whats this i hear bout Fans Project and copyright problems?

Discussion in 'Transformers 3rd Party Discussion' started by primenemesis, May 6, 2010.

  1. primenemesis

    primenemesis Banned

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    Ok i heard some beef bout this issue about Hasbro disliking these third party companies around 6 months ago, and hoped it would'nt be an issue and mabee just some shiz talking, but I just heard someone else make a comment about hoping FP could continue despite possible copyright problems.

    Like i said this is a question nothing more. no facts
    It just makes me wonder i'm still waiting for these Bruticus appendages seeing how BBTS has them for tentative arrival of may, and TFsource says june. If theres a problem and i dont get my bruticus i will be more than pissed,

    Just wanting to know if anyone has some info on this or if its just pure shit talking. thanks for all opinions and info
     
  2. SharkyMcShark

    SharkyMcShark Hi. I'm better than you

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    Personally I hope it's not shit talking.
     
  3. mx-01 archon

    mx-01 archon Well-Known Member

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    Well, it's no secret that Hasbro wouldn't like all these third-party companies running around. They're making money on their IP's afterall. It's technically illegal.

    FansProject is in this weird grey area because they do original work inspired by characters they do not own. But so far, Hasbro has yet to make any legal move. And it's doubtful they will, at this point. It seems it's been at least a year since Hasbro was asked about the topic. If they wanted to shut them down, they'd have started to put the case together ages ago. It remains to be seen, though, how things will progress.

    Especially with other companies, like iGear and their PP projects stirring the pot.
     
  4. Scantron

    Scantron Well-Known Member

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    Honestly, I think if HasTak were going to take some action against FansProject, they would have already done so to prevent the release of FP "not-Springer". It's kind of a grey area, since FP are clearly using the likeness of HasTak intellectual property...but they're such a small blip in the market (and based in another country) that it's likely not worth the hassle for HasTak to bother taking any action against them.

    Be patient and give it a little more time before getting too worried. After all, it's only May 6th. If BBTS' preorder date is correct (and I notice BBTS frequently underestimates how long it'll take stuff to come in), then there's still over three weeks left before these could be considered 'late'. And if TFSource's date is correct, then there's over 7 weeks before these would be late.
     
  5. primenemesis

    primenemesis Banned

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    I hear ya the only reason why i said that is because appendage set A was set for april on BBTS and now may, i know these dates are tentative, but i really think when i get these appendages that this might be one of my top 5 transformers. so just excited.

    I'm an official Fans Project mark! solid!
     
  6. chrisr291

    chrisr291 Master of the Unknown

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    I wouldn't believe anything from the TFW Lawyers. Is anyone here in law school or a practicing Attorney in any field? If you are, give me some LSAT advice because i'm taking it on the 7th of June.

    Hasbro can't touch Fansproject because you can't own "Robots that turn into cars" or "Robots that turn into 2 things".

    The moment fansproject slaps an Autobot/Decepticon logo on their products, Hasbro will step in. Until then, the characters made by FP do not violate copyright laws.

    Being inspired doesn't mean anything..... "I was inspired to make robot Toys after playing with Transformers as a child"

    How do you win that in court? Any good Attorney will point out all the differences between the Cartoon/toy hasbro versions and FP's stuff.


    No way, no how Hasbro would ever win this Lawsuit if they decided to take this to court. yeah, they could win against igear but not FP.
     
  7. Scantron

    Scantron Well-Known Member

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    By that logic, Hasbro could make a Bumblebee figure that turns into a Volkswagen Beetle, not put any VW logos on it and then not have to worry about getting sued by VW, because you can't "own" an unbranded "car".

    That issue, and the problem that FansProject skirts, is 'likeness'. Yes, there may not be any Autobot and Decepticon logos on the figures, but if they look enough like some part of Hasbro's intellectual property, than that violates likeness and Hasbro may have some legal grounds to proceed. But is it actually worth it for them to bother? Are they actually losing enough money from FP selling not-Springer to even bother paying their lawyers to send a cease-and-desist, let alone any further action? Probably not, so FP is safe.
     
  8. chrisr291

    chrisr291 Master of the Unknown

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    We can all speculate but the facts are this, Hasbro hasn't filed any type of lawsuit and they probably never will.

    Your example of the VW car.... well you know Hasbro for ROTF didn't get the rights to use an Audi r8 (VW owned Company) so Hasbro left the Audi logo off the Toy why? because they don't have permission to use logos. I can't remember the name of the Decepticon but maybe that is why they cut him in half so early in the film?

    Logos, yeah your going to get crushed. However, making something that kinda resembles a cartoon character from 20 years ago?
     
  9. chrisr291

    chrisr291 Master of the Unknown

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    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]

    Besides that, Hasbro borrows stuff all the time. Do you think the Hot Rod was a Hasbro original design? No, they "Borrowed" that from some prototype car.
     
  10. supervir2

    supervir2 Feels like the kid in Big everyday.

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    I'm not a lawyer by any means, but I was under the impression that if someone is using your IP then you have to go after them (to some degree) otherwise you are viewed as "allowing" the use and you then lose rights to said property. This means that no matter how small a market share FP would be taking, if Hasbro is aware of their infringement, then they must take action. Of course, this all hinges on it actually being infringement and my above belief to be right. Where the lawyers at?
     
  11. Optimus Vader

    Optimus Vader Banned

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    I don't think Hasbro cares all that much about these little 3rd party co's. No one beyond websites like this even know of co's like FP. I have no clue if they could legally make a move to down some of these side project co's, but they're small potatoes compared to Hasbro.

    How many years have Big Lots been carrying almost exact replicas of G2 Dev? ...there's a pretty large nationwide chain store that's been selling things far closer to actual Hasbro TF's than guys like Warbot and all those appendage kits.

    I just don't think it's a big deal to Hasbro whether they could legally do something or not.
     
  12. chrisr291

    chrisr291 Master of the Unknown

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    I've only taken pre-law classes so don't take my words as the law by any means (I'll scan my law degree in 3 years if I do awesome on the LSAT. I'm nervous if you can't tell). However, you gotta prove it and that is something Hasbro Can't do. Does Hasbro own a copyright to green/yellow robots? nope...... Using logo's is when you get screwed.

    hell, google the fights between The University of Tennessee and The University of Texas had over the T's, interlocking letters, colors....
     
  13. Scantron

    Scantron Well-Known Member

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    Sideways. According to one of my friends who's rather knowledgable about cars, Hasbro also made some significant changes to the alt mode to avoid likeness issues; something about the bumpers and a few other things... he sort of lost me halfway through that rant. But it's not like you can just remove branding and avoid problems with likeness.
     
  14. metrotitan

    metrotitan Well-Known Member

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    While FP is certainly syphoning revenue from the transforming-action-figure market, I have to think that Hasbro is smart enough to know that net/net, they do more good than harm. Not only do they keep collectors (specifically sophisticated adult collectors) very interested in the hobby, but the add on sets require that you use a Hasbro figure in them. The Target Bruticus and Superion sets would be warming pegs right now if it weren't for the appendage kits. In a way, its a symbiotic relationship.

    Granted, the Springer/Warbot thing might be a different story (it makes them a direct competitor, versus a provider of a complementary product). Still, I have to think that Hasbro is in touch enough with the fan community (who probably buys as many of their toys as parents do for kids) to know that shutting down all companies like FP wouldn't go over big. If FP or another entity got too big, then I could see it. Until then, I think they let it slide.

    Now, as to whether they'd have the RIGHT to have companies like FP shut legally.......that's another story. I think that the Bratz doll line got shut down because of similarities to Barbie. If Bratz is close enough to Barbie to cause a problem, I would think Hasbro would have a pretty easy case against FP.
     
  15. chrisr291

    chrisr291 Master of the Unknown

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    True, but looking at Sideways and the R8.... you could tell Hasbro took Audi's idea and made a large profit off it. Who knows man, its all good.

    Bottom Line, Hasbro can't stop it and FP will hopefully continue to bring us the best TF stuff we have ever seen! Just don't use the Autobot/Decepticon logos or they will bring the Hammer down.


    I bring up logos because it reminds of the University of Texas lawsuit against Texas A&M for those Broken Horn shirts. A&M of course lost because they used the Texas Logo.

    [​IMG]

    No doubt looking at that, they stole the logo and lost 25 grand.
     
  16. chrisr291

    chrisr291 Master of the Unknown

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    lol, my little niece would flip out if they got closed down. They are open and doing well actually

    Bratz.com - Home
     
  17. Bumblethumper

    Bumblethumper old misery guts

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    If Hasbro wanted, they could do what FP do themselves, but I imagine they'd get nothing but flak and not a lot of profit out of it. The high prices, the limited production runs, the raised expectations. The only thing stopping them from doing it is that it's a lot of work and a slim profit margin. It's not worth it for them to do what FP do, so they're not really in direct competition.

    But if Hasbro were to get pissed off with with fan companies for one reason or another, I'm sure they can afford to get the lawyers to draft a threatening letter. It might not be worth pursuing in court, but you can always scare people with a 'cease and desist'.

    I reckon Hasbro are far more concerned about the actual KO companies that directly rip off their products and sell massive quantities of them. It's a much larger problem. Hasbro will increasingly be looking to expand their position in developing parts of the world, and in many places they will be in direct competition with KOs.
     
  18. kibble

    kibble Seeker style, yo!

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    They probably could. They were unable to do this with Alternators because the line was officially licensed vehicles. But as Chris pointed out with Sideways, Hasbro does this often with alt modes. Universe Classics Sunstreaker and Sideswipe are another example. They're Lamborghini Gallardos. I think someone said the same line's Prowl mold is made after the Nissan Fairlady Z. There are many, many more examples throughout Transformers history, too.
     
  19. videriant

    videriant Well-Known Member

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    Hasbro's not the one bringing this up. They were SPECIFICALLY asked about Fansproject at Botcon last year so that have to give the PR answer. I don't remember the exact answer but it was along the line of "we have no problem with fans producing small quantities of items that are Hasbro's intellectual property but if it ever comes to a point where they infringe upon our rights for profit we'll have to step in. This was discussed heavily after those comments. Key unanswered questions/statements were:

    1) At what point would Fansproject be stepping over the line?

    2) Hasbro doesn't have to legally track down Fansproject. They could just lean on retailers like BBTS and TFSource to not carry Fansproject product. For Fans to produce what it does with its expensive molds it needs to sell to the US to recoup its cost. Asia and Europe alone may not be a big enough market. If online retailers had to choose between Hasbro or a small third-party guess who the winner will be.

    3) When we discussed this last year someone said that whether Hasbro has a problem with 3rd parties or not at some point if it affect their intellectual property they have to defend it or else lose it based on IP laws. I'm not an IP lawyer so I don't know the details.

    As for Bratz, what happened was that the designer of the Bratz doll took the concept from when he was still working for Mattel. So it didn't get shut down, the rights transferred to Mattel.
     
  20. DarthMagnificus

    DarthMagnificus Banned

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    maybe they are awaiting some really cool "product" then will spring and sue for the rights to the molds and other stock that these companies have produced...VIOLLA!

    new transformers product line :drunk 
     

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