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Old 08-08-2017, 05:28 PM   #11
rkbrown419
 
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Default Re: Harmony Gold vs. BattleTech, Round N

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Originally Posted by sir_pudding View Post
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.
If memory serves, I was a teen at the time, there was a major mess on the licensing of the mecha involved. The creators of the anime licensed another company to sell toys and models overseas. When the toys and models got the US different distributors thought the rights to the toys meant rights to the images of the mecha. The Macross mecha used for Battletech 2e were an even more extreme example as one company had the rights to the final video product (who then licensed it to HG and it became gen 1 of Robotech and the Movie got turned into Clash of the Bionoids). Another had the rights to the story, and a third had the rights to the toy and model distribution. The one with the toy rights sold the toys several different ways. The armored VF-1S red and black version had an autobot symbol added and was brought over as Transformers G1 Jetfire. Models from Macross and Crusher Joe were sold as a Robotech Defenders Line that also got a two issue limited series from DC. Fasa had, or thought they had, the rights to use the images and miniatures based on them for Battletech which was a lot cheaper than hiring a graphic designer to come up with new designs in house. That had to wait till they'd made enough money on the game to afford doing it themselves. Harmony Gold bought the rights to the Robotech name along with the video from Macross, Southern Cross, and Mospedia to make the Robotech T.V. Series.
While all this was going on the folks in Japan who owned the story rights to Macross started making several sequels as movies and series. They then tried to sell the overseas distribution of those stories and ran into trouble with Harmony Gold. HG asserted in court that when they got the exclusive rights to the Macross series they also had the right to anything created as a spin off or sequel (despite the fact that Japanese courts had ruled that company they did business with only had rights to the first Macross). series/movie). To further their cause, and due to the nature of US IP law they began aggressively going after anyone doing anything Macross related however loosely. This included joining with the studio behind a totally unrelated cartoon Exo-squad to do a line of Robotech Exo-squad toys (Macross and Mospedia mecha who's inclusion in the toy line made no sense from a story standpoint for either series) so they could join in a court battle with FASA who claimed that Exo-squad was a result of their pitching a Battletech cartoon to that studio. The result was a court ruling all of the mechs in the Battletech 2e and most from Citytech 1e and the LAM's from Aerotech 1e belonged to HG in spite of the rights Fasa got from the toy and model company.
This is why all those mechs were relegated to the status of Unseen in Battletech until Project Phoenix came up with altered versions that they could sell. This is also why you can't find non bootleg copies of any of the later Macross movies and series anywhere Robotech was distributed. Except Macross 2 and Macross plus that sliped in before all the court mess.
Mind you this is all based on my recollection of reading about the events as they happened and may contain some misinformation.
Now it looks like Harmony Gold is trying to assert that their ownership of Macross, Southern Cross and Mospedia means they own the entire idea of human piloted mecha. Despite the fact that they aren't doing anything new with what they have since Shadow Chronicles bombed and their are multiple examples of others using the same idea both before and after.
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Old 08-09-2017, 02:55 PM   #12
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Default Re: Harmony Gold vs. BattleTech, Round N

That is the commonly-accepted series of events, but there are important details that either have only recently come to light or are still obfuscated. It's why I'm trying to avoid speculation.
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Old 08-16-2017, 08:25 PM   #13
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Default Re: Harmony Gold vs. BattleTech, Round N

Leonard French reviews this case:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nPou5WuE-Y4
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Old 08-20-2017, 07:04 PM   #14
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Default Re: Harmony Gold vs. BattleTech, Round N

I'm not a big Macross fan, but liked the feature film released way back in 82 or 84.

Isn't Japan a signatory to international copyright law? How come the Japanese ruling doesn't have any weight in American courts?
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Old 08-21-2017, 12:00 AM   #15
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Default Re: Harmony Gold vs. BattleTech, Round N

Leonard French reviews Harmony Gold vs. Tatsunoko:

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

This is only tangentially connected to the HG vs. BattleTech case, but still contains a couple of bombshells. The biggest is that Harmony Gold's license to use the anime shows that comprise Robotech expires on March 14th, 2021. After that all rights revert to Tatsunoko, and given the friction between the two companies, an extension is pretty unlikely to be granted. HG would presumably retain the rights to Robotech itself - that is, the trademark and the English voice track - but without the animation and soundtrack those aren't worth much.

The other news is that there are 41 character designs that belong not to Tatsunoko, but instead to Big West. Unfortunately, nobody outside of the companies involved knows exactly what that means. Still, it is another strike against Harmony Gold retaining any rights to Macross, Mospeada, or Southern Cross past March 2021.

As for how this affects the HG vs. BattleTech lawsuit, it doesn't...for now. Harmony Gold retains the rights to the mecha designs in the US for the time being. However, now that it's known that Robotech has a sunset date, this gives Piranha/Harebrained/InMediaRes more options. If they simply shelve the contentious designs they can wait until HG loses its rights, then re-introduce them, for example. It is extremely unlikely that anyone else would challenge their use at that point. The BattleTech properties have literally hundreds of 'Mech designs that they can use until then.

One side effect is that this might just scuttle any plans Sony has for a Robotech movie. It'll also effect Palladium and their Robotech games. All in all, the next few years will be interesting. I suggest buying up Robotech toys and DVDs; we might not see them again. ;)

Addendum: I have greatly simplified what will happen when the rights "revert" to Tatsunoko. Expect another huge round of court battles in Japan as Studio Nue and Big West try to get the rights to their work back. But that will have little effect here in the States, and none on BattleTech.
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Last edited by ColBosch; 08-21-2017 at 12:04 AM.
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Old 08-21-2017, 03:21 AM   #16
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Default Re: Harmony Gold vs. BattleTech, Round N

Something tells me SONY, being a Japanese company, will probably not risk their reputation even if they had all the rights and green flags to go ahead with an Americanization of another Japanese media property. But, stranger things have happened, I suppose.
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Old 08-21-2017, 05:17 AM   #17
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Default Re: Harmony Gold vs. BattleTech, Round N

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I'm not a big Macross fan, but liked the feature film released way back in 82 or 84.
You're the first person I've heard express the opinion that the movie was likable. (Not saying you're wrong - taste is a personal thing - just saying you may be in the minority here.)

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Originally Posted by Blue Ghost View Post
Isn't Japan a signatory to international copyright law? How come the Japanese ruling doesn't have any weight in American courts?
For the same reasons that US court rulings don't have any weight in Japanese or Canadian courts - jurisdiction and sovereignty. Rulings made in one country apply only in that country, not necessarily in any other country.
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Old 08-21-2017, 09:24 AM   #18
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Default Re: Harmony Gold vs. BattleTech, Round N

So the "41 characters" list has been found. Big thanks to "ANS Kamas P81" over at the BattleTech forums:

via http://web.archive.org/web/200208031...nts/index.html

1 VF-1S FIGHTER
2 VF-1S BATTROID
3 VF-1S GERWALK
4 VF-1J FIGHTER
5 VF-1J BATTROID
6 VF-1J GERWALK
7 VF-1D FIGHTER
8 VF-1D BATTROID
9 VF-1D GERWALK
10 VF-1A FIGHTER
11 VF-1A BATTROID
12 VF-1A GERWALK
13 ARMORED VALKYRIE
14 SPARTAN
15 REGULT
16 GLAUG
17 SDF-1 BATTLE SHIP
18 SDF-1
19 PHALANX
20 DEFENDER
21 TOMAHAWK
22 QUEADLUUN-RAU
23 NOUSJADEUL-GER
24 MONSTER
25 QUEADOL-MAGDOMILLA
26 TOUGOU-GUN Emblem
27 ZENTRAEDI Emblem
28 Misa Hayase
29 Hikaru ichijo 1
30 Hikaru ichijo 2
31 Lynn Minmay 1
32 Lynn Minmay 2
33 Lynn Minmay 3
34 Lynn Minmay 4
35 Claudia La Salle
36 CAPTAIN Gloval
37 Maximilian Jeunius
38 Roy Focker
39 Milia Fallyuna Jenius
40 Bullitie
41 Exsedol Folmo

Since Harmony Gold accepted the arbitrator's findings, including that they have no rights on these designs, this may completely scuttle the BattleTech lawsuit. I am sending this information to Leonard French immediately.
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Old 08-21-2017, 10:22 AM   #19
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Default Re: Harmony Gold vs. BattleTech, Round N

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Originally Posted by robkelk View Post
You're the first person I've heard express the opinion that the movie was likable. (Not saying you're wrong - taste is a personal thing - just saying you may be in the minority here.)


For the same reasons that US court rulings don't have any weight in Japanese or Canadian courts - jurisdiction and sovereignty. Rulings made in one country apply only in that country, not necessarily in any other country.
I'm not sure why that would be. The TV series had abysmal animation compared to some other anime at the time. The feature film distilled and compressed the entire epic, and injected more art into the story.

And I'm referring to the logic of the decision, not jurisdiction nor sovereignty.
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Old 08-21-2017, 11:06 AM   #20
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Default Re: Harmony Gold vs. BattleTech, Round N

*coughs* Perhaps we could take the debate on anime art styles and quality to its own thread?
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