Hasbro & the fan community

Discussion in 'Transformers General Discussion' started by daMooseVS, Feb 4, 2007.

  1. daMooseVS

    daMooseVS Well-Known Member

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    A kind of curiosity question:
    is there any kind of formal policy or statement regarding Hasbro's stance on its fandom and the ability to appropriate the characters/materials?
    I see stuff all over the place: fan art commissioned, and custom figures, and sold on a regular basis, comic books, strips, large volumes of fan materials, movies, compilations, and all sorts of stuff that, under normal circumstances should never exist, or not in the quantity that it does.
    I've gathered that Hasbro is traditionally light on the law-suit mallet regarding TF fandom, but is there anything formal in place?
     
  2. KA

    KA PENIS GOES WHERE?!!

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    hasbro legal team? soft?

    you have no idea.

    that said, weve had it good with the repro makers and all that.
     
  3. Kickback

    Kickback Proud father Administrator Super Mod News Staff

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    Hasbro's legal team is good at shutting down a TON of things before they even begin. I had a friend try to start a Transformers fan magazine, and Hasbro shot it down before he could even do anything other than come up with a cover.

    They've kind of left Repro sites alone, as they're such a great service to the community. That, and I doubt Hasbro wants to dish out money to make 3 sticker sheets for the Terrorcons once every 4 months, so why not let a fansite do it for cost?
     
  4. Pravus Prime

    Pravus Prime Sorcerer

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    As much as I hate it, QFT would be rather appropriate here.
     
  5. Hiro Prime

    Hiro Prime Cybertronian Guru Veteran

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    Having been served with a Cease and Desist from Harsbro Leagal for my Toy recognition guides, I can confirm that Kickback speaks the ever-loving truth.
     
  6. Nevermore

    Nevermore It's self-perpetuating a parahumanoidarianised!

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    Hasbro's general approach is to look the other way as long as business interests are not hurt. There are times when I'm amazed by how much they let fansites get away with, when other companies would have long since shut down large portions of the fandom.

    Every fansite is technically a copyright violation. I know the US has this nifty "fair use" clause, but even fair use only gets so far. How many sites have full transcripts of Marvel's old "The Transformers Universe" profiles up? Hasbro just tolerate this because there's no intention to reprint the old TFU profiles anytime soon. There's countless examples like this, such as Reprolabels.

    The legal team only gets into action when fans in their naiveness do something that directly affects Hasbro's business interests. Then they HAVE to act.

    Also remember their half-hearted attempts to stop the news coverage on auctions for test shots stolen from the factory.

    Basically, Hasbro views legal issues from a cost-effective position. Does having the lawyer file a C&D order cost considerably more than the potential loss in revenue from the fan activities in question? If yes, it's not really worth the hassle.

    Remember when TF Archive had all those episode downloads and comic scans up for years and Hasbro never did anything about it because they weren't making money from either episodes or old comics anyways?

    Come Rhino, come Titan, come Brandan asking for donations to cover his bandwidth fees, come Hasbro legal send him a C&D order.
     
  7. flamepanther

    flamepanther Interested, but not really

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    They pretty much allow any kind of fan art/product to be sold for money, as long as it is strictly on a fan-to-fan basis (not sold in large quantities to the general public), and doesn't bear the TransFormers name or brand. AFAIK, that includes art commissions, custom and scratch-built figures or statues (so long as you don't make knock-off molds of entire toys), fan-made or repro parts and accessories, and reproduction stickers. That's not a free pass by any means, but it's incredibly generous of them, IMO. Some companies will issue C&D's or even sue over fan art even when it's free!

    But if their business interests are threatened even remotely, of course the lawyers are going to come out and put a swift stop to it.
     
  8. Nevermore

    Nevermore It's self-perpetuating a parahumanoidarianised!

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    Bear in mind that Hasbro don't "allow" anything. They TOLERATE stuff. "Allowing" would imply any sort of legal obligation on their part. Instead, they say "don't do this and that and we're gonna look the other way", thereby creating a legal grey zone. They COULD always shut down a lot of fan operations if they wanted to. They simply don't do so because they see no point in it. But that does not mean they legally permit it. They just use their liberties as copyright holders to tolerate certain things that stay below their radar.
     
  9. flamepanther

    flamepanther Interested, but not really

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    Sorry. Poor choice of words on my part. I meant only that they let these things go on knowingly, and they let us know under what circumstances they'll continue not to put a stop to it. I didn't mean to imply that we were granted any rights or permission.
     
  10. daMooseVS

    daMooseVS Well-Known Member

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    Hmmkay. Sounds about appropriate. Still, they are quite a bit more generous than I have seen other companies be and it just kind of puzzled me.
    Doesn't surprise me that they don't spring on EVERY violation, as was noted about it not being cost effective to shut down every Johnny Fansite out there, but the sale of repro stuff and fanart is still generally unheard of in other fandoms.
    Ahkay, wanted to see what the deal was, apperently they're just as heartless as any other corporation, just an extra blind spot or two~
     
  11. darksage78

    darksage78 Maximal

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    Did Hasbro ever do anything against Reprolabels or Transrepro? I hope not...
     
  12. IACON

    IACON "That's Vector Sigma?" TFW2005 Supporter

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    W-o-w!
    I really didn't know that.
    But this thread also made me thnil about HASBRO. I wonder if they are grateful to have such a loyal fan base that kept TF alive all these years ?
     
  13. Draven

    Draven Banned

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    Nothing against Reprolabels (thank God), but Ken's stroke pretty much screwed Transrepro, poor guy. There was another repro site that Habsro did close down though; it was after they made the Action Master figures for Botcon 04 IIRC.
    Habsro don't seem to have any problem with me making Redemption; however they are most likely watching to see if I ever make decent money from it (which I have no intention of). Having said that, at least one member of their creative team is a fan, which might help.
     
  14. Shaun_C

    Shaun_C The REAL One True fan Veteran TFW2005 Supporter

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    Ooo I remember that day. Back then I remember seeing threads here, on Allspark, on Transfandom and Tfan. Threads along the lines of Hasbro's attacking fansites. IIRC one of the members on TFarchive set up some online petition. I was in the minority back then during that time. I pretty much got told to "Get the F out" for not siding with the site and signing the petition

    They're grateful enough to do what they have done

    1)G1 DVD sets
    2)G1 VHS sets
    3)20th Anniversary DVD Movie
    4)Alternators, Classics and 20th Anniversary Optimus Prime
    5)Cleaning up the mess left by 3H by making sure Sentinel Maximus got shipped and people recieved ALL merchandise owed since OTFCC '03

    And most importantly BotCon. Making BotCon official is the epitome of showing respect for the fanbase. So yeah, they're grateful enough to give what they have given. But not to the point that they'll think fanbase first, kids second
     
  15. daMooseVS

    daMooseVS Well-Known Member

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    Yea, that kind of thing is totally uncool.
    Going into it, its a good thing for ANYONE managing a fan site to understand that what they are doing is, technically, illegal, and that the company owning said property does have every right to ask them to stop, for any reason. Hence I am quite grateful when companies do allow their fanbase some leeway in doing various things, such as what Hasbro's been allowing with Transform fans. If I cross a line, then I full well expect to be notified and asked to stop.
    If you're not expecting that e-mail/registered letter and just enjoying the ride for what it is, then me thinks one is rather diluted.
     
  16. flamepanther

    flamepanther Interested, but not really

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    You mean you didn't bite the hand that feeds you and stand up for piracy in the name of fandom? I just can't fathom why anyone would choose to stand apart from the homogeneous group like that! :p 
    Quoted for supreme truth.
     
  17. darksage78

    darksage78 Maximal

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    Wait so Transrepro is no longer taking orders or answering emails? I was looking forward to getting a Windcharger gun barrel :( 
     
  18. Shaun_C

    Shaun_C The REAL One True fan Veteran TFW2005 Supporter

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    Yeah, I'm funny like that :p 

    Of course back then I was branded a traitor to the real fans and the board, a Hasbro sycophant. And a poster said I should be strung up and nailed to a stake :redface2: 

    Hmm, given some remarks in the movie threads I guess not much has changed in the past 6-7 yrs. Kind of depressing :redface2: 

    Whether it's anime or in this case Transformers. I show my support in the way that matters.......my wallet. Because it's the cash flow that keeps it going :D 

    Only Bootleg Transformers media I own is VHS tapes of Masterforce and Victory.
     
  19. Nevermore

    Nevermore It's self-perpetuating a parahumanoidarianised!

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    That's retroactive allegation. It was stated several times that Hasbro were AWARE of BotCon 2004 Breakdown and permitted it. I seriously don't think Hasbro are so full of shit to tell them "sure, make the toy" and then shut down his business along the lines of "We never said anything along those lines".

    The reason Hasbro shut down the Transrepro (?) site was supposedly because he sold FULL REPRODUCTIONS of a black version of G1 Tracks.

    The conspiracy theory back in '04 was that Glen Hallit reported the site to Hasbro because he was pissed about BotCon 2004 being more successful than OTFCC 2004, and since he couldn't do anything about the exclusive as it was (unofficially, at least) greenlighted by Hasbro, he took black Tracks as an excuse instead. But that was just a conspircacy theory IIRC, fuled by the general anti-Glen atmposphere back in the day, and was never confirmed.
     
  20. Draven

    Draven Banned

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    Ahhh. Thanks for the correct d00d.
     

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