Transformers G1 Theme Composer Suing For Royalties

Discussion in 'Transformers News and Rumors' started by Super_Megatron, Dec 8, 2006.

  1. Super_Megatron

    Super_Megatron Twitter: @Super_Megatron Administrator

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    SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK
    COUNTY OF ROCKLAND
    Index No. 5192/00
    Index No. 2821/02

    *** PRESS RELEASE ***

    December 7, 2006, Carmel, NY

    After six years of grueling litigation and four appeals which were won by her in 2006, the composer of the well-known Transformers Theme, The JEM Theme and feature songs from the JEM TV SHOW, and several other American, pop culture musical themes and songs originally composed in the 80’s for HASBRO Toys and Entertainment Properties, is finally getting her days in Court at trial in a tiny courtroom in New York Supreme Court in Carmel, NY. Anne Bryant, the composer, is seeking to recover an accounting of and payment of both performance and publishing royalties she claims should be paid to her from the producer-publisher, SUNBOW PRODUCTIONS, NY [which is now owned by its parent company LOONLAND AG, Germany] for millions of CD, VHS and DVD sales and licenses which she says use her music without paying her the royalties she says she is owed. On the eve of the December 4th trial, Bryant says she suddenly received a small check from TV Loonland for "music royalties" but Bryant says, although it is an admission of responsibility, it is a mere drop in the bucket.

    The composer is also suing her performing rights society BMI claiming among other things that it allowed changes to be made to her song catalog without her authorization.

    According to Bryant, the long road to trial began when she discovered that her 100% composer’s share of the hugely valuable Transformers Theme music had been reduced to a small fraction in her BMI writer’s catalogue. BMI’s counsel, Judith Saffer argues that it is not possible for BMI to police the catalogues of its many affiliated writers because they have no way of knowing if the new registrations they accept for the same title are accurate. In Saffer’ view, it’s up to the BMI writer to bring a court action against another writer if there is an infringement. Bryant says that BMI’s stated position is to remain neutral but then asks why BMI would not protect its writers by at least checking with the original registrant when a song with the same title is later presented for registration. "Others are being unjustly enriched by my music," says the composer. "It appears to me that BMI writers cannot expect their works to be safeguarded by BMI"- a performance rights organization that represents more than 300,000 affiliated songwriters, composers and publishers. The composer also claims that because of BMI’s laissez faire position, these corrupted registrations have diminished her writer’s royalties across the board, finding their way into her SONY ATV catalogue, after Sunbow passed on the altered publishing catalogues to the mega-publisher. Bryant also claims that she is not given credit for her songs in three newlyproduced Transformers television series airing on The Cartoon Network.

    The composer hopes to be made whole for the millions of dollars in back royalties due to her since 1994 for her many valuable themes. And with the DreamWorks TRANSFORMERS LIVE ACTION MOVIE [#1] scheduled for release on July 4, 2007, she also seeks to secure her professional screen credits, in the event that the Dreamworks movie uses her theme.

    Bryant has been represented by Patrick J. Monaghan of Monaghan, Monaghan, Lamb & Marchisio a small New Jersey and New York firm. Monaghan has represented and won settlements in the past on behalf of the former managers of the artists Meat Loaf and Billy Joel in separate cases. Sunbow is represented by Gloria Phares, Esq. a partner in the New York law firm of Patterson, Belknap, & Webb. BMI is represented by its in-house counsel Judith Saffer, Esq. Bryant says she will sue anyone who is using her music without authority. "The Transformers best days are yet to come," she says. "I look to the Court to achieve justice and secure accurate royalty accountings and payments to me in the future." I have faith in the American judicial system and I am not going to be cowed into submission by a huge corporation with millions to spend on lawyers.

    -From Seibertron.
     
  2. Ra88

    Ra88 Dutchman!

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    Oy, this is difficult. On one hand, I want every artist to be recognized and get what he/she deserves. On the other hand, if she wins we'll probably never hear the TF theme again, not even a variation. Can't they just give her a few bags of money and be done with it?
     
  3. General Tekno

    General Tekno Self-Styled #1 Lugnut Fan

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    My thoughts exactly.

    Bye bye, any chance of hearing the TF theme or some variation thereof in the live-action movie.
     
  4. airfox

    airfox TF: Cybertronian Wars!

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    Wow. Millions of $$$? Really?

    -airfox
     
  5. Steevy Maximus

    Steevy Maximus Movie Megs eats your soul

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    Not counting the issues with the original 80s syndication, but remember season sales, the movie sales, usage of the theme on RID's commericials (but not on the cartoon), the usage of the core themes since 2002 with Armada, toy commercials, and numerous other uses in the past few years, much less if Steve Jablonsky uses any themes for the feature (alone worth thousands in screen credit).
     
  6. Sol Fury

    Sol Fury The British Butcher Administrator News Staff

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    Well, honestly, I wish her luck. I hope it doesn't kill off the use of the theme in future, but at the same time, the artist deserves her due.
     
  7. Ops_was_a_truck

    Ops_was_a_truck JOOOLIE ANDREWWWWWS!!!!!!

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    I would assume she's shot herself in the foot, there. If she's that fiercely embedded in litigation over the rights to her various themes, I wonder if the folks involved in the Transformer films' music department will even be interested in seeking her out. I'd assume that they wouldn't, what with this court offensive.
     
  8. Xaxis

    Xaxis Well-Known Member

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    Wow. She should get royalties. The article kinda casts a greedy light on her though.

    I blame Twin Twist.
     
  9. Dinobot 2

    Dinobot 2 New Member

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    You think this will really kill the theme in future TF history?
     
  10. rattrap007

    rattrap007 Insert witty comment here TFW2005 Supporter

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    well Twin Twist is the source of all problems...
     
  11. Bryan

    Bryan ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

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    Yeah, I''m hoping I can hear the song again and not some bastardized version of it despite this. But right is right--the woman wrote music and deserves to be paid for it.
     
  12. Chaos Incarnate

    Chaos Incarnate Not just a name.

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    I know Twin Twist is the source of all MY problems.
     
  13. Nevermore

    Nevermore It's self-perpetuating a parahumanoidarianised!

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    Here's waiting for the Floro Dery lawsuit...
     
  14. C.W. McConvoy

    C.W. McConvoy 破壊大帝

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    Yikes. Beyond the new TF incarnations, I'm worried that the theme may get retroactively cut out of the new G1 DVD sets that are supposed to come out. They might get scared of the legal battle and do that. Remember, these are the same people that blurred the kids' faces in the toy commercials because they were afraid of those (now grown-up) kids coming back for royalties.
     
  15. Swoop X

    Swoop X Beware Of The Decepticons

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    It would be upseting (or a controversy) that the theme coulden't be used for the new movie. What would Transformers be if they didn't have the theme song...

    Oh wait a minute, a bad movie.
     
  16. Golden Age

    Golden Age BATTLE BEAST

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    I loved that music.
    I doubt Bay was going to use it anyway. I imagine that his ideal soundtrack will range from rap to rock.
     
  17. IACON

    IACON "That's Vector Sigma?" TFW2005 Supporter

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    w-o-w...

    :eek: 
     
  18. Lord Of Tetris

    Lord Of Tetris Well-Known Member

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    Many months ago, people were saying it would be "stupid" not to use the G1 theme in the movie, and I actually agree. I'm 100% with everyone that the movie should use some form of the Transformers theme. But I wrote a very long argument months ago for why that probably won't happen. I wrote this before ever hearing of this lawsuit, and it's copied and pasted below:



    See, whenever a property goes to a different medium (let's say, comics to movies), everyone involved 99% wants to make it their own thing. Sometimes, like with Sin City, the goal was to NOT make "their own thing" and to make it as similar to the comics as possible.

    But for those of us who've read the script, seen the designs, etc, it is EXCEEDINGLY obvious that this is "Michael Bay's Transformers," and not a straight adaptation of anything else that is Transformers.

    When this happens, well, they want to put their own thing on it. The screenwriters have made it their script. The mecha designer CLEARLY wants it to be "his" designs. And I'm sure Steve Jablonsky will do the same.

    It's happened before. All 4 "Aliens" movies had different composers with different themes. The X-Men series (a franchise praised for having 3 movies that are more or less consistent in tone with the others) had 3 composers and 3 X-Men "themes" in 3 different movies. Heck, even the heavily-praised Terminator series didn't use the Terminator theme in the third movie.

    "Batman" (1989) didn't use Adam West's 60s theme. The Spiderman movies didn't use any of the many Spiderman themes already in existence. I expect no different for Transformers. Even more appropriate, look at the various Transformers products. Some series use the old 80s theme to some degree, but other series don't even bother. Beast Wars and Beast Machines both had good music for cartoon series, and I don't remember a single G1-music homage in either of those. Aside from the opening and ending credits, the Transformers Movie from 1986 even barely had recognizable elements from the very show it's based on, although there are a FEW subtle similarities (the Transformers theme is remixed heavily with some of the movie's themes).

    And now, here's my GUESS as to the movie's sound. Steve Jablonsky is one of those Hans Zimmer-esque composers, in that he writes a lot of Zimmer-like music, and he often ghost writes for Zimmer. The movie's music won't be *bad*. It will certainly pump up your blood and make the action scenes very exciting. See: "Batman Begins" for an example of this. You won't have a single complaint about the music, but you won't be walking out of the theater humming the movie's theme.

    But going by his track record, it's probably going to be synthetic orchestra (see: Batman Begins and The Rock for movies that almost exclusively use a synthetic orchestra) with a heroic "theme" that you can't hum but makes you feel tingly and patriotic (a la "The Rock" or "Crimson Tide").

    And since this guy is a Hollywood composer, and every other element of this movie is someone "doing their own thing," I wouldn't be surprised if Jablonsky never even watched an episode of Transformers in his life, and if he did, I doubt he'd have taken notes on his music. After all, 20 minutes watching "SOS Dinobots" is 20 minutes he could spend working on his own theme.

    In conclusion, I find it highly unlikely that the Transformers movie will have any musical similarities to the 80s show whatsoever.
     
  19. Kaijumaster

    Kaijumaster 335

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    you know, this is just Karma punishing us all for allowing the Cybertron theme to exist.
     
  20. Turnip

    Turnip Well-Known Member

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    This is actualy very interesting. I always figured that when you are under contract for theme music (or any contract work for something like this) your finished product becomes the property of whatever group is paying you to do it.
     

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