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I am a VFX artist and Director and I want to make a Macross Fan Film for the fans, Do I need Permission to do so? I have the ability to make it look like the Fan Made Power Rangers Movie that got pulled down on youtube. How can I get Permission and who do I Talk to?

Edited by antonpogi
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I am a VFX artist and Director and I want to make a Macross Fan Film for the fans, Do I need Permission to do so? I have the ability to make it look like the Fan Made Power Rangers Movie that got pulled down on youtube. How can I get Permission and who do I Talk to?

You don't. It will end in sadness, tears, and Harmony Gold sending you toilet paper with a cease and descist order scribbled on it.

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Fan films never has permission that's why they are fan films. It is a risk you take. You can minimalizes that risk by avoid certain elements. For example notice how all the 3rd Party Transformers toys don't use the official names or logos? You can also make sure your fan film falls under fair use.

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As a general rule, most companies look the other way when it comes to fan-produced derivative content, as they know they are loyal to their IP, and the works can often serve as free publicity. When it comes to Macross, Harmony Gold claims ownership even though they created nothing and still create nothing, so all they have to go on is the hope that someone dares to make a fan-produced work so that they can send a cease-and-desist letter, and sometimes, a demand that all of your labour of love be handed over to them for exploitation. The better, more polished your work is, the more of an online buzz it'll create, and the more interested in seizing control HG will be, because they literally have nothing else in the world to do.

I would love to see what you can come up with, but you better make sure you share it within closed circles and that the Three Stooges never see it. They're always hungry for content.

If you think I'm exaggerating, just do a search on the Argentinian fan-movie that HG shut down, then managed to rope in the artists to create the visuals for their Kickstarter project, which then bit the dust because nobody supported them because everyone knows they are nothing but IP trolls making a living off everyone else's creativity.

I honestly, sincerely wish you good luck.

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Do it, put all the credits and mentions to copyrights holders but don't publish it until it's finished... when the short hits the internet NOBODY can take it down :)

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I am a VFX artist and Director and I want to make a Macross Fan Film for the fans, Do I need Permission to do so? I have the ability to make it look like the Fan Made Power Rangers Movie that got pulled down on youtube. How can I get Permission and who do I Talk to?

If you're going to use "Macross" and/or "Robotech" in your film's title, then you'd have to contact Harmony Gold for permission to use either as they hold registered trademarks on both of those marks. However, it appears that Harmony Gold has licensed these trademarks exclusively to Sony for live-action use, so they may not be able to grant your request, regardless of your project's merits.

If you're going to use mechanical designs, character likenesses, or unique story elements from SDF Macross and/or DYRL, then'd have to contact Big West for permission to use these.

If you're going to use mechanical designs, character likenesses, or unique story elements from SDC Southern Cross and/or GC Mospeada, then you'd have to contact Harmony Gold. Though, as stated in the first paragraph above, these rights may have already been signed away for Sony's exclusive use.

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Even mentioning IP holders names in credits can get you in trouble because they never authorized it and can say you are using their name without permission.

My advice is be general about what you show and mention. You can show a cockpit, landing gear, a wing with missiles, a tail fin, an engine, a console unit, but never show the full object in-frame. You can show bits but it could literally be anything. Do not reference any establish characters or objects by name and only use it in the general sense (Captain Global? No. The captain? Yes. VF-1 Valkyrie? No. My plane/My fighter/My bird/etc.? Yes.).

Good luck.

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Just make the whole thing and put it out there, don't make the same mistake the other guys made by releasing it little by little. If it's good, many people would have downloaded and reposted it before it can really be taken off the web. If it's bad, well... it probably won't make enough of a buzz to be taken down. If you're looking for fame or profit, make something original instead.

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Do us all a favor and post it here first ;) At the very least the Western Fanbase can appreciate your work before the "trolls" attempt to steal your work...

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Thanks for all the advice. And yes if i decide to make it i will post here. I was thinking of creating new characters within the universe that focuses more on story rather than VFX but has elements of it. I know about the HG thing and that is why i want to know how to contact Shoji Kawamori and try to get his permission(if that is possible). This is not for profit and fame. I am just a true fan of Macross and Robotech. I just don't want big studios to frakk it up like they always do. I want to make it before sony does before its tainted with hollywood bigwigs. Im staying away from any HG related stories and Mecha i want the story to take place between Plus and Frontier. If that helps:)

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Thanks for all the advice. And yes if i decide to make it i will post here. I was thinking of creating new characters within the universe that focuses more on story rather than VFX but has elements of it. I know about the HG thing and that is why i want to know how to contact Shoji Kawamori and try to get his permission(if that is possible). This is not for profit and fame. I am just a true fan of Macross and Robotech. I just don't want big studios to frakk it up like they always do. I want to make it before sony does before its tainted with hollywood bigwigs. Im staying away from any HG related stories and Mecha i want the story to take place between Plus and Frontier. If that helps:)

Well Sony has no way to frak up the Macross property, it isn't owned by HG;;; B))

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Depends on a lot. Are you looking to use the VF-1 design, or anything from SDFM/DYRL or the UN Spacey Kite? If that's the case, make the entire thing first, then have a ton of friends upload all over the place, because you will get a massive Cease & Desist from Harmony Gold.

If it's from any of the other shows, you'll still probably get the C&D, just make sure it's totally complete and uploaded everywhere and enough of us will be able to see it.

Regardless of Kawamori's blessing, outside of Japan you're going to run into problems with Harmony Gold.

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$hit, that video worked for me. I think Shia just convinced me to finish my project! :lol:

As for you antonpogi, seriously if this is something you really want to do, then go for it. Life is too frakking short to not full fill your goals. Do what you have to do to so Harmony Blows doesn't have a temper-tantrum and make that film!

Edited by 505thAirborne
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So I've been doing a lot of research. What if i Created a new Character and designed a new fighter used military lingo titled it something vague? Would that still be copyright infringement. But if a macross fan watches it He/She would know its a fan film?

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Even mentioning IP holders names in credits can get you in trouble because they never authorized it and can say you are using their name without permission.

My advice is be general about what you show and mention. You can show a cockpit, landing gear, a wing with missiles, a tail fin, an engine, a console unit, but never show the full object in-frame. You can show bits but it could literally be anything. Do not reference any establish characters or objects by name and only use it in the general sense (Captain Global? No. The captain? Yes. VF-1 Valkyrie? No. My plane/My fighter/My bird/etc.? Yes.).

Good luck.

I love the way you think. i may have something cooking:)

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That being said, don't make it so vague that no one knows what you're talking about or no one knows what this is about.

Here's a good example what I mean from SDCC 2012:

The audience knows just enough to know who he is and what he does, but they never mention his (trademarked) name. And that symbol at the end is modified just enough to look different from the trademarked image, yet distinguishable enough to know what it is.

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Looking very good. I like the suggestion of doing it from start to finish before you advertise it, and put it up everywhere before mentioning it. By the time someone (HG) craps themselves to shut it down, it's already out and out of their control. That's always been the major problem of previous fan works. And while the IP holder can tell you to take it down, or give a C&D, most other than HG will not make a big wave over it. If you want to use the VF-11, or any other stuff from the Macross universe, you could always make those, and use them, but always have an alternate plan in case something did hit the fan.

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Your work looks intriguing and I'd love to see your fan film. Just know that the Macross property is a legal quagmire, far more convoluted (at least on the public side) than most other franchises. Plus you've got an IP predator like HG whose business model is legal intimidation to reap the rewards of an IP with an ever-dwindling nostalgia market of diminishing returns until pretty much nothing is left.

I think everyone has already covered the bases about what this sort of endeavour entails. I especially think Azrael has the right idea (Dirty Laundry, FTW!), make the fan film but leave out all of Macross, make the implications of what it is all unspoken and non-specific. That way, at worst, it can be an homage to Macross. Yes, only fans will get what it is you're doing, but this is a "fan film" anyway, so it shouldn't matter.

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Yeah... As everyone else said, don't put sketches up, or previews, or trailers, or threads like this. Make it, then announce it.

Yeah, about that...Forgot to mention. Despite what it may seem, there are lots of lurkers around here. Especially from the other franchise. And since you started it, you might as well continue. But you should have made it, posted it and then detail all the work you put in afterwards. But as I said, it's too late now.

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Yeah, about that...Forgot to mention. Despite what it may seem, there are lots of lurkers around here. Especially from the other franchise. And since you started it, you might as well continue. But you should have made it, posted it and then detail all the work you put in afterwards. But as I said, it's too late now.

Yeah I just read ur post about legalities. About "Dirty Laundry". Thats exactly how I would do it. I think I have a good idea of what I can do legally without copyright infringement. I also follow Adi Shankars work and the "Power/Rangers" Movie is back up. Hence just showing the the bits and not the whole thing. Also the forward slash between power and rangers.

Edited by antonpogi
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As I recall, Saban backed off the Power Rangers thing because of the huge wall of fan outrage that hit them like a giant tidal wave.

Harmony Gold doesn't care about fan outrage, though.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I would be really interested to see what you come up with. I'm no legal expert, so I can't and won't speak on that subject. Do whatever you have to, in order to get it done. Honestly I have to say, I hate Harmony Gold. I have nothing against a company trying to make money, but I hate litigiousness, and if that's what your business model is built around, instead of creation and innovation, you deserve to fail.

But that's not the case for you, based on what you have posted, I say go for it!

*I still don't understand, is Harmony Gold in control of all distribution rights for Macross here in the states, and is choosing not to release anything but the original SDFM under their Robotech IP name? If that's the case, how did we get dubs of SDFM and M+? I've tried reading the whole legal thing, and found my self hopelessly lost. So if someone who is very familiar could give me a cliffnotes or TL;DR (or legalese for dummies...) rundown, I'd much appreciate it (PM me if you feel that this derails the thread, as that's the last thing I want to do...).

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*I still don't understand, is Harmony Gold in control of all distribution rights for Macross here in the states, and is choosing not to release anything but the original SDFM under their Robotech IP name? If that's the case, how did we get dubs of SDFM and M+? I've tried reading the whole legal thing, and found my self hopelessly lost. So if someone who is very familiar could give me a cliffnotes or TL;DR (or legalese for dummies...) rundown, I'd much appreciate it (PM me if you feel that this derails the thread, as that's the last thing I want to do...).

Read-> http://www.macrossworld.com/mwf/index.php?showtopic=36541

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Basically, that's IT for them. Their BE-ALL and END-ALL. :ph34r:

Anyways, looking forward to your fan film, antonpogi. ;)

Edited by no3ljm
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