Customs: Are repaints restricting Hasbro's options?

Discussion in 'Creative General Discussion' started by SmokescreenSWE, Jul 6, 2006.

  1. SmokescreenSWE

    SmokescreenSWE Well-Known Member

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    Ì was just thinking, maybe making our own repaints of Alternators keeps Hasbro from making them officially? It's just a thought, but maybe they're afraid that someone would sue if they used a design that was already present online. And they can obviously not copy an existing design like that excellent Swindle -> Inferno repaint.

    I have no idea how the legal stuff works, it was just a thought.
     
  2. Ops_was_a_truck

    Ops_was_a_truck JOOOLIE ANDREWWWWWS!!!!!!

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    Actually, it's the other way around. If anything, Hasbro could sue US, if they felt a need to do so, for changing the way one of their products is represented.

    Now, that's an ABSOLUTELY watered-down version of how this type of thing actually works.

    Long story short: We don't make much money off of customizations/alterations as it is. On top of that, we're supporting (not defaming) the Transformers product and license by doing repaints and kitbashes. These two things mean that Hasbro's legal team would probably never see a need to go after kitbashers and/or repainters.

    As a matter of fact, it's more of an aftermarket convenience for Hasbro when so many folks re-do Alternators/Binaltech toys the way we want them to look. Essentially, I'd assume that our aftermarket modifications to toys give Hasbro a reason not to produce a toy, simply because they may not believe it'd generate enough cash as part of another product line. I mean, on top of that, there are other (probably retarded) reasons Alternators repaints the way WE want them to look don't show up, but I'd assume most of them come down to "he won't sell."

    Legally? Naw, we're safe.
     
  3. MegaMoonMan

    MegaMoonMan www.megamoonman.com TFW2005 Supporter

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    Yeah, what Ops said. We don't hinder them in the least, and they can repaint them however they want, customs or no. They can copy any kitbash they want.
     
  4. Soundblaster1

    Soundblaster1 The Heisenberg of Toys

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    And Kitbashers buy doubles and triples to use for kitbashing. Kitbashers = money for Hasbro
     
  5. RandomFerret

    RandomFerret Fuzzy Forever

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    Actually, yes. By 'publishing' the repaint or kitbash online, the original concept can be marked to a certain date, which gives the kitbasher the legal grounds to sue for infringing upon said concept. While it's unlikely anybody would, Hasbro's legal department would still discourage the design team from using any idea which has already been done by a fan.

    This is the reason we will likely never see a TM Megatron -> Grimlock repaint.
     
  6. Ops_was_a_truck

    Ops_was_a_truck JOOOLIE ANDREWWWWWS!!!!!!

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    Really? That's kinda wild. So it is opposite to what I said above? I mean, if Hasbro saw plenty of Alternators Skids-to-Perceptor repaints, they'd rather shy away from making one officially, instead of embracing and using the idea?
     
  7. Superquad7

    Superquad7 We're only human. Super Mod

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    Well, I think Hasbro/Takaratomy will make what they want to make, regardless of the kitbashing community comes up with (see Dead End/Sunstreaker for example). I'm thinking it was at Botcon last year (someone correct me if I'm wrong) they they openly stated that they are not open to fan-based submissions for ideas, nor do they need them (which is why the have paid-staff designers).

    Especially with the Alternators line, it takes a long time to plan the designs and engineering, not to mention securing the licenses, etc. There are a lot more factors to consider other than what the fans want to see (copyright laws, etc., etc.).

    In terms of us making our own projects, I've seen nothing but Hasbro's support (such as the art contest at Botcon). Just as it has been said, our projects = more sales from them.

    Now if someone were to go on a frenzy (pun intended) and try to make a valid claim on the Transformers idea as their own and try to assume ownership for a Hasbro property, Hasbro would be all over that.
     
  8. freezowave

    freezowave Well-Known Member

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    Where this would get particular dicey is with the automotive companies and the use of their brand.

    Typically they can do nothing about people doing "artistic" mods to a toy/model, but if they see the end result is to generate profit than they (car company/Hasbro) could issue a cease and desist or possibly sue.

    Right now in the emectronics marketplace companies are trying to control how someone customizes, or hacks a product that the consumer owns. The companies are trying to pass legislation that would criminalize this "customizing". This is scary because it is technically like they are saying it is fine for you to buy a product, but they are still in control of how it is used. Depending on it's passage and it's verbage it could really restrict what anyone does with anything they buy. Sure it is a big brother sci-fi scenario, but it kind of relates.

    Anyways I don't think it has any effect on anything at all. Hell, the WST dinos are openly sold and advertised and there has been nothing done about it at all, and that involves a company profiting off of a Hasbro product and potentially muddying the Hasbro brand.
     
  9. RandomFerret

    RandomFerret Fuzzy Forever

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    If they hadn't already explored the concept to some extent, yes. If there was so much as a note scribbled on a photocopy saying 'this mould looks kind of like that microscope guy' in a Hasbro employee's glove box before the repaint was made, then they're in the clear.

    But if those BW character digibashes had been done a few months earlier, say, we'd probably have a completely different Botcon set.
     
  10. Ops_was_a_truck

    Ops_was_a_truck JOOOLIE ANDREWWWWWS!!!!!!

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    That's pretty wild. I've got to admit, I learned something new.

    I always figured that, since Hasbro had their copyright & trademarks stamped on the toy product, that it was, ostensibly, "their" product being represented, regardless of context. I.e., Bumblebee, painted pink and covered with flowers, is still Hasbro's Transformer toy Bumblebee.

    ...so...(thinks)...the re-rendition of the product is what distinguishes it as a personal creation? I.e., since I "re-imagined" Alternators Grimlock as Alternators Limelight, I have the ability to defend my personal creation against Hasbro's appropriation of that concept and using it as a concept for their own mass-production Limelight?
     
  11. freezowave

    freezowave Well-Known Member

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    I doubt very, very much that if Hasbro released a product that was similar, or even identical, to a fan made creation that said fan would have much more than a single, spindly peg leg to stand on. The only thing that may change that would be if the fan-boy could prove they contacted or met with Hasbro about the product.

    Also with so many fan creations barrowing from past products, comics, etc, you would have a really hard time that your own concept wasn't barrowed from Hasbro's intellectual property.
     
  12. The Phazer

    The Phazer Well-Known Member

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    It'd be pretty easy to demonstrate that Hasbro and their licencees look at the boards. That'd probably suffice in the eyes of a court.

    If anyone is really that worried about it, put a disclaimer on your work assigning all rights to Hasbro, including a full waiver of any 'droit moral' or moral rights, in perpetuity. That would pretty much guarantee anything their legal department were worried about.

    Phazer
     
  13. My03Tundra

    My03Tundra LOVES TO EDIT POSTS!!

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    Well, I agree with you. Why bother with someone who is MAKING Hasbro money? Even if someone sells a custom on eBay, it is more art then actual product. I've bought quite a few Alternators myself for customs, and I try to keep an eye out for sales on the figures I need. I have many Prowls, Smokescreens and other figures.

    While I'm out-of-work on a leave-of-absense I've been trying to work on my customs an finish at least one figure. I'm close with one of them, and I hope to have the custom finished soon. Will it hurt Hasbro? No, because I made it for my own enjoyment and stress relief.
     
  14. Sidecutter

    Sidecutter Evil Dealer Scum TFW2005 Supporter

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    Frankly, hasbro owns the character the custom is based on. They own the mold. You have the right to modify your property how you want, and represent it as you like, as long as you don;t represent it as an official product or try to cash in on it. But as far as I can see, there is NO legal bar to Hasbro deciding they like your color layout, copying it, and releasing it as that character officially. Especially since they own all the rights that matter to do so.
     
  15. Cheebs

    Cheebs Well-Known Member

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    Mind you I have no background in law but...

    There is no way fan-customs influence what HasTak does one way or the other. No way at all. None none none none.

    If anybody can even dig up a single instance of HasTak backing off of a design for fear that a fan with a kitbash/repaint already owns it, I will eat one more ham sandwich than I am comfortable eating.
     
  16. RandomFerret

    RandomFerret Fuzzy Forever

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    Obviously not, since you're asking to prove a negative. Nobody can prove a negative. Prove to me that you've never eaten feces.

    You can infer it, but it will never be proof. The TM Megatron -> G1 grimlock repaint is popular, involves a popular mould that Hasbro has fresh copies of and a popular G1 character that has recieved a lot of attention from Hasbro lately. It seems like a no-brainer, but they haven't done it. That's the closest you can get.
     
  17. MegaMoonMan

    MegaMoonMan www.megamoonman.com TFW2005 Supporter

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    I'm still not convinced Hasbro won't do a repaint/remold because of a fan kitbash.

    They own the characters, molds, likenesses, pretty much everything that's involved in converting one character into another.

    I can see them MAYBE not doing an original fan-made character, but since most kitbashes are just one property ---> another property, I can't see how a kitbash can have any legal ground to stand on.

    Has Hasbro ever made a statement on this?
     
  18. Tekkaman Blade

    Tekkaman Blade Professor of Animation

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    Several of the botcon figures for this year look very similar to some fans Repaints/Digibashes if some one wants to do it they will
     
  19. RandomFerret

    RandomFerret Fuzzy Forever

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    The botcon figures were planned out before the digibashes. If they hadn't been, they would not have been done.
     
  20. MegaMoonMan

    MegaMoonMan www.megamoonman.com TFW2005 Supporter

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    Got any proof of that? I'll believe you if you can actually cite something that proves it to some extent, or the whole "Hasbro won't copy kitbashes" argument in general.

    Just saying they won't doesn't carry much weight. You must have some inside info to be claiming this.
     

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