[CUSTOM] not-Hasbro

Posted by RedAleseides 
asterphage Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> thomas Wrote:
> >
> > The other option being "make it a bureaucratic
> > hell to attend due to all kinds of idiotic
> > limitations imposed on the visitors that are
> > enforced by immediate expulsion", e.g.:
>
> damn, your Nederlander fanlords have some serious
> control issues.

Well, both were over 10 years ago. The anime cons have since then lightened up, and for the TF cons I don't know what happened after someone set up an alternate convention and the people organising the older convention got pissed off - it's always funny when people organising unofficial meetings state they are the only ones allowed to do so...god complex?
"If it is unlicensed, assume it is unacceptable. Just about every 3rd party piece somehow draws on Hasbro IP, so, if you think it may in any way infringe on Hasbro's IP odds are they DO consider it an infringement."

They're practically claiming they own transforming robots right there.

Okay, not really. But for a second, I was totally justified in my earlier speculation.
Only in your own mind~

Do you guys seriously think you could bring Hercules and an old Devastator to someone of legal authority and claim the former is not based on the latter?
Heli88 Wrote:
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> They're practically claiming they own transforming
> robots right there.

If Hasbro owns the convention than it seems reasonable that they can dictate commerce at the convention.


VF5SS Wrote:
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> Do you guys seriously think you could bring
> Hercules and an old Devastator to someone of legal
> authority and claim the former is not based on the
> latter?

Yes. I think this area of the law as it pertains to this specific example has not been sufficiently tested to be able to assume that Hercules is an infringment on anything Hasbro actually owns. However, if its Hasbro's convention then I assume they can forbid sale of bootleg DVDs or pornography and any number of other things so they can probably forbid sale of Hercules whether it infringes or not.

edit: FASA CORP. v. PLAYMATES TOYS, INC.
[www.leagle.com]
[terrania.us]

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Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 03/19/2012 01:46PM by Scopedog.
Scopedog Wrote:
>
> Yes. I think this area of the law as it pertains
> to this specific example has not been sufficiently
> tested to be able to assume that Hercules is an
> infringment on anything Hasbro actually owns.

Has there ever been a court case involving those awesome bootleg t-shirts with, like, Cap'n Crunch with gold teeth and a four finger ring, or Scrooge McDuck holding a gun, or whatever? That seems like it would provide a relevant precedent.

-Paul Segal

"Oh, the anger is never far, never far." -SteveH
asterphage Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Has there ever been a court case involving those
> awesome bootleg t-shirts with, like, Cap'n Crunch
> with gold teeth and a four finger ring, or Scrooge
> McDuck holding a gun, or whatever? That seems like
> it would provide a relevant precedent.

I'm not a lawyer or a legal expert (and I don't think any of us are) particularly as it pertains to IP so I don't know. I added links to FASA v. Playmates in my post above which is the closest case I know of.

"160. FASA has not shown by a preponderance of the evidence that any similarities between the Heavy Attack E-Frame prototypes and the Mad Cat design are not attributable to the many commonalities inhering[sic] in the pre-existing similar robots that are available to designers. (TenBrink Tr. 2037:24-2038:10)."

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Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 03/19/2012 01:50PM by Scopedog.
So Hercules and Giant are pretty clearly based on nothing but Devastator.

And Defender is nothing but Springer, which is even worse since he's one of the first in a batch of characters created specifically by Hasbro.
I don't know... I was pretty sure that the FASA "designs" weren't even deviations from the originals at all. They were (to my memory) pretty sttraight rips of the originals with perhaps 0% deviation. I agree that most people would say that the Hercules was clearly based on Devastator, but what does the law say about things that are "based" on something else? The fact that it's released in green and purple like the original is pretty clear, but I'm no lawyer and weirder things have happened...

More serious than thou
The robot in question is the Mad Cat, which is one of their own designs. All the stuff they illicitly used from anime had to be dropped.
I understand the gut reaction and I truly feel the same way, but from a purely technical legal standpoint I don't think this is as obvious as we think. Moreover, these sorts of things often get settled out of court so no precedent is ever set. Like I said, I'm not a lawyer, however, I'm an adminstrator of government pay entitlements and I frequently deal with legal technicalities that often don't coincide with what seems obvious or fair.

For the record, it's of no consequence to me if third party toys are infringing Hasbro or not.

FASA Battletech Mad Cat (circa 1990)


Playmates Exo-Squad Heavy Attack E-Frame (circa 1994)


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Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 03/19/2012 04:42PM by Scopedog.
Attachments:
open | download - MadCatColor72.jpg (29.2 KB)
open | download - EXOSquad-proto1.JPG (257.6 KB)
fujikuro Wrote:
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> I don't know... I was pretty sure that the FASA
> "designs" weren't even deviations from the
> originals at all. They were (to my memory) pretty
> sttraight rips of the originals with perhaps 0%
> deviation. I agree that most people would say
> that the Hercules was clearly based on Devastator,
> but what does the law say about things that are
> "based" on something else? The fact that it's
> released in green and purple like the original is
> pretty clear, but I'm no lawyer and weirder things
> have happened...

Check this out from FASA v. Playmates:

"161. The Mad Cat contains design elements of and is derived from the following specific prior BATTLETECH designs, which FASA now concedes are not original (per Pretrial Order, Exh. H): from Archer: arm joint assembly, construction and general axis of the mid-waist area, use of rotating hip joints, bipedal aspects of the legs; from Locust: placement of guns, placement of cockpit arrangement, hip joint assemblies and leg, feet; from Wasp: construction of hip joints, elements of the legs, foreleg and calf; from Stinger: legs; from Crusader: general construction of the torso, gun placements, shoulder connections--taking shoulder connections and using them as hip connections, legs; from Ostroc: hip joints resemble leg and arm joints; [**109] from Marauder: cockpit, arms, forearms, cockpit, weapon system, gun placement, feet; from Battlemaster: shoulder rocket launch system. (Macek Decl.; Macek Tr. 1111:14 - 1113:11).

162. Playmates established during the trial that the Heavy Attack E-Frame prototypes of its EXO-SQUAD toys were independently created."

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Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/19/2012 04:45PM by Scopedog.
VF5SS Wrote:
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> The robot in question is the Mad Cat, which is one
> of their own designs. All the stuff they illicitly
> used from anime had to be dropped.

That's a common misconception of Harmony Gold v. FASA which is a compeletely separate case from FASA v. Playmates. HG v. FASA was settled out of court with a non-disclosure agreement so nobody knows what the agreement was. Since the court didn't decide it did not establish a precedent and if there was already precedent it is unknown what that would have been.

[terrania.us]

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Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/19/2012 04:59PM by Scopedog.
did that toy ever come out?

I don't remember it at all
VF5SS Wrote:
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> did that toy ever come out?
>
> I don't remember it at all

I think it's just a mock-up. (I don't remember ever noticing the ED-209 feet until today)

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Scopedog Wrote:
>
> I'm not a lawyer or a legal expert (and I don't
> think any of us are) particularly as it pertains
> to IP so I don't know. I added links to FASA v.
> Playmates in my post above which is the closest
> case I know of.
>
> "160. FASA has not shown by a preponderance of the
> evidence that any similarities between the Heavy
> Attack E-Frame prototypes and the Mad Cat design
> are not attributable to the many commonalities
> inhering in the pre-existing similar robots that
> are available to designers. (TenBrink Tr.
> 2037:24-2038:10)."

This case is fascinating, so I'm just going to go way off topic here and enjoy it for a little while.

It seems that FASA was trying to claim some dominion over, or a role of innovation in, designing robots that are not strictly humanoid. The "de-emphasis of the head" and "a torso that resembles a spaceship or a tank on legs" are claimed as features which contrast with the Japanese designs.

The portion of the case dealing with the Mad Cat seems to rely on no one noticing that the Mad Cat shares many features (long nose, no head, arrangement of arms, backwards-knee stance of legs) with the "Marauder", which is of course just a Glaug from Macross. Unfortunately, FASA was forced to concede that the Mad Cat is derivative of designs which were not original to FASA.

It's interesting that Playmates didn't bring up the obvious example of the Glaug/Marauder (which had clearly served as a partial inspiration for other ExoSquad designs, and had even been licensed along with other parts of Robotech as an extension for the ExoSquad toy line) in their argument, but they do bring up specifically that the shoulder joints and legs of the Heavy Assault E-Frame were inspired by ED-209, and they surely could've included other pre-existing headless, backwards-knee robots.

They do list sources of general inspiration to PlayMates' designers in part III, section N, subsection 171:
"Japanese robot toys and designs predating 1985; the robotic exo-skeleton/power-loader from the movie Aliens; and, military book
s on armor, weapons, war machines, military vehicles, cockpits and bombers."

And in part III, section N, subsections 186-195, they list a more comprehensive variety of pre-existing robot designs (including the AT-ST scout walkers from Return of the Jedi), in support of the argument that ExoSquad's designs "merely reflect the current state of the genre and consumers' expectations as to the visual language of the post-Star Wars marketplace." It's kind of a beautiful tribute to the evolution of cool robots, actually.

In any case, "the commonalities inhering in the pre-existing similar robots" is the key thing here. Not only does it establish that the FASA designs were not producing anything so original that it must be protected, but it shows that merely being derivative of another design is not enough to punish Playmates.

The conclusion made in part IV, section A, subsection 30 is also interesting: "both designs are based on the same unprotectible general ideas". The ExoSquad designs are held to be a different expression of the idea of futuristic robot warfare.

In declaring these robots a substantially different expression of the idea, the court takes into account features such as the existence of hands and placement of weapons, the size, placement and design of the cockpit, the overall size of the robot, and its role in the fictional setting - things which we fanboys would probably not consider significant differences in a truly derivative design. The cockpit of the Heavy Attack E-Frame and its placement on the robot's body, in light of the arm and leg layout, is really suspiciously similar to the Mad Cat, but this is not enough for the court. Besides, the Mad Cat's cockpit is just a B-29 bomber's nose anyway.

It's also ironic how the court repeatedly points out that FASA's supposedly similar designs have human-like heads or hands where the ExoSquad designs lack them, after FASA's claim that the nonhumanoid characteristics of their designs are one of the features which distinguishes Battletech from its Japanese source material.

By the way, the "FASA's Alleged Confusion Evidence" section of the decision is fantastic. They bring in a few regular joe Battletech-lovers who inadvertently tuned in to the ExoSquad cartoon or saw the toys in a store, and thought it must be somehow related to Battletech.

Also totally classic:

part III, section M, subsection 159:
"The nose cone of the Heavy Attack E-Frame was made from a Legg's
pantyhose container."

Old school, ILM style!

part III, section O, subsection 210:
"If launched from an aircraft carrier, EXO-SQUAD E-Frames would take off. If launched from an aircraft carrier, BATTLETECH MECHs would drop into the ocean."

Beautiful.

part IV, section A, subsection 17:
"The renderings of the BATTLETECH vehicles are portrayed in a realistic and militaristic manner."
subsection 20:
"The overall tone of the BATTLETECH works is dark, ominous and sinister, and apparently directed to a teenage and adult audience."
subsection 23:
"The relevant audience of FASA's BATTLETECH products is a very sophisticated group of game fans, who enjoy the mental stimulation of the BATTLETECH fantasy game world and who would not be inclined to overlook the substantial differences between FASA's BATTLETECH products and Playmates' EXO-SQUAD line."

Oh, stop it, district court! You're making FASA blush!

-Paul Segal

"Oh, the anger is never far, never far." -SteveH
MSW
Scopedog...That WHOLE case was about different MEDIUMS.

FASA had previously published Mad Cat drawings and sketches VERSUS Playmates similarly stylized toys. It was drawings versus plastic toys. That is all it's ever been about.

The little picture you captioned "FASA Battletech Mad Cat (circa 1990)" is of a resin model kit from the late 90's, that didn't exist yet at the time of the case. EDIT: here [www.timdp.members.sonic.net] FASA copyright 1999.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/19/2012 05:38PM by MSW.
The relationship between this precedent and any case Hasbro might bring against a third party is vague, for a few reasons.

FASA was arguing that Playmates' toy line for children was competing against FASA's role playing game books for adults. The standard for confusion would almost definitely be lower in a case of Hasbro's toys for children and adults being confused with third parties' toys for adult collectors only.

Playmates' most questionable design, the Heavy Attack E-Frame, was never released - FASA had a shaky case trying to claim that they infringed by merely beginning to promote such a product in its non-final form. Any third-party Transformers that Hasbro took action against would almost definitely be ones that were on the market already.

There was no shortage of non-FASA designs which were obvious precursors to the Heavy Attack E-Frame - the ED-209 legs alone demonstrated clearly that it could not be solely derivative of FASA's prior art. This applies just as well to the other ExoSquad designs in question, particularly since so many of them are clearly derivative of the Power Loader from Aliens. In most potential Hasbro vs. third party cases, it would be more difficult to prove that a unlicensed Devastator or Optimus was not based solely on one pre-existing Transformer.

Obviously this is all up in the air until litigation happens, but the third parties would lack most of the advantages which PlayMates had in their defense.

-Paul Segal

"Oh, the anger is never far, never far." -SteveH
robomormons need the mental stimulation of gluing on more guns to win
MSW Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The little picture you captioned
> "FASA Battletech Mad Cat (circa 1990)" is of a
> resin model kit from the late 90's, that didn't
> exist yet at the time of the case.

I just meant it as an example of what the Mad Cat looks like. It isn't a resin kit, though. It's a 1/35 vinyl model from Horizon which I believe predates Exo-Sqaud.

edit: These pages say 1992- [www.worthpoint.com] [sfmkd.com]

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Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 03/19/2012 05:38PM by Scopedog.
fujikuro Wrote:
> I was pretty sure that the FASA "designs" weren't
> even deviations from the originals at all. They were
> (to my memory) pretty straight rips of the originals
> with perhaps 0% deviation.

Those "Unseen" robots, which were angular re-tracings of Japanese robot designs, were long gone by the time of this case. The robots mentioned in the "The Mad Cat contains design elements of and is derived from the following specific prior BATTLETECH designs..." passage which Scopedog quoted are the earliest, most derivative Battlemechs.

VF5SS Wrote:
> did that toy ever come out?

Nope.

Scopedog Wrote:
> I think it's just a mock-up.

Correct.

MSW Wrote:
> That WHOLE case was about different mediums.

The court decision examines almost every aesthetic aspect of the Battletech and ExoSquad designs. It's not as simple as "Playmates' toy line can't infringe on FASA's paper wargame". That's only one aspect of the case, and not given nearly as much importance as the designs themselves and the process by which Playmates created them.

-Paul Segal

"Oh, the anger is never far, never far." -SteveH
asterphage Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The relationship between this precedent and any
> case Hasbro might bring against a third party is
> vague, for a few reasons.
>
> Obviously this is all up in the air until
> litigation happens, but the third parties would
> lack most of the advantages which PlayMates had in
> their defense.

I'm not arguing for or against the third parties but I think that "trade dress" would play a key role in any lawsuit. Will a consumer be decieved into believing they are purchasing a Hasbro Devastator simply by virtue of the fact that the toy is a green 6-transforming-construction-vehicle combining robot? This is why TFC named it Hercules instead of Devastator and the box doesn't say Hasbro or look anything like Hasbro packaging. I'm being completely analytical here and have no vested interest in either side.

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MSW Wrote:
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> EDIT: here
> [www.timdp.members.sonic.net] FASA copyright 1999.

Just saw your edit. You're completely, embarassingly wrong.

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Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/19/2012 05:50PM by Scopedog.
Scopedog Wrote:
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Will a consumer be decieved
> into believing they are purchasing a Hasbro
> Devastator simply by virtue of the fact that the
> toy is a green 6-transforming-construction-vehicle
> combining robot?

They'd be really confused why it isn't inside an Easter basket
VF5SS Wrote:
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> They'd be really confused why it isn't inside an
> Easter basket

If it was in an Easter basket they'd be confused about why the basket with the Devastator bootleg costs $600.00.

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Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/19/2012 06:39PM by Scopedog.
That's just for the chocolate dipped truffles and Faberge eggs.
MSW
Scopedog Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Just saw your edit. You're completely,
> embarassingly wrong.

Guilty.

I'm 43 years old. 10 months ago I was hospitalized for a stroke, I had to learn to both speak and write again. If I come off as short tempered or a asshole, its mainly caused my frustration in my diminished writing ability.
MSW Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I'm 43 years old. 10 months ago I was hospitalized
> for a stroke, I had to learn to both speak and
> write again. If I come off as short tempered or a
> asshole, its mainly caused my frustration in my
> diminished writing ability.

No problem. I would never have guessed you were recovering from a stroke. I'm sorry that it happened to you. Good job and continued good luck on the recovery.


On another note- I'm highly trained to detect VOTOMs.



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Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 03/19/2012 11:53PM by Scopedog.
Attachments:
open | download - EXOSquad-proto1.jpg (142.1 KB)
asterphage Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> fujikuro Wrote:
> > I was pretty sure that the FASA "designs"
> weren't
> > even deviations from the originals at all. They
> were
> > (to my memory) pretty straight rips of the
> originals
> > with perhaps 0% deviation.
>
> Those "Unseen" robots, which were angular
> re-tracings of Japanese robot designs, were long
> gone by the time of this case.

In copyright, 10 year or so isn't "long gone". Try ten times that time. If the case had involved those designs, both FASA and Playmates might have been screwed, since copyright typically extends for 50-70 years.

On the other hand, I've heard from a first-hand source (the copyright person of my employer) that copyright lawyers are *REALLY* picky: Simply changing part of the design might be enough to chuck out a case.

<snip>
>
> The court decision examines almost every aesthetic
> aspect of the Battletech and ExoSquad designs.
> It's not as simple as "Playmates' toy line can't
> infringe on FASA's paper wargame". That's only one
> aspect of the case, and not given nearly as much
> importance as the designs themselves and the
> process by which Playmates created them.

Generally (again from the horse's mouth), cross-category copyright claims have little chance of succeeding.

So HasTak claiming that a third-party TOY is an infringement on a CHARACTER HasTak owns has little chance to succeed; however HasTak likely has more than enough financial resources to stack appeal on appeal and kill the third-party manufacturer financially.
If they are US-based that is. If the third-party manufacturer is located elsewhere, laws from that country will apply to them, which might complicate things - unlike what some people like to believe US laws do not apply outside the US (ignoring stuff like embassies and military bases). At most HasTak can probably block official import of the third-party stuff.
Confiscating items at BotCon that are not actually counterfeit (i.e. direct copies of HasTak toys) would likely net HasTak a loss in court.

Now if the third-party toy has a character profile that basically rips off a HasTak toy character profile, HasTak could probably nuke it, but the third-party company might be able to get away with selling the toy without the profile (anyway, all fans know what it is supposed to be).

One could wonder if HasTak's contract that they make sign dealers is not a violation of the US constitution Amendment that regulates free speech...

Edit: Disclaimer: I'm not sure what is possible in the US wrt copyright, all I know is that the US is about the inverse of China when it comes to copyright: where China is lackluster in enforcing it, the US overdoes it.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/20/2012 04:20AM by thomas.
Scopedog Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

> On another note- I'm highly trained to detect
> VOTOMs.
>
>

Oh boy. Some options:

"And now, I will use my awkwardly placed third gattling gun to place several quick-succession shots on the target's body that will leave it dripping with sticky fluid."
"Honey, come on now, I know you have PTSD, but could you please stop using such corny lines to describe your sexual prowess."

"Noooooo, not the claw! Keep the claw away! Don't come inside meeeeee!" (credits go to Fullmetal Alchemist)

"My mech's right arm got recycled into WHAT?!?"
Sanjeev (Admin)
Wonder where Mason is...he knows a bit about copyright law so he may have some insight here. I just find it hard to believe that Hasbro would have no chance of winning an actual court case against TFC over not-Devastator (for example).

Seems pretty obvious that it's their licensed IP. Not that I want there to be a court case, of course...just saying...

That seems to suggest that I can make a toy identical to G1 Optimus Prime--just with a mustache--and call him Gary...and get away with it.
Sanjeev Wrote:
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> That seems to suggest that I can make a toy
> identical to G1 Optimus Prime--just with a
> mustache--and call him Gary...and get away with
> it.

For this example I recommend you also make the trailer out of a Leggs pantyhouse container, make his character a male-to-female transsexual, and then give him a Brutishdog Gatling Cannon Claw for a dick.

"You can't make this stuff up. I dare you to even try." -Ed Tom Bell

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I found a better shot of the Heavy Attack E-Frame:



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Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/21/2012 12:20PM by Scopedog.
Attachments:
open | download - Heavy Attack E-Frame.JPG (41.7 KB)
This is the best thread ever. Seriously. Talk about meta-contextual! Now that I'm aware it exists, I must have that ExoSquad Mad Cat.

I know very little of copyright law, and can give no legal advice on the subject. But it seems to me that the real issue vis a vis Botcon is one of contract. Botcon has made renting a dealer table contingent upon the dealer giving Hasbro the right to seize the dealer's goods at will. That may be a raw deal for the dealer, but there's nothing illegal (or unconstitutional) about it. Copyright is a smokescreen here, as the standard for infringement under the contract seems to be whatever Hasbro wants it to be.

As for whether or not a company like Hasbro can claim ownership in a character, the best recent discussion can be found in the extensive online coverage of the Neil Gaiman vs. Todd MacFarlane lawsuit. Gaiman claimed an ownership interest not only in the few characters he created for the Spawn comic, but in the supposedly derivative characters that MacFarlane created after Gaiman started wanting money for the first bunch. The court ultimately sided with Gaiman on his ownership of the derivative characters, and the case then settled. If you like this thread, you'll love the court's discussion of what makes a character a character.

Best, Ken-A
Ken-A Wrote:
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> If you like this thread, you'll love the court's discussion of what makes a character a character.

It would be nice if you would post at least a lmgtfy link to this information.

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Scopedog Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Ken-A Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > If you like this thread, you'll love the court's
> discussion of what makes a character a character.
>
> It would be nice if you would post at least a
> lmgtfy link to this information.


Was that self-parody? Performance art? :) As I am literal-minded:

[io9.com]

Best, Ken-A



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/20/2012 03:24PM by Ken-A.
thomas Wrote:
> In copyright, 10 year or so isn't "long gone".

> Generally (again from the horse's mouth),
> cross-category copyright claims have little chance
> of succeeding.

Did you read the Playmates/FASA decision, which is the specific case I am discussing in the excerpt you responded to, or are you just replying to my post in a vacuum?

> So HasTak claiming that a third-party TOY is an
> infringement on a CHARACTER HasTak owns has little
> chance to succeed;

Takara reissued the G1 Devastator toy just a few months ago. The third-party Devastators and Takara's Devastator reissue are both high-end collector-targeted toys based on the same character design.

> however HasTak likely has more
> than enough financial resources to stack appeal on
> appeal and kill the third-party manufacturer
> financially.

Of course. Thus my caveat on the previous page, which I didn't think needed to be repeated in every post, that this discussion is only relevant "IF the third-partiers could afford to defend themselves".

> unlike what some people like to believe
> US laws do not apply outside the US (ignoring
> stuff like embassies and military bases).

Thomas, could we please not make unrelated discussions into a proxy for "Americans are so dumb"? It shows disrespect for the American TBDX posters you're discussing this with.

> One could wonder if HasTak's contract that they
> make sign dealers is not a violation of the US
> constitution Amendment that regulates free
> speech...

This makes absolutely no sense. The First Amendment to the United States Constitution is only binding on the United States Congress. It doesn't directly affect contracts between private individuals. If it did, then non-disclosure agreements would be illegal. (And even if it did, how would selling whatever products you like at a private event qualify as an exercise of free speech??)


Ken-A Wrote:
> Botcon has made renting a dealer table contingent
> upon the dealer giving Hasbro the right to seize the
> dealer's goods at will. That may be a raw deal for
> the dealer, but there's nothing illegal (or
> unconstitutional) about it. Copyright is a
> smokescreen here, as the standard for infringement
> under the contract seems to be whatever Hasbro wants
> it to be.

That is indeed true. I think this discussion has been extrapolated into general fears of legal action because that type of escalation seems to be commonplace lately.


Ken-A Wrote:
> [io9.com]

Ahh, that's a classic. I always loved how this judge's standards for originality are just a bit higher than the standards of superhero comics... and that she can so easily dash off several ideas for historical fiction, which immediately expose the exploitative intent of the copycat characters.

-Paul Segal

"Oh, the anger is never far, never far." -SteveH
To be fair, Optimus Prime's head is basically the original Gundam's head without the v-fin. So Optimus Prime with a mustache... Turn A Gundam?

-Ginrai
Golden Gate Riot on dead trees at: [www.destroyallcomics.com]
Sanjeev (Admin)
See? I'll be rich!!
"Thomas, could we please not make unrelated discussions into a proxy for "Americans are so dumb"? It shows disrespect for the American TBDX posters you're discussing this with."

Me Grimlock also worry how American word writers be portrayed on interget when topiks become complicatered so nots to seem unsmarted.
Supersentai Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> "Thomas, could we please not make unrelated
> discussions into a proxy for "Americans are so
> dumb"? It shows disrespect for the American TBDX
> posters you're discussing this with."
>
> Me Grimlock also worry how American word writers
> be portrayed on interget when topiks become
> complicatered so nots to seem unsmarted.

I apologise if that seemed like an unwarranted ad hominem, but unfortunately in my experience in most copyright-related discussions someone will bring up this point and suggest that if a judge in country X (where X is usually the US, sometimes the UK, and more rarely others) it should also apply to other countries. Granted, those someones usually are either copyright advocates, politicians, or trolls (perhaps I should say "and" instead of "or"...:P)...

The point I was trying to make is that a court case might result in a product ban only in a certain geographic area.

Whether something is inspired by <insert character here> should not be immediate grounds for a ban, unless it is an obvious rip-off. Sure, some of the third-party companies are probably skirting around what is legal in terms of inspiration in their home countries. But copyright experts are rather strict in deciding what is allowed and what isn't because being too lax would open the door to mass-sueing and endless court battles. Let's have a look at super heroes: How many of them are rather similar and inspired by each other? Making a point of that would surely kill the industry faster than it is currently doing.
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