The Robotech/Macross Legal Mess, or KickHirer

15 03 2013

I read an interesting (to me) article over at Kotaku this morning – http://kotaku.com/macross/. For those that don’t know, I am a *huge* fan of Robotech. Robotech is the combination and partial rewriting of three previously unrelated Japanese series, the most popular of which is Macross. Fans of Macross paint Robotech as something like sacrilege at worst, Swedeing at best (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Be_Kind_Rewind), and they utterly despise Harmony Gold, the company that created Robotech. The Kotaku article gives a brief overview of the legal wrangling that has earned Harmony Gold this ire – in short, they’ve asserted their right to keep anything and everything Macross-related out of pretty much any territory outside Japan, despite the fact that the legal situation seems to clearly indicate they don’t have that right in the first place. Again, short version – three Japanese companies worked together to create Macross. One provided the story, one provided the money, and one did the animation. Harmony Gold secured rights from the animation company, which had the rights only to the animation they produced. They’ve done nothing as far as the continuation of Macross is concerned, and Japanese courts held that they have no rights to anything beyond the one they worked on. Since Harmony Gold had a deal with them, they can’t assert rights over anything beyond the original Macross product, yet they regularly do just that and quash any importation of all Macross-related material. Thing is, neither of the other two companies, the ones who have every right to the use and dissemination of Macross-related stuff, have lifted a finger to try to change this situation. I have no idea why this is the case, but it seems like they’ve got a legal slam-dunk – Harmony Gold simply doesn’t have a leg to stand on. So why haven’t they? Based on that, yes, Harmony Gold deserves some grief, maybe even a lot, for their heavy-handed and essentially unsupportable tactics, but why aren’t the Macross fans yelling at Big West and Studio Nue? Maybe they are and I just haven’t heard it. I’ve got my own set of problems with Harmony Gold – mostly about their complete mishandling of the Robotech property and their unwillingness to continue it in any meaningful and high-quality way – but they’re not the only problem in this mess. They need to just go ahead and hire me. I’ll set things to right. They can keep Tommy Yune, he seems like a nice enough guy. He’ll just have to report to me. Fire Kevin McKeever, simply because I disagree vehemently with his politics, and you’ve got to fire somebody. Robotech could be the next Battlestar Galactica, under my sure and masterful guiding hand, and nothing would quiet the Macross purists (I can’t stand those guys!) like an unassailable Robotech product that goes far beyond the original inspiration to stand as its own work. Hear that, Harmony Gold? Give me a job. Give me THE job. Is there a KickStarter for forcing companies to hire people? There should be…

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