[tenchi:106387] Re: [OT] Any of these titles you'd recommended?

to tenchi@usagi.org
from Joseph Riggs <eumerin@yahoo.com>
subject [tenchi:106387] Re: [OT] Any of these titles you'd recommended?
date Thu, 19 Mar 2009 19:12:20 -0700 (PDT)

--- On Thu, 3/19/09, Gregory Himes <gdhimes@yahoo.com> wrote:

> From: Gregory Himes <gdhimes@yahoo.com>
> Subject: [tenchi:106383] Re: [OT] Any of these titles you'd recommended?
> To: tenchi@usagi.org
> Date: Thursday, March 19, 2009, 2:55 PM
> [Macross Frontier]
> > THAT series was one of the best series I've seen -
> great action,
> > good characters,
> > excellent pacing (the art's a bit uneven, though -
> two
> > different studios were involved in the art and
> sometimes it
> > shows; ironically, this is an issue that it shares
> with the
> > original Macross TV series, though it's nowhere near
> as bad
> > as SDF Macross's "bad art").
> Well, it was old style anime, and almost all of it (TV
> series') looked that way.
> > It's a shame that it won't ever legally
> > appear in the US due to Harmony Gold.
> Why?=A0 Do they have some contractual hold on it?=A0
> Macross II and Macross Plus were released without
> interference by Harmony Gold.=A0 Though Macross Zero,
> Macross 7, and Macross Dynamite haven't seen the light of US
> screens.

The rights to Macross are a long and complicated affair, but what it basica
lly boils down to is this -

Big West and Studio Nue couldn't complete the series without financial help
.  So they turned to another company (Artmic, I believe, though I don't rem
ember for certain) for some cash to help get the series completed.  One of 
the things that Artmic received was worldwide distribution rights (i.e. to 
everywhere outside of Japan).  Anime wasn't a big deal in the US at the tim
e, so no one had any idea how potentially valuable this was.  Then Carl Mac
ek saw Macross and decided he liked it, and got the worldwide distribution 
rights from Artmic (or whichever company it was) in perpetuity (along with 
the rights to Southern Cross and Mospeada so that he'd have enough episodes
 for syndication).  He shopped around until he ended up with Harmony Gold (
who apparently have a pretty sizeable real estate business, from what I und
erstand), and eventually they ended up with the rights.

So regardless of anything else, Harmony Gold holds the distribution rights 
to Superdimension Fortress Macross everywhere except in Japan.  There is no
 dispute about this, and it's all quite clear legally.

Macross Do You Remember Love, Macross II, and Macross Plus were all license
d from their Japanese owners and released in the US in one form or another.
  Harmony Gold's official response to this is that the company wasn't payin
g attention at the time, but it's generally understood that HG had a more l
imited understanding of the licensing agreement at the time.  These product
s basically sneaked in under HG's radar, and because HG didn't file a lawsu
it in time, HG basically ended up waiving its rights to those shows.

Eventually HG adopted a broader understanding of what its license allowed, 
and now basically goes after anything that's connected to Macross.  And Big
 West isn't interested in the legal bills and possible other complications 
that could arise from pursuing the case in a court to try and get the inter
pretation of the agreement narrowed (plus, Big West might lose which could 
cause even more problems).  There was a case in Japan a few years back invo
lving some of the rights, and I believe that as things stand right now Big 
West (or possibly Studio Nue - I don't remember for certain) has rights to 
the mecha in the series - i.e. the ability to assign rights around the worl
d for using the mecha in a non SDF Macross setting.  But I'm not even compl
etely certain about that.  And I don't think HG is completely certain where
 the line is either, which is what prompted the kill-off of the majority of
 the Zentraedi in the Robotech: Shadow Chronicles pre-quel comic.

Currently, no one knows exactly who has the US rights to Do You Remember Lo
ve.  Two different companies released licensed versions of the film in the 
US, both have gone under, and I believe that multiple parties hold claims t
o the possessions of those companies.  So no one's sure who has the full le
gal rights.  And it would take a very messy court case to clear it up (whic
h is a shame, since DYRL is an absolutely gorgeous film with a decent story
 to go along with it).  Manga has the rights to Macross Plus.  They might h
ave the rights to Macross II as well, although I'm not certain of that.

There's a rumor that ADV approached both Big West and HG about licensing Ma
cross Zero.  Supposedly Big West said that they didn't have a problem with 
it but that HG might.  ADV supposedly then approached HG, which gave its pe
rmission...  at which point Big West quashed the deal (which would make sen
se because such a deal would  give additional legal weight to HG in the eve
nt that the rights over the later series ever came to trial).

So basically, you're probably not going to see Macross 7 (along with Dynami
te and everything else tied to it), Macross Zero, Macross Frontier, or the 
DYRL-style movie version of Macross Frontier that is being worked on, in th
e US anytime soon.  There was some hope among fans that since the US and Ja
pan are in the same Blu-Ray region, that when Macross Frontier was released
 on Blu-Ray in Japan English subtitles would be included.  But no such luck

This topic actually got touched on not too long ago on the Mekton Zeta Mail
ing List.  Mekton (an anime mecha pencil and paper RPG game) is a product p
ut out by R. Talsorian games (along with Cyberpunk, Teenagers from Outer Sp
ace, and a few other games that you may or may not have heard of), which is
 owned by Mike Pondsmith.  Mike listens in on and sometimes posts to the ma
iling list, and he's been involved with the anime industry in the US for a 
VERY long time.  So occasionally you hear some interesting tid bits about t
his sort of thing.


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