Tacticular Cancer: We'll have your balls

  1. Welcome to rpgcodex.net, a site dedicated to discussing computer based role-playing games in a free and open fashion. We're less strict than other forums, but please refer to the rules.

    "This message is awaiting moderator approval": All new users must pass through our moderation queue before they will be able to post normally. Until your account has "passed" your posts will only be visible to yourself (and moderators) until they are approved. Give us a week to get around to approving / deleting / ignoring your mundane opinion on crap before hassling us about it. Once you have passed the moderation period (think of it as a test), you will be able to post normally, just like all the other retards.
    Dismiss Notice

KickStarter BATTLETECH, turn-based mech combat from Harebrained Schemes - now in BETA

Discussion in 'Strategy Gaming' started by Infinitron, May 24, 2015.

  1. circgender: ⚧ Arcane

    circ
    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2009
    Parrots:
    11,036
    Location:
    Great Pacific Garbage Patch
    Click here and disable ads!
    Lul wat? By those definitions you could sue Bethesda for copyright infringement for using power armor.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • incline incline x 1
    ^ Top  
  2. circgender: ⚧ Arcane

    circ
    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2009
    Parrots:
    11,036
    Location:
    Great Pacific Garbage Patch
    They made the Robotech tv show in the 80's and share Macross patents with some japanese company. Essentially they've been litigating anything to do with mechs. They've also been in and out of court the past two decades because they were money laundering by selling their properties to Silvio Berlusconi's company at inflated prices. Or something like that.
     
    • Informative Informative x 3
    • Thanks! Thanks! x 1
    • WTF!? WTF!? x 1
    ^ Top  
  3. Make America Great Again Zorba the Huttgender: ⚧ Arcane Weasel

    Zorba the Hutt
    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2012
    Parrots:
    1,865,663
    There's a long saga about Harmony Gold, Robotech designs, lawsuits and Battletech. Resulted in some of the mechs becoming "unseen" and only recently getting redone. Most people regard them as 'IP trolls' these days but given the history seeing their name in a suit against HBS gives people a bit of a sinking feeling.

    Got a good summary of the whole thing saved somewhere which I'll dig out, but worth googling to check it out too.
     
    • Thanks! Thanks! x 1
    ^ Top  
  4. Make America Great Again Zorba the Huttgender: ⚧ Arcane Weasel

    Zorba the Hutt
    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2012
    Parrots:
    1,865,663
    Moar (all the details from HG's case, incl the settlement from the 80s). Basically the whole reseen thing is being contested, for PGI/MWO too - that stuff I pasted above was just the HBS section on concept art, the PGI stuff is basically a rerun of the original dispute. Wonder if that's why those mechs weren't in the beta yet?
    https://www.unitedstatescourts.org/federal/wawd/242820/1-0.html
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2017
    • Informative Informative x 1
    ^ Top  
  5. Janisegender: ⚧ Unwanted

    Unwanted
    Joined:
    May 14, 2017
    Parrots:
    727
    they seem to be suing pirahna bytes by extension as well, mechw online too, hbs claims they only licence so gtfo to piranha

    a paco a wymbyn and a jew :lol:
    [​IMG]

    new company looking for biz
    oldest founders vcard, harrigan and leyh got backstabbed :lol:
    [​IMG]

    second rate lawyers :lol:
    [​IMG]

    from rising star to indie niche titles ^^
    [​IMG]

    i didnt know that lawyers can bachelor in unrealted garbage...
    [​IMG]
     
    ^ Top  
  6. I'm With Her Mustawdgender: ⚧ for prison Self-Ejected

    Self-Ejected
    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2015
    Parrots:
    8,664
    Yah Law Degree can have a bachelor's in anything mostly.
     
    ^ Top  
  7. almondblightgender: ⚧ Arcane

    almondblight
    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2004
    Parrots:
    2,213
    Not from the U.S. I guess? In the U.S., 99.99% of lawyers have a bachelor's in something other than law. Law isn't even a typical undergraduate major, it's extremely rare.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Interesting Interesting x 1
    ^ Top  
  8. Urthorgender: ⚧ Learned

    Urthor
    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2015
    Parrots:
    435
    Graduate law school is definitely becoming a thing outside the US, but the tradition in Britain/other places was very much do a bachelor of laws come out after 4 years bar exam, nothing like the years of fee paying that goes on in the US system
     
    ^ Top  
  9. Destroidgender: ⚧ Arcane

    Destroid
    Joined:
    May 9, 2007
    Parrots:
    16,299
    Location:
    Australia
    Drunk copyright trolls, the clones of those mechs are the Marauder, Crusader and I don't remember the last one.
     
    • Funny Funny x 1
    ^ Top  
  10. Make America Great Again Zorba the Huttgender: ⚧ Arcane Weasel

    Zorba the Hutt
    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2012
    Parrots:
    1,865,663
    'Jury trial' set for 2018.

    And for those unfamiliar with the whole saga, some interesting info:

    Battletech background (open)

    For those who may shy away from reading the court docs in this HG vs anyone that likes macross/bt/transformers:

    ----

    I. FINDINGS OF FACT Phase Two Of Trial

    A. Development of BATTLETECH Universe

    1. FASA originally introduced BATTLETECH as a boxed board game entitled BATTLEDROIDS in 1984. The general idea of BATTLETECH involves a complex, war-strategy game involving a futuristic civil war where combatants are both humans and genetically bred humans and use large and medium scale robot-like tanks, as well as powered battlesuits, as their weapons.

    2. The game was developed by FASA's founders, Jordan Weisman and Ross Babcock, after they attended the 1984 Annual Trade Show of the Hobby Industries of America which was held in Anaheim, California between January 31, 1984 and February 5, 1984. (Weisman Tr. 261-275; Babcock Dep.). [1]

    3. While attending the trade show, Weisman and Babcock saw several Japanese robot model kits that were displayed for sale by Twentieth Century Imports ("TCI"). Weisman and Babcock discussed with TCI representatives the possibility of creating a board game using the model kits as game markers. (Weisman Tr. 268-70; Babcock Dep.). FASA obtained licenses from TCI to use several of the MECH designs.

    4. Thereafter, FASA began to develop a fictional universe for the BATTLEDROIDS game. The game was set in the 31st century where the Star League, a once-flourishing empire consisting of five separate cosmic houses, has been devastated by over two hundred years of bitter civil war. Each house, encompassing hundreds of different interstellar worlds, seeks to control the galaxy, known as the Inner Sphere. The battlefields on these worlds are dominated by BATTLEMECHs (also called "MECHs"), massive robot-like tanks of various shapes and designs. (Weisman Tr. 278-91, 358, 396-98; Babcock Dep.).

    5. FASA also developed rules for playing the game. BATTLEDROIDS was a new type of science-fiction game system that combined a traditional board game with a more contemporary role-playing game. Each player would control one or more MECH playing pieces on a terrain-specific game board consisting of six-sided grids. The player or gamemaster directed the movement, weaponry and targets of each MECH playing piece and recorded damage sustained to each MECH during battle in accordance with an elaborate set of rules. (PX 1; Weisman Tr. 272-76).

    6. In August of 1984, FASA created several copies of its prototype BATTLEDROIDS game and made initial sales to *1132 some FASA distributors. (PX 149; Weisman Tr. 268-74).

    7. By September of 1984, FASA had decided to proceed with full scale production of the BATTLEDROIDS game and placed a large order for model kits from TCI for game markers. FASA also requested that TCI obtain artwork of the models from the Japanese manufacturer for use in the BATTLEDROIDS game and supplemental products. (PX 138; DX 2; Weisman Tr. 288, 360-61; Lewis Tr. 743-45).

    8. In late November of 1984, the model kits arrived and were inserted into the BATTLEDROIDS game boxes. Thereafter, FASA began selling the BATTLEDROIDS game through its nationwide distribution network, which consisted of hobby shops, game shops, comic book shops and book stores. (PX 1, 144-45; Weisman Tr. 272-81).

    9. The name of the BATTLEDROIDS game was changed in 1985 pursuant to a settlement between FASA and LucasFilm, which had obtained a registration for the mark DROIDS. FASA was then negotiating with LucasFilm for a license for Star Wars products and determined that it was in FASA's best interest to work out an agreement with LucasFilm to sell off the remaining BATTLEDROID games and change the name. (PX 150; Weisman Tr. 273-74).

    10. When a second edition of the game was printed in the fall of 1985, BATTLEDROIDS became BATTLETECH. The rules of the game and the fictional setting of the game did not change, although the model kit markers were replaced by paper game markers bearing the same designs because the model kit markers were too large to function properly as game pieces. (PGX 2A; Weisman Tr. 275-80).

    11. FASA designed the BATTLETECH universe as a dynamic and constantly evolving fictional environment and carefully planned a controlled schedule of complementary products to promote sales. (Weisman Tr. 275-89). The BATTLETECH game allowed a player to experience a unique interaction between the MECHs and their individual designs. (Weisman Tr. 378).

    12. During the fall of 1985, FASA created and introduced its first two BATTLETECH game supplements: The Black Widow (a scenario pack) and The Fox's Teeth (a scenario pack). Scenario packs are books that describe several different battles. The player is told how the battle started, what forces were used and how to orient his game maps and playing pieces to recreate the scene. The object is to see if the player can change the outcome of the original battle. Scenario packs are designed to appeal to the general reader of science fiction as well as the game player. These two products featured fictional text created by FASA along with FASA's renditions of the MECH designs licensed from TCI. (PX 89; PX 94; PGX 2B; PGX 2C; Weisman Tr. 286-87).

    13. In late 1985 and early 1986, FASA decided to continue the expansion of the BATTLETECH universe by creating its own original BATTLEMECH designs with a look that was intended to distinguish BATTLETECH from the Japanese models that were used in the original game. (Weisman Tr. 285).

    ----

    http://law.justia.com/cases/federal/district-court...


    Quick summary of the 1990s suits/settlement:

    Show Spoiler
    http://robotech.livejournal.com/9102.html?nojs=1
    FASA, Playmates, Harmony Gold Lawsuit: a summary
    I have recently done some research in Lexis/Nexis, digging up information on the old FASA/Playmates/Harmony Gold lawsuits because they interested me. I found a few things that surprised me, and some that amused me. I realize it's been a few years since it all went down, but since I'd never seen any of this come out before now, I figured that some people might want to know.

    I wanted to post the briefs themselves on my webpage, but found that I would need permission from Lexis/Nexis to do so. Thus, in lieu of that, I have summarized and excerpted some of the more interesting portions (as Fair Use allows me to do) and posted them here. This summary necessarily leaves quite a few things out for brevity, including some of the more amusing bits (like the toy company representative who testified that he signed a rights-waiver without actually reading it first). If you want to find those bits, see if your local library has a Lexis/Nexis index and just type "FASA," "Playmates," and/or "Harmony Gold" into the engine.

    The facts come from publically-verifiable sources; opinions and guesses (as denoted by words like "seems" or "apparently") are my own.

    When BattleTech was first made, in 1985, FASA licensed the images used for its original 26 mechs from a model company called Twentieth Century Imports ("TCI"), which claimed in turn to have acquired them from a Japanese animation (anime) studio in Japan called Tatsunoko. Those images were of mecha, or machinery, featured in various anime that Tatsunoko had made—and for which TCI had at least acquired the rights to make models. TCI's provenance over the mechas' likenesses was, and still is (for reasons explained later), uncertain.

    Many of those 26 BattleTech mechs, including the Wasp, Stinger, Phoenix Hawk, Warhammer, Rifleman, and Crusader, came from a TV series called Superdimensional Fortress Macross, which is better-known in America as the first 36 episodes of Robotech. When Harmony Gold made Robotech, they bought all international distribution rights, and the American copyright, for Macross and all the mecha involved in it. In January 1985, Harmony Gold became aware that FASA was using Macross mecha designs, sent a cease and desist letter, and exchanged correspondence with FASA to determine the source of their alleged rights in these designs. However, no legal action was taken at that time.

    In late 1991, FASA hired an agent to pitch BattleTech to several toy companies, in the interest of getting one of them to produce a BattleTech toy line. One of these companies was Playmates, who had already been considering adding some kind of power armor/robot based toy line for several months. In 1992, Playmates declined interest in BattleTech, which was subsequently picked up by Tycho (who apparently nearly rejected it when they saw Playmates's similar new ExoSquad line). In December 1994, citing a resemblance between one of the ExoSquad E-frame mecha and the BattleTech Madcat (as well as other, more minor similarities of mecha and setting) and the fact that Playmates had access to BattleTech promotional materials (some of which they never returned), FASA filed suit.

    As it happens, at the time that lawsuit was filed, Harmony Gold had just contracted with Playmates to reissue some of the earlier Matchbox figurines and toys based on Robotech as part of the ExoSquad line. It is apparently a standard practice to meet an intellectual property lawsuit with another such lawsuit (witness Amazon.com's claims that it is only applying for obvious patents as part of a "mutual assured destruction" portfolio which it can use as a defense if its competitors decide to sue it); thus, in January 1995, ten years after the C&D letter exchange, Harmony Gold filed suit against FASA for using those Macross designs. Harmony Gold claimed that TCI did not have the right to license them to FASA, and so the license was invalid. After some legal wrangling, the two cases were consolidated into the same courtroom, although they ended up meeting different legal fates.

    According to the briefs available via Lexis/Nexis, the FASA vs. Playmates case was decided in favor of Playmates. FASA made some good points, rebutted most of Playmates's challenges, but was not quite able to meet the necessary burden of proof. (For more information on why the case was decided in this way, find a libary with Lexis/Nexis and look up the Findings of Fact.) The case moved on to the penalty phase.

    It is apparently a common practice in intellectual property lawsuits that a losing plaintiff pays some or all of the legal fees of the defendant. However, this award is left strictly up to the court's discretion, and Judge Castillo determined that FASA had not litigated in bad faith or unreasonably. Thus, FASA was not ordered to pay any of Playmates's legal fees. Playmates, who claimed to have spent $2.5 million on its defense, appealed, but the appeals court sent it back down for Castillo to clarify his ruling.

    In his fourth and final brief, Castillo reaffirmed his decision not to award Playmates its legal fees. He wrote that FASA's case was meritorious, and that FASA had done well enough in responding to most of Playmates's challenges that "if one evaluates the actual results of this lengthy and involved litigation, one does not reach the conclusion that Playmates achieved a true victory."

    Our system of justice does not allow for "hung" bench trial verdicts; the Court's opinion in FASA III hinged a great deal on a failure of proof by the plaintiff in a close case. See, e.g., Soto v. Johansen, 137 F.3d 980, 1998 U.S. App. LEXIS 3638 (7th Cir. 1998) (affirmed bench trial verdict in the classic case of a [**11] tie resulting in a win for the party who did not bear the burden of proof). Since FASA had the ultimate burden of proof, its failure to produce a preponderance in its favor rendered FASA unsuccessful at trial. However, this verdict and the Court's resulting opinion in FASA III show that this case was far from frivolous. n2

    (from FASA Corp. v. Playmates Toys, No. 93 C 2445, UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS, EASTERN DIVISION, 1 F. Supp. 2d 859; 1998 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 4677)


    Castillo also noted that an award to Playmates would not serve any useful creative purpose, and that there was no reason to reward them for making a conscious choice to go ahead with a very similar toy line after it had seen FASA's promotional information--behavior that seemed to Castillo to be only barely within the bounds of the law. From reading this opinion, one gets the sense that Castillo did not think very highly of Playmates; the way it seems to have been intentionally delayed so as to be released on April 1st, 1998 is another clue.

    However, the Macross mecha case, Harmony Gold vs. FASA, did not reach a verdict. After producing only two briefs (the one in which the case was filed, and a brief addressing documents Harmony Gold had provided FASA as evidence and then sought to retract, claiming they'd been issued by mistake and citing attorney-client privilege), the case was dismissed and settled out of court in June, 1997. Because the terms of the settlement were confidential, we will probably never know the true compromise that was reached—nor will we know for certain whether FASA's license truly was or was not valid. However, even before the settlement, FASA had already phased the disputed mechs out of its game products. They declined even to produce new artwork for those same mechs, "to avoid any confusion among players that could occur if the names or statistics of the discontinued 'Mech designs were used with new design images."

    In an interesting footnote, a Japanese court decided in January, 2003 that the rights to the images and mecha designs actually belonged not to Tatsunoko, but to Studio Nue, one of the other studios involved in the production of Macross. However, because Tatsunoko—and thus Harmony Gold—still owns the international distribution rights, FASA (or, rather, WizKids) would still not be able to use the images without satisfying both Harmony Gold and Studio Nue. (NOTE: I am not a lawyer; do not consider this to be legal advice.)


    And a monster link with (apparently) everything referenced, but it's thousands of posts so I haven't really got into this one
    http://www.macrossworld.com/mwf/topic/36541-concerning-harmony-gold-and-robotech/
     
    • Informative Informative x 2
    • Brofist Brofist x 1
    ^ Top  
  11. I'm With Her SausageInYourFacegender: ⚧ for prison Arcane Patron

    SausageInYourFace
    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2013
    Parrots:
    2,099
    Location:
    In your face
    Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech Bubbles In Memoria A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    :lol:
     
    ^ Top  
  12. Jason Lianggender: ⚧ Liturgist

    Jason Liang
    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2014
    Parrots:
    1,914
    afaik basically FASA had the rights to those mechs (the unseen) but not to the images of the mechs. They can use those mechs in novels, its theirs, but not on the book cover. Even if they've changed the design of those mechs from Robotech, they still would have needed to go to court to settle if the new design was different enough from the old design to not constitute infringement.

    What they should have done was either a) not use the unseen mech types or b) change the name to something else like um... Atlos instead of Atlas. Then they could have used the new designs without going to court.
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
    ^ Top  
  13. Country_Gravygender: ⚧ Arcane Patron

    Country_Gravy
    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2004
    Parrots:
    2,691
    Location:
    Oregon
    Wasteland 2
    I thought most lawyers had an undergraduate in Poli Sci
     
    ^ Top  
  14. Make America Great Again Blackgender: ⚧ Arcane

    Black
    Joined:
    May 8, 2007
    Parrots:
    1,865,432
    USA law is retarded beyond any hope of repair.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
    ^ Top  
  15. Jason Lianggender: ⚧ Liturgist

    Jason Liang
    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2014
    Parrots:
    1,914
    Rhetoric is also common, for schools that have a Rhetoric department.
     
    ^ Top  
  16. Make America Great Again Infinitrongender: ⚧ I post news Patron

    Infinitron
    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2011
    Parrots:
    65,218
    Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    That YouTube guy who is following the Alex Mauer saga made a video about this:

     
    • Brofist Brofist x 1
    • Informative Informative x 1
    ^ Top  
  17. *-*/\--/\~gender: ⚧ Learned

    *-*/\--/\~
    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2014
    Parrots:
    372
    If I ever get to make a game, remind me to stay away from fucking 'murica and its retarded law system.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2017
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Bad Spelling Bad Spelling x 1
    ^ Top  
  18. Make America Great Again Blackgender: ⚧ Arcane

    Black
    Joined:
    May 8, 2007
    Parrots:
    1,865,432
    "Its"
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Thanks! Thanks! x 1
    • Bad Spelling Bad Spelling x 1
    ^ Top  
  19. Kuattrogender: ⚧ Savant

    Kuattro
    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2015
    Parrots:
    333
    Location:
    La Font del Gat
    If they're that trigger happy I'm surprised they haven't sued Front Mission too in the last 20 years (unless they have and I didn't know about it).

    Hell, I'm surprised they haven't sued... everyone. Big Giant Robot, all rights reserved. It's Tim Langdell's wet dream.
     
    ^ Top  
  20. Make America Great Again Kem0sabegender: ⚧ Arcane

    Kem0sabe
    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2011
    Parrots:
    9,243
    Location:
    The Bosom of the Holy Spirit
    Fuck, now I want a sequel to the best strategy mech game ever made... Front mission 3, all the other front mission games after that were shit.
     
    ^ Top  
  21. Crispygender: ⚧ Old Man Undisputed Queen of Faggotry

    Crispy
    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2008
    Parrots:
    1,865,513
    Location:
    Future Wasteland
    So what's the upshot of the status of the game then? Has this just been delayed indefinitely until some sort of settlement or judgment has been reached?
     
    • it is a mystery it is a mystery x 1
    ^ Top  
  22. Grotesquegender: ⚧ Arcane

    Grotesque
    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2012
    Parrots:
    2,249
    Divinity: Original Sin
    yeah, fuckin 'murica, the country with the largest GDP in the world because of their retarded law system
     
    • retadred retadred x 2
    ^ Top  
  23. Jason Lianggender: ⚧ Liturgist

    Jason Liang
    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2014
    Parrots:
    1,914
    [​IMG]
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
    ^ Top  
  24. Make America Great Again Zorba the Huttgender: ⚧ Arcane Weasel

    Zorba the Hutt
    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2012
    Parrots:
    1,865,663
    I sense a derail about "PPP" coming on...
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 1
    ^ Top  
  25. circgender: ⚧ Arcane

    circ
    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2009
    Parrots:
    11,036
    Location:
    Great Pacific Garbage Patch
    china is looking bigger there holmes
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
    ^ Top  

(buying stuff via the above buttons helps us pay the hosting bills, thanks!)