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Old 07-26-2017, 07:58 PM   #1
ColBosch
 
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Default Harmony Gold vs. BattleTech, Round N

First, here's a video explaining a bit about what's going on. I provided SidAlpha with a good deal of the backstory, so any errors are likely my own:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xLtlynQrG6c

Since that video was made, more information has become public, mainly Harmony Gold's amended complaint that added more artwork and roped in InMediaRes (the parent company of Catalyst Game Labs, current publishers of tabletop BattleTech), plus the responses from Piranha Games and Harebrained Schemes. Here's a link to the case documents:

https://www.unitedstatescourts.org/federal/wawd/242820/

Of particular interest are items 25, 31, and 38, which are (respectively) Piranha's response, Harmony Gold's amended complaint, and Harebrained's response. I am not a lawyer, so I am posting this without commentary for public interest.

Update 16 AUG 2017:

Leonard French's video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nPou5WuE-Y4
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Last edited by ColBosch; 08-16-2017 at 08:57 PM.
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Old 08-03-2017, 02:21 PM   #2
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Default Re: Harmony Gold vs. BattleTech, Round N

I think I saw somewhere between the lines in one of the complaints or answers [did Leonard French do a piece on it yet? Surprised to see another SidAlpha viewer around these parts, good stuff!] that the only reason Jordan/et al haven't nailed HG to the wall for these repeated shenanigans is that their very first settlement included a "No raising a stink with the Japanese company that licensed to HG to get them to revoke the same on grounds of HG's misbehavior" clause.

Given the last time [HG vs S&T, over then-Mechwarrior 5, now-MWO] they got thrown out of court on grounds of "No, you cannot refuse an attempt to make them whole in order to sue for higher damages...take your licensing fees and GTFO of my courtroom", I look forward to this judge slapping some sense into them at the end of a gavel this time too.
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Old 08-03-2017, 02:24 PM   #3
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Default Re: Harmony Gold vs. BattleTech, Round N

I always thought it was weird that FASA reused and renamed all those disparate anime mecha rather than just having original designs from the beginning.
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Old 08-03-2017, 06:51 PM   #4
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Default Re: Harmony Gold vs. BattleTech, Round N

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I always thought it was weird that FASA reused and renamed all those disparate anime mecha rather than just having original designs from the beginning.
There's a decent chance FASA in 1984 wasn't all that sophisticated about that kind of stuff (looks like they were a two-man operation at that time).
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Old 08-03-2017, 07:04 PM   #5
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Default Re: Harmony Gold vs. BattleTech, Round N

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There's a decent chance FASA in 1984 wasn't all that sophisticated about that kind of stuff (looks like they were a two-man operation at that time).
I was nine, so there's a decent chance I wasn't either, but I still thought it was weird.
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Old 08-03-2017, 09:23 PM   #6
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Default Re: Harmony Gold vs. BattleTech, Round N

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There's a decent chance FASA in 1984 wasn't all that sophisticated about that kind of stuff (looks like they were a two-man operation at that time).
Nobody had any idea that Japanese animation would become anywhere as popular in the United States as it did. (Of course, this was in large part thanks to Robotech itself.) For years various American companies had licensed toys and model kits from Japanese creators and given them new stories, such as Hasbro's Transformers and Revell's Robotech Defenders (Harmony Gold actually took over that copyright; the name predates the revamped animated series). Trans-Pacific copyright law is convoluted, to say the least.

As for Smith & Tinker's MechWarrior 5 project, all I have found on that was that HG hit IGN with a cease-and-desist to remove the tech demo video. S&T had really just meant that video to attract investors, and ultimately failed, setting the stage for Piranha Games to step in and develop MechWarrior Online. I don't think it ever went to court. If it did, I'd love a link to the actual court documents.
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Old 08-03-2017, 09:25 PM   #7
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Default Re: Harmony Gold vs. BattleTech, Round N

Oh, and I did email Leonard French about this, but he has not gotten back to me. I'll try again in a couple of days. I'd love to see insight from an actual copyright attorney on this matter.
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Old 08-04-2017, 11:44 AM   #8
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Default Re: Harmony Gold vs. BattleTech, Round N

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Originally Posted by ColBosch View Post
Nobody had any idea that Japanese animation would become anywhere as popular in the United States as it did. (Of course, this was in large part thanks to Robotech itself.) For years various American companies had licensed toys and model kits from Japanese creators and given them new stories, such as Hasbro's Transformers and Revell's Robotech Defenders (Harmony Gold actually took over that copyright; the name predates the revamped animated series). Trans-Pacific copyright law is convoluted, to say the least.

As for Smith & Tinker's MechWarrior 5 project, all I have found on that was that HG hit IGN with a cease-and-desist to remove the tech demo video. S&T had really just meant that video to attract investors, and ultimately failed, setting the stage for Piranha Games to step in and develop MechWarrior Online. I don't think it ever went to court. If it did, I'd love a link to the actual court documents.
I'm finding countless stories about them raising the initial stink [circa 2009], but records of the "Take your licensing fee and GTFO, you're wasting my time" moment are hard to come by. I'll keep looking.
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Old 08-04-2017, 03:09 PM   #9
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Default Re: Harmony Gold vs. BattleTech, Round N

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Originally Posted by TheAmishStig View Post
I'm finding countless stories about them raising the initial stink [circa 2009], but records of the "Take your licensing fee and GTFO, you're wasting my time" moment are hard to come by. I'll keep looking.
There is a lot of misinformation out there about these cases. That's why I'm trying to avoid speculation here and focusing on the facts as shown by the court documents.
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Old 08-06-2017, 11:23 AM   #10
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Default Re: Harmony Gold vs. BattleTech, Round N

Leonard French mentioned in his Sunday (06 AUG 2017) live stream that he is aware of this case, but his research has turned up hundreds of pages of information. He wants to do a video on the case, but wants to be sure he has the facts straight first. He also doesn't want to merely duplicate SidAlpha's work.
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