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Harmony Gold Files Lawsuit Over SDCC 2013 G.I. Joe/Transformers Crossover Set

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Re: Harmony Gold Files Lawsuit Over SDCC 2013 G.I. Joe/Transformers Crossover Set

Postby helli0n » Wed Jul 24, 2013 6:59 pm

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Metrosuplex wrote:(From Wikipedia)As with other pre-Robotech borrowings from Macross (for instance, Battletech), the licensing situation for the toy became murky with two different companies (Big West and Tatsunoko Production) asserting exclusive rights to license Macross merchandise outside Japan. Due to these legal issues, Jetfire has not been among the Transformers toys reissued in the 21st century .[10]
This toy is patented in the U.S. as patent number D287037.[11]


Now I understand the suit! #-o

This was never about how similar the SDCC jet looks to Robotech's jet.... this is about how Jetfire IS a Robotech character!

Hence, this is really Hasbro using a Robotech character without permission, regardless of how he looks in toy form. Historically, this IS a Robotech character, and Harmony thus has a right to require financial/legal permission for his use.


Actually another thought occurred to me while reading this overall thread and this post in particular. This is quite possibly a "hail mary" attempt to clarify the copyright and firmly put it in Harmony Gold's hands. There was talk about their copyright mess a few months back when one of the Japanese companies started to advertised for a potential Masterpiece-esque/Hybrid Style-esque version of the VF-1S Super Valkyrie. I don't know where that went, but I got the impression that the plans fell through. Could be wrong though...

To sum up HG saw that jet and thought this was the perfect chance to lock down copyright they've always had a problem with.
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Re: Harmony Gold Files Lawsuit Over SDCC 2013 G.I. Joe/Transformers Crossover Set

Postby fenrir72 » Wed Jul 24, 2013 7:47 pm

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I wish Tomy/Hasbro used that backpack on the classic Jetfire/henkei Skyfire mold.
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Re: Harmony Gold Files Lawsuit Over SDCC 2013 G.I. Joe/Transformers Crossover Set

Postby burning_sirius » Wed Jul 24, 2013 8:01 pm

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I hate Harmony Gold. Hasbro had to of known it would draw the ire of Harmony Gold when doing this. I am hoping some bros in Hasbro wanted to pick a fight with Harmony Gold to finally remove their claim on the VF-1 and thus Macross can be brought over here properly.

Jetfire IS NOT a Robotech character. Robotech is just the American dub/version of Macross. Macross of course is superior in story telling than Robotech.

In the end, I hope Harmony Gold goes away so we can get legit Macross series over here.
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Re: Harmony Gold Files Lawsuit Over SDCC 2013 G.I. Joe/Transformers Crossover Set

Postby RAcast » Wed Jul 24, 2013 8:25 pm

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This is an interesting mess, isn't it?

TFwiki wrote:On July 22, 2013, Harmony Gold, owner of the rights to the Robotech franchise, filed a copyright infringement suit against Hasbro. In the filing, Harmony Gold argued that the release somehow infringed upon the intellectual property of the Veritech, but noted that "damages are difficult to ascertain". They demanded that Hasbro recall all Jetfires that had been sold, that all Jetfires (including the recalled ones) be either destroyed or handed over to Harmony Gold, and that Hasbro turn over all profits relating to the sales; this was to happen in addition to payment for all actual damages to Harmony Gold (despite Harmony Gold itself not knowing how much the actual damages were) and all punitive assessments assigned against Hasbro.


Hasbro really did make a bad decision by making that booster pack mold. The IP isn't theirs, and they did infringe on HG's franchise by doing so.

But at the same time... Hasbro isn't trying to pass this off as having anything to do with Macross. It's an homage to G1 Jetfire...who is based on the Valkyrie.

I think if Hasbro hadn't made that booster pack accessory they'd have been fine, but they'll have to pay some reparation for that. Now, what HG is demanding is hilariously ridiculous. RECALLING them? The sold ones! Seriously? That's quite possibly the most laughable thing I've ever heard of. I wonder how much the prices of that set will skyrocket? Depending on the outcome of this, of course. If Hasbro wins, it won't matter, but I suspect they'll just settle, turn over some of the profits (probably a certain percent according to the value of the jet itself in the set) and destroy the booster mold in addition to some sort of fee.
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Re: Harmony Gold Files Lawsuit Over SDCC 2013 G.I. Joe/Transformers Crossover Set

Postby chuckdawg1999 » Wed Jul 24, 2013 9:06 pm

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GuyIncognito wrote:
Bumblevivisector wrote:Oh, and everyone else? Do please buy that the official release of that Shadow Chronicles/Love-Live-Alive DVD they released last week. Harmony Gold does need all the help they can get.


LOL, I don't buy things to support the company selling them. It's not a charity. If you have trouble paying your bills, are they going to help you?


They re-released Shadow Chronicles again or is this the sequel to the first movie?
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Re: Harmony Gold Files Lawsuit Over SDCC 2013 G.I. Joe/Transformers Crossover Set

Postby Bowspearer » Wed Jul 24, 2013 11:59 pm

HG are going to fall flat on their face on this one. The fact is that even if you were to say that HG had the rights to every single Valkyrie mold out there, this clearly falls under the banner of inspiration rather than bootlegging.

For starters, taking the base Valkyrie design vs the base Skystriker design; the Skystriker is a 1 seater replica of the F-14 Tomcat whilst the VF-1 is a futuristic interpretation of the F-14.

Then you have to look at the boosters. Certainly the design is inspired, however the central section is radically different to that on a Super/Strike Valkyrie and each booster is sprouting tail wings. That could be used to argue a point of difference.

Then you have the legal ownership issues. I could understand issues in terms of animation, as it is easy to cross-over from what was actually licensed to what wasn't, however the Jetfire rights situation is a rather curly one.

The fact is that what Hasbro bought were the rights to a discarded Strike Valkyrie prototype which was never actually used in Macross or released under the Macross brand name. If it got down to splitting hairs, a case could be made that Harmony Gold had no legal rights over the Jetfire toy provided the proportions are identical to what Hasbro originally had the rights to.

Either way this is likely to fall flat on its face and only serve to alienate Robotech fans who are also Transformers fans.
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Re: Harmony Gold Files Lawsuit Over SDCC 2013 G.I. Joe/Transformers Crossover Set

Postby helli0n » Thu Jul 25, 2013 1:33 am

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chuckdawg1999 wrote:
GuyIncognito wrote:
Bumblevivisector wrote:Oh, and everyone else? Do please buy that the official release of that Shadow Chronicles/Love-Live-Alive DVD they released last week. Harmony Gold does need all the help they can get.


LOL, I don't buy things to support the company selling them. It's not a charity. If you have trouble paying your bills, are they going to help you?


They re-released Shadow Chronicles again or is this the sequel to the first movie?


It appears to be a re-release of Shadow Chronicles along with a completely unrelated Mospedia movie that they appear to have re-adapted from its original 1985 release.

Robotech 2-Movie Collection

Robotech: Love Live Alive

For those unfamiliar with HG and their tendency to crap on fans - Shadow Chronicles was a completely new Robotech movie created by HG. It was the "official" sequel to the original Robotech series (there was a "non-canon" sequel that I think they had a hand in making as well). Shadow Chronicles got mixed reviews, but most fans seemed to like it and it seemed to do well in sales. It has a very clear open end and thus sets up nicely for a follow on series or sequel. HG promised such...and then proceeded to not do shit with Shadow Chronicles. Shdow Chronicles Sequel

And that is Harmony Gold in a nut shell...they promise a lot and may even tease you...but then they either don't deliver or fail to fully deliver. I could go on and on about things they've never delivered on...the "non-canon" sequel's follow on series...video games...Macross releases... :-x
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Re: Harmony Gold Files Lawsuit Over SDCC 2013 G.I. Joe/Transformers Crossover Set

Postby GuyIncognito » Thu Jul 25, 2013 7:18 am

RAcast wrote:This is an interesting mess, isn't it?


Hasbro really did make a bad decision by making that booster pack mold. The IP isn't theirs, and they did infringe on HG's franchise by doing so.

But at the same time... Hasbro isn't trying to pass this off as having anything to do with Macross. It's an homage to G1 Jetfire...who is based on the Valkyrie.

I think if Hasbro hadn't made that booster pack accessory they'd have been fine, but they'll have to pay some reparation for that.



Well put; I totally agree.

RAcast wrote:Now, what HG is demanding is hilariously ridiculous. RECALLING them? The sold ones! Seriously? That's quite possibly the most laughable thing I've ever heard of.


My guess is that it's just a bargaining tactic. You start with a ridiculous demand like that, and then you settle for X amount of money. Like when you're haggling over a price: you offer the seller a low amount at first so your next offer seems generous by comparison. "We DEMAND that you RECALL EVERY JETFIRE!..... or just give us, like, $100,000 and we'll call it even."

Reminds me of an older Simpsons episode, where Lisa is trying to convince Homer to let her take the bus downtown by herself. Homer says she's not allowed. Lisa says "Well, I COULD get a limo, but that would cost hundreds of dollars..." Homer's like "OH no, we're not made of money! I DEMAND you take the bus!"
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Re: Harmony Gold Files Lawsuit Over SDCC 2013 G.I. Joe/Transformers Crossover Set

Postby Triptykon » Thu Jul 25, 2013 7:53 am

As a bigger fan of Macross than I am Transformers (that's pretty rabid) all I can say is **** Harmony Gold. They have sat on and done literally nothing with the Macross license for almost 30 years, preventing some of the series best sequels/continuations from ever seeing domestic release, let alone all but being the only roadblock preventing the myriad of amazing toys and kits from also ever seeing domestic distribution. They are the single most useless North American rights and license holder of any anime intellectual property.
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Re: Harmony Gold Files Lawsuit Over SDCC 2013 G.I. Joe/Transformers Crossover Set

Postby Arctorro » Thu Jul 25, 2013 8:12 am

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GuyIncognito wrote:Reminds me of an older Simpsons episode, where Lisa is trying to convince Homer to let her take the bus downtown by herself. Homer says she's not allowed. Lisa says "Well, I COULD get a limo, but that would cost hundreds of dollars..." Homer's like "OH no, we're not made of money! I DEMAND you take the bus!"
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Re: Harmony Gold Files Lawsuit Over SDCC 2013 G.I. Joe/Transformers Crossover Set

Postby Midnight_Fox » Thu Jul 25, 2013 8:32 am

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Bowspearer wrote:HG are going to fall flat on their face on this one. The fact is that even if you were to say that HG had the rights to every single Valkyrie mold out there, this clearly falls under the banner of inspiration rather than bootlegging.


The problem is, there's nothing clear about Copyright and IP laws. They're an exceedingly muddy area, hence the need to have everything dealt with in court to "clearly" define that instance and set precedent for similar cases.

Unfortunately, the case I mentioned earlier, Chapterhouse Studios v. Games Workshop, dealt with exactly "clearly inspired" toys/models. Whilst Games Workshop lost out on about 60-75% of their claims, various items that evoked the GW style were lost by Chapter House. For example:

This is a Games Workshop Eldar Farseer:

Image

And this is a Chapterhouse Doomseer:

Image

The Doomseer is clearly inspired by the Farseer(and not even as close to, in my eyes, this instance of the Skystriker with boosters to the Valkyrie with boosters) and GW won on that instance, meaning Chapterhouse can no longer produce and sell their Doomseer.

Now, to head off some people who are both TF fans and wargamers: Yes, Chapterhouse is more like GW's Fansproject/MMC/insert favorite 3rd Party producer here than what HG is to Hasbro, being that it's meant to be a stand in/replacement for the the Farseer. But the courts don't think that way, they see Company X suing Company Y and treat them equally, or at least try to.


As an aside, it's also important to remember that IP laws in general were originally created(at least in the US) to protect people such as artists, not corporations. The reason Copyrights now last as long as they do is because somewhere along the line someone created a certain cartoon mouse and wanted to make sure his company owned said mouse as long as possible. Thanks, Walt! ;)
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Re: Harmony Gold Files Lawsuit Over SDCC 2013 G.I. Joe/Transformers Crossover Set

Postby Mindmaster » Thu Jul 25, 2013 3:01 pm

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Correct me if I'm mistaken, but the Classics Jetfire toy featured several homages to Jetfire's Macross/Robotech origin, yet Harmony Gold didn't get pissy about that. >:oP
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Re: Harmony Gold Files Lawsuit Over SDCC 2013 G.I. Joe/Transformers Crossover Set

Postby Mkall » Thu Jul 25, 2013 3:17 pm

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Mindmaster wrote:Correct me if I'm mistaken, but the Classics Jetfire toy featured several homages to Jetfire's Macross/Robotech origin, yet Harmony Gold didn't get pissy about that. >:oP

Apparently, Hasbro asked for permission those times and were given the go-ahead. This time they didn't ask.
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Re: Harmony Gold Files Lawsuit Over SDCC 2013 G.I. Joe/Transformers Crossover Set

Postby fenrir72 » Thu Jul 25, 2013 3:40 pm

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So the magic word was please?
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Re: Harmony Gold Files Lawsuit Over SDCC 2013 G.I. Joe/Transformers Crossover Set

Postby RAcast » Thu Jul 25, 2013 3:43 pm

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fenrir72 wrote:So the magic word was please?

I would imagine there was some small licensing fee, as well. ;)
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Re: Harmony Gold Files Lawsuit Over SDCC 2013 G.I. Joe/Transformers Crossover Set

Postby Midnight_Fox » Thu Jul 25, 2013 4:28 pm

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fenrir72 wrote:So the magic word was please?


A little professional courtesy goes a long way.
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Re: Harmony Gold Files Lawsuit Over SDCC 2013 G.I. Joe/Transformers Crossover Set

Postby chuckdawg1999 » Thu Jul 25, 2013 5:24 pm

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One thing that cracks me up about this is how short sighted people still were when HG was given the universal golden TM or IP control. No one had the thought that there might be a demand to see the original content, or sequels that Robotech was based on or experience the toys and other product that the Japanese companies made. It sorta reminds me how none of the wrestling promoters in the 80's and back thought to keep tapes of their shows for future sales.
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Re: Harmony Gold Files Lawsuit Over SDCC 2013 G.I. Joe/Transformers Crossover Set

Postby Mkall » Thu Jul 25, 2013 5:58 pm

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fenrir72 wrote:So the magic word was please?

That's so last year. This year's magic word is litigate.
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Re: Harmony Gold Files Lawsuit Over SDCC 2013 G.I. Joe/Transformers Crossover Set

Postby fenrir72 » Thu Jul 25, 2013 6:11 pm

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Mkall wrote:
fenrir72 wrote:So the magic word was please?

That's so last year. This year's magic word is litigate.


:lol:

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Re: Harmony Gold Files Lawsuit Over SDCC 2013 G.I. Joe/Transformers Crossover Set

Postby Bowspearer » Thu Jul 25, 2013 6:42 pm

Midnight_Fox wrote:
Bowspearer wrote:HG are going to fall flat on their face on this one. The fact is that even if you were to say that HG had the rights to every single Valkyrie mold out there, this clearly falls under the banner of inspiration rather than bootlegging.


The problem is, there's nothing clear about Copyright and IP laws. They're an exceedingly muddy area, hence the need to have everything dealt with in court to "clearly" define that instance and set precedent for similar cases.

Unfortunately, the case I mentioned earlier, Chapterhouse Studios v. Games Workshop, dealt with exactly "clearly inspired" toys/models. Whilst Games Workshop lost out on about 60-75% of their claims, various items that evoked the GW style were lost by Chapter House. For example:

This is a Games Workshop Eldar Farseer:

Image

And this is a Chapterhouse Doomseer:

Image

The Doomseer is clearly inspired by the Farseer(and not even as close to, in my eyes, this instance of the Skystriker with boosters to the Valkyrie with boosters) and GW won on that instance, meaning Chapterhouse can no longer produce and sell their Doomseer.

Now, to head off some people who are both TF fans and wargamers: Yes, Chapterhouse is more like GW's Fansproject/MMC/insert favorite 3rd Party producer here than what HG is to Hasbro, being that it's meant to be a stand in/replacement for the the Farseer. But the courts don't think that way, they see Company X suing Company Y and treat them equally, or at least try to.



The problem there is what Hasbro have done to what you're claiming is a booster (which I'll get to below) and which radically changes the nature of the game as they function completely differently.

GuyIncognito wrote:
RAcast wrote:Hasbro really did make a bad decision by making that booster pack mold. The IP isn't theirs, and they did infringe on HG's franchise by doing so.

-SNIP-

I think if Hasbro hadn't made that booster pack accessory they'd have been fine, but they'll have to pay some reparation for that.



Well put; I totally agree.


Except that you're both wrong, it's not actually a booster pack. As a friend just pointed out to me, it's a piloted drone (I'm not using the img code as per the site's rule about hotlinking):

http://generalsjoes.com/images/reviews/ ... ire-20.jpg

http://generalsjoes.com/images/reviews/ ... ire-23.jpg

That is what will seriously sink them here.
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Re: Harmony Gold Files Lawsuit Over SDCC 2013 G.I. Joe/Transformers Crossover Set

Postby RAcast » Thu Jul 25, 2013 7:47 pm

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Bowspearer wrote:Except that you're both wrong, it's not actually a booster pack. As a friend just pointed out to me, it's a piloted drone (I'm not using the img code as per the site's rule about hotlinking):

http://generalsjoes.com/images/reviews/ ... ire-20.jpg

http://generalsjoes.com/images/reviews/ ... ire-23.jpg

That is what will seriously sink them here.

...Huh. I'd been wondering why it had what appeared to be a cockpit. Maybe that will make the difference. They can say "Oh well it's just a drone, the fact that it happens to look like that booster pack is incidental." Only time will tell I guess.
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Re: Harmony Gold Files Lawsuit Over SDCC 2013 G.I. Joe/Transformers Crossover Set

Postby helli0n » Fri Jul 26, 2013 1:01 am

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chuckdawg1999 wrote:One thing that cracks me up about this is how short sighted people still were when HG was given the universal golden TM or IP control. No one had the thought that there might be a demand to see the original content, or sequels that Robotech was based on or experience the toys and other product that the Japanese companies made. It sorta reminds me how none of the wrestling promoters in the 80's and back thought to keep tapes of their shows for future sales.


HG wasn't given universal control. Its just that no one has gone out of their way to challenge the claims they have made yet. The only things they have the rights to are the Robotech character names they created and very specific animes they adapted into the original Robotech. They don't have rights to anything Macross beyond the first series. They have made claims on Macross property...but their attempts to make those claims firmly legal have fallen flat.

If they were to take this to trial and win the lawsuit it could help shore up the claims they have made...most specifically in the action figure department. If they lose though the two Macross owning Japanese companies (that HG never got distribution deals with) could finally see this as chance to come after HG and so could Bandai (they have the rights to the Macross toys). Hell even winning could backfire since Bandai could take this as a more serious threat to their real copyright claims. That is completely theoretical, but its just an example of the huge potential risk for HG if they take this to court.

Based on that potential risk and the way HG usually does business when it comes to copyright...chances are they just want a nice little out of court settlement of some type.
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Re: Harmony Gold Files Lawsuit Over SDCC 2013 G.I. Joe/Transformers Crossover Set

Postby chuckdawg1999 » Fri Jul 26, 2013 1:20 am

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Toynami has the rights to make Robotech toys in the US. I don't know what their deal is with HG, for awhile I thought HG owned them but they don't. They've made 12" figures, MP level Cyclone armor, and 1/55th scale jets which were crap. The only toys I can speak on quality wise were their 1/100 scale transforming figures which are good as long as you know what you're getting.
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Re: Harmony Gold Files Lawsuit Over SDCC 2013 G.I. Joe/Transformers Crossover Set

Postby hpfabe » Mon Jul 29, 2013 9:26 am

Bumblevivisector wrote:If we want to starve HG? Then everyone buy the bootleg of Robotech: The Movie ("The Untold Story", not the f@#%ing Bionoids) because that one's never, ever getting a legit release. Screw whoever owns Megazone. Thank you.


I love Megazone! (And loved Clash of the Bionoids as a kid)
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Re: Harmony Gold Files Lawsuit Over SDCC 2013 G.I. Joe/Transformers Crossover Set

Postby mooncake623 » Tue Jul 30, 2013 11:28 am

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So when is Hasbro going to respond and destroy these guys so I can get my GI Joe Crossover set?
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