You are probably already aware that Disney has refused permission to use Disney artwork in Amid Amidi's biography of Ward Kimball. Chronicle Books, the original publisher, has decided against publishing the book as a result. Amidi is now making other arrangements for publication. (It appears that Amazon.com has de-listed the book or I would provide a link.)
But it doesn't stop there.
Don Rosa was a writer/artist of Disney comics whose work was hugely successful, especially in Europe. He has written material in a nine volume collection of his work about the creation of his stories. That is, until he got to the reasons why he retired. Disney refused to allow that piece of writing to be published. Perhaps because it highlights the medieval treatment of people who create Disney comics and how they are taken advantage of. Perhaps because Disney's licensees exploited Rosa's name without compensation, so that he had to copyright his own name so that Disney licensees couldn't use it without his permission. Rosa decided that he wasn't willing to be muzzled and put his explanation for retiring on the internet.
In a recent podcast, author Sean Howe explained why his book Marvel Comics: The Untold Story contains no images from the comics. This quote comes from 1:15:43 in the podcast.
"I was going to license about 20 images and I got approvals for captions for those images and everything was typeset, the whole thing was laid out, and then I got the contracts. A price had been agreed on, but when I actually got the paperwork, I was going to have to agree that I would say nothing critical about Marvel Comics in the entire book. A lot of people have asked me why there are no pictures from the comic books and that's the reason. If I had used illustrations, I would have had to take out half of the book."Disney is so sensitive that it cannot tolerate anything that casts aspersions on its behaviour or the behaviour of its subsidiaries or licensees. And look how absurdly ineffective they are at squelching it. While they are busy attempting to suppress books, their behaviour is being noted all over the internet. Amidi's book will eventually be published and I hope that Disney's refusal to grant permission to use images becomes a major talking point in the book's reviews. Don Rosa's writing would have been limited to Europe, but is now readable by anyone in the world. Sean Howe wrote the book he wanted to and has a tumblr where he has published more images from Marvel than he ever could have squeezed into his book.
Disney's failure doesn't address the bigger issue. From this point forward, any book on Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars or the Muppets that includes copyrighted images is tainted. The author, rightly or not, will be suspected of compromising the text to satisfy Disney. The books will be damaged goods. The use of Disney-owned images will be proof that the book contains nothing critical of Disney. So while Disney is trying to protect itself from criticism in print, it has essentially neutered any praise it may receive as it is biased. Meanwhile, on the internet, Disney provides ammunition for those who want to criticize it. Good thing nobody ever looks at the internet.