George Lucas finally sold out. Ironically his deal at 4.05 billion dollars looks middling by dot.com standards. Actually it’s pretty rich — four billion dollars does, after all, represent the worldwide gross of Star Wars films to date.
So why is George Lucas the original self-published author? Because he kept the lion’s share of the rights to his intellectual property. How he managed to do so is the subject of some debate, but I think it’s pretty fair to say that 20th Century Fox ultimately agreed to the deal because they didn’t think those rights would end up being as valuable as they are.
The parallels with publishing are obvious. Authors who signed away their e-rights aren’t able to generate income off of them now. So do yourself a George Lucas — don’t sell your material short. And hope that Disney is smart enough to respect Star Wars for future generations.
If you want to read more about the deal, check out The Wrap here.