Henyo wrote: ↑
Mon Jan 15, 2018 12:30 pm
so, what was the result of the recent Harmony gold vs tatsunoko encounter?
As far as I know, Harmony Gold USA's petition to have the district court in their district enforce the terms of the binding settlement from their prior arbitration with Tatsunoko Production Co. Ltd. is still open.
The two companies went to arbitration in a dispute over royalties owed, court costs, and attorney's fees. Tatsunoko's position was that Harmony Gold USA had been withholding royalties Harmony Gold USA owed them from their use of Tatsunoko-owned animation on streaming services and in home video sales. Harmony Gold USA's counterclaim was that the terms of their license agreement permitted them to deduct a portion of the legal fees of the brand protection actions from the royalties and that Tatsunoko actually owed THEM money for legal fees for defending the Tatsunoko-owned properties from infringers in western courts. The arbitration ended with a ruling in Harmony Gold's favor... but Tatsunoko has been unwilling to pay up. So Harmony Gold USA filed a lawsuit in the California central district courts with the request that the courts enforce the prior arbitration's settlement.
It doesn't actually have anything to do with the Macross
license itself... except that Harmony Gold made several misleading statements that were subsequently corrected in the course of the arbitration, publicly reminding HG that they're not part-owners of Macross
's IP and that their license expires in 2021. (Every now and again, HS seems to need to be reminded that they're only leasing rights to Macross
from Tatsunoko... and that Big West actually owns the show.)
Henyo wrote: ↑
Mon Jan 15, 2018 12:30 pm
on another related note, wouldn't it have been easier for other companies to just go through Harmony Gold and get their Okay or whatever to be able to release MAcross stuff? or is this in turn not possible because of Harmony gold not wanting other people to be exposed to the original version of the Macross Saga.(though in this day and age, good luck with that.) and i do have state this again: my knowledge about licensing and those stuff is very very limited.
"Just going through Harmony Gold" isn't really an option for a few reasons.
You see, Harmony Gold USA was stonewalling all things Macross
from 2000 on because they had this crazy idea that Robotech
was going to make a big comeback and be the kind of huge, industry-leading anime sensation that they often like to pretend it was in the 80's. It all started with the Robotech 3000
project. Carl Macek and co. had convinced themselves that it was going to be the next big thing and would relaunch interest in the original series, and thus the company took action to stop the importation of Macross
products to protect future Robotech
brand products that would be coming out with the same designs, markings, etc. When Robotech 3000
spun in after the teaser trailer debuted to virtually universal disapproval at that year's convention tour, the idea of "protecting" the brand via obstructing Macross
imports didn't die with it. They kept that going when they replaced Macek and rebooted their franchise under Tommy Yune.
That Big West and its licensees are annoyed with Harmony Gold USA for stonewalling imports of Macross
goods and Macek and Harmony Gold's many lies claiming credit for Macross
and the other shows was just a part of it, though.
After it became apparent that Robotech
's grand return to the spotlight was not so much a damp squib as a totally missing one marked by only a handful of mediocre limited-run comic books, Harmony Gold USA sought out the owners of Macross
. Being a reasonable person, you'd probably think they were trying to secure a settlement where all the parties involved would benefit. You'd be wrong, because Harmony Gold USA is staffed by crazy people.
The "negotiations" that Harmony Gold USA attempted with Big West in the early 2000s were, according to several HG staffers who were involved, a hilariously ill-advised attempt on Harmony Gold USA's part to strongarm Big West into a sale of the entire Macross
franchise under the threat that they would never be able to sell Macross
products outside Japan. This being every bit as ridiculous as the creators of Turkey's Omar the Tourist in Star Trek
(AKA "Turkish Star Trek") trying to demand Paramount sell them the Star Trek
franchise or they'll block licensing of the series in Turkey, Big West politely, yet firmly, declined Harmony Gold's offer and showed them the door. Ever since, it seems to have become a Big West policy that they will not enter into any arrangement where Harmony Gold may be able to profit from Macross
licensing while they watch the Robotech
franchise slowly conclude its death spiral. Harmony Gold's net result from that little negotiation is a constant paranoia that they'll infringe on Big West's IP and end up sued, which became such an embuggerance to the running of their website that they'd usually only have news weeks after it broke elsewhere because everything the brand did had to negotiate a torturously complex legal review to ensure that no Japanese toes were being stepped on.
Of late, Big West seems to have noticed that direct sales of merchandise from Japan offer a way to do a 100% legal end run around Harmony Gold's attempts to block Macross
distribution. By making their merchandise available in sites like HLJ, CDJapan, AmiAmi, etc. and putting English subtitles on domestic Japanese market DVDs and Blu-rays, there's no more barrier preventing western fans from obtaining the shows without having to resort to piracy. The first flirtation with this was the Macross Frontier
movie "Combo Pack" releases for the PS3, and since then we've seen one of the Tenjin Hidetaka artbooks come out in bilingual form and the Macross Delta
blu-rays also all have English subtitles.