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2 hours ago, JB0 said:

Trademark. Big West still holds the copyright.

Trademarks can definitely be challenged, but how successfully is up in the air. Particularly as US law designates "intent to use" as a valid reason to hold a trademark, and they have enough historical usage of it to make a believable case that they intend to do so again.

And, well, they DO still use some of the Macross trademarks. The UN Spacy kite appears on all their VF-1 toys, as well as the singing Minmay doll toy. That they seem to be backing off of the phrase "Macross Saga" on their newer merchandise comes as a surprise to me, admittedly, but it still appears on some of their older merchandise that's currently available .

"Intent to use" seems like it shouldn't be a valid justification once all licensed rights revert to Tatsunoko, since that reversion is specifically outlined in the contracts signed between both parties and mentioned and upheld by the recent court documents surrounding HG's current lawsuit. How can you intend to use something if you no longer hold any right to its use? Granted we still have to wait three years and change for that to happen but in a logical legal system (yes, I know, that pretty much disqualifies the U.S.) I'd say it would be a good point to bring up when the time comes. March 2021 is going to be an interesting time no matter what, and I'm betting Big West will be ready and waiting with their case to make as soon as the shoe drops.

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1 hour ago, Brand said:

"Intent to use" seems like it shouldn't be a valid justification once all licensed rights revert to Tatsunoko, since that reversion is specifically outlined in the contracts signed between both parties and mentioned and upheld by the recent court documents surrounding HG's current lawsuit. How can you intend to use something if you no longer hold any right to its use?

You'd think so, but in a world where you can trademark ordinary english words like Jazz and Word and Scrolls and Saga, it is not much of a stretch to trademarking made-up words that weren't made up by you.

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6 hours ago, JB0 said:

You'd think so, but in a world where you can trademark ordinary english words like Jazz and Word and Scrolls and Saga, it is not much of a stretch to trademarking made-up words that weren't made up by you.

Although I'm not a lawyer, I am a writer and I often work with legally sensitive IP. Although the US landscape is a rough and rocky one, I can't bring myself to see it as that gloomy. For instance, looking at what happened with General Mills and their proposed yellow trademark, I have to think the possibility is wide open.

https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2017/08/general-mills-loses-bid-to-trademark-yellow-color-on-cheerios-box/

HG should be challenged at some point. A positive result would be that such a challenge could help to clarify and differentiate the US Robotech and Japanese trademarks. It's become a poster child for customer confusion in the anime industry.

Edit: clarifying this morning's tired writing...

Edited by technoblue
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By 2021, HG would have blocked Macross in US for 40 years. Even if they lose the rights then, I don't think it matters where it comes to the early Macross series. They are too old-school for new fans.

40 years of lost profits and opportunities for all the rights holders.

Edited by nhyone
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38 minutes ago, nhyone said:

By 2021, HG would have blocked Macross in US for 40 years. Even if they lose the rights then, I don't think it matters where it comes to the early Macross series. They are too old-school for new fans.

Not really.

Another series to watch (both in general and in the market) will be Legend of the Galactic Heroes. It hasn't been released outside of Japan officially until Sentiworks started to do so earlier this year and is just about as old.

This series has about the same late arrival that early Macross will have. So if it can succeed here then there is hope.

Also if they re-release Macross Plus or just start going from newest to oldest in series for release that can help bring newer fans in.  

Edited by Focslain
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12 minutes ago, Focslain said:

Not really.

Another series to watch (both in general and in the market) will be Legend of the Galactic Heroes. It hasn't been released outside of Japan officially until Sentiworks started to do so earlier this year and is just about as old.

This series has about the same late arrival that early Macross will have. So if it can succeed here then there is hope.

Also if they re-release Macross Plus or just start going from newest to oldest in series for release that can help bring newer fans in.  

Speaking of LOGH, I don't know how it has done for hi-dives subscription numbers, but it is a central part of their marketing.

I think from Mac 0 on, the animation is new enough not to look too dated, and make a splash for a streaming service, if/when it happens in 2021+

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So.. if HG NEVER had the rights for all the designs and characters... that means all the C&D letters sended to the fans... are nothing?

Man, I know some Argentinian friends who are gonna be very happy about all this... CofCof-ProjectValkiria-CofCof

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1 hour ago, Gerli said:

So.. if HG NEVER had the rights for all the designs and characters... that means all the C&D letters sended to the fans... are nothing?

Man, I know some Argentinian friends who are gonna be very happy about all this... CofCof-ProjectValkiria-CofCof

Goodness no... what would've given you the idea that those Cease and Desist notices weren't still valid?

It's never been about the designs - except maybe the fear that if they endorsed fan films using Macross designs it might end badly for them vis-à-vis Big West - it's always been a product of brand protection.  Harmony Gold doesn't own the designs from the original shows, but they DO own the Robotech name and all the aspects of their adaptation's plot which were not part of the original shows (e.g. the protoculture nonsense, the changed names).  Use those in your fan film, and they have every right to slap you with a cease and desist, file a copyright complaint against your webhost, and shut you down.

So, no... none of them are off the hook.

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2 minutes ago, Seto Kaiba said:

Goodness no... what would've given you the idea that those Cease and Desist notices weren't still valid?

It's never been about the designs - except maybe the fear that if they endorsed fan films using Macross designs it might end badly for them vis-à-vis Big West - it's always been a product of brand protection.  Harmony Gold doesn't own the designs from the original shows, but they DO own the Robotech name and all the aspects of their adaptation's plot which were not part of the original shows (e.g. the protoculture nonsense, the changed names).  Use those in your fan film, and they have every right to slap you with a cease and desist, file a copyright complaint against your webhost, and shut you down.

So, no... none of them are off the hook.

That's curious... because the main argument for HG after the C&D and fans upset was the characters and designs utilization... NOT the Robotech name. 

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22 minutes ago, Gerli said:

That's curious... because the main argument for HG after the C&D and fans upset was the characters and designs utilization... NOT the Robotech name. 

From my own interactions with the creators of the Robotech: Genesis fan film shortly after HG nuked their project with a Cease and Desist notice1, the fan-film's Serbia-based lead animator seemed convinced that his project had been targeted because they were using the distinctly Robotech plot points of the "Masters Saga" and Robotech II: the Sentinels and had declined the HG request/ultimatum to surrender all rights to their work in exchange for HG promoting it on the official website.

With respect to Valkyrie Project, I suspect they were more concerned about appearances... since it was a semi-pro Robotech fan film that was actively using Macross designs at a time when they were increasingly concerned about the possibility of Big West filing a copyright infringement lawsuit against them.  The designs might've motivated it, but the basis for the shutdown of the film would've been the Robotech IP rights.

 

Spoiler

1. I had never met them prior to that incident, when they reached out to me through a mutual acquaintence to let me know that they had been contacted by Robotech.com volunteer moderator MEMO1DOMINION, who had given them several different, mutually-contradictory "explanations" that all insisted I was the architect of the project's demise and encouraging them to sue me.

 

Edited by Seto Kaiba
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23 minutes ago, Sildani said:

Huh? I don't know who you are IRL, Seto, but would you even have that kind of mojo?

Abso-fricking-lutely not.  If I had that kind of pull with HG's legal staff or management, d'you think we'd still be having the Macross licensing problem?

Closest I've ever come to having influence of any kind in Robotech's doings is when Tommy Yune would occasionally glean improvements for the Robotech.com Infopedia from discussions I had about MacrossSouthern Cross, and MOSPEADA with him and a few other people... and I didn't even get credited for that on the site!

(For the record, the only industry in which I have any real influence is automotive... and even then, it's only in alt-fuel, hybrid, and electric, which aren't exactly mainstream yet.)

Edited by Seto Kaiba
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8 hours ago, Seto Kaiba said:

(For the record, the only industry in which I have any real influence is automotive... and even then, it's only in alt-fuel, hybrid, and electric, which aren't exactly mainstream yet.)

Seto's secret identity is Elon Musk, and vice versa.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No seriously, who the frakk are you, you weird encyclopedic internet superhero?

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Just now, kajnrig said:

Seto's secret identity is Elon Musk, and vice versa.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  Hide contents

No seriously, who the frakk are you, you weird encyclopedic internet superhero?

 

If he was Elon Musk, he probably would've bought out and liquidated HG by now.

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17 hours ago, technoblue said:

Although I'm not a lawyer, I am a writer and I often work with legally sensitive IP. Although the US landscape is a rough and rocky one, I can't bring myself to see it as that gloomy. For instance, looking at what happened with General Mills and their proposed yellow trademark, I have to think the possibility is wide open.

Oh, I'm not saying it is an implausible outcome. Just that it is not a foregone conclusion, though it really ought to be.

(I believe Jim Davis DID get a trademark on Garfield Orange, incidentally. And UPS has a trademark on poop brown. Both limited to within their respective markets, of course. )

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Since I've actually met Seto in real life (once) I feel like this is appropriate;

 

59a1b19be7f82_ScottP.PNG.ae3fe46195a215ff365aab778e54a614.PNG

 

Nothing to do with the actual legal discussion, because, well unless there is a very real, very strong possibility that I can get my Arcadia and Bandai toys without having to deal with super-limited supply and pre-order madness I simply don't care who is suing who.

-b.

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21 hours ago, JB0 said:

I remember Memo, vaguely. What possessed him to blame you, other than sheer madness?

Y'know, I've never been entirely sure.  He and Maverick_LSC had it in for me for a while after they banned me from robotech.com for causing them "pain and suffering" by correcting them publicly on all the false information they were spreading about the Macross legal situation and its relevance to the recently-announced Robotech live action movie proposal.  There were a few years there where they put a ton of effort into making me out to be THE evil baby-eating Macross purist out to secretly undermine the Robotech franchise.

 

 

 

21 hours ago, kajnrig said:

Seto's secret identity is Elon Musk, and vice versa.

Hah!  I should be so lucky.

 

Quote

No seriously, who the frakk are you, you weird encyclopedic internet superhero?

Nobody, really.  Just a humble mad scientist currently in the service of a major automaker's electric vehicle R&D division, contributor to a bunch of SAE standards no sane human will ever read, and owner of an extraordinarily grouchy monitor lizard with a seemingly bottomless appetite.

(Those of you around Mountainview CA, Kirkland WA, or Austin TX, if you get a chance to ride one of the Waymo Pacificas being tested there, do let me know what you think of it.  I had a modest hand in its creation.  Not something likely to land in the MW Automotive thread, I know...)

 

 

2 hours ago, Sildani said:

Pretty sure that's the only sane reaction to have. 

Yeah, I'd love to be put out of business as a translator with all these books being made available in English.  I can only hope Harmony Gold's working relationship with Tatsunoko goes to pieces so spectacularly that we don't have to wait until 2021.  This kind of fighting over money, especially when Tatsunoko's probably not making that much on the Robotech license to begin with might well be the straw the breaks the camel's back. :D 

Edited by Seto Kaiba
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If people here don't know yet, the YouTube lawyer has moved on to more important things in the community (Youtuber legal drama).  He probably did more harm than good by not going further with his research.

Also Seto, get over it already.  They are just grade S brown nosers who will always make excuses for the failures of the franchise.

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1 minute ago, Einherjar said:

If people here don't know yet, the YouTube lawyer has moved on to more important things in the community (Youtuber legal drama).  He probably did more harm than good by not going further with his research.

Also Seto, get over it already.  They are just grade S brown nosers who will always make excuses for the failures of the franchise.

I'm not sure what you think Leonard French's interests/intentions were, but he was never that interested in Macross (or even Robotech) at all.  The only reason he's covering this at all is that he's interested in Battletech/Mechwarrior, and since they (HBS) are being sued by HG, and this case also involving Harmony Gold came up, he looked into it.  He was really just trying to establish what HG's rights were with regards to the Macross designs (specifically the ones Battletech ripped off/borrowed from/copied, however you want to interpret it).  He is not a Macross or Robotech fan, nor did he ever pretend to be.  He does seem to know a little more than the average person regarding the Macross/Robotech relationship, but he also got several things wrong (again, because he isn't a Macross fan).

I'm not necessarily trying to defend the guy, I don't really care about him much one way or another.  But it seems like you've had it out for him, or think he's a "fake" Macross fan.  He isn't a Macross (or Robotech) fan at all, and if you watched the full hour+ video, he never pretended to be.  He's only interested in this because of its relationship to Battletech.

That said, he is a lawyer, and his interpretation in video format is probably better than a lot of laymen reading the arbitration on its own, that's why I bothered to post the video.

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2 hours ago, HardlyNever said:

I'm not sure what you think Leonard French's interests/intentions were, but he was never that interested in Macross (or even Robotech) at all.  The only reason he's covering this at all is that he's interested in Battletech/Mechwarrior, and since they (HBS) are being sued by HG, and this case also involving Harmony Gold came up, he looked into it.

Very much this. It would be nice if he looked at all the legal issues between HG/Tatsunoko/BW to provide more context for the thing with Battletech, but it's pretty clear from the video that he has absolutely no dog in the Macross/Robotech battle itself.

I mean, it would also be easy Youtube bucks, at least...

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2 hours ago, Einherjar said:

If people here don't know yet, the YouTube lawyer has moved on to more important things in the community (Youtuber legal drama).  He probably did more harm than good by not going further with his research.

Unsurprising, though I hope whatever he's moved onto is something he's significantly more knowledgeable about.  He absolutely did more harm than good with that badly misinformed video of his about Harmony Gold's lawsuit against Catalyst Game Labs, Piranha Games Inc., and Harebrained Schemes LLC.  The BattleTech/MechWarrior fans are all stirred up with false hope that the lawsuit is going to blow up spectacularly in Harmony Gold's face1 and thinking that soon "The Unseen" will be able to return to their original (copyright-infringing) designs.  It's also got a lot of Robotech and Macross fans returning to wild and baseless claims like that HG's license is not legal/legitimate.

Curiously, there's very little speculation out there about Harmony Gold suing Tatsunoko even though that has potential implications far more wide-reaching than BattleTech's latest cockup.

 

 

2 hours ago, Einherjar said:

Also Seto, get over it already.  They are just grade S brown nosers who will always make excuses for the failures of the franchise.

Hm?  I'm not upset about it.  I'm amused by it.  It's not every day you get promoted to being a Boogeyman without having to actually do anything. :) 

Plus I got to meet some really awesome people as a result of their unfounded accusations.  Those guys from UEG Productions did professional animation work for the National Museum of Serbia, and a LOT of really awesome Star Trek fan art.  It's a shame they got it in the shorts over their Robotech fan film, since they were really passionate about it... but legalities are legalities, and it's pretty easy to understand why HG would want them to surrender the rights to the film in exchange for endorsement.  (Otherwise, if they wanted to use something out of it they'd be stuck in the same mess Games Workshop was with the minor Chaos Gods, or Paramount and the character of [Nic Locarno/Tom Paris], where they would get screwed on royalties and extra approvals.)

 

 

1.  It actually might, but not for that reason.  I've been looking at it, and I'm pretty sure the designs Harmony Gold contend are ripoffs of the Armored Valkyrie and Regult are actually the Dougram and H8 Roundfacer from the Fang of the Sun Dougram series and the Chiram Ishkick from Super Dimension Century Orguss.

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4 hours ago, HardlyNever said:

I'm not sure what you think Leonard French's interests/intentions were, but he was never that interested in Macross (or even Robotech) at all.  The only reason he's covering this at all is that he's interested in Battletech/Mechwarrior, and since they (HBS) are being sued by HG, and this case also involving Harmony Gold came up, he looked into it.  He was really just trying to establish what HG's rights were with regards to the Macross designs (specifically the ones Battletech ripped off/borrowed from/copied, however you want to interpret it).  He is not a Macross or Robotech fan, nor did he ever pretend to be.  He does seem to know a little more than the average person regarding the Macross/Robotech relationship, but he also got several things wrong (again, because he isn't a Macross fan).

Just agreeing with the concerns TheLoneWolf and TehPW had about the video.  He blurs the line between legal professional and entertainer in his videos, and is tackling two completely separate issues trying to find some context.  It's fine if he doesn't go beyond that since he doesn't have a stake in it.  But there's the chance that there's something he missed from the legalities over the years that could come into play with the Battletech one.  Then again, this is just something he does on the side of his real job for anything interesting that comes up in his field.  Doesn't hurt that the exposure helps his professional career in addition to the YouTube and Patreon money (yes, he has one).

I understand that he does it with the best intentions, but as an observation viewers these days have a bad habit of taking videos like that far more seriously than they really should.  It's a criticism I have with a lot of people on YouTube since it tends to spiral out of control with little accountability.

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8 minutes ago, terry the lone wolf said:

Well... Sony had better produce that Robotech film.. Before 2021..

Why?  They've the ones with the least stake in Robotech's connection to Tatsunoko Production.  

I mean, we've known for over a decade now that the proposal for a live-action Robotech movie is for a reimagined Robotech using only the portions of the IP that Harmony Gold owns free and clear.  It's the one thing Robotech has going for it that wouldn't be impacted by a falling-out between Harmony Gold and Tatsunoko. 

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10 hours ago, Seto Kaiba said:

Why?  They've the ones with the least stake in Robotech's connection to Tatsunoko Production.  

I mean, we've known for over a decade now that the proposal for a live-action Robotech movie is for a reimagined Robotech using only the portions of the IP that Harmony Gold owns free and clear.  It's the one thing Robotech has going for it that wouldn't be impacted by a falling-out between Harmony Gold and Tatsunoko. 

When does the Sony movie option end?  HG is not one to sign over perpetual rights.

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I've come a bit late to this thread. But between the interesting tidbit about HG's rights to Macross possibly lapsing due to it's deal with Matsumoto in 2021 and BW making moves in Europe, I'm for the first time in years, not absolutely convinced  that we'll never get some  Western releases of Macross stuff.

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20 hours ago, Dynaman said:

When does the Sony movie option end?  HG is not one to sign over perpetual rights.

I've got no idea... I'd guess the term is probably something like five to seven years, though there's some circumstantial evidence to suggest that HG didn't have the license finalized when they first announced that the license was transitioning from WB to Sony.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • azrael changed the title to Harmony Gold suing Tatsunoko

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