional. It's why I also mentioned Wasteland. Obsidian and inXile are very close, and Obsidian did work under contract to inXile for Wasteland 2. Those studios are both filled with ex-Interplay/Black Isle people. They all got fired, and the rights went somewhere else.


People are still making well-regarded Sherlock Holmes stories.


I don’t think so. Someone would make a better one and the original would eventually fade into obscurity (cf. the original fairytales that were made into Disney movies)


Who is going to make a better one if no studio can accumulate enough capital to make large big-budget bets? Last I checked, very few small budget studios can make big blockbuster movies. The reason Disney can is because they have accumulated capital with their IP and are backed by investors who recognize the value of that IP.


So you're saying that in a free market no one could get the capital without the IP? I'm sorry, but I feel that's ridiculous. They could still have access to popular actors, directors, screenwriters.

Franchises aren't everything. Otherwise the highest grossing movies wouldn't be Avatar and Titanic :)


Fox didn't gamble $250 million on Avatar or $200 million on Titanic without something else paying the bills.


> Disney is directly responsible for strongly lobbying to make it last longer.

And the hacker scene is directly respondible for not developing darknet software with which one can circumvent these copyright restrictions.


Just like with DRM, technology is not a solution to a social problem.

Having a darknet software that circumvents copyright restrictions won't prevent a squad of guys with guns appearing at your doorstep and taking you to a place, where you will spend several years. To prevent that, you need another solution and the answer is not technology or software.


> Having a darknet software that circumvents copyright restrictions won't prevent a squad of guys with guns appearing at your doorstep and taking you to a place

That is why I wrote "darknet software". If the software cannot ensure anonymity, you get this kind of problem.

> To prevent that, you need another solution and the answer is not technology or software.

Sure, but until a solution appears, better create technology and software that makes civil disobedience easy.


In case of movies/tv shows/music/etc, which you do not need to live, much better solution is to ignore the existence of the movies/tv shows/music/etc produced by companies that abuse whatever you believe. That will get you much further (see? the market is not interested at all, why do they need that law?), than making them a victim and giving them a reason to push for much more draconian laws.


> In case of movies/tv shows/music/etc, which you do not need to live, much better solution is to ignore the existence of the movies/tv shows/music/etc produced by companies that abuse whatever you believe.

I already do, so to me this is nothing even worth talking about. :-)

The problem rather lies, for example, in the "cultural" references that people use all the time.

> than making them a victim and giving them a reason to push for much more draconian laws.

I tell you: You can do what you want - they will make you a victim in any case.

In this sense I do not just ignore their movies etc., but also ignore their rights to have a right to censor (copyright), too. I am against violence, so I am against copyright, too.


How in the world does media theft help alleviate the concern that Disney owns our culture? Breaking DRM won’t help Warner Brothers create a Mickey Mouse (or any other) universe to compete.


So this group of people is morally obligated to risk prosecution and civil lawsuits to help strangers break laws just because we don't agree with them?


"There is no justice in following unjust laws."

Aaron Swartz (1986-2013)


Exactly how much justice was there in Aaron's not having followed the unjust laws?

He was a kind, brilliant person, barely out of childhood, and his life has come to an end.

I admire what he did and I find the way he was treated criminal and deplorable. However, Its difficult to blame developers for not wanting to go to prison and/or be harassed to death.


[flagged]


> Go do it yourself

Who says that I do not work on such things already? (just perhaps in a somehwat different way than you might spontanously have in the back of your mind).


I have nothing on my mind in particular, I just like to call out lazy entitled people who think that others should do things they want for them, be it on the internet or in person


Other franchises exist than Marvel and Star Wars, vote with you wallet rather than just wishing that Disney didn't own it.


You can't vote with a wallet. And choosing who you're giving your money to is ultimately pointless in a system where a few huge company can buy the little guy / franchise / studio / ... that you supported.

Consolidation of super-conglomerate is a real issue and one that most government in the world fail to tackle.


> You can't vote with a wallet. And choosing who you're giving your money to is ultimately pointless in a system where a few huge company can buy the little guy / franchise / studio / ... that you supported.

Emphasis on "support_ed_". As soon as they are bought out, stop supporting them.


If you supported them, you’re still in love with the franchise and the characters, and now they have a giant marketing/pr push behind them which will grow the brand even more. The idea that you can just “opt out” like some emotionless automaton is beyond stupid. All the reasons you fell in love with the franchise will still be available to new fans, plus a massive cultural push to consume more of it. This idea that we are all rational consumers who can just turn on and off our love for things and therefore have any actual effect on the market is both extremely stupid and extremely toxic.


> If you supported them, you’re still in love with the franchise and the characters

At this point we probably differ: As soon as such a buyout happens, I lose my love.

> plus a massive cultural push to consume more of it.

I have a tendency to be rather immune with respect to such cultural pushes. I often tell people to become and how to become resistant in this respect, too.


Well aren’t we confusing good advice for the individual vs good advice for the mean. There is room for both sets of advice, but I think on average we need to look towards implementing policy that takes the whole into consideration. Not everyone has access to people or content that will motivate them to make the right individual choices. But, most everyone has access to advertising that actually promotes us making the wrong decision to make people money.


> Not everyone has access to people or content that will motivate them to make the right individual choices.

This might be true, but I see the much larger problem in the fact that many people, who do have such access, tend to ignore it and go with the mainstream.

> But, most everyone has access to advertising that actually promotes us making the wrong decision to make people money.

I have a strong tendency to ignore advertising that is not coherent with my values. In this sense, I believe/hope, that I am a tough nut for advertisers to crack. :-)

More seriously: I do not believe that one can manipulate people into doing/buying things that they are mentally opposed to. For example: If before a Youtube video some Netflix trailer is shown, I immediatelly think: "Not interested in the slightest as long as Netflix uses DRM" etc.

So having strong principles is a good vaccination against advertising - but most people actively do not want to become vaccinatinated against this kind of brainwashing.


You are basing your analysis purely on your own personal experience and attitude towards the world which is definitionally anecdotal and extremely anti scientific.

If people are not influenced by advertising and marketing why then do governments put fourth propaganda, why is advertising a multi billion dollar industry, why is it an extremely sought after undergraduate degree, why are there advertisements literally everywhere you look? The answer is because it works, and it makes people a lot of money and gives them a lot of power.

We are highly influenced by the mainstream and by culture, I mean culture is what is allowing us to communicate with each other by providing us with a set of symbols (alphabet and English language). In fact we don’t know what we don’t know and therefore can never truly be objective in our view of the world, it’s always built and based off of cultural artifacts and norms.

So it’s not a problem per say that people do the wrong thing at large, it’s simply a fact of life, people tend go with the flow. That means people who don’t go with the flow need to make the flow flow better. Or else you are suggesting we leave normal people behind because they suck. Where I personally think we are as individuals defined by how we help people that are weaker than ourselves.


> why is advertising a multi billion dollar industry

An atheist would argue: If god does not exist, why is religion a multi billion dollar industry? The answer is: because there are people who believe in its effectiveness and put their money where their mouth is.


Religion is a perfect example of guerilla marketing, multilayer marketing, grassroots marketing and a pyramid scheme. They advertise by hooking guilable people looking for easy answers, the churches convince their local populace to give them money, those churches then pay up to larger regional institutions and so on.

The people need to be presented something to believe in before they can pay money for it or else they wouldn’t know it existed and therefore wouldn’t be able to put their money where their mouth is. Getting the word out is the most important thing. missionary work and preaching the gospel is a main tenant of Christian theology for example... because they understand advertising and marketing is important. This is why the Catholic Church covered up the molestations of children, because they understood bad PR would hurt their bottom line.


When has voting with your wallet ever actually changed something?


What are the biggest telecommunications companies in America now? In 1950? The AT&T name survives but the company using it now bought the original company. The American automobile market looks radically different now than it did in 1950 too. The newspaper classified ads economy has mostly been eaten by internet advertising. Creative destruction is part and parcel of capitalism.


None is that is due to ethical consumerism (the idea you can vote with your wallet on a principle and it will actually make a difference).

As far as I know, the last major time ethical consumerism made a difference was against South African apartheid. Which is a cause 10,000x more important than the hegemony of Disney. Smaller issues just don't get the traction.


On the one hand, I hate the fact that Disney owns so many franchises.

On the other hand, I trust them to make better Star Wars content than Lucas, and I enjoy the Marvel movies.

They may be evil incarnate but they do know how to tell (and sell) a good story.


Disney is able to creat tasteless childlike story arcs that challenge nothing.

There’s a good guy, there’s a bad guy, there’s the struggle and sacrifice of the good guy, which eventually trumps the bad guy leading to a rich life.

They are selling you American mythology 101.

The fact that you enjoy these myths isn’t a problem, they are literally manufactured to have as broad an appeal as possible.

What is a problem is you excusing the dilution of nuance in our culture that is used to perpetuate western hegemony which directly leads to our politicians doing literally whatever they want for themselves.


>There’s a good guy, there’s a bad guy, there’s the struggle and sacrifice of the good guy, which eventually trumps the bad guy leading to a rich life.

These are tropes and elements common to almost all storytelling, and certainly to fairy tales and myths. Americans didn't invent any of that, and neither did Disney.

And as far as Star Wars goes, the Empire are the Bad Guys, basically Space Nazis who dress in black and white and hang around starkly brutalist technology which doesn't even have basic OSHA compliance because they're just that evil.

The Jedi are the Good Guys. They dress in earth tones. Or, at least, the two we meet in the OT do. But they must be the Good Guys because they're fighting the Bad Guys.

And the Rebel Alliance are also the Good Guys. No one thinks twice about the morality of blowing up the Death Star and all of the hundreds of thousands or maybe millions of people on board, because those are Bad Guys. Luke Skywalker force chokes two Gammorean guards in Jabba's palace, but that's fine, because just look at how ugly they are. They're basically orcs, obviously Bad Guys.

Luke Skywalker and the entire Skywalker clan are an elite bloodline more or less chosen by "God" (The Force) and morality in their universe is based on divine law and destiny. That only changes and really begins to be examined and deconstructed after the franchise leaves Lucas' hands. The whole story is a pastiche of the Hero's Journey.

Does Disney assimilate, homogenize, ruthlessly brand and churn out artifacts of myth and storytelling? Yes.

Are they also capable of telling a good story? Also yes.

Perhaps you need to find a bit more nuance.


This sounds like the plot of the original Star Wars movies to me?


Do you even recall what article you're commenting on? Monkey Island isn't some high art being stifled by a crass conglomerate. It's just more IP.


> On the other hand, I trust them to make better Star Wars content than Lucas,

Really? I mean, have you seen the last one? I wish I didn't...


Did you see the prequels?

Reasonable people can disagree, but I'll take subjectively bad over objectively bad any day. And I happen to be a bit of a fan of deconstructionist narratives, anyway.


> Reasonable people can disagree, but I'll take subjectively bad over objectively bad any day.

Good and bad are inherently subjective. There are objective features of things, but ascribing good or bad to them is a subjective association.


That's fair.

My opinion is the prequels are bad for technical reasons. I think they're just badly written and acted, the plot is incoherent and contrived, the dialogue is terrible, Anakin and Padme's romance is awkward and his fall to the dark side is unconvincing.

And as far as the new movies go, I think they (and The Force Awakens definitely) suffer (as did the prequels) from the need to shoehorn in references to OT characters just for the sake of pandering to fan nostalgia, but they still seem like competently structured movies.

Between the two, I think the post Disney movies are better because they better tell the stories they intend to.


That is the nature of business cycle. Everyone starts of doing their own thing. Then at a point in time businesses start to run out of markets to keep growing. They need to find new places to generate alpha. This mostly coincides with the rise of easy credit. Some businesses are more ambitious than others. So the ambitious business takes out loans(credit) to buy other businesses at a significant cost. The idea being that consolidations will lead to synergies, save costs and market dominance.

And this is what is happening right now in almost every sector. You can take any industry and you will find that there are more and more consolidations happening right now.


They don't have to hand back the full rights, just give Ron enough rights to develop a new game. They could also keep an option to expand on Ron's work for anything Monkey Island-y later on down the line.

It would be low risk for Disney to do this, as they could basically get a Monkey Island reboot, for free.


Ron has said "The only way I would or could make another Monkey Island is if I owned the IP."

https://grumpygamer.com/if_i_made_another_monkeyisland


I guess M. Gilbert deliberately chosen to work for money, chosen to sell its IP to Disney or some publisher. So basically, his choices determine the current situation. We should respect that.


He never owned the IP in the first place.


That would seem to be a sensible workaround.

It's not a case of handing or selling back rights, as I understand it. The games were developed as works-for-hire under contract to LucasArts. Therefore Ron Gilbert didn't own the rights once completed.


"So this idea came out from your head, and completely made by you, but because you took some money, its like your act of creation never happened. We will deprive you of your very minds creativity and create holes in which you can never discuss again."

.... And here I thought software and content piracy was unethical.


Work for hire is a globally recognised principle of copyright law. How else could it possibly work?


> Work for hire is a globally recognised principle of copyright law.

Yes, that idea was made by Disney and similar orgs. And then the USA exported those laws to other nations.

> How else could it possibly work?

The ideas are innately in a person's head. Simply put, the licensure of a creation could travel around with whomever hires the person.

But in reality, I'm allowed to criticize a broken system without having to come up with a "better" system. Just an FYI.


The counterpoint being that without the money provided by the contractee, the individual with the idea in his head may not ever reify that concept.

None of the IP of commercial software I've written resides with me. I don't feel deprived of it though.


Provided that Ron would want to do it in such scenario at all.


Indeed, the simple fact that this petition is successful is itself proof that the franchise is valuable and should not be given away.

Maybe a better course of action would be to convince Disney to allow a sequel owned by the original author, while retaining future rights.


Copying and pasting what I wrote in another comment, Ron has said "The only way I would or could make another Monkey Island is if I owned the IP."

https://grumpygamer.com/if_i_made_another_monkeyisland

(He has also said this in podcasts).


As an easy counterpoint to this scenario, Tim Schafer and Double Fine talked Disney into letting them revisit/enhance Grim Fandango, Day of the Tentacle, and Full Throttle. Disney has no problem relicensing IP, it just doesn't care to sell it.

(IIRC, Tim Schafer has even mentioned they have the option to create sequels in some of the licenses, but they don't have strong ideas for them at the moment.)


Disney bought Marvel in August 2009, more than a year after the first Iron Man movie was released in April 2008.


As a lifelong Marvel fan, how dare you call Iron Man second rate, sir/madam.


The only good Iron Man runs were the two Michelinie/Layton runs and Extremis.

Marvel has tried to constantly "fix" Iron Man because they really didn't know what to do with him. Before Extremis, they tried to put a reset button on him and make him a teenager (that didn't stick); later they made him a secretary of defense (that didn't stick); then they made Extremis, which basically completely ignored all previous continuity, because Warren Ellis thought it sucked; and then they made him a villain in Civil War.

He was kinda important in Avengers I guess, but even there he was always "just a bodyguard"


I would love a new Monkey Island made by Ron Gilbert! But I think it is more likely that Disney hires Ron Gilbert to do it than selling the rights.


Just make a spiritual successor, it's not like Disney is going to give anything away :)


Isn't this what he already did with Thimbleweed Park?


I wonder if there is any other complexity involved by Disney also owning the rights to "On Stranger Tides" by Tim Powers, which also inspired Monkey Island.


This thing has been floating around for years--and I see it in some classic gamer group on FB or Reddit a couple of times a month.

Can anyone point me to a change.org petition that made any difference whatsoever?


You fight like a Dairy Farmer!


First you better stop waving it about like a feather duster.

..damnit.


Well, you fight like a cow!




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