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 Post subject: Transformation Processes
Unread postPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2022 8:38 pm
  

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I tried looking it up but the occurrence of the words and phrases are too much.
The question:
Does anyone know if the unique transformation process that various mecha go through is legally protected? Is it copywritten? I don't think it could be trademarked as it is not a symbol or phrase but a process... at least I haven't seen anyone use an animated transforming mecha as a symbol. Could it, the process, not the mecha, be patented? I'd expect if a physical object is produced they may be able to patent it but if it is only written can it be patented? Is it illegal to write or draw the likeness of something that is patented?

Basically if I make a comic with say the likeness of an F-22 in it, does Boeing have any recourse? If said fighter now starts transforming and it is an exact repeat of a Macross Valkyrie's transformation process but with the sleaker body of an F-22 can Harmony Gold, Big West or Tatsunoko come after me?

Thanks y'all

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Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 24, 2022 7:40 am
  

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As far as I know, you'd have to defend a parallel evolution for the concept of plane-to-bipedal mecha transformation. And it will be near impossible to defend for something "just like" Macross. You might have some chance if the rights of the franchise you try to plagiarize aren't enforced in your territory, but even then, it complicates stuff for nothing.

However, transforming planes aren't something new either. There are precedents with Transformers and Returners, or even some Super Sentaï Series. Same goes for Mecha.
Variable fighters also crossed path with Star Wars and Babylon 5 so... movable parts are certainly not out of the question.
In the end, it mostly revolves around your ability to NOT make it feel TOO MUCH as Macross. You must be able to defend that it isn't "Just like".
Which might includes lengthy research on other plausible sources of references and inspirations.
But the best bet is to have that idea tell a totally different story in the context you give them.

Then it's all a matter of the judge, jury, and host nation of the court.
But seriously though... you should try to make it your own transformable plane-to-mecha.
Avoiding the head sensor poking downward and a detachable gunpod that hangs from the fuselage in flight might be a good start.
I'm pretty sure I've read somewhere that the GERWALK mode was patented.

Maybe you could ask for the jurisprudence surrounding the Jetfire / Skyfire / VF-1 trials.
That's the closest case known. Practically the same toy even now.
So you'd have to do that kind of difference at the very least.
Then there are the finer points about who bought the original design first, since they both did If I remember correctly.
Would that matter in your case? It possibly depends on the existence of a patent describing that exact transformation sequence.

It's fuzzy, but I think I've read about TFs having patents for all their transformations scheme; related in no small part to how much trouble that incident was. (I was planning a TF campaign at the time and was passing ungodly amount of time on the TF wiki.) I can at least sure enough find this one : A63H33/003 Convertible toys, e.g. robots convertible into rockets or vehicles convertible into planes

This might be of interest to you : Question: How do 3rd parties get away with it?

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Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 25, 2022 5:23 am
  

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And there is the rub. Is it plagiarism if the entire appearance and even words used aren't the same but the transformation sequence is exactly the same? At what point is it no longer similar enough to be plagiarism? If instead of the arms coming from between the legs they're used to wrap around the cockpit and have canards on them but everything else is the same as the valkyrie is that still plagiarism? There are only so many ways to fold a figure and make it functionally and efficiently believable.

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Unread postPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2022 11:37 pm
  

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Is transformation copyrighted?

In the '80's, there was GoBots, Transformers, Robotech and even Masters of the Universe had transformation.


Edit: Also, ideas can't be copyrighted or trademarked, but brands identifiers can; for instance, the Depecticon logo and how a plane transforms, can be; but, if you change the likeness and the way it transforms, say, have to come apart and reform, then it wouldn't be a trademark violation.

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Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2022 4:19 pm
  

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Peacebringer wrote:
Is transformation copyrighted?

In the '80's, there was GoBots, Transformers, Robotech and even Masters of the Universe had transformation.


Edit: Also, ideas can't be copyrighted or trademarked, but brands identifiers can; for instance, the Depecticon logo and how a plane transforms, can be; but, if you change the likeness and the way it transforms, say, have to come apart and reform, then it wouldn't be a trademark violation.


If ideas can't be copyrighted or trademarked then how can a plane's transformation process be as it is an idea or are you saying a thought can't be, but if it is put onto paper it can? So then how much likeness would have to be changed? If I used the process for the Valkyrie but instead of the likeness of an F-14 I use that of an F-22 would it be grounds for a lawsuit?
1. Jet Engines rotate forward
2. Engine Exhaust nozzle split to form feet
3. Arms descend and rotate outward
4. Hands extend
5. V-Stabs fold down crisscross
6. Thruster/V-stab unit fold upward
7. Hull splits and folds in half
8. Head tilts backward and then rotates 180
9. Head guns rotate upward

PB had RT and when they did they designed a Triax/NGR transformable mini sub that looked like it may transform similar to a VT does if the above is true and using the same process can be (C) or (TM) infringement wouldn't PB lawyers be paranoid enough to warn PB to at least remove the art of the transformable sub?

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Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2023 8:32 pm
  

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So with WotC's newest flub and the coverage given to it by Legal Eagle I have found that though the image of a veritech may be trademarked the process which it goes through to change can not be protected. Just like WotC can't copyright their rules only the verbiage, legally allowing me to completely copy the rules in my own words. Legal Eagle went so far as to say as long as Critical Role didn't say that they used D&D and didn't use any D&D specific monsters they didn't owe WotC anything.

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BEST IDEA EVER!!! -- The Galactus Kid

Holy crapy, you're Zer0 Kay?! --TriaxTech

Zer0 Kay is my hero. --Atramentus

The Zer0 of Kay, who started this fray,
Kept us laughing until the end. -The Fifth Business (In loving Memory of the teleport thread)


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Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2023 2:51 pm
  

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Here's a question: How much money do you have? If you use an aircraft and transformation process that are too similar to a VF-1 you can be sued for copyright infringement and it doesn't matter whether or not you can copyright or trademark a transformation process. Not if you don't have the money to defend it from Harmony Gold, Tatsunoko Pro, or Big West or all 3 (okay maybe just HG and BIg West as Tatsunoko doesn't actually own the VF-1s design) depending on which territory you live in.

If it's too similar in appearance to the VF-1 (and even basing the aircraft on a different twin engine design will look too similar to a VF-1 if it uses the same transformation process) means you'll likely be ruled against in court (esp. if they find out about this thread and link you to your account) and that assumes it even gets in front of a judge. They could just as easily use delaying tactics that could bankrupt you as you'd have to keep a lawyer on retainer to answer their challenges and they don't have to as they already have legal departments with lawyers on staff (though they'd hire an outside when it gets to court).

Overall, if you're basing your transforming robot/airplane on a twin engine design then you'd be better served by designing a different transformation process (esp. Since there's a major flaw in the VF-1's transformation in that for it to work you have to take the legs/cancelled off) like say having the engine intakes become the feet and mount the head formally for instance.

Lastly, yes Boeing (or any other aircraft manufacturer )can come after you if you use their designs without permission. Whether or not they would do so depends on them and how they feel about your use of their design. However, I don't think they would do so

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Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2023 6:21 pm
  

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There is a limit to what companies can do however, especially if your not making money off of it. Companies can't stop fan work. It's the profiting they can stop. Even then they have to decide if it's even worth pursuing. It could cost them far more then they'd ever make in return. Financial cost aside, they could generate a lot of bad will. We just saw a perfect example of that. Decades of good will gone and they won't get it back. And that's all presuming the company even has the rights to sue. We saw that a couple years ago too. One company sued another and was then was sued itself for the same reason over the same designs. Plus if another company could sue to stop third party designs they would but they can't. So companies have to be careful, especially now, when suing people. They could lose even if they win.


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Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2023 8:12 pm
  

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camk4evr wrote:
Here's a question: How much money do you have? If you use an aircraft and transformation process that are too similar to a VF-1 you can be sued for copyright infringement and it doesn't matter whether or not you can copyright or trademark a transformation process. Not if you don't have the money to defend it from Harmony Gold, Tatsunoko Pro, or Big West or all 3 (okay maybe just HG and BIg West as Tatsunoko doesn't actually own the VF-1s design) depending on which territory you live in.

If it's too similar in appearance to the VF-1 (and even basing the aircraft on a different twin engine design will look too similar to a VF-1 if it uses the same transformation process) means you'll likely be ruled against in court (esp. if they find out about this thread and link you to your account) and that assumes it even gets in front of a judge. They could just as easily use delaying tactics that could bankrupt you as you'd have to keep a lawyer on retainer to answer their challenges and they don't have to as they already have legal departments with lawyers on staff (though they'd hire an outside when it gets to court).

Overall, if you're basing your transforming robot/airplane on a twin engine design then you'd be better served by designing a different transformation process (esp. Since there's a major flaw in the VF-1's transformation in that for it to work you have to take the legs/cancelled off) like say having the engine intakes become the feet and mount the head formally for instance.

Lastly, yes Boeing (or any other aircraft manufacturer )can come after you if you use their designs without permission. Whether or not they would do so depends on them and how they feel about your use of their design. However, I don't think they would do so


Wouldn't worry to much about the dod manufacturers as NG could have gone after the design of the VF-1 for being similar to the F-14. They and manufacturers of cars and guns could go after many video game developers but apparently don't have grounds unless they specifically use their brand make/model name. After all anyone can sue anyone else for anything. The companies just have to weigh if their possible loss of recognition/profit will hurt their bottomline more than the press for assaulting an underdog. As for this thread what is that going to add besides showing that I don't want to copy their stuff and need to find out how different it has to be before it is considered not their stuff. The answer is it can't look like any of the art but the process can be the same.

What the heck does "VF-1's transformation in that for it to work you have to take the legs/cancelled off)" mean? The VF-1 doesn't loose use of its jet engines. They're closed off to protect against debris but Max and Meria fly in battloid mode in one episode. Also what do you mean by "like say having the engine intakes become the feet and mount the head formally for instance."? Intakes as feet would be worse than the way it is now. If they tried to fly then they'd immediately suck up FOD. How is formally mounting the head anybetter than having it on a gimbal setup that would be similar to a a Phalanx with two gimbal, one for normal movement the other to rotate and position for the two modes.

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Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2023 8:19 pm
  

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Sambot wrote:
There is a limit to what companies can do however, especially if your not making money off of it. Companies can't stop fan work. It's the profiting they can stop. Even then they have to decide if it's even worth pursuing. It could cost them far more then they'd ever make in return. Financial cost aside, they could generate a lot of bad will. We just saw a perfect example of that. Decades of good will gone and they won't get it back. And that's all presuming the company even has the rights to sue. We saw that a couple years ago too. One company sued another and was then was sued itself for the same reason over the same designs. Plus if another company could sue to stop third party designs they would but they can't. So companies have to be careful, especially now, when suing people. They could lose even if they win.


Disney has given more than on C&D for fan films and PB often gives C&D for conversions which are fan based and they aren't specifically making money from it nor are the converters. Most companies primary concern is general publics goodwill. One would think the major concern is if it goes to court and that is an issue for people who can afford it but for those who can't the attorneys needed to fight claims righteous or not cost money too. But if anyone is afraid of frivolous lawsuits they may as well not inhale as Bill Clinton may decide he copywriter that when he said he didn't do it and didn't enjoy it.

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BEST IDEA EVER!!! -- The Galactus Kid

Holy crapy, you're Zer0 Kay?! --TriaxTech

Zer0 Kay is my hero. --Atramentus

The Zer0 of Kay, who started this fray,
Kept us laughing until the end. -The Fifth Business (In loving Memory of the teleport thread)


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Unread postPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2023 3:02 am
  

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Zer0 Kay wrote:
camk4evr wrote:
Here's a question: How much money do you have? If you use an aircraft and transformation process that are too similar to a VF-1 you can be sued for copyright infringement and it doesn't matter whether or not you can copyright or trademark a transformation process. Not if you don't have the money to defend it from Harmony Gold, Tatsunoko Pro, or Big West or all 3 (okay maybe just HG and BIg West as Tatsunoko doesn't actually own the VF-1s design) depending on which territory you live in.

If it's too similar in appearance to the VF-1 (and even basing the aircraft on a different twin engine design will look too similar to a VF-1 if it uses the same transformation process) means you'll likely be ruled against in court (esp. if they find out about this thread and link you to your account) and that assumes it even gets in front of a judge. They could just as easily use delaying tactics that could bankrupt you as you'd have to keep a lawyer on retainer to answer their challenges and they don't have to as they already have legal departments with lawyers on staff (though they'd hire an outside when it gets to court).

Overall, if you're basing your transforming robot/airplane on a twin engine design then you'd be better served by designing a different transformation process (esp. Since there's a major flaw in the VF-1's transformation in that for it to work you have to take the legs/cancelled off) like say having the engine intakes become the feet and mount the head formally for instance.

Lastly, yes Boeing (or any other aircraft manufacturer )can come after you if you use their designs without permission. Whether or not they would do so depends on them and how they feel about your use of their design. However, I don't think they would do so


Wouldn't worry to much about the dod manufacturers as NG could have gone after the design of the VF-1 for being similar to the F-14. They and manufacturers of cars and guns could go after many video game developers but apparently don't have grounds unless they specifically use their brand make/model name. After all anyone can sue anyone else for anything. The companies just have to weigh if their possible loss of recognition/profit will hurt their bottomline more than the press for assaulting an underdog. As for this thread what is that going to add besides showing that I don't want to copy their stuff and need to find out how different it has to be before it is considered not their stuff. The answer is it can't look like any of the art but the process can be the same.

What the heck does "VF-1's transformation in that for it to work you have to take the legs/cancelled off)" mean? The VF-1 doesn't loose use of its jet engines. They're closed off to protect against debris but Max and Meria fly in battloid mode in one episode. Also what do you mean by "like say having the engine intakes become the feet and mount the head formally for instance."? Intakes as feet would be worse than the way it is now. If they tried to fly then they'd immediately suck up FOD. How is formally mounting the head anybetter than having it on a gimbal setup that would be similar to a a Phalanx with two gimbal, one for normal movement the other to rotate and position for the two modes.


Leg/nacelles. My tablet kept correcting nacelles to cancelled. I thought I caught it he last time. And appaerntly it corrected 'dorsally' to 'formally'.

If you actually pay attention to the transformation the legs actually have to disconnect from where they are on plane/gerwalk and then plug into the hip assembly. And there's no actual cannonical way that they do so. In the earliest toys they had to be removed and plugged in to the 'hips'. On the mold used for the transformer Jetfire (or is it Skyfire) there's a Y shaped piece that connected to the legs and moves the legs into position. Other toys have the legs on seperate 'arms' to move them into position. They've also been depicted in animation being moved into position in different ways as well but in the original SDF Macross (and therefore Robotech) they get into position basically through 'anime magic'. If the legs didn't move down to what is the nose on the plane and, instead, stayed connected to where they are in plane mode then they'd be attached somewhere near the shoulder joint. A bit of a failure in the design when you want a fully mechanical design. Later (most)Variable Fighter designs correct this by leaving the legs where they are and folding up the nose and cockpit block up in different ways.

As for the head of the VF-1, since the head/turret is ventrally mounted, the fighter's main body has to split apart to allow the head to move into position. Having a dorsally mounted head just simplifies the transformation.

As for using the intakes as feet 1) I was just spitballing ideas and 2) we see in Robotech and Macross that you can reverse the thrust from (through?) the intakes (during the wedding)

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Unread postPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2023 8:47 pm
  

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camk4evr wrote:
Zer0 Kay wrote:
camk4evr wrote:
Here's a question: How much money do you have? If you use an aircraft and transformation process that are too similar to a VF-1 you can be sued for copyright infringement and it doesn't matter whether or not you can copyright or trademark a transformation process. Not if you don't have the money to defend it from Harmony Gold, Tatsunoko Pro, or Big West or all 3 (okay maybe just HG and BIg West as Tatsunoko doesn't actually own the VF-1s design) depending on which territory you live in.

If it's too similar in appearance to the VF-1 (and even basing the aircraft on a different twin engine design will look too similar to a VF-1 if it uses the same transformation process) means you'll likely be ruled against in court (esp. if they find out about this thread and link you to your account) and that assumes it even gets in front of a judge. They could just as easily use delaying tactics that could bankrupt you as you'd have to keep a lawyer on retainer to answer their challenges and they don't have to as they already have legal departments with lawyers on staff (though they'd hire an outside when it gets to court).

Overall, if you're basing your transforming robot/airplane on a twin engine design then you'd be better served by designing a different transformation process (esp. Since there's a major flaw in the VF-1's transformation in that for it to work you have to take the legs/cancelled off) like say having the engine intakes become the feet and mount the head formally for instance.

Lastly, yes Boeing (or any other aircraft manufacturer )can come after you if you use their designs without permission. Whether or not they would do so depends on them and how they feel about your use of their design. However, I don't think they would do so


Wouldn't worry to much about the dod manufacturers as NG could have gone after the design of the VF-1 for being similar to the F-14. They and manufacturers of cars and guns could go after many video game developers but apparently don't have grounds unless they specifically use their brand make/model name. After all anyone can sue anyone else for anything. The companies just have to weigh if their possible loss of recognition/profit will hurt their bottomline more than the press for assaulting an underdog. As for this thread what is that going to add besides showing that I don't want to copy their stuff and need to find out how different it has to be before it is considered not their stuff. The answer is it can't look like any of the art but the process can be the same.

What the heck does "VF-1's transformation in that for it to work you have to take the legs/cancelled off)" mean? The VF-1 doesn't loose use of its jet engines. They're closed off to protect against debris but Max and Meria fly in battloid mode in one episode. Also what do you mean by "like say having the engine intakes become the feet and mount the head formally for instance."? Intakes as feet would be worse than the way it is now. If they tried to fly then they'd immediately suck up FOD. How is formally mounting the head anybetter than having it on a gimbal setup that would be similar to a a Phalanx with two gimbal, one for normal movement the other to rotate and position for the two modes.


Leg/nacelles. My tablet kept correcting nacelles to cancelled. I thought I caught it he last time. And appaerntly it corrected 'dorsally' to 'formally'.

If you actually pay attention to the transformation the legs actually have to disconnect from where they are on plane/gerwalk and then plug into the hip assembly. And there's no actual cannonical way that they do so. In the earliest toys they had to be removed and plugged in to the 'hips'. On the mold used for the transformer Jetfire (or is it Skyfire) there's a Y shaped piece that connected to the legs and moves the legs into position. Other toys have the legs on seperate 'arms' to move them into position. They've also been depicted in animation being moved into position in different ways as well but in the original SDF Macross (and therefore Robotech) they get into position basically through 'anime magic'. If the legs didn't move down to what is the nose on the plane and, instead, stayed connected to where they are in plane mode then they'd be attached somewhere near the shoulder joint. A bit of a failure in the design when you want a fully mechanical design. Later (most)Variable Fighter designs correct this by leaving the legs where they are and folding up the nose and cockpit block up in different ways.

As for the head of the VF-1, since the head/turret is ventrally mounted, the fighter's main body has to split apart to allow the head to move into position. Having a dorsally mounted head just simplifies the transformation.

As for using the intakes as feet 1) I was just spitballing ideas and 2) we see in Robotech and Macross that you can reverse the thrust from (through?) the intakes (during the wedding)


It is Jetfire, Skyfire is blocky. I had the Jetfire which was the same mold used for the VF-1 as Transformers in those days didn't design any of their own stuff. I owned it, it doesn't have a 'Y' piece it has two posts on either side of the cockpit that a metal post is mounted to and the legs rotate from fighter to battloid mode independently. The head is mounted on a plate that is rotated 90 degrees after the torso is split into front and back and the door is opened. I think you may be confusing the Transformer/Macross VF-1 with the Macross/Bandai VF-1. The Bandai is the newer version.

Ventrally mounted head vs. Dorsally mounted... the body would have to split regardless or the torso would be super long and thin. Also it is more important for aerodynamics for the top of the airfoil to be smoother than the bottom. That is primarily on the wings but if any other part of the body is designed to create lift it will be cleaner over the top than the bottom.

Reversed Thrust as performed in real aircraft like the C-17 Globemaster isn't as powerful as forward thrust and is done externally. Internal use deflectors internally and port it out holes in the nacelle both systems require additional mechanisms and can only divert a portion of full power. The way a jet works you can't simply reverse the direction the compression fans are running. If "Mega-maid" goes from suck to blow instead of compressing the air into a jet and take a jet and decompress it. The most effective directional jet control is vectored thrust like the harrier so it has equal thrust in any direction it points.

So... you have made me consider making it 360 vectored thrust rather than a fixed or 2D vectored thrust. Some how make the engine block be central and then a backpack in the "soldier" mode.

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Unread postPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2023 2:43 am
  

Dungeon Crawler

Joined: Mon Aug 29, 2016 7:48 am
Posts: 346
Zer0 Kay wrote:
Sambot wrote:
There is a limit to what companies can do however, especially if your not making money off of it. Companies can't stop fan work. It's the profiting they can stop. Even then they have to decide if it's even worth pursuing. It could cost them far more then they'd ever make in return. Financial cost aside, they could generate a lot of bad will. We just saw a perfect example of that. Decades of good will gone and they won't get it back. And that's all presuming the company even has the rights to sue. We saw that a couple years ago too. One company sued another and was then was sued itself for the same reason over the same designs. Plus if another company could sue to stop third party designs they would but they can't. So companies have to be careful, especially now, when suing people. They could lose even if they win.


Disney has given more than on C&D for fan films and PB often gives C&D for conversions which are fan based and they aren't specifically making money from it nor are the converters. Most companies primary concern is general publics goodwill. One would think the major concern is if it goes to court and that is an issue for people who can afford it but for those who can't the attorneys needed to fight claims righteous or not cost money too. But if anyone is afraid of frivolous lawsuits they may as well not inhale as Bill Clinton may decide he copywriter that when he said he didn't do it and didn't enjoy it.


Sure. With Disney, all the ones I've heard of were on youtube or similar site so even if the creators weren't making money, the video host was. With Palladium, I can see Keven trying to protect his work. I can see Disney doing it too. Still, I don't know how far either would get it they tried to push. Fan works are allowed and burying the fan under lawsuits would only gain them negative press.


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Unread postPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2023 4:05 am
  

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Sambot wrote:
Zer0 Kay wrote:
Sambot wrote:
There is a limit to what companies can do however, especially if your not making money off of it. Companies can't stop fan work. It's the profiting they can stop. Even then they have to decide if it's even worth pursuing. It could cost them far more then they'd ever make in return. Financial cost aside, they could generate a lot of bad will. We just saw a perfect example of that. Decades of good will gone and they won't get it back. And that's all presuming the company even has the rights to sue. We saw that a couple years ago too. One company sued another and was then was sued itself for the same reason over the same designs. Plus if another company could sue to stop third party designs they would but they can't. So companies have to be careful, especially now, when suing people. They could lose even if they win.


Disney has given more than on C&D for fan films and PB often gives C&D for conversions which are fan based and they aren't specifically making money from it nor are the converters. Most companies primary concern is general publics goodwill. One would think the major concern is if it goes to court and that is an issue for people who can afford it but for those who can't the attorneys needed to fight claims righteous or not cost money too. But if anyone is afraid of frivolous lawsuits they may as well not inhale as Bill Clinton may decide he copywriter that when he said he didn't do it and didn't enjoy it.


Sure. With Disney, all the ones I've heard of were on youtube or similar site so even if the creators weren't making money, the video host was. With Palladium, I can see Keven trying to protect his work. I can see Disney doing it too. Still, I don't know how far either would get it they tried to push. Fan works are allowed and burying the fan under lawsuits would only gain them negative press.

Indeed

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