->'''Audience member:''' Will you please shut up?\\
'''Franz Liebkind:''' '''''YOU''''' shut up! You are ''the audience!'' I am ''the author!'' I '''OUTRANK''' you!
-->-- ''Film/TheProducers''

So the author of this fictional work is considered to be the ultimate authority of it. Maybe they are the creator, director, or producer of this work. They had the initial idea of this work (or at least this version of it) and most ideas are theirs, not to mention that they are the final authority regarding {{canon}}. They must ''own'' this work, right?

Except not. The main difficulty of creating a work is not always a creative issue. Very often the creator of a work is unable to produce their work the way they want without money. Other times, they want to use characters they don't own. The only way the author is able to produce their work, or using the characters they like but don't own, is by giving all the legal rights of their hard work to some big company [[DealWithTheDevil in exchange for getting their work financed]].

While this removes all the production costs, it can backfire for the author for the following reasons:

#The author is subject to [[ExecutiveMeddling executive meddling]] and can't do anything about it, losing their absolute creative control of the work.
#If "the work" becomes successful thanks to their input, even if the company gains a fortune thanks to it, the author won't be able to become rich themselves or earn more money beyond their salary.
#The author won't be able to use their work independently without executive approval. And even if the author gets permission, the author will most likely be obliged to pay royalties for using their own work/creations.
#The author's WordOfGod can be demoted to [[FanFiction fanfiction]], while the executives can [[ArmedWithCanon arm someone else with canon]] to change the work or [[DependingOnTheWriter "interpret it differently"]].
#[[YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness If the company doesn't want the original author, they simply replace/fire them from the project.]]

On a related note, a creator who's the driving force behind a particular incarnation of a franchise, but was not involved in the original incarnation of same, won't have any of the rights to the franchise.

This can be very painful for the author losing all their "control" of their work despite being the main creative force behind it and the ultimate authority of it. However, [[MyRealDaddy some fans may still consider them]] as "WordOfGod" in spite of this, and even [[OnlyTheCreatorDoesItRight hold them in higher regard]].

Sometimes, a creator may try to TorchTheFranchiseAndRun in response to this situation.

Not to be confused with IDoNotOwn. Or with the beliefs of a NayTheist or FlatEarthAtheist.


* One of the best-known examples in anime is ''Franchise/{{Gundam}}''; after working on the franchise constantly for 14 years, creator Creator/YoshiyukiTomino (suffering from severe CreatorBreakdown at the time) sold the rights to the franchise to Creator/{{Sunrise}} before moving on to other projects. Sunrise would go on to produce the AlternateUniverse shows: ''[[Anime/MobileFighterGGundam G]]'', ''[[Anime/MobileSuitGundamWing Wing]]'', ''[[Anime/AfterWarGundamX X]]'', ''[[Anime/MobileSuitGundamSEED SEED]]'', ''[[Anime/MobileSuitGundamSEEDDestiny SEED Destiny]]'', ''[[Anime/MobileSuitGundam00 00]]'' and ''[[Anime/MobileSuitGundamAGE AGE]]''). For years, legends persisted that Tomino absolutely despised what ''Gundam'' had become without him; in published interviews, he admitted that he was upset at first but mellowed out after realizing that he should be more supportive of up-and-coming directors. Eventually, Tomino gave his indirect blessing with ''Anime/TurnAGundam'', which is supposed to be the GrandFinale of the entire franchise and suggests that all of ''Gundam'' (both his and Sunrise's works) are part of a single, massive timeline.
* Somewhat the case with Masaki Kajishima and ''Anime/TenchiMuyo''. He is still the main creative force behind the main continuity (''Tenchi Muyo Ryo-ohki'' and ''GXP'') but he doesn't own the rights to it, so his other media forays don't count as canon (though some elements of them have been worked into canon over time) and his WordOfGod isn't absolute. He also has no control over the numerous alternate universe spinoffs.
* For the first two movies, ''Anime/RebuildOfEvangelion'' was subject to this, with Creator/HideakiAnno leaving Gainax, founding Khara and eventually licensing his masterpiece from his old studio to return working on it. Somewhere around the end of 2014, however, Khara's ''Eva''-related works stopped crediting the now near-vestigial Gainax, with all indications being that Khara - and by extension, Anno - bought the rights of the franchise.
* Creator/HiroyukiImaishi left Gainax in 2011 to form his own studio, leaving ''Anime/TengenToppaGurrenLagann'' and ''Anime/PantyAndStockingWithGarterbelt'' in Gainax's hands, even though the latter was LeftHanging on its final episode. Eventually, he, along with other ex-Gainax staff, released a questionably canon [[http://imgur.com/a/rFpaa doujin]] that serves as a sequel to ''Panty & Stocking''.

* For ''ComicBook/TheSandman'' there is an interesting semi-exception in a medium (American comics) where it ''is'' very common: Creator/DCComics own the work, and can use characters from it without consulting Creator/NeilGaiman in any way ... but it wouldn't occur to anyone currently working there to do so, mostly because Gaiman's portrayal of them is so iconic that any appearance by a ''Sandman'' character written by anyone else (or at least anyone who isn't Jill Thompson, anyway) would be considered CanonDiscontinuity at best.
** To date, due to a reluctance to include characters from the Vertigo line in the 'mainstream' DC universe, the only appearance of a ''Sandman'' character in the main [=DC=] line since the original series concluded was the Daniel version of Dream. They had no need to ask permission but at least gave the courtesy of a heads-up to Gaiman, who looked the dialogue over and thought it was pretty damn good. A reference to the GreenLanternRing as a "wishing ring" is one he wishes he thought of himself.
** Creator/PaulCornell also ran his use of the Endless version of [[TheGrimReaper Death]] during "ComicBook/TheBlackRing" arc by Gaiman and got approved. Generally, the only one of the Endless that is used without Gaiman's permission is Destiny, the only member of the family not created by Gaiman. Destiny predated ''ComicBook/TheSandman'' by many years (and was host of one of DC's horror anthology comics) and was retconned into the Endless by Gaiman. His personality has stayed pretty consistent, so it's not seen as any problem.
* Likewise, no one would use ''Comicbook/{{Starman}}'' characters without at least giving James Robinson a heads-up.
* Pat Mills created a whole bunch of strips for ''ComicBook/TwoThousandAD'', but he owns none of them; however, due to his influence, it's very rare that anyone else is allowed to write any of them. Mills famously blocked the publication of an ''ComicBook/ABCWarriors'' strip by Creator/AlanMoore for decades, and also got pissy at Andy Diggle for commissioning a new ''Satanus'' series from Robbie Morrison, despite the fact that Mills had originally resurrected Satanus in story he wrote for ''ComicBook/JudgeDredd'', for which he came up with the name and nothing else.
* Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, the creators of Franchise/{{Superman}}, sold the rights to him early on (for $65, for each of them), but later fought tooth and nail just to get some recognition.
* This was standard practice in comic strips until the 1980s and Bill Watterson's famous fight to prevent ''ComicStrip/CalvinAndHobbes'' merchandise. Today, creators generally own all rights to their strips, or have a contract that reverts all rights back to them after a certain number of years.
* The creators of ''ComicBook/{{WITCH}}'' were screwed out of their comic only halfway through the first arc, leading the story to go in a very different direction than what was originally intended.
* Creator/RobLiefeld was annoyed that Creator/PeterDavid revealed that Shatterstar (a character Liefeld created for Creator/MarvelComics) was gay, and posted that he couldn't wait to revert it (back to "asexual, and struggling to understand human behavior", not straight). Creator/JoeQuesada responded that Liefeld would have to get permission from the next editor-in-chief, and David has since confirmed Shatterstar's bisexuality. And since then a new Editor in Chief has come, and still no sign of Marvel changing it.
* Another semi-exception exists in the case of ''ComicBook/JudgeDredd''. It was originally conceived by John Wagner (writer) and Carlos Ezquerra (artist), but copyright and publication rights lie with Rebellion (at present). Plenty of other writers regularly write new material, but an unofficial understanding exists that only John Wagner is allowed to alter the status quo.
* Creator/MarvelComics owns all of its characters and there have been many legal battles fought by the likes of Creator/JackKirby, Creator/SteveGerber (creator of ''ComicBook/HowardTheDuck'') and even Creator/StanLee himself over compensation.
* Creator/SteveDitko reportedly left the ''Spider-Man'' franchise because he did not like the directions co-creator Stan Lee was taking with the character.
* One of the reasons for founding Creator/ImageComics was that artists and writers working for Marvel and DC wanted to own their own properties, avoiding this very trope.
** A bit ironic when one of the Image co-founders,Todd [=McFarlane=], decided he owned characters Creator/NeilGaiman created for one issue of ''ComicBook/{{Spawn}}'', most notably Angela, the same way Marvel would own any character created for their comics. Ongoing legal battle over the rights lasted years and ended with Gaiman coming out victorious. He would then take Angela and sold her to none other than Marvel Comics.
* Creator/AlanMoore has a long history of disliking almost every adaptation of his work. Moore does not own the ''ComicBook/{{Watchmen}}'', and man, is he pissed about [[ComicBook/BeforeWatchmen DC's prequels]]. What he said in essence, "Go ahead and do what you're gonna do, I could sue you into next century but I won't. But make no mistake: I hate it."
** Which is kind of funny, given [[ComicBook/LostGirls some of the stuff Moore himself has done with characters someone else created]]. Most of his iconic work consists of [[ComicBook/SwampThing radical reinterpretations]] or [[ComicBook/TheKillingJoke shocking storylines]] with other people's characters. (Of course, in the case of [[ComicBook/TheLeagueOfExtraordinaryGentlemen LOEG]], they were all public domain characters.) ''Watchmen'' itself, of course, was originally going to involve a radically different take on characters other people had created; the only reason it has original characters instead is because of {{executive meddling}}. The whole thing is a legal briar patch and a lot of writers' egos are involved.\\\
It made everybody look bad, frankly: Len Wein is sharpening a 25-year-old hatchet, [[ArmedWithCanon canonizing]] what he felt was Moore's ripoff of ''Series/TheOuterLimits1963'' episode "[[Recap/TheOuterLimits1963S1E3TheArchitectsOfFear The Architects of Fear]]" by having Ozymandias construct his plan around "Architects"' GenghisGambit. (He also says that Moore would never had had a career without DC or ''Watchmen'', which is something of an overstatement.) All of the ''Before Watchmen'' creators addressed the elephant in the room in interviews; most made polite chit-chat statements about their "respect" for the work and their distance from the, uh, finer points of Moore’s objections, blah blah.\\\
And there was [[Creator/JMichaelStraczynski Straczynski]]. He pretty much called Moore a hypocrite, a plagiarist, a liar and even said he wouldn't care if Creator/WarnerBros revived ''Series/BabylonFive'' without his input. This is the Straczynski who blasted the [=B5=] novels as "fan-fiction" and declaring that “pillaging my scripts and posts without my knowledge or permission is dubious at best, dishonorable at worst.” The plot thickens.
* This is why it took so long for ''ComicBook/GrooTheWanderer'' to be published -- Sergio Aragones did not want Groo to be owned by anyone else but him, but in the late '70s, the default assumption was that comics had to be "work for hire". It was only with ''Destroyer Duck'' and the advent of "creator-owned labels" that sprung up in the wake of Steve Gerber's protests over Marvel's ownership of ''ComicBook/HowardTheDuck'' that Aragones found an imprint that he could feel comfortable publishing Groo with. (ironically, ''Groo''[='=]s longest-running imprint was actually a subdivision of Marvel, their creator-owned "Epic" imprint).
* The [[ComicBook/NewGods Fourth World]] series by Creator/JackKirby were his distinctive Creator/DCComics creation, but he was never able to tell his stories the way he intended and its concepts and characters like {{ComicBook/Darkseid}} were integrated into the DCU completely instead.
* Some people believe Creator/BrianKVaughan killed [[spoiler: Gert]] at the end of his ''ComicBook/{{Runaways}}'' run because he didn't wanted anybody else to write her. There is also an unconfirmed rumor that he made Creator/MarvelComics sign a contract forbidding them from killing, maiming or in any other way harming Molly, whom he based on his younger sister. However, given that he never expressed having any problems with his characters being written by other writers,even in installments loathed by fans, this seems pretty unlikely.
** Apparently, additional material in one of collected editions confirms the Molly rumor, through.

* A common occurrence in the decades prior to the 1980s was film studios being forced to sell off their older libraries of films to holding companies or television broadcasters in order to raise money to make new films. This was back before the days of home video and multimedia conglomerates, meaning the only way that a studio could make money off of an older film was to re-release it into theaters (which usually did nothing but take up space in the ever-shrinking movie theater's schedules) and so from a business standpoint there wasn't much of a reason for the studios to hold onto them - and besides, unless it was a Creator/WaltDisney animated film or a particularly notable movie like ''Film/GoneWithTheWind'', [[HilariousInHindsight who would pay to see an old movie anyway when they could just watch a new one]]? Creator/WarnerBros for example famously sold off the rights to their pre-1950 film and cartoon short library in 1956, only to get them back in 1996 when their parent company Time Warner purchased Turner Entertainment.
* There is a ''Film/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'' [[TheRemake remake]] film under discussion, which is being planned without Creator/JossWhedon's input. None of the TV characters (except Buffy) will appear. Whedon has actually refused to help with it. Creator/AlysonHannigan, Creator/AnthonyStewartHead and others from the show have all said that it's a bad idea and, in the case of Head, that he imagines it will be "quite like watching a car wreck." Fortunately, it appears shelved for now.
* Happened to Creator/GeneRoddenberry with the ''Franchise/StarTrek'' film series. After ''Film/StarTrekTheMotionPicture'' went way over budget and past schedule, [[Creator/{{Paramount}} Paramount Pictures]] had Roddenberry KickedUpstairs to "executive consultant", a position entitling him to make as many suggestions as he liked, and entitling everyone else to ignore these suggestions if they so pleased, and ignore him they did. But TropesAreNotBad. The films that followed are considered some of the best work in the ''Star Trek'' canon. When ''Star Trek'' returned to the small screen with ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'', Roddenberry got to be in charge of that, though he continued to have no control over the ''Trek'' movies. During this time, Roddenberry dispensed some WordOfGod regarding what elements of the films he considered to be non-canon.
* When Creator/{{Marvel}} began its [[Franchise/MarvelCinematicUniverse cinematic universe]] in 2008 the company was only able to use certain characters to start with, as the film rights to many of their biggest franchises had been sold off to various movie studios in the 1990s and early 2000s in an effort to keep the comic book publisher out of bankruptcy. Marvel's sale to Creator/{{Disney}} in 2009 helped to accelerate the return or partial return of most of these rights (such as ComicBook/{{Daredevil}} in 2012 and Franchise/SpiderMan in 2015) but Creator/{{Fox}} still holds the film rights to two of Marvel's most popular franchises, ComicBook/XMen and the ComicBook/FantasticFour. This however is interestingly averted for two characters in particular: Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch are in ''Film/AvengersAgeOfUltron'', as well as ''Film/XMenDaysOfFuturePast''. The caveat? They are portrayed by different actors between series, and the Avengers can't refer to them as mutants while the X-Men can't reference their time with the Avengers.
** This is finally being subverted; On December 14th of 2017, Disney announced that it is intending to acquire 20th Century Fox, making it highly likely that the MCU will introduce X-Men and Fantastic Four characters in later movies.
** A special case also applies to the Hulk character. Before Marvel was bought by Disney, they had sold the '''distribution''' rights of Hulk films to Creator/{{Universal}}. Universal now has the right of first refusal to distribute any Hulk movie. Disney would always want to distribute their movies themselves (and thus keep all the profits). Thus, while they can continue to use the character himself in various MCU movies such as ''Film/TheAvengers2012'' and ''Film/ThorRagnarok'', they have refused to make any more Hulk movies following ''Film/TheIncredibleHulk''.
* Creator/JamesCameron no longer has the rights for the ''Franchise/{{Terminator}}'' franchise. He regretted selling them and made sure not to repeat this mistake with his subsequent films.
** This will actually become a subversion come 2019 when the franchise rights revert back to Cameron. He already has [[Film/Deadpool2016 Tim Miller]] in talks to direct the new film while he produces and presumably writes.
* Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich made Film/{{Stargate}} together, intended as the first of a trilogy, but after it became a moderate success Devlin abandoned the plans and sold the rights to MGM, which turned it into a [[Series/StargateSG1 TV series]] (plus sequel shows) without Devlin's and Emmerich's input. But now, after the end of [[Series/StargateUniverse Stargate Universe]], both are working together working with MGM on a rebooted movie trilogy, ignoring the TV series completely.
* ''Franchise/StarWars'' features a notable aversion. When series creator Creator/GeorgeLucas wrote and directed the first film, he offered to take a much lower salary for directing in return for the merchandising rights to the film. At the time, merchandising rights for any movie (let alone a low-budget sleeper movie, as ''Star Wars'' was anticipated to be) were considered worthless, so Creator/TwentiethCenturyFox happily accepted. Those rights wound up making Lucas a billionaire. On the other hand, the physical media distribution rights for the first six movies ''do'' still belong to Fox and will through 2020, at which point the rights to [[Film/ThePhantomMenace Episodes I]][[Film/AttackOfTheClones -]][[Film/RevengeOfTheSith III]], [[Film/TheEmpireStrikesBack V]] and [[Film/ReturnOfTheJedi VI]] revert to {{Creator/Disney}}, who bought out Lucas. ''Film/ANewHope'' will remain Fox's "in perpetuity", meaning a BoxedSet of all nine films will remain officially impossible (unless Fox decides to make a deal like they did with WB for the ''Series/{{Batman}}'' Blu-rays). Disney has the internet purchase and rental rights to episodes I-III and VI-VII, however, and managed to work with Fox so that the entirety of the original and prequel trilogies were released to iTunes and its competitors on the same day.
** As mentioned above, since Disney has recently announced its plans to acquire 20th Century Fox, it is likely this agreement will happen very soon.

* Tying into the below-mentioned Tabletop Games, R.A. Salvatore doesn't own the rights to the stuff he's written based off ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons''. He tried to end ''Literature/TheLegendOfDrizzt'', but backed down after being told that a different writer would continue the story. It's suspected by some that the series's recent decline in quality is an attempt to TorchTheFranchiseAndRun, but another theory is that he's simply out of ideas (which, of course, would explain why he tried to end it in the first place.)
* L J Smith was fired from writing ''Series/TheVampireDiaries'' by the company that owns the rights, allegedly because she disagreed with them about who the heroine should be romantically paired with at the end. The company intends to get someone else in to write it the way they want.

[[folder: Live Action TV]]
* Happened with Creator/TerryNation on ''{{Series/Survivors}}'': He envisaged a dark, action-adventure political thriller about the breakdown of social order, producer Terence Dudley wanted a far more optimistic and character-based series about rebuilding society. Early episodes about a lawless society and self-appointed dictators carving up the country gave way to the heroes having a safe, self-sufficient base camp where external threats were fairly easily repelled. Nation finally quit after the first season when his ideas were ignored and his intended lead couple Abby Grant and Jimmy Garland were dropped to make self-sufficiency expert Charles Vaughan, created by Dudley's preferred main writer Jack Ronder, the lead character, with Nation writing a novel showing where he wanted the storyline to go instead. The third season, with Martin Worth as head writer, returned the sense of lawlessness but its endings of the heroes setting up a benevolent central government and restoring electrical power was far from what Nation originally intended.
* ''Series/{{Titus}}'' is based on the comedy special "Norman Rockwell is Bleeding" [[SitComic by comic]] Creator/ChristopherTitus, which in turn is based closely on his own life to the point his family members had to sign wavers for the series. The show was canceled at the end of the third season, following a big {{Cliffhanger}}, due to Titus' contentious attitude with the network. Years later, still close with the cast and crew, he sought to make a continuation of the series through crowdfunding but FOX refused to let him, essentially meaning he can't continue the series based on his own life.

[[folder: Music]]
* In 2008 Music/{{Stratovarius}} went through a long period of silence before main songwriter Timo Tolkki announced that the band had officially broken up, citing internal tensions within the band. The rest of the band, however, weren't ready to break up, and so Tolkki handed the rights to the remaining members and left for good.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'':
** ''Dungeons & Dragons'' hasn't been owned by its original creators since Creator/GaryGygax had control of Creator/{{TSR}} wrested from him in the mid-1980s. Strangely enough, despite being the TropeCodifier for the entire [=RPG=] concept, Gygax has had very little effect on advancing the game's canon since it was first created. He created the original ''TabletopGame/{{Greyhawk}}'' setting, but was involved very little with it afterwards before eventually leaving the company because of massive ExecutiveMeddling. Very few gamers would actively prefer Gygax's game mechanics to what is produced today, though there is a certain flavor in classic adventures like ''TabletopGame/TempleOfElementalEvil'' and the ''TabletopGame/TombOfHorrors'' made during his tenure that make for fun throwbacks.
** Dave Arneson, the ''other'' half of the creative team behind ''Dungeons & Dragons'', got more than a little dicked over in regards to the game himself. Arneson and Gygax worked on the original game together, based on Arneson's personally-designed game, Blackmoor, which became the namesake of Supplement 2: Blackmoor (which Arneson himself wrote). Eventually, a second version of the game called Basic Dungeons & Dragons came out, which effectively was OD&D with most of the Greyhawk and Blackmoor rules added together in one single rules set. Arneson left TSR relatively soon after, however, and was dealt a real gut-check when Gygax's Advanced Dungeons & Dragons came out (which he hadn't known about). Legal battles occurred throughout the '80s over the rights to D&D, with Arneson, and Gygax & TSR finally settling out of court, though Arneson wasn't awarded royalties for AD&D, as AD&D was ruled a radically-different product from Original and Basic D&D. Though Basic D&D existed, as a whole, for longer than any other version of D&D (effectively from 1977 to 1999), Advanced Dungeons & Dragons was far-and-away the more-popular of the two games. Coupled with the fact that Gygax was with TSR for longer and produced much more material for the game (including infamous modules like the TombOfHorrors), most modern gamers know of Gygax as the sole Father of D&D, with only diehard enthusiasts or game historians knowing Arneson's fairly-tragic yet important role in the story.
** Likewise, Ed Greenwood had originally created the ForgottenRealms setting through a series of articles published in [=TSR's=] ''Magazine/{{Dragon}}'' magazine in the late '80s. [=TSR=] eventually bought the rights to the setting outright, publishing it in a comprehensive campaign boxed set. Since then, it had been a playground for authors like [=R.A. Salvatore=] to publish mostly original novels based in the setting's backdrop, almost turning it into an ExpandedUniverse. As for the setting itself, Greenwood continued to have some gradually decreasing input, or at least the right to complain, all the way until the release of 4th Edition, where the Spellplague and other interdimensional weirdness caused TheEndOFTheWorldAsWeKnowIt against his [[ExecutiveMeddling explicit objections]].
** ''Literature/{{Dragonlance}}'' is currently owned by Creator/WizardsOfTheCoast, and not by Creator/TracyHickman, Creator/MargaretWeis, or Jeff Grubb, all three of whom (among many) who contributed greatly to the setting.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Creator/{{Bungie}} Studios, the creators of the ''Franchise/{{Halo}}'' franchise. When they were bought by Microsoft, all the legal rights of ''Halo'' became owned by Microsoft. This is despite the fact that Bungie was the ultimate authority of the franchise, creating the UniverseBible and all the important elements of the franchise itself. Bungie later became independent again, and while all their current work belongs to themselves, ''Halo'' is still Microsoft property. By all accounts, this is a rare amicable example, as Bungie decided on their own that they had definitively wrapped up the franchise for themselves, and wanted to work on something different after 10 years of ''Halo''. On their end, Microsoft created a new studio called Creator/ThreeFourThreeIndustries (named after one of ''Halo''[='s=] main characters), who are now the ones in charge of the ''Halo'' property. It should be noted that 343i has a number of former Bungie employees in its employ, alongside those who worked with the late Pandemic Studios. That means that while Bungie as a studio may no longer be involved with the franchise, many of the mainstays of 343 are people who have years of ''Halo'' development experience anyway.
* It happened to the creators of the ''[[VideoGame/FirstEncounterAssaultRecon F.E.A.R.]]'' series. It got to the point where another company made a sequel to their series, while they had to rename their own canon sequel for legal purposes. When they got the ''F.E.A.R.'' name back, they immediately put the other games into CanonDiscontinuity.
* This happened to Al Lowe when the post-Williams Creator/{{Sierra}} sold the ''VideoGame/LeisureSuitLarry'' licence to Creator/{{Codemasters}} who decided to a couple of further games in the series without consulting him. Lowe has stated that he personally considers said games non-canon and famously commented that seeing them in-action was like receiving a ransom video from your son's kidnappers: "On one hand, you're glad he's still alive, but on the other, my God, look what they've done to him!"
* Also happened to Toys for Bob with ''[[VideoGame/StarControl Star Control 3]]'', although unusually for this circumstance, Toys for Bob ''do'' retain the rights to the setting itself, just not the right to create ''Star Control'' branded games.
* This happened to Toby Gard with ''Franchise/TombRaider'' when he objected to making Lara Croft [[FanservicePack bustier]] and ended up leaving during the development of ''VideoGame/TombRaiderII''. He came back as a consultant after ''[[VideoGame/TombRaiderAngelOfDarkness The Angel of Darkness]]'' tanked, but Creator/EidosInteractive (and its parent company Creator/SquareEnix) still holds the rights to Lara.
* This is a big aspect of the fiasco involved with the ''VideoGame/CallOfDuty'' series and the fighting between Treyarch and Infinity Ward over proper royalties.
* Happened to Creator/KeijiInafune with ''VideoGame/MegaManX''. Inafune wanted the series to end at ''[[VideoGame/MegaManX5 X5]]'', and indeed the end of that game suggests a solid conclusion to the ''X'' story arc. But then Creator/{{Capcom}}, insistent on milking the {{cash cow|Franchise}} for all that it was worth, [[ExecutiveMeddling proceeded to make]] ''[[VideoGame/MegaManX6 X6]]'' behind Inafune's back, thus explaining why much of the backstory of the ''[[VideoGame/MegaManZero Zero]]'' series only makes sense if you ignore all of the ''X'' games past ''[=X5=]''. It should be noted that Inafune himself was not the creator of the original ''[[VideoGame/MegaManClassic Mega Man]]'' games. Akira Kitamura, who was the lead game designer for the first two games on the NES, quit the series during the development of the third game to form an independent company named Takeru, which developed the cult Famicom/NES classics ''VideoGame/{{Cocoron}}'' and ''Little Samson''.
* ''Franchise/KingdomHearts'': While the series is often considered to be a Creator/SquareEnix series with Creator/{{Disney}} characters, Creator/TetsuyaNomura has made clear that it's still owned by Disney and that all the original characters qualify as Disney characters.
* Every ''VideoGame/FireEmblem'' game since the GBA entries had been developed by Intelligent Systems without the involvement of original creator Shozo Kaga, who quit the company after ''VideoGame/FireEmblemThracia776'' and went on to work on his ''Fire Emblem'' clone for the [=PlayStation=] titled ''VideoGame/TearRingSaga''. The similarities between the early ''Fire Emblem'' games and ''Tear Ring Saga'', which included its working title of ''Emblem Saga'' and the involvement of ''Thracia 776'' character designer Mayumi Hirota, led to Nintendo suing Kaga for copyright infringement, although Kaga won the case.
* Creator/HidekiKamiya has expressed regrets that he never got to develop his planned sequel to ''VideoGame/{{Okami}}'' after Capcom announced ''VideoGame/{{Okamiden}}'' for the UsefulNotes/{{Nintendo DS}}, which the company produced after Kamiya's departure. Likewise, the company started development of ''[[Franchise/DevilMayCry Devil May Cry 2]]'' without Kamiya's knowledge when he was just finishing working on localizing the original game for the Western market.
* During the early years of the ''VideoGame/MetalGear'' series, Creator/HideoKojima didn't have much name recognition and thus, had no control over what Konami did with the franchise. As a result, the company commissioned the development of the NES version of the first ''VideoGame/{{Metal Gear|1}}'', as well as its sequel ''VideoGame/SnakesRevenge'' without Kojima's involvement. After the success of ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid'' elevated Kojima's name and status within the industry, every game he directed since ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid2SonsOfLiberty'', has been released with the tagline "A Hideo Kojima Game" on the cover, while spin-off works such as ''VideoGame/MetalGearAcid'' and ''VideoGame/MetalGearRisingRevengeance'', while not directed by Kojima, were still made with his acknowledgement. This went full circle with ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolidVThePhantomPain'' marking not only the end of Kojima's involvement in the series (and the end of his ties with Konami altogether), but also the use of his name to promote the brand. After Konami announced ''VideoGame/MetalGearSurvive'' a year after Kojima's departure, Kojima outright admitted that he wasn't involved in its development.
-->'''Kojima:''' I'm not involved with the development of ''Metal Gear Survive''. ''Metal Gear'' is about political conflict and espionage, it would never have zombies.
* Creator/YasumiMatsuno:
** Matsuno is responsible for [[Franchise/IvaliceAlliance the entire Ivalice concept]] and developed the majority of games taking place in the setting... but stepped down from his position at Creator/SquareEnix during the production of ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXII'' and lost what say he once had with regards to the setting. The biggest point of contention is the status of ''VideoGame/VagrantStory'' -- Matsuno says it was never part of the Ivalice setting and references between Ivalice games and ''Vagrant Story'' were just in-jokes. Square Enix says it's the canonical end of the setting's timeline.
** Prior to joining Square, Matsuno directed ''VideoGame/OgreBattleTheMarchOfTheBlackQueen'' and ''VideoGame/TacticsOgre'' on the Super Famicom, but then left Quest to work on ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyTactics''. As a result, Quest went on to continue the VideoGame/OgreBattle series without him, resulting in the development of the third and final mainline entry, ''VideoGame/OgreBattle64'', as well as two handheld side-stories ''Prince of Zenobia'' for the UsefulNotes/NeoGeoPocketColor and ''Knight of Lodis'' for the GBA. In later years, Square Enix would acquire all of Quest's assets and Matsuno would briefly return to the franchise to supervise the PSP port of ''Tactics Ogre'' in 2010, but otherwise doesn't seem to have any intention of continuing the series beyond catalog releases of the original titles.
* This is the case of the latest ''Franchise/CrashBandicoot'' and ''Franchise/SpyroTheDragon'' games; although the [=PS1=] games were developed by Creator/NaughtyDog and Creator/InsomniacGames, respectively, and published by Sony, both franchises were owned by Universal Interactive Studios from the start; later, after a series of mergers, they both become the properties of Creator/{{Activision}}.
* Yoshihisa Kishimoto, creator of the ''Franchise/DoubleDragon'' series, [[http://www.polygon.com/2012/10/12/3495124/the-man-who-created-double-dragon lamented]] over how the series was handled by various licensees, specifically U.S. publisher Tradewest, resulting in a lack of consistency in later games and spin-off works that were produced without Technos Japan's direct involvement. He particularly disowns the [[Film/DoubleDragon 1994 live-action version]] starring Scott Wolf and Mark Dacascos, seeing it as a blatant cash-grab that has nothing to do with the original game [[InNameOnly except the name]], and even takes a few potshots at the comic book and [[WesternAnimation/DoubleDragon animated series]], which turned the Lee brothers into ninja-like costumed crusaders.
* Even though Creator/MasahiroSakurai retired from Creator/HALLaboratory in 2003, the ''Franchise/{{Kirby}}'' series that he created is still going on strong, with at least two different games coming out on each post-[[UsefulNotes/NintendoGameCube GameCube]] console. Even before Sakurai's retirement, a good number of ''Kirby'' games were made without his supervision, mainly spinoff titles and the [[VideoGame/KirbysDreamLand2 three]] ''VideoGame/{{Kirby|sDreamLand3}}'' [[VideoGame/Kirby64TheCrystalShards games]] directed by Shinichi Shimomura.
* ''VideoGame/{{Heretic}}'' and its sequels (''[[VideoGame/{{Hexen}} Hexen: Beyond Heretic]]'', ''Hexen II'', and ''Heretic II'') were all developed by Raven Software, but id Software owns the publishing rights to the first three games. Since id Software severed all ties with Raven after being acquired by [=ZeniMax=] Media in 2009, neither company will be able to re-release ''Heretic II'', nor will anyone be able to make new installments in the series. This is unlikely to change unless both companies come to an agreement, or one company relinquishes their rights to the other. However, the inclusion of Galena in ''VideoGame/QuakeChampions'' suggests that id Software can still create [[GodCreatedCanonForeigner new characters from that franchise's universe]] for their other games.
* ''Franchise/SonicTheHedgehog'':
** The reason the theme song from the original game is seldom heard is because Sega does not own it. It's owned by Dreams Come True, the band that originally composed it. The development team of ''[[VideoGame/SonicTheHedgehogSpinball Sonic Spinball]]'' didn't know this and originally used the theme in the game. They were forced to come up with a new theme at the last minute when the legal situation was explained to them.
** Sega of Japan and Sega of America both have creative control over how Sonic is portrayed, meaning that throughout the '90s, the ''Sonic'' franchise was often radically changed in the West from how it was originally conceived in Japan. Most notably, Dr. Eggman was renamed Dr. Robotnik in America, which required Sonic Team to make "Robotnik" the character's real name and "Eggman" an AppropriatedAppellation.
** Sega often neglects to establish creative ownership when they license Sonic to be adapted into shows, films and comics, meaning they do not own any concepts introduced in them. For example, despite ''Anime/SonicX'' utilizing the cast and concepts of the franchise, as well as adapting the plots from the ''Adventure'' games, Sega does not own any of the characters or plots created for the series and cannot use or reference them in any other ''Sonic'' product.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Creator/LaurenFaust's control over ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' decreased over time, and she eventually left the show entirely during the production of Season 2, putting the show into the hands of new showrunners: in particular, writer Meghan [=McCarthy=]. Certain purist fans claim that even though she's not involved anymore, Faust's original ideas still remain as WordOfGod, despite the show entering its ''seventh'' season. It should be noted that Faust was originally commissioned by Hasbro to "breathe new life" into the already established brand.
* Zigzagged with ''WesternAnimation/FelixTheCat'': while the character was created by Creator/OttoMessmer, he never owned the rights to his own creation, and was never once recognized as the creator until very late in his life, with Felix being considered and marketed as Pat Sullivan's character--and even though Pat Sullivan claimed before his death that Otto is the owner of Felix, Sullivan's estate secured the rights to the character while Otto worked on the comics. Eventually, Otto's assistant and friend Joe Oriolo would inherit the franchise, and the franchise today is owned by his son, Don Oriolo.
* Despite being the creator of ''{{WesternAnimation/Gargoyles}}'', Creator/GregWeisman doesn't own any of the stuff he made. Disney owns all of it. First he, along with all his team, were replaced by other crew. When his show got cancelled, he tried to continue it via comic books, but was unable to pay the high royalties to Disney.
* When Disney bought Marvel, the former gave ''WesternAnimation/TheSpectacularSpiderMan'' producer Sony the choice of keeping the TV rights or the [[Film/SpiderManTrilogy film rights]]. Sony decided that the movies would make more money than ''Spectacular'', and so it got axed.
* Regardless of whether you believe Creator/JohnKricfalusi was fired from it for [[WhatDoYouMeanItsForKids constantly conflicting with]] Creator/{{Nickelodeon}} BS&P or [[ScheduleSlip repeated failure to meet deadlines]], ''WesternAnimation/TheRenAndStimpyShow'' is likely the most triumphant example. Bob Camp and much of the original team from the first two seasons would stay with Nick to work on ''Ren & Stimpy'', which created major schisms between former animator friends that last to this day.
* Of all people, it happened to Creator/WaltDisney himself. In 1928, he lost the rights to his first hit character WesternAnimation/OswaldTheLuckyRabbit after contract negotiations broke down with his distributor [[{{Creator/Universal}} Universal Studios]], who proceeded to sign away most of his animators to a new in-house studio under the control of his former boss Charles Mintz. Disney was so shaken by the incident that he vowed to never lose the rights to any of his characters again. This might explain why The Walt Disney Company [[FreudianExcuse so jealously guards their own intellectual property.]]
* Creator/DonBluth never really owned the rights to any movie he made (save for perhaps ''WesternAnimation/BanjoTheWoodpileCat''), resulting in both the {{sequelitis}} of his more profitable films, and the executive meddling of his films in the '90s (which were made LighterAndSofter and played FollowTheLeader with Disney). Bluth still gets MisBlamed for it.
* Creator/{{Pixar}} originally didn't plan on making ''WesternAnimation/ToyStory2'', and only began to work on the film after Disney told the studio that they were planning on making a sequel to [[WesternAnimation/ToyStory the original film]], and would make it with or without them.[[note]]Disney owned the rights to the ''Toy Story'' franchise, but Pixar had the right of first refusal to work on any future ''Toy Story'' material before Disney offered it to someone else.[[/note]]
* Disney owned the intellectual property rights of all of Pixar's franchises from ''Toy Story'' up to ''Franchise/{{Cars}}'', which was a major point of contention between Disney executives and Pixar's owner Creator/SteveJobs; it was such a sticking point that when Disney bought Pixar in 2006, one of the main stipulations was that Disney would transfer those IP rights ''back'' to Pixar post-merger and allow them to control any future IP rights to franchises that they'd create. This was a level of autonomy not normally seen in Hollywood.
* [[http://peterlairdstmntblog.blogspot.com The banner]] atop the blog of ''Franchise/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles'' co-creator Peter Laird makes it clear that the franchise is owned by Viacom, who made [[WesternAnimation/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles2012 a new cartoon in 2012]] and [[Film/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles2014 a new movie in 2014]]. Laird's company, Mirage, still does [[ComicBook/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtlesMirage the original comics]] [[ScheduleSlip every now and then]] as per a stipulation in the sale agreement. He has stated that issues of Mirage canonicity are only his opinions, as Viacom now has the authority to determine canon.
* Creator/ManOfActionStudios created the original ''WesternAnimation/{{Ben 10}}'' show. It has been repeatedly stated by them and others that they have nothing to do with [[WesternAnimation/Ben10AlienForce the]] [[WesternAnimation/Ben10UltimateAlien three]] [[WesternAnimation/Ben10Omniverse sequels]], as those shows had entirely different creative teams: Creator/DwayneMcDuffie for ''Alien Force'' and ''Ultimate Alien'' and [[WesternAnimation/TransformersAnimated Matt Youngberg]] for ''Omniverse''. Even then, they were mostly on writing duties in regards to the original series, due to the inexperience they had with animation production at the time. They only gained full creative control with the franchise reboot, ''WesternAnimation/Ben102016''.
* Per his Twitter account, Creator/CraigMcCracken, creator of ''WesternAnimation/ThePowerpuffGirls'', confirmed that Cartoon Network owns the rights to the show, and is not involved with [[WesternAnimation/ThePowerpuffGirls2016 the 2016 remake]], nor was he involved with the anime remake, ''Anime/DemashitaPowerpuffGirlsZ''.
* The creator of ''WesternAnimation/{{Clarence}}'', Skyler Page, was removed from the show during its first season due to sexual harassment of female crew members, as well as worsening psychotic episodes as a result of his bipolar disorder. The series continued under the guidance of storyboarder Nelson Boles, and later Stephen P. Neary.
* Similar to above, Chris Savino was terminated from Nickelodeon due to sexual harassment of female crew members, leaving ''WesternAnimation/TheLoudHouse'' during production of the show's third season.
* When ''ComicStrip/TheBoondocks'' was [[AnimatedAdaptation adapted]] for [[WesternAnimation/TheBoondocks television]], its creator Aaron [=McGruder=] sold all the legal rights to Creator/SonyPicturesTelevision. After three seasons, [=McGruder=] left the show due to a contractual dispute with Sony, so a fourth (and final) season was produced without any of his involvement. [[SeasonalRot Season 4]] [[OnlyTheCreatorDoesItRight was ill-received by most fans and critics]].