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Robotech and HG license debates

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Anyone know why Harmony Gold isn't runing after Manga for releasing Macross Plus in the US where there is a VF-1 appearance?

I thought Harmony Gold claims anything derivative from the Original Series.

If HG cannot adapt it to it's Robotech storyline, they really don't care about it

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Anyone know why Harmony Gold isn't runing after Manga for releasing Macross Plus in the US where there is a VF-1 appearance?

I thought Harmony Gold claims anything derivative from the Original Series.

According to Harmony Gold, the reason they didn't do anything about Macross Plus was because they simply didn't know about it. The story goes that Haim Saban (of Pwer Rangers infamy) headhunted most of HG's staff and left them with barely a skeleton crew to keep the company alive. It was during this time of turmoil that Macross Plus was released and, being so understaffed as it was, HG didn't even notice, and, by the time they did, the statute of limitations kicked in and they had no legal recourse. They simple had to let Manga keep Macross Plus.

Now, what's wrong with this explanation?

1) This excuse does not even attempt to explain how DYRL or Macross II "slipped" by HG's radars before Saban stole HG's staff.

2) HG's claim of being understaffed doesn't hold up because they were still licensing out Robotech too other companies for comic books, toys, and, especially, what was to be abig game for the new N64: Robotech- Crystal Dreams. Simply put, a company cannot be actively profiting from their product and yet claim ignorance on other aspects of the market. Some people have tried to defend HG on this point, but their defense is weak.

3) The "Statute of Limitations" defense also does not work. The statute of limitations allows for a company to ignorant of copyright infringement on their product. The set time-frame for the statute of limitations doesn't actually start ticking down until the company is said to become aware of the infringement. Hence, when Tommy Yune said that by the time they found out, it was too late, he was lying to everyone who was listening in hopes that they were stupid. The statute of limitations started once they found out.

4) Secondly, HG's claim goes way beyond the Statue of Limitations. BigWest actually copyrighted Macross Plus here in the US and holds that copyright to this day. It's not as simple case of someone infringing on HG's copyrights. If HG ISN'T lying about this whole thing, than that means that BigWest has illegally usurped what is technically HG's copyright. This is a much larger matter and if HG is truthful in what they're telling us, they could stand to make a lot of money out of this. So is it any real surprise that they haven't?

There's many more reasons, but I think this is good enough for now.

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First off, I got of the boat from my deep sea trip to Mexico last night and the whole damn world is still moving.

I think you misinterpret HG's argument.  HG can't claim rights to the designs, the Feb02 ruling made that much clear.  The reason they block DYRL? valks is because they are based on a derivative of SDF Macross. 

Ummm, you know that's not true. The TV valks are associated with the TV series and are connected with that license. The DYRL valks are associated with DYRL and are connected to the DYRL license (something HG has never been able to prove that they have the rights to), which is in limbo. If HG's claims were true, they could simply claim the license to DYRL without even having to locate whoever is the current license holder, especially since the status of the DYRL license is uncertain, they wouldn't have to fight someone for it (such as they would have to do if they ever attempted to lay claim to MacII or Mac+ from Manga).

You're entirely correct on the liscense issue, they are two seperate liscneses. HG's claim is that they, at the very least, have the exclusive ability to liscense and approve merchandise for SDF Macross and it's derivatives for worldwide release. Meaning that, HG would have to pay BW to liscense everything that is liscensed outside of Japan. Unless, of course, they get liscense from BW first and then get approval from (ie. make payment to...) HG.

BW and Yamato could very well sell the toys with a different name on them.  Back in the 80's the Transformer Jetfire sold with the exact same design as a VF-1S and there wasn't a big stink about it from HG.

I had thought that the reason HG couldn't make a stink about Jetfire is because Hasbro legally licensed the toy and released it under different name under a different product line (heh... kind of like what HG did to Macross).

Hmmm... I think this is the real reason why HG couldn't do anything about DYRL, MacII and Mac+. Because the licenses were legally procured and HG had no reason to be involved, hence they weren't involved.

Hey, were both saying the same thing. But, as you know, I don't agree that this arguement applies to the releases of DYRL?, MacII and Mac+.

Of course that makes FASA look like they got punked for settleing a case they might have been able to win.  That is if they got the rights through the proper channels in the first place.

This is speculation, but I think the whole issue was that FASA only bought the rights from Tatsunoko to release those small Nichimo kits, but they started using the mecha designs with their gaming miniatures and also started using the images, neither of which they had the rights to. This is why they could no longer sell the miniatures and ended up redesigning those mecha.

I agree, I think it's a case where they didn't get the rights through any of the proper channels.

I wouldn't call HG releasing Macross 7 Trash exactly backing off.

I may eat my words on this, but all I've seen is the press release from TokyoPop, which simply mentions HG's version of history with Macross, but in no way indicates any actual involvement. Also, when asked, someone at HG said that they were "cooperating". Now, "cooperating" can mean many things, including going along with things because you really have no choice (kind of what we all do when the Police bust us for Slurpee smuggling). If HG was involved with the release of Trash I'd think they'd have more exciting things to say about it.

*Scene: SDCC, Toynami Booth*

(Two fans talking)

Fan1: Hey, did you hear the TokyoPop is releasing Macross 7 Trash?

Enter George Sohn

George Sohn: Really? Where'd you hear that?

Fan2: The Robotech panel.

Enter Alan Letz

George Sohn: Alan, what's this about Macross 7 Trash.

Alan Letz: Hey, if anyone wants to come to us and make a deal...

(Conversation continues out of ear shot of fans.)

True story.

As far as BW saying that DYRL? isn't a derivative of SDF Macross, that's a very difficult case to make.  It'd be very hard to deny that the very existance of the movie was because of the popularity of the show.

This statement is based on the assumption that HG does, in fact, hold the rights to the derivatives outside of Japan. A statement that they have not only failed to prove, but have outright refused to prove.

But, to respond to your statement, I don't think BigWest HAS ever said that DYRL isn't a derivative of Macross. But it IS a different license, which Tatsunoko and, hence, HG, have never had any claim to.

I agree with you, BW has never claimed that DYRL? isn't a derivative of SDF Macross and that it's a seperate liscense. A few had brought up the possibility that that could be the case.

Furthermore- (once again) Tatsunoko has never, ever, tried to lay any claim to any Macross production or make any beef with BigWest licensing other Macross shows except for the original TV Series. Kind of makes you curious why HG thinks they can... especially (once again) since they've never legitimately proven that their claims are true.

I think you know that the issue of SDF Macross has to be settled first before the derivative issue can be taken up directly. I believe it has already been settled, but you've seen my sig.

p.s.- Your sig: "It's useless to discuss until someone's posted a complete translation. Hey, you haven't posted one."

That's your beef. Quadrono posted one that you claim wasn't accurate, yet have still failed to convince everyone else that it was wrong.

Check your PM.

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First off, I got of the boat from my deep sea trip to Mexico last night and the whole damn world is still moving.

You know, I was fine when we got off of our cruise, but Erika is still feeling wavey, and it's been a week and a half!!!

You're entirely correct on the liscense issue, they are two seperate liscneses. HG's claim is that they, at the very least, have the exclusive ability to liscense and approve merchandise for SDF Macross and it's derivatives for worldwide release.

You're right on this part. But I'm still up in the air about what HG really thinks they have a right to, and what they are saying they have a right to just to trip up any further competition. But that's my opinion.

But on this point...

Meaning that, HG would have to pay BW to liscense everything that is liscensed outside of Japan.

... I think you're mistaken. I highly doubt that HG will ever agree to pay BigWest for rights unless they're willing to admit that they weren't being truthful about their previous claims of blanket control. But this next part...

Unless, of course, they get liscense from BW first and then get approval from (ie. make payment to...) HG.

...sounds more like what happened with the Toycom incident.

Hey, were both saying the same thing. But, as you know, I don't agree that this arguement applies to the releases of DYRL?, MacII and Mac+.

In think it completely applies. Hasbro licensed the toy and molds from Matsushiro to make Jetfire. It was a legal licensing and HG couldn't do anything about it.

I'm of the opinion that the same thing holds with DYRL, Mac II and Mac+. Those programs were legally licensed outside of Japan and HG knew they couldn't do anything about it.

I agree, I think it's a case where they didn't get the rights through any of the proper channels.

Yeah, this one's all screwy. I do believe that FASA thought, in good faith, that they had the rights, at least to the Nichimo kits. Here's what it says on the instructions for those kits:

Licensed by Tatsunoko Productions of Japan.

Contents & Packaging © 1987 Twentieth Century Imports, Inc.

Battletech & Concepts 1985 by FAFA Corporation

Make of that what you will. Because the out of court settlement is non-disclosure, I don't think we'll ever know what happened. :(

*Scene: SDCC, Toynami Booth*

(Two fans talking)

Fan1: Hey, did you hear the TokyoPop is releasing Macross 7 Trash?

Enter George Sohn

George Sohn: Really? Where'd you hear that?

Fan2: The Robotech panel.

Enter Alan Letz

George Sohn: Alan, what's this about Macross 7 Trash.

Alan Letz: Hey, if anyone wants to come to us and make a deal...

(Conversation continues out of ear shot of fans.)

True story.

Doesn't prove anything.

For all I know, this is the only thing remotely official that I've seen:

Comic-Con, San Diego, CA (July 18, 2003) - Further solidifying its position as the leading U.S. manga publisher, TOKYOPOP Inc. is pleased to announce the addition of Macross 7 Trash to its 2004 manga release schedule. The legendary and complex Macross universe is seminal in the history of anime and manga. There have been thousands of Macross TV anime episodes, movies, manga volumes, toys, and videogames, spanning multiple distinct series. Macross - which was released worldwide by Harmony Gold - recently celebrated its 20th Anniversary and is known to many television viewers as Robotech.

One of the most popular incarnations of this franchise is Macross 7. The fan-favorite Macross 7 Trash manga is known as a side-story to the anime - set in the same world, but featuring different themes, characters and tone. Created by Mikimoto Haruhiko (Gundam 0080, Orguss), Macross 7 Trash features a complex, layered, character-driven narrative that adds immeasurably to the overall richness and diversity of the Macross experience. The story was originally serialized in Japan's Shounen Ace magazine from 1994 to 2001.

"TOKYOPOP looks forward to not only sharing this compelling series with its existing fanbase here in America, but also to introducing a whole new audience of readers to Macross 7 Trash," said the company's President & COO John Parker.

Yadda-yadda-yadda... The press release makes no mention of an actual collaboration between TokyoPop and HG on this. And I've seen enough press releases to know that when two companies are in any way connected on a project, the press release says so.

I guess unless further info is release on Mac7trash, we won't know until we open up the first page and see whether "Licensed by Harmony Gold" is there or not.

I agree with you, BW has never claimed that DYRL? isn't a derivative of SDF Macross and that it's a seperate liscense. A few had brought up the possibility that that could be the case.

OK, now I see what you were getting at. I'm slow, folks.

I think you know that the issue of SDF Macross has to be settled first before the derivative issue can be taken up directly.

Umm... that's not what I was getting at.

You see, until HG suddenly started claiming international ownership of Macross (outside of Japan) in 2000, BigWest licensed MacII and Mac+ all by their lonesome. Also, someone or other licensed DYRL (exactly who is still a mystery to me).

Now, in all this time, if Tatsunoko was supposed to be handling international licensing, don't you think they would've gone and had a talk with HG about it? I mean, I'm sure it would've come up sometime.

I am of the opinion that Tatsunoko knew the only rights they were ever privy to were to the TV series. Nothing more and nothing less.

Check your PM.

Oh yeah!!! Well check your PM!!!

:p

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I guess unless further info is release on Mac7trash, we won't know until we open up the first page and see whether "Licensed by Harmony Gold" is there or not.

Uh, I asked at SDCC if HG's name is on TokyoPop's Macross 7 Trash. They said, yes.

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3) The "Statute of Limitations" defense also does not work. The statute of limitations allows for a company to ignorant of copyright infringement on their product. The set time-frame for the statute of limitations doesn't actually start ticking down until the company is said to become aware of the infringement. Hence, when Tommy Yune said that by the time they found out, it was too late, he was lying to everyone who was listening in hopes that they were stupid. The statute of limitations started once they found out.

I just wanted to add one "legalese" thing here. Unless the statute is really weird (can you send me the cite, Drew?), the statute starts to run when a person knew, or should have known. This statement of law is actually a common law interpretation of any SOL. Most statutes of limitation say that a "claim is barred after x years". No mention of any delay. The courts, out of fairness, adopted the "known or should have known" doctrine. It's also a legal question, not a a factual question.

Finally, there's also the possibility that there is a statue of repose (although I doubt it). That statute is one where a claim would be barred after a certain period, no matter what. So, for the same claim there may be a statute of limitation for 2 years, and a statute of repose of 10 years. So, at 5 years after a particular injury (of someone who may not have known, and shouldn't have known), the suit can still be brought because the SOL starts to run at discovery, and the SOR hasn't run yet. The same person making the discovery at 15 years, would have no legal recourse.

Now, I doubt there is much question that a licensed, released item fits within the "should have known" category. So, it's possible that the SOL had run on HG.

I make no comment on any other part of Drew's arguments. :p

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bleh. I'm not going to hold my breath for the M7 Trash release. Somehow I find it hard to believe that HG has the original prints of M7 Trash to license out to TokyoPop for publishing... Without the original prints, well, there ain't no manga.

More things are afoot under the rather quiet times right now for Macross, methinks.

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bleh. I'm not going to hold my breath for the M7 Trash release. Somehow I find it hard to believe that HG has the original prints of M7 Trash to license out to TokyoPop for publishing... Without the original prints, well, there ain't no manga.

More things are afoot under the rather quiet times right now for Macross, methinks.

Its like someone said in the old forums. Tokyopop went through the proper channels to get the license... and just invited HG in to avoid trouble down the road. It was a pretty smart move if you ask me.

But then again... I don't care about M7 Trash... because like its name sake... its trash. <_<

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Its like someone said in the old forums. Tokyopop went through the proper channels to get the license... and just invited HG in to avoid trouble down the road. It was a pretty smart move if you ask me.

But then again... I don't care about M7 Trash... because like its name sake... its trash. <_<

I know that post! Why? Because I posted it! :p

If indeed TokyoPop did get the rights legally from Japan then they must have gone through BW. Somehow I have a feeling BW won't be happy with TokyoPop's decision considering that derivative rights are up in the air right now, letting this pass would be suicide on BW's part.

vinnie

Edited by justvinnie

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So, you think that BW may pull the plug on Tokyopop's release of Macross 7 Trash?

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More things are afoot under the rather quiet times right now for Macross, methinks.

Kind of like the man-eating Perch and Bluegill hiding under the placid waters of your local pond? :p

cwbrown- I'd have to look up the links where I initially got the info since that was over a year ago and I just looked up Statute of Limitations on google in conjunction with other words, especially Copyright.

After that I talked with the lawyer I work for. In a nutshell (based on the info we had at the time) she told me that if HG's staffing predicament was as bad as they claim, once they were back on their feet they could moved forward with litigation.

Basically, she said that HG's excuse doesn't fly...

...and I believed her!!! :blink:

:D

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So, you think that BW may pull the plug on Tokyopop's release of Macross 7 Trash?

Not at all. I think Tokyopop got permision from BW to get it over here.

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Welcome back, Q-san. :)

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Good grief...

This is the second reason why I'm sick of Macross. <_<

:rolleyes:

MW is now drama free.. Lets keep it that way.

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Hey Drew, don't stress about it too much. If you had it, I was just curious about the wording. Since you don't have it, no worries. I am quite aware we've been overtalking this for more than a year. :wacko:

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Good grief...

This is the second reason why I'm sick of Macross.  <_<

:rolleyes:

MW is now drama free.. Lets keep it that way.

Your ever-so polite way of saying get the hell out of here, I suppose? Yep, same old MW, just in different packaging. Unfortunate... :(

Edited by Quadrono

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Good grief...

This is the second reason why I'm sick of Macross.  <_<

:rolleyes:

MW is now drama free.. Lets keep it that way.

Lets stop this RIGHT NOW!!!!! This is a message board where people are free to express their opinions. If you don't like a post say I don't agree with you. Do NOT say things like that that only serve to antagonize and annoy. Unless you want to pick a fight with me, which is fine because I can reply in kind. This kind of crap got about 8 people banned back in June so I don't want it to start again. So everybody let's just be friendy and all will be fine.

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:rolleyes:

waylandcool is now drama free... let's keep it that way.

:p

No offense, waylandcool- But you sure do have a strange sig for someone who preaches mutual kindness.

I don't think there was anything wrong with Agent ONE's post. I love Quadrono to death, don't get me wrong. But Quadrono's post...

Good grief...

This is the second reason why I'm sick of Macross.  <_<

...literally brought nothing of value to this particular topic (although the value of ANYTHING in this topic is definitely in the eye of the beholder).

If you feel the need to berate Agent ONE regarding his statement, one would think that you would also fell the need to chastise Quadrono for spamming the thread with useless talk.

And, on a final note, it won't do you any good to antagonize Agent ONE because A- He's smarmy, and B- He probably doesn't care what you say to him. I think he has no heart, because nothing fazes him.

:D

p.s.- what you just read is a diplomatic way of addressing problems here. it's much better telling someone what they're doing is wrong, and then challenging them in case they "want to pick a fight with you."

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Agent One, you know the rules about attacking members. I don't care how subtle you're trying to be. You were better off just leaving it alone. Quad, I think you'll be surprised at how things turn out here. Don't expect positive remarks from the kind of statement you made though.

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Good grief...

This is the second reason why I'm sick of Macross.  <_<

:rolleyes:

MW is now drama free.. Lets keep it that way.

Your ever-so polite way of saying get the hell out of here, I suppose? Yep, same old MW, just in different packaging. Unfortunate... :(

:lol:

You show up... make a comment that rips on MW... a place I hang out... did you expect someone to be nice!!??

You are lucky I don't drag you through the mud like I could, however I will respect SuperO's request and not just hammer on you.

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...

And, on a final note, it won't do you any good to antagonize Agent ONE because A- He's smarmy, and B- He probably doesn't care what you say to him. I think he has no heart, because nothing fazes him.

...

Hey WDC, that is a great description of me! I should comission you to write my Biography.

Agent ONE: icon12.gif = None... LOL.

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:rolleyes:

waylandcool is now drama free... let's keep it that way.

:p

No offense, waylandcool- But you sure do have a strange sig for someone who preaches mutual kindness.

Its not strange from my viewpoint because I have no quams about hammering people who feel the need to disrespect people for no real reason. While Quad's post was a little melodramatic, Agent ONE's response was to start being a grade school bully. I saw the fight the last time in this thread and I have no desire to see one again.

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OK, ive looked, I cant find the reason John M.'s Legioss project was cancelled, I hope it wasnt lisencing issues :blink:

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OK, ive looked, I cant find the reason John M.'s Legioss project was cancelled, I hope it wasnt lisencing issues :blink:

It was... HG holds the liscence to produce Legioss products in the US.

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Ah, so "they" stopped the project,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,the question is, is it a basement project,,,YET :unsure: ,,,,Damn, i remember looking at the progress of that thing and checking in every week before i joined the forums.

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That's too bad he stopped. He should have finished it even if it was only for himself. Perhaps he could have gotten some toy company to liscense and produce it.

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Well they were well within their rights to stop it. After all they were aware of it, and the Legioss would have been sold to different people if it had been made. Reason I believe they stopped it was that John had been in talks with Toynami at the time for them to use his version for their MPC Alpha but at the same time he was trying to see who else would be interested in purchasing ones he was going to be building on his own. Basicly he was selling/taking preorders/etc (how you want to look at it) the Legioss in a business like fashion with no contract with HG to do so since they and TP have all the rights to Mospeada. Not really a good idea for him to have been doing that imo but its to late now.

I think he did say he was going to finish one for himself, HG really can't do anything about that since it is for personal use, only if he tries to make more and sell them for profit.

Edited by Effect

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It is widely accepted by most companies that fan projects can be sold in small quantities with no legal action taken. Look at WonderFest in Japan, and most garage kits that are available abroad. He should be able to finish it and sell it by himself without fear of being sued by HG.

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That is true but like you said most companys accept it. Doesn't mean they all allow it and with the way HG is any competition is a threat in their eyes, no matter how small. It sucks what they did but they weren't completely in the wrong for doing it though, they do own all the rights to Mospeada, at least from my understanding.

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It is widely accepted by most companies that fan projects can be sold in small quantities with no legal action taken. Look at WonderFest in Japan, and most garage kits that are available abroad. He should be able to finish it and sell it by himself without fear of being sued by HG.

But to do this, he would have to make each one himself. Quite a lot of work. If he he was looking into a company making them, then it would fall outside the fan custom region and into a company product.

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Sell it as a non profit, have him join the curch of scientoligy :p and go from thier <_< hell, sell it as the leader 1 from go-bots, thats takara i thinks

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