Harmony Gold Suing The Company That Sold Them Unseen Images?

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Macross

courtesy of Forbes

Looks like I was wrong about not having any more info on the Harmony Gold lawsuit that was revealed last month. Hot off the presses from Reddit (thanks to user iyaerP) comes news that Harmony Gold is filing yet another lawsuit, but this time it’s not against a BattleTech company.

It’s against the Japanese company that sold them the Unseen images in the first place: Tatsunoko Production Co., Ltd.

For those of you that have forgotten, Tatsunoko Productions was the company that sold the license for Macross/Robotech to Harmony Gold, giving them the right to distribute the anime in North America. Harmony Gold also argues this gives them the rights to the Macross imagery, which spawned the whole Unseen debacle.

 

I say argues, since it’s also come to light since then that the rights to the Macross/Robotech imagery actually never rested with Tatsunoko in the first place. The license provided to Harmony Gold only allows them to distribute the cartoons in North America, with the original intellectual property being owned by the animation studio that created the series, Studio Nue.

Harmony Hold has even acknowledged this ruling back in 2002, but so far it hasn’t seemed to stop them from suing anyone that even remotely comes close to the Macross/Robotech aesthetic.

Flash forward to today and we’ve just got word that Harmony Gold has filed court documents last week naming Tatsunoko Production Co. Ltd. as defendants. More details available seem to indicate this is some kind of arbitration case, but the precise reason for the arbitration hasn’t been disclosed yet.

Now the question becomes what does this mean for Harmony Gold’s lawsuit against Piranha Games and Harebrained Schemes? Will the courts finally side with our beloved BattleTech producers, finally ending the Unseen for good? Will Harmony Gold finally lose all rights to the Macross/Robotech imagery and never be heard from again? Will this spell the end of the pending Macross live action film that is supposedly still in production?

Nobody knows yet, but we’re all on the edge of our seats waiting to find out.

 

This entry was posted in Catalyst Game Labs, Community on by .

About Sean

Hooked on BattleTech at an early age, Sean honestly can't remember whether it was the cartoon, the serial novels or the short-lived TCG that did him in. Whatever it was, his passion for giant shooty robots never died, so now he writes about the latest and greatest in 'Mech related news.

12 thoughts on “Harmony Gold Suing The Company That Sold Them Unseen Images?

  1. Shredhead

    Leonard French went over this in a livestream yesterday – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CZrfOtJyJpM
    To sum it up: Tatsunoko has the rights on (the first season of) Macross, Mospeada and Southern Cross except for the “41 original characters [in Macross] that are owned by Big West”. Tatsunoko has granted all rights it owns to Harmony Gold for exploitation outside of Japan till March 14th 2021. Studio Nue has no claim whatsoever on this.
    To see if this has any impact on the lawsuit against PGI, HBS and Catalyst one has to find out what these “41 original characters” by Big West are.
    It appears there is lots of wrong info about these Japanese court cases. Tatsunoko definitely has these rights.

    Reply
  2. Frabby

    There’s a list of the 41 characters in question, and it does include the unseen. I’m citing this from over at the HBS forum (https://community.battletechgame.com/forums/threads/9113/comments/178660):
    1 VF-1S FIGHTER
    2 VF-1S BATTROID
    3 VF-1S GERWALK
    4 VF-1J FIGHTER
    5 VF-1J BATTROID
    6 VF-1J GERWALK
    7 VF-1D FIGHTER
    8 VF-1D BATTROID
    9 VF-1D GERWALK
    10 VF-1A FIGHTER
    11 VF-1A BATTROID
    12 VF-1A GERWALK
    13 ARMORED VALKYRIE
    14 SPARTAN
    15 REGULT
    16 GLAUG
    17 SDF-1 BATTLE SHIP
    18 SDF-1
    19 PHALANX
    20 DEFENDER
    21 TOMAHAWK
    22 QUEADLUUN-RAU
    23 NOUSJADEUL-GER
    24 MONSTER
    25 QUEADOL-MAGDOMILLA
    26 TOUGOU-GUN Emblem
    27 ZENTRAEDI Emblem
    28 Misa Hayase
    29 Hikaru ichijo 1
    30 Hikaru ichijo 2
    31 Lynn Minmay 1
    32 Lynn Minmay 2
    33 Lynn Minmay 3
    34 Lynn Minmay 4
    35 Claudia La Salle
    36 CAPTAIN Gloval
    37 Maximilian Jeunius
    38 Roy Focker
    39 Milia Fallyuna Jenius
    40 Bullitie
    41 Exsedol Folmo

    Reply
  3. The Boneshaman

    I hope this goes so bad for HG that they have to close their doors for good.

    but chances are it wont go that bad for them.

    Reply
  4. Nuclear-Fridge

    I wonder if Harmony Gold has tried to sue Del Toro, etc., for “Pacific Rim”… Because it’s so obviously clear that the Jaegers in the movie are precise copies of images that HG claims are theirs and theirs alone to merchandise!

    All I ever seem to see online regarding HG now is who they’re trying to sue…

    Reply
    1. Solis Obscuri

      The last time HG tried this bullshit on someone with deep pockets (Mattel) it didn’t go well for them. Given the negligible wrist-slap the EU gave HG for Agrama’s fraud and money laundering convictions they probably have enoigh in the kitty to feel safe going after Tatsunoko, PGI and Hairbrained Schemes, but I don’t think they want to tangle with Warner Bros.

      Reply
      1. Nuclear-Fridge

        “Our lawyers are way bigger and nastier than yours. Don’t even think about it.” Yeah, that sounds about right.

        Reply
  5. BoBTheFish

    HG is akin to a rabid dog at this point. Frothing at the mouth, lashing out indescriminately, and trying to bite anything that comes within reach.

    Where’s animal control when you need them?

    Reply

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