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Radd 2003-11-04 11:07

Macross Legalities
 
Well, seeing as the old threads got wiped, I managed to save most of the Macross Legalities thread from the old forums.

This thread is dedicated to trying to clear the legal haze around the Macross franchise, Robotech, and everything related.

I copied and pasted this directly from the old forums into a text file when it was announced that the forums would possibly be starting over from scratch, so the first post is all those posts in one big post. If you're a fan of Macross or Robotech, you'll probably be willing to wade through it to find out why Macross 7 never made it Stateside, why Macross 7 Trash was cancelled, and why Macross Zero might not make it to the United States unless the Japanese owners are willing to get in a drawn out court fight with the company that edited the original series into Robotech. Or if you just want to know the differences between Robotech and the original Japanese shows from which it was cobbled together.

Enjoy!



Quote:

Macross Legalities



Yo, saw a post in the 'Anime that will never be licensed' thread were someone claimed that Harmony Gold had the rights to all the Macross shows.

At least one person piped up that this wasn't the case, but I figured anyone interested might want a little more information. First of all I'll present two websites where you could find even more information than I could give offhand:

http://protoculture.lebhead.com/
and
http://www.macrossworld.com/

Both incredibly good websites and a wealth of information for any Macross fan, or any Robotech fan interested in Robotech's origins.

Anyways, here's the deal in short.

Big West owns the Macross franchise in Japan. They made it with Studio Nue which housed the main driving force behind Macross, Shoji Kawamori and Studio Artland, who housed the character designer for Super Diumension Fortress Macross and who originally would have been the main animation studio behind the series.

I've heard two things that caused Big West to pull in another studio to take the bulk of the animation. One is that Studio Artland's major studios had a fire and were set back in production in a big way. Two, I've heard that Studio Artland was a relatively young production house and so the more experience Tatsunoko Productions was brought in to take on the bulk of the work. Either way, Tatsunoko was brought in and agreed to do most of the animation for a set price.

Later on in the series production, Tatsunoko found that what they agreed to would not cover the production costs, so they decided to renegotiate. Big West gave Tatsunoko the international distribution and merchandising rights in order to compensate them further.

Tatsunoko later sold those rights into a joint ownership with American company, Harmony Gold.

This worked out well for most involved for a very long time, until around 2001 when Yamato, a toy company that had nabbed the Macross Plus toy license in Japan, was given Big West's permission to sell those toys in the Unioted States where Macross Plus had garnered a lot of attention after it was released by Manga.

Harmony Gold's new management decided to put an end to this threat to their soon to be revived Robotech franchise. They sent Toycom, Yamato's American distributer, a cease and desist letter and claimed they owned rights to all things Macross.

This came as quite a shock, after all HG had said nothing about the release of the Macross movie by Best Home Video way back in the day, nor had HG uttered a word at the American release of Macross II in the early 90's, and again said nothing when Manga released Macross Plus and then Macross Plus the movie even later. Only very recently did HG make any claimed that they had any sort of stranglehold on the Macross franchise.

HG did stop FASA from using Macross images in Battletech, but they settled out of court so no legal ruling was ever made.

Now, shortly after HG started making these claims, Big West and Tatsunoko went to court in Japan to figure things out.

I'm still not clear on some details, but I've read a full translation of the final court decision, which decided that, basically, Tatsunoko owned the animation to SDF Macross, the original tv series, and Big West owned the line art, the designs, the logos, the characters, basically, Big West owned the franchise. This seems to make all of Harmony Gold's claims to the Macross franchise null and void. Even HG's trademark of the word 'Macross' is in serious jeopardy should Big West decide to bring the battle Stateside.

HG still owns the original SDF Macross tv series, and the merchandising rights to it, there's no question of that nor was that ever in question. Robotech as it is, is safe for HG to do whatever they want with it, as Tatsunoko owned the animation and had distribution and merchandising rights that they now share with HG. This also means that HG has no right to any Macross derivatives, nor the right to block any further Macross show or toy releases. This includes even the Macross Movie, despite the movie's use of mecha and character designs nearly identicle to those in the tv series. Big West owns the designs, and they are a seperate license than the tv series, as such Big West has the right to market toys of those in the United States.

The question now is, will Big West bring the fight to the US? United States courts will first and foremost uphold the Japanese court rulings, as per international copyright treaties, but that doesn't mean Big West won't have to pour money into legal expenses. American Macross fans just have to hope that Big West thinks that would be worth it if we're going to see any further Macross releases in the States.

Pioneer is rumoured to have shown interest in bringing Macross Zero to the States, which would be a good thing as they're a pretty large company so HG might think twice about messing with them, especially given the Japanese court decisions.

Until anything is done, we're not likely to see Macross toys or animation or anything in the United States, except for the Harmony Gold approved SDF Macross DVD set from AnimEigo, and the toys HG has Toynami making.

If a legal battle does start, both sides have lots of legal precedence and many arguments to put forth, so even though lots of Macross and Robotech fans like to think everything is pretty cut and dry for whichever company they prefere, the legal battle could take every bit as long as the Japanese case did. This means, don't expect it to end for about 3-5 years after the case first gets into a U.S. courtroom.

06-17-2003 08:46


megumidk
Chii ?



Joined: Jun 11, 2003






Harmony Gold, despite many rumors, has already accepted that they have little control over the original Macross anime and even less has anything to say about the designs.

Which is why they have acceptet that other companies has purchased and are releasing the series that was originally used to produce Robotech (ADV and AnimEigo).

They have so little a claim on Macross as a whole, that it would be a waste of money and time for them to prevent a release of Macross Zero, just as they nothing to do with Macross Plus and II.

There may be some merchandice issue's, but i think few fans will worry about that, as imports from japan are often better then the US produced versions.

__________________
www.megumi.dk
Anime fansub database and CD distribution.

06-17-2003 09:31


Lucky
Member



Joined: Apr 14, 2003






Inspite of all above, HG has been quite successful in preventing any part of macross from being licenced.


Radd 2003-11-04 11:09

Macross Legalities continued...
 
Yet more from the original thread:

Quote:

06-17-2003 09:38


Haunted
The Branded One



Joined: Jun 6, 2003






Thanks for the detailed and interesting post, I knew a bit about the legal situation, but alas, I didn't know that this quarrel also expands to new (future releases) e.g. Macross Zero.
I don't know how many of the forum users here are actually interested in the Macross franchise (and its history), but I hope that with the release of Macross Zero, more people will get interested in its excellent predecessors. I appreciate the work you've put into the post!

__________________


06-17-2003 09:43


Radd
Brave King of Steam



Joined: May 6, 2003





quote:

Originally posted by Lucky
Inspite of all above, HG has been quite successful in preventing any part of macross from being licenced.



Actually, Big West hasn't done anything to bring more Macross shows/merchandise over to the states since the court rulings in Japan.

Also remember, you do not need to have solid legal ground to take someone to court over something. Companies make rediculous and undefendable lawsuits agains other companies all the time to delay products, force smaller companies who can't afford the legal fees to back down, and other reasons. Go look up the details of the lawsuit against 'Austin Powers in Goldmember' by the company that owned the rights to 'Goldfinger'. Goldmember is most certainly a spoof and wasn't tready any shaky legal ground in the slightest, yet the other movie studio was releasing a film and didn't want competition, so they sued the company making Goldmember to delay the release of the film. Harmony Gold could be doing the very same tactics in hopes that Big West won't think the legal battle is worth it.

Also, a couple things worth mentioning. Big West and Tatsunoko went to court after Harmony Gold starting making their claims. Big West successfully defended their claims in three seperate court battles and even went on to copyright other Macross derivatives in the United States (which is merely a formality, as having the copyright in Japan extends to the U.S. via international copyright agreements).

This post has been edited 1 time(s), it was last edited by Radd on 06-17-2003 at 17:59.

06-17-2003 17:56


Radd
Brave King of Steam



Joined: May 6, 2003





quote:

Originally posted by Lucky in another thread
Biggest problem with macross series is that harmony gold has openly threatened to start legal action against anyone who tries to get a license for any part of macross. That threat, combined with the fact that no one can release macross tv series (which was the core of macross story) makes macross license a pretty bad investent.



Umm, Harmony Gold let AnimEigo release the original SDF Macross tv series on DVD, digitally remastered and everything. 9 DVD set, runs around 200 bucks. Excellent quality, wonderful liner notes. I highly reccomend the purchase.

Also Macross Plus was one of Manga's cashcows for a while, and is still pretty popular.

There's a Macross fanbase already in place in North America even with just the old Robotech fans that have grown up and want to see more original, un-Americanized anime.

06-17-2003 18:09


Lucky
Member



Joined: Apr 14, 2003






True. But the whole legal mess with the macross toys was a clear message to all retail outlets that HG is out for blood. Add that to the fact they had robotech released on dvd a few years ago (Aroud the same time as they sent c&d's), and you pretty much understand why macross tv series aren't available from the shelves like robotech is. Sometimes a threat of legal action, even totally unjustified, is efficient enough (good example: nintendo and the european retail outlets that import games from NA/Japan).
I didn't know that someone actually got around to translating the macross commercially though. I'll need to try and look those disks/cassettes up...

06-18-2003 21:08


hentai_wolf
Vivisectionist VI



Joined: Feb 16, 2003






Read the last post Lucky (hell, read the first post). Animeigo released the entire Macross TV series. It's in stores. I have it sitting in front of me. The only reason you might not be able to find it is because Animeigo does not do distribution very well.

And guess who's name is on the DVDs as well? Harmony Gold's.

06-18-2003 22:11


Radd
Brave King of Steam



Joined: May 6, 2003






Yes, Harmony Gold unquestionably shares ownership of the original SDF Macross tv series with Tatsunoko and Big West. But they only own the show itself, not the story or designs which are property of Big West alone.

The SDF Macross DVDs would have been out before the Robotech DVD sets except for the fact that AnimEigo wanted to make the best possible DVD set they could. They paid a company to start cleaning up the show, but the moment brand new remastering technology came out that was far better than what they were doing, they started again from scratch. It's a beatiful set. Check out AnimEigo's website. They even offer free shipping.

The Macross movie 'Do You Remember Love?' also has a legitimate North American release both as the horrible edited 'Clash of the Bionoids' and as the mostly uncut (other than the title) but horribly dubbed 'Super Dimensional Fortress Macross', both distributed by Best Home Video and only available on VHS. You can find that at Amazon.com.

Flashback 2012 has not been picked up for a U.S. release and likely won't be because it contains a large portion of the tv series' animation. I think if a new release of 'DYRL?' was ever made, it would be great if they included only the original 'Flashback' animation as a special for the DVD. The new animation shows the launch of the SDF-2/the Megaroad-01.

Macross II (not made by Studio Nue or Shoji Kawamori and not sanctioned as an official part of Macross but produced by Big West in the early 90's) was released by U.S. Renditions, and then Manga eventually nabbed it up.

Manga then went on to release Macross Plus and Macross Plus the movie. Their DVD of the movie is unfortunately a straight dump of the VHS version (so the video quality isn't nearly as good as it could be), with hard encoded subtitles, plain subtitles that could have just as easily been done so you could turn them on or off (which would have been perfect for music videos).

Macross 7 was supposedly made with the American market in mind, but it's too expensive for any American distributer to want it. Big West owns the show, but every bit of music is owned by another company, Victor I believe, and has to be licensed seperately at huge cost.

The Galaxy is Calling Me also shares the music problem so it won't be licensed. Also it would be difficult to only license this 30 minute movie and not the series.

Dynamite 7 shares the music problem with M7, and also bneing a direct sequel to M7, it would be hard for some to get into it with no background to some of the major characters.

Pioneer reportedly wants to pick up Macross Zero, but that's simply rumour at this point.

I think that covers everything. Some people who have been following the legal battle expect Big West to make a move for the North American market, but are taking their time to make sure the odds in a legal battle are overwhelmingly in their favour. Hence the Japanese court battles.

ClassicDrogn 2004-01-03 05:34

Heresy! Blasphemy! Oh shame, oh degradation!
 
Quote:

Macross 7 was supposedly made with the American market in mind, but it's too expensive for any American distributer to want it. Big West owns the show, but every bit of music is owned by another company, Victor I believe, and has to be licensed seperately at huge cost.

The Galaxy is Calling Me also shares the music problem so it won't be licensed. Also it would be difficult to only license this 30 minute movie and not the series.

Dynamite 7 shares the music problem with M7, and also bneing a direct sequel to M7, it would be hard for some to get into it with no background to some of the major characters.
I'm about to say something that's bound to be terribly unpopular.

Brace yourself. Ready?

I think that the best solution to this would be for some translation company who knows their ass from their elbow about quality to accquire the animation licenses, and let the music hang. Get some english speaking group - not a top 20 Name, someone whose sound is similar and is small enough to be hireable as the voices for the characters all the time - and make aall new music for it. Why? Because it would still be the same story, with music accessible to the age group the toys are actually targeted at, and would therefore be an actual contender on national TV, where the big bucks are. Yes, I like the original audio - Mylene's voice can never possibly sound as good with any dub VA... but I'd rather see a rack full of Macross toys in Wal Mart riding the resurgence of transforming robot vehicles. A whole new generation of kids could see what the real thing looks like, not this Nikolodeon wobbly lines crap, or South Park cutouts... TF:Armada toys were... okay... and Energon looks like it'll be better, but the shows are total writeoffs.

When it's already made millions, those music licenses might not look so bad as a special feature for the DVD set, eh? Now, anyone got a few hundred thou for venture capital? :heh:

microlith 2004-01-03 10:06

Get some english speaking group - not a top 20 Name, someone whose sound is similar and is small enough to be hireable as the voices for the characters all the time - and make aall new music for it.

And the fans would be demanding the studio's heads on a platter.

Funimation did this with DBZ, and irritated many DBZ fans. TOKYOPOP is raking Initial D over the coals with this (not that the original music was any good to boot) and people hate them for it.

I would say that if it can't be done as it was originally (or at least as original as possible), then it shouldn't be done at all. Swapping out the original music for redone stuff will just piss the fans off.

ClassicDrogn 2004-01-03 19:01

Quote:

Originally Posted by microlith
Funimation did this with DBZ, and irritated many DBZ fans. TOKYOPOP is raking Initial D over the coals with this (not that the original music was any good to boot) and people hate them for it.

No, I said someone who knows their ass from their elbow: the DBZ dub is therefore an example of 'what you will be fired for producing' not 'see, this is what we want' The old Pioneer Tenchi stuff that had redone, english OP/ED themes is more along the lines if what I mean, or (somewhat less so) Bubble Gum Crisis. With the cost of the licence for M7, it has to be aimed at the mass market, not us crazy fans who have enough sense to realise how much better that Japanese VAs generally are (I would have said always, except for Excel Saga, where the dub track is absolutely incredibly good... and I watch the subtitles anyway because it's the only way to understand Excel's ranting) and can read fast enough to use subtitles. We're a niche market, 8-12 robot toy buyers are a mass market, and damn it, I'm sick of year after year of bloody Power Rangers. Let's show these kids a real mecha show for a change, eh?

- CD

Radd 2004-02-23 02:23

As found at http://www.robotech.com News of Macross 'DYRL?' merchandise from Harmony Gold:

Quote:

In celebration of the 20th Anniversary of the classic 1984 anime motion picture "MACROSS: Do You Remember Love?" Harmony Gold and Toynami are proud to announce the release of this first special edition series of Super-Poseable figures featuring designs of the VF-1 Super Valkyrie Battroids seen in the movie.

The "MACROSS: Do You Remember Love?" Series #1 includes three different Super-Poseable Figures, each with Super/ Strike Armor "fast pack" attachments. Each figure has over 15 points of articulation that allow for a full range of awesome poses.

This set gets you ALL 3 of the following:

- VF-1S Roy Focker's "Skull Leader" Strike Battroid Valkyrie
- VF-1A Hikaru Ichijo's Super Battroid Valkyrie
- VF-1A Hayao Kakizaki's Super Battroid Valkyrie


All featuring the exclusive Skull Squadron colors as seen in the film.
Tommy Yun's response, when questioned as to how this is possible was:

Quote:

gr-yeah, we finally got around to properly getting the license
it was something HG didn't pursue before
When asked if the rights had been granted by Big West, or if acquired through whatever party currently holds the distribution license for DYRL? his reply was:

Quote:

gr - no big mess like that, though I won't get into it until AX04 remember, the simplest explanation is often the correct one


Now, as you may know the rights to DYRL? and other Macross derivatives are not so clear, though all Tokyo Court rulings point to Tatsunoko/Harmony Gold owning merchandising and distribution rights to the tv series, but nothing else. It is possible that Harmony Gold and Big West have made some sort of deal. It is also possible that Harmony Gold acquired the license through questionable means, or is simply riding their previous statement that they own all things Macross outside of Japan, and are using this to push Big West into a legal situation, in the hopes of resolving the matter once and for all.

This could be very good, or very bad news for us Macross fans. Harmony Gold has been blocking all attempts to license Macross merchandise and derivatives since about 2000. Many Macross fans are not happy with Harmony Gold's treatment of the franchise, though the ability to buy legit copies of many Macross sequels, including the new prequel OVA 'Macross Zero', in addition to the Japanese toys produced by Bandai and Yamato, could win many over...if Harmony Gold pursued such an idea.

Still, until the legal wrangling, many fans will probably harbour sour feelings toward Harmony Gold until it's proven beyond any doubt that Big West did give Tatsunoko/Harmony Gold rights to Macross sequels back in the original contract for the production of the tv series.

At this point it's still impossible to tell what the situation is, I guess we'll have to wait until July for any sort of answer.

BOZZY 2004-02-23 23:44

Wow this is quite the informative thread... I never really understood the whole legal proceedings clearly until I read all this...

Too bad about the North American toy rights... I definetly want to get the VF fighter that Roy Fokker and Shin use in Macross Zero...

Quote:

Originally Posted by Radd
As found at http://www.robotech.com News of Macross 'DYRL?' merchandise from Harmony Gold:



Tommy Yun's response, when questioned as to how this is possible was:



When asked if the rights had been granted by Big West, or if acquired through whatever party currently holds the distribution license for DYRL? his reply was:





Now, as you may know the rights to DYRL? and other Macross derivatives are not so clear, though all Tokyo Court rulings point to Tatsunoko/Harmony Gold owning merchandising and distribution rights to the tv series, but nothing else. It is possible that Harmony Gold and Big West have made some sort of deal. It is also possible that Harmony Gold acquired the license through questionable means, or is simply riding their previous statement that they own all things Macross outside of Japan, and are using this to push Big West into a legal situation, in the hopes of resolving the matter once and for all.

This could be very good, or very bad news for us Macross fans. Harmony Gold has been blocking all attempts to license Macross merchandise and derivatives since about 2000. Many Macross fans are not happy with Harmony Gold's treatment of the franchise, though the ability to buy legit copies of many Macross sequels, including the new prequel OVA 'Macross Zero', in addition to the Japanese toys produced by Bandai and Yamato, could win many over...if Harmony Gold pursued such an idea.

Still, until the legal wrangling, many fans will probably harbour sour feelings toward Harmony Gold until it's proven beyond any doubt that Big West did give Tatsunoko/Harmony Gold rights to Macross sequels back in the original contract for the production of the tv series.

At this point it's still impossible to tell what the situation is, I guess we'll have to wait until July for any sort of answer.


Radd 2004-02-24 02:36

Quote:

Originally Posted by BOZZY
Wow this is quite the informative thread... I never really understood the whole legal proceedings clearly until I read all this...

Too bad about the North American toy rights... I definetly want to get the VF fighter that Roy Fokker and Shin use in Macross Zero...

Yeah, we'd all like to be able to pick them up at a store, at domestic prices with no shipping costs. Maybe someday, depending on how things turn out. Still, in the meantime you can buy imports from places like www.hlj.com and http://www.valkyrie-exchange.com/ both good websites. Hobby Link Japan is based out of Japan, so their prices are a little lower, but shipping costs are higher. Valkyrie-Exchange is located in the states, so the opposite is true. It just about evens out the final cost. I've had nothing but good dealings with both companies.

The Macross Zero toys are on the way. Keep an eye on those sites.

Radd 2004-03-13 10:49

In addition to the pre-order for the 'DYRL?' based Super Posable toys, the online store at www.robotech.com has something else surprising.

http://www.robotech.com/store/viewproduct.php?id=151

Macross Plus Movie Edition is now up for sale. This is the old Manga release, but for several years now Harmony Gold has argued that Manga's release of Macross Plus and the Movie Edition were infringements on their (Harmony Gold's) copyright on "all things Macross".

This may mean nothing at all, except that HG has decided to capitalize on something that has been around too long for them to cry foul about, but already it has caused a stir among the Macross fan community, especially with the announcement of the DYRL? super posables not all that long ago.

This makes July seem all that much further away for anyone eager for answers.

gohmifune 2004-03-13 14:26

As for the other shows, I don't think it is so complicated as that. I asked around, places like animeigo and such, Mac 7 is expensive and not popular enought ot warrant it in the states. Its supposed to be really expensive, think about it, you have to get the music seperately from the show for some reason so...yeah. Then there's Zero, which there was a rumor around that Pioneer I believe liscensed it andjust hadn't announced it. Which would make sense, I mean, why tell everyon you have a show that isn't finished yet? As was said earlier, the simplest explanation is often the correct one.

Radd 2004-03-13 15:17

Yes, that is indeed the case with Macross 7, gohmifune, and that is also stated somewhere in this thread as well. However, Harmony Gold has stated that Macross II and Macross Plus infringed upon their copyright, and that if they had not been understaffed at the time (a point of contention in this mess, as they were actively licensing Robotech products when that occured) they would have stopped their releases, and I believe they have also stated that they will block any attempt to bring Macross Zero, or any other future sequels or prequels, over into "their territory" unless it is done through them.

Many of these statements were made at panels during Anime conventions HG staff attended. They have also blocked companies such as Yamato from domestically selling Macross (non-tv series) merchandise within what HG considers to be it's territory.

The rumour that Pioneer/Geneon has licensed Macross Zero is also pointed out in this thread, and I hope it is true. However, I would not reccomend taking it as fact until Geneon themselves make an official statement one way or the other.

Harmony Gold and Big West's positions on Macross are no secret. What the Tokyo Circuit Courts have ruled are also publicly available. The only pieces of the puzzle that are not available are the exact wordings of the contracts between Big West and Tatsunoko, however as stated there is definitely disagreement between the companies as to who owns what.

Radd 2004-07-05 02:33

At AnimeExpo Harmony Gold announced that they had just found out that they've had merchandising rights to the Macross movie 'Do You Remember Love?' since 1984 through their joint rights tied with Tatsunoko.

This is the reasoning behind Harmony Gold's announcement of DYRL? based superposable toys, their DYRL? 20th Anniversary website, etcetera.

Apparently they were clear that this is seperate from distribution rights. They say they don't have those, but they are interested in acquiring those rights the moment whoever currently owns them can be found. They also stated a dub of the movie would be made available, as well as subtitled, again provided that they can find who currently holds those rights and scquire them for themselves.

This probably means AnimEigo won't get the project should HG nab the rights.

One must wonder what Big West's response will be to this?

4Tran 2008-06-04 09:04

Quote:

Originally Posted by ZippyDSM (Post 1631620)
doesn't really get into it, bacily from what I read whoever gave HMG the rights so they could do robotech didn't quite have the rights to do it and big west now has the rights but the rights in the US are a bit of a mess at least to the point no one wants to to disturbed it here.

Dose HMG still have the US CP if not whats the hold up on someone getting it?
the rights battle in the JP courts?

In the Japanese courts, it was ruled that Tatsunoko only has the rights to the actual animation of SDF Macross, and nothing else. Harmony Gold dealt only with Tatsunoko, so it doesn't have a legal leg to stand on if anyone were to license any other Macross works. That's probably why Harmony Gold was so willing to cooperate with the Macross toys that are being released in North America by Toynami (it's even advertised on their Robotech.com website). However, the possibility of a US lawsuit still colors any attempt to negotiate such a license, and it will remain that way until the legal issues are completely cleared up. The problem is that a lawsuit, even one that you win, costs a lot of money, and this potential loss can greatly reduce whatever money is to be made on a property.

Quote:

Originally Posted by ZippyDSM (Post 1631620)
It seems to me if HMG has rights to the fictional tech then they should have it for robotech alone and any new robotech venture they should give a small percentage of the profit to the macross rights holder since they never should have gotten it in the first place, basically they need to "separate" macross and robotech as so macross can be properly disturbed in the US without hindrance from the robotech rights holders.

That's already happening. Starting with the Shadow Chronicles, the Robotech stories have been trying to disassociate themselves from any of the features it had in common with Macross - the only holdovers are the ties, storywise and artwork, to Mospeada. It's quite similar to the way that Battletech has tried to disassociate itself from the artwork they didn't have rights to. The Toynami agreement is a good first step to fixing the mess, but there's a long way to go (and it doesn't really help that Big West doesn't seem to want to Harmony Gold at all).

ZippyDSM 2008-06-04 09:47

Quote:

Originally Posted by 4Tran (Post 1632692)
In the Japanese courts, it was ruled that Tatsunoko only has the rights to the actual animation of SDF Macross, and nothing else. Harmony Gold dealt only with Tatsunoko, so it doesn't have a legal leg to stand on if anyone were to license any other Macross works. That's probably why Harmony Gold was so willing to cooperate with the Macross toys that are being released in North America by Toynami (it's even advertised on their Robotech.com website). However, the possibility of a US lawsuit still colors any attempt to negotiate such a license, and it will remain that way until the legal issues are completely cleared up. The problem is that a lawsuit, even one that you win, costs a lot of money, and this potential loss can greatly reduce whatever money is to be made on a property.


That's already happening. Starting with the Shadow Chronicles, the Robotech stories have been trying to disassociate themselves from any of the features it had in common with Macross - the only holdovers are the ties, storywise and artwork, to Mospeada. It's quite similar to the way that Battletech has tried to disassociate itself from the artwork they didn't have rights to. The Toynami agreement is a good first step to fixing the mess, but there's a long way to go (and it doesn't really help that Big West doesn't seem to want to Harmony Gold at all).

Exxelant things are improving and thats all one needs to know when you have a mess of a rights issue like this....but I is still goign to ask..

Tatsunoko owns SDF1 anime but nothing else correct?(who own southern cross and the other one thats in robotch?)
Harmony Gold has some legal hooks still into the franchise at least enough to make setting a new license a headache this is more or less correct?

Big West needs to look at HG as a left over hanger on to a CP issues and give them a carrot probably a few 100K or a couple million make the contract clear and simple that HG gives up any and all claims to anything outside of SDF1 and that any SDF1 refance but it art,tech,characters can be freely used by big west, this will at least let them bring macross to the states and that should be worth whatever money is spent on the contract, I say this because we are talking about the whole macross series here but for SDF1.

Big west should be focusing on setting up a contract with HG that ensures their interests are protected when they license the anime in the US, the other stuff seems to have been worked out but just setting something up as so they are protected from legal action while they have the rest of macross brought to the states is something they should focus on.

Care to go any deeper on the US rights issue, any more info would be greatly appreciated =^^=

4Tran 2008-06-04 10:58

Quote:

Originally Posted by ZippyDSM (Post 1632744)
Tatsunoko owns SDF1 anime but nothing else correct?(who own southern cross and the other one thats in robotch?)
Harmony Gold has some legal hooks still into the franchise at least enough to make setting a new license a headache this is more or less correct?

The Big West/Studio Nue vs. Tatsunoko lawsuit was strictly on the basis of the rights to SDF Macross, so neither Southern Cross nor Mospeada are affected by the ruling. Presumably, Harmony Gold still has clear rights to them - they certainly felt that they can use all sorts of Mospeada material for Shadow Chronicles (admittedly, they seem to be avoiding Southern Cross as well).

It's less that Harmony Gold has any legal claim to Macross works that's the problem; it's more that there's a possibility that they can launch a lawsuit to challenge any license, thereby making it unprofitable. The obvious remedy is to license a show with Harmony Gold's cooperation, but then there's the problem that Big West probably won't want to deal with them. To give you an idea of how much trouble this can potentially be, bear in mind that FASA folded up largely because of the costs incurred from their lawsuits against

Quote:

Originally Posted by ZippyDSM (Post 1632744)
Big West needs to look at HG as a left over hanger on to a CP issues and give them a carrot probably a few 100K or a couple million make the contract clear and simple that HG gives up any and all claims to anything outside of SDF1 and that any SDF1 refance but it art,tech,characters can be freely used by big west, this will at least let them bring macross to the states and that should be worth whatever money is spent on the contract, I say this because we are talking about the whole macross series here but for SDF1.

Technically, Harmony Gold is already operating under this criteria, so there's no reason for Big West to pay for what they already own.

Quote:

Originally Posted by ZippyDSM (Post 1632744)
Big west should be focusing on setting up a contract with HG that ensures their interests are protected when they license the anime in the US, the other stuff seems to have been worked out but just setting something up as so they are protected from legal action while they have the rest of macross brought to the states is something they should focus on.

The problem here is that it was Harmony Gold's threats of legal action that lead to the Big West/Studio Nue vs. Tatsunoko lawsuit in the first place. Big West hasn't shown much interest in bringing any Macross works to North America, but if they do, it probably won't be with an American company that, in essence, threatened them.

Quote:

Originally Posted by ZippyDSM (Post 1632744)
Care to go any deeper on the US rights issue, any more info would be greatly appreciated =^^=

As far as I can tell, there won't be any US rights issues until it's settled by some sort of legal action. If the Robotech movie actually gets made, it might clear a lot of things up.

Tsukiyomi 2008-06-07 09:33

Can i just say... Harmony Gold needs to take their pathetic Robotech series and stick it up their ....

ZippyDSM 2008-06-10 22:32

Quote:

Originally Posted by 4Tran (Post 1632833)
The Big West/Studio Nue vs. Tatsunoko lawsuit was strictly on the basis of the rights to SDF Macross, so neither Southern Cross nor Mospeada are affected by the ruling. Presumably, Harmony Gold still has clear rights to them - they certainly felt that they can use all sorts of Mospeada material for Shadow Chronicles (admittedly, they seem to be avoiding Southern Cross as well).

It's less that Harmony Gold has any legal claim to Macross works that's the problem; it's more that there's a possibility that they can launch a lawsuit to challenge any license, thereby making it unprofitable. The obvious remedy is to license a show with Harmony Gold's cooperation, but then there's the problem that Big West probably won't want to deal with them. To give you an idea of how much trouble this can potentially be, bear in mind that FASA folded up largely because of the costs incurred from their lawsuits against


Technically, Harmony Gold is already operating under this criteria, so there's no reason for Big West to pay for what they already own.


The problem here is that it was Harmony Gold's threats of legal action that lead to the Big West/Studio Nue vs. Tatsunoko lawsuit in the first place. Big West hasn't shown much interest in bringing any Macross works to North America, but if they do, it probably won't be with an American company that, in essence, threatened them.


As far as I can tell, there won't be any US rights issues until it's settled by some sort of legal action. If the Robotech movie actually gets made, it might clear a lot of things up.

Ah I see, well business 101 in order to make money you need to spend it, by making a specific contract with HG to not "interfere" with future macross publications this gets HG some money and holds a hefty monetary pentailty if they try anything, the point of it is to move the process forward protecting as many assists as possible but even in the best circumstances its tricky business, still I would assume from TV to DVD they are missing out on millions and it would would be worth their while to work with HG IF
HG understands that they have no leg to stand on other than costly court tactics that will ultimately bankrupt them, working for a middle ground to let the new stuff though on the macross name unopposed and let the older stuff work its way through the system would be best for both IMO, but I guess big west has had it with HGs nickel and diming and will wait out the next 5+ years to have things settled for once and for all.

4Tran 2008-06-10 23:12

Quote:

Originally Posted by ZippyDSM (Post 1647021)
Ah I see, well business 101 in order to make money you need to spend it, by making a specific contract with HG to not "interfere" with future macross publications this gets HG some money and holds a hefty monetary pentailty if they try anything, the point of it is to move the process forward protecting as many assists as possible but even in the best circumstances its tricky business, still I would assume from TV to DVD they are missing out on millions and it would would be worth their while to work with HG

There's two major problems with your idea. The first is that Big West has yet to express much interest in expanding to the US market, and the second is that Harmony Gold's previous practices have soured any potential relationship. As late as 2007, Harmony Gold was still speaking in such terms as "willing to let the deal go through" (in regard to a Macross Zero license). That kind of language runs counter to Big West's claim and the Japanese court ruling, and I can see why Big West wouldn't want to give them a single penny.

Quote:

Originally Posted by ZippyDSM (Post 1647021)
IF HG understands that they have no leg to stand on other than costly court tactics that will ultimately bankrupt them, working for a middle ground to let the new stuff though on the macross name unopposed and let the older stuff work its way through the system would be best for both IMO, but I guess big west has had it with HGs nickel and diming and will wait out the next 5+ years to have things settled for once and for all.

I think that Harmony Gold knows full well that they can't block any of the other Macross shows, but the actual legalities don't come into play until there's at least a threat of a lawsuit somewhere. I imagine that if a credible threat of one shows up, they'll try to settle pretty quickly. But the basis for a lawsuit won't manifest itself until Harmony Gold tries to stop a Macross product that Big West feels entitled to, and that probably won't happen until someone licenses a Macross show or something like that.

On the other hand, Harmony Gold's acceptance of the Toynami Macross toys suggests that there's more room for compromise than I originally thought. Still, it doesn't seem all that likely for any Macross show to be licensed any time soon, the the odds are much higher than they were a few months ago. My bet is that the next one will actually be Macross Frontier - it's pretty much guaranteed to sell oodles.

ZippyDSM 2008-06-10 23:33

Quote:

4Tran
There's two major problems with your idea. The first is that Big West has yet to express much interest in expanding to the US market, and the second is that Harmony Gold's previous practices have soured any potential relationship. As late as 2007, Harmony Gold was still speaking in such terms as "willing to let the deal go through" (in regard to a Macross Zero license). That kind of language runs counter to Big West's claim and the Japanese court ruling, and I can see why Big West wouldn't want to give them a single penny.
2 reasons they don't bad blood and more trouble than they care to get into, they are making a good profit off what they have no need to do anything yet, someone will probably come to them on bended knee for the US distro rights and they will act as a middle man for any issue to arise but that wont be for awhile not until the right company comes along or the legalies are very truely clear.

Quote:

I think that Harmony Gold knows full well that they can't block any of the other Macross shows, but the actual legalities don't come into play until there's at least a threat of a lawsuit somewhere. I imagine that if a credible threat of one shows up, they'll try to settle pretty quickly. But the basis for a lawsuit won't manifest itself until Harmony Gold tries to stop a Macross product that Big West feels entitled to, and that probably won't happen until someone licenses a Macross show or something like that.

On the other hand, Harmony Gold's acceptance of the Toynami Macross toys suggests that there's more room for compromise than I originally thought. Still, it doesn't seem all that likely for any Macross show to be licensed any time soon, the the odds are much higher than they were a few months ago. My bet is that the next one will actually be Macross Frontier - it's pretty much guaranteed to sell oodles.
The chips seem to be falling into place perhaps with a few more the right company can come along and work out al the trouble spots to make a deal with Big west,money speaks no matter how bad the blood but who/what/when where, who knows but the chips are falling into place.

While I tend to not buy anything retail anymore the Macross brand will do well in the states and is a long time coming but even I can only stand to shell out 3$ an ep at most...still wish they would make better sub discs and sell them cheaper...I'd rather buy sub only than a americanized dub >> (don't worry I am a media nazi,I think Xmen films suck and spider man 1 was better than its crappy seqauls...at least Iron man was solid..the new hulk flick looks bearable as well )

4Tran 2008-06-11 00:36

Quote:

Originally Posted by ZippyDSM (Post 1647136)
2 reasons they don't bad blood and more trouble than they care to get into, they are making a good profit off what they have no need to do anything yet, someone will probably come to them on bended knee for the US distro rights and they will act as a middle man for any issue to arise but that wont be for awhile not until the right company comes along or the legalies are very truely clear.

The chips seem to be falling into place perhaps with a few more the right company can come along and work out al the trouble spots to make a deal with Big west,money speaks no matter how bad the blood but who/what/when where, who knows but the chips are falling into place.

That's probably the best thing that could happen for Big West or North American Macross fans, but it'll take an R1 company willing to take that kind of risk of nasty legal fees (ADV is probably the most likely choice since they seem to have a good relationship with Harmony Gold). Another problem is that Macross licensing fees are notoriously high; or at least that's the story floating around for Do You Remember Love, Macross Zero, and especially Macross 7. Macross Frontier is the first one to come around to really justify that kind of fee.

By the way, I can't entirely blame Harmony Gold for this mess because it's sort of natural for a business to try to protect what part of the property they can. However, their actions have still thrown a big monkey wrench into the works.

Quote:

Originally Posted by ZippyDSM (Post 1647136)
While I tend to not buy anything retail anymore the Macross brand will do well in the states and is a long time coming but even I can only stand to shell out 3$ an ep at most...still wish they would make better sub discs and sell them cheaper...I'd rather buy sub only than a americanized dub >> (don't worry I am a media nazi,I think Xmen films suck and spider man 1 was better than its crappy seqauls...at least Iron man was solid..the new hulk flick looks bearable as well )

The reason I think that a Macross Frontier R1 release will be very successful is because the old time Macross fans seem to love it and it's really the first chance that any of them have of buying new localized Macross material in over a decade. As a big bonus, it looks really good, and a lot of new viewers can (and have) picked it up.


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