Go Back  DVD Talk Forum > Entertainment Discussions > Anime Talk
Reload this Page >

Harmony Gold extends Robotech/Macross license with Tatsunoko

Anime Talk Discuss Anime on DVD & Blu-Ray, CGI animations, Manga and other cool stuff from Japan!

Harmony Gold extends Robotech/Macross license with Tatsunoko

Old 07-05-19, 08:36 PM
  #1  
WTK
Anime Talk Contributor / Moderator
Thread Starter
 
WTK's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 18,034
Likes: 0
Received 147 Likes on 130 Posts
Harmony Gold extends Robotech/Macross license with Tatsunoko

HARMONY GOLD EXTENDS THE #ROBOTECH LICENSE WITH TATSUNOKO!

MORE HERE: https://www.denofgeek.com/us/tv/robo...nded-exclusive
https://www.denofgeek.com/us/tv/robo...nded-exclusive
The Robotech/Macross License Has Been Extended (Exclusive)

Harmony Gold's deal with Tatsunoko to continue making Robotech and more will continue for years to come.

For the past few years the future of the Robotech franchise seemed to be in question. Back in 2017 a California court upheld a license agreement between Harmony Gold U.S.A. Inc. and Tatsunoko Production, which affirmed Harmony Gold's license to the three-anime programs from Tatsunoko that were combined to create the unique Robotech anime series.

The big problem? In the upholding of that licensing agreement it also became public knowledge that Harmony Gold's license to the three series that made up Robotech, The Super Dimension Fortress Macross, The Super Dimension Cavalry Southern Cross, and Genesis Climber Mospeada, would expire on March 14, 2021.

When this news originally broke many fans assumed that once the 2021 date hit, Tatsunoko would simply take their programs back from Harmony Gold. In a sense, the Robotech franchise had a ticking clock on it.

However, it has now been officially confirmed by Harmony Gold that their license agreement with Tatsunoko has been extended beyond the 2021 date. Yes, Robotech isn't going anywhere anytime soon. Below is the official release.
HOLLYWOOD, CA, July 5 - Harmony Gold USA, Inc. announced today that it has reached an agreement with the Japanese anime studio, Tatsunoko Productions, Co., to extend the worldwide, co-copyright ownership and exclusive management, excluding Japan, for its landmark anime series Robotech (including Macross, Southern Cross and Mospeada). This agreement was achieved after a lengthy negotiation and allows Harmony Gold to continue to exploit the animated Robotech franchise well into the future.
We spoke with the Robotech staff at Harmony Gold to discuss all the ins and outs of the extension and what it means for Robotech and the original Japanese series.

The biggest misconception Harmony Gold wants to clear up about the license agreements that were made public in 2017 was that "it wasn't even a [standard] court case" according to Tommy Yune, President of Animation at Harmony Gold. "It was simply both companies agreed to this interpretation of their deal."

For context, many of these deals originated in the '80s between not just Tatsunoko and Harmony Gold but also advertising agency Big West, a co-producer on the original Macross and owner of 41 designs from that series. This has caused many of the issues which plagued Robotech and Macross over the years such as not being able to include certain Macross character designs in Robotech sequels and not being able to release Macross sequels outside of Japan.

"A lot of the original Japanese agreements, they were almost more or less memos. They were extraordinarily short," explains Yune.

"I think the original contract was written on someone's cocktail napkin," adds Steven Yun, Vice President of New Media at Harmony Gold. "They wrote those contracts back then not knowing what business would be now [and] how much licensing matters [along with] regional rights."

Despite rumors that Harmony Gold didn't know the license would expire in 2021, both Tatsunoko and Harmony Gold were aware and that's what prompted them to iron out the details on their various deals.

"Both companies wanted to figure this out because renewal was coming up," adds Yune. "This is something you don't want to do at the last minute. You want to give yourself time to do it right."

"People have to understand this is the system working," says Kevin McKeever. Vice President of Marketing at Harmony Gold. "If we have a disagreement we do arbitration. We all have disagreements but your disagreements get solved."

Once the details had all been worked out in the 2017 license agreement, Harmony Gold and Tatsunoko could work on their renewal in, as Yume describes it, "a straightforward manner. [The details were] just entered into California court so that it was a part of permanent record."

When the arbitration ruling came down, "Harmony Gold and Tatsunoko started talking immediately about renewal," says McKeever.

Harmony Gold won't disclose when the renewal was agreed upon but it happened sometime between 2017 and now. Harmony Gold also can't disclose how long the renewal is but in their presentation at Anime Expo on July 5th, a slide stated that Harmony Gold's rights to Macross, Southern Cross, and Mospeada will remain in "full effect well into the future".

McKeever did confirm that this isn't a new agreement between Harmony Gold and Tatsunoko. He elaborates:

"It's an extension of all the current agreements [that were made public in 2017]. It's a renewal but actually it's an extension for lack of a better term. We renewed but we decided as part of our renewal to extend the agreement."

This basically means that Harmony Gold and Tatsunoko have renewed the same agreement they had before and extended it. This is exciting for everyone involved, especially Sony Pictures Entertainment who is currently working on the Robotech live-action movie. The new extension, "allows Sony to do what they want to do with the Robotech IP," explains Yune.

With the future of the franchise uncertain before this new agreement was worked out, it makes sense that Sony didn't rush the Robotech movie into production. On the off chance the license wasn't extended Sony wouldn't have been able to fully utilize the IP.

Now that the license has been renewed, Sony will be able to take full advantage of the Robotech franchise and their partnership with Harmony Gold is set to expand over the next eighteen months. With Sony viewing Robotech as a possible "Harry Potter style franchise" according to McKeever, they are going to take full advantage of it in all areas. Live-action movies, video games, and more are on the table.

It's not just with the live action movie either. With the renewal secured Harmony Gold can do more with the Robotech franchise. Whether it's new product licenses or new animation, having the terms of their agreement fully worked out and renewed with Tatsunoko bodes well for the future.

But what about the Macross sequels? For many many years fans haven't been able to legally obtain various sequel series to the original Macross outside of Japan. It's been a huge point of contention, with many people pointing the finger at Harmony Gold. Does this renewal change anything about that?

Right now it appears nothing has changed. In 2017 the upholding of the license agreement made it clear Big West still owns those 41 characters designs and Tatsunoko owns the commercial rights to the Macross series. The way the Macross rights pie is divided up will make it difficult to work out who has the rights to various aspects of the IP outside of Japan. While Harmony Gold won't comment on any Macross sequels at this time, Tommy Yune does generally say that, "if we can have more Macross and more Robotech everywhere and just let the fans go after what they enjoy we think that would be a wonderful thing."

In the past Harmony Gold has let existing deals for Macross sequels continue, including Manga Entertainment's license of Macross Plus and Macross II which can still be legally purchased for streaming on Amazon.

Yune assures that Harmony Gold isn't trying to hide any version of the Japanese series and in fact more credit will be given to Tatsunoko on future products. For the past few years only Harmony Gold was credited on various products released.

"We're working this out. Harmony Gold and Tatsunko [have been] partners in this whole thing. For future product that we're working on, the IP is going to be jointly shared by both companies."

That still leaves some rights issues on the table but Harmony Gold has a lot of hope Sony may be able to bridge the gap in all the legal issues between the various companies. Yune speculates, "I don't have a crystal ball but I think that with a company like Sony? [They] can bring everyone to the table and work the rights out for the future."

Everyone at Harmony Gold is excited for the future, including Jehan Agrama, President & CEO of Harmony Gold. He explained, "In 1985, Robotech introduced an entire generation in the west to the Japanese anime industry. Our fans are loyal and we are excited to be able to extend this franchise for their enjoyment."

Frank Agrama, Chairman of Harmony Gold added, "Over the past 35 years we have been blessed to work with our friends at Tatsunoko on developing one the world's greatest entertainment franchises. With our extension we look forward to the next 35 years of working with Tatsunoko and world class business partners on Robotech."
Old 07-05-19, 08:40 PM
  #2  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Posts: 36,570
Received 835 Likes on 660 Posts
Re: Harmony Gold extends Robotech/Macross license with Tatsunoko

Nooooo!!! though I kind of suspected it with Harmony Gold holding an event at AX about the future of Robotech. You don't do that unless you extended Macross.
Old 07-05-19, 08:54 PM
  #3  
WTK
Anime Talk Contributor / Moderator
Thread Starter
 
WTK's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 18,034
Likes: 0
Received 147 Likes on 130 Posts
Re: Harmony Gold extends Robotech/Macross license with Tatsunoko

When I saw the AX panel name and description, I knew Harmony Gold has extended their license.

***

And now the Q&A!
Someone asked the big question first!
Will #HarmonyGold license other #macross series?
Tommy Yune made it very clear:
Their license renewal only covers the original 3 titles. #Macross spin-offs are NOT included.
(Note: DVDs have been OOP for years)
Someone asked about if they will make Blu ray remasters of the original version... Tommy Yune mentions the steaming options and dodges the question. Steve Yune says "They're looking into it, but it's too expensive at the moment"
#Robotech #Macross
Old 07-07-19, 10:21 AM
  #4  
DVD Talk Legend
 
milo bloom's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Chicago suburbs
Posts: 15,510
Received 522 Likes on 399 Posts
Re: Harmony Gold extends Robotech/Macross license with Tatsunoko

So can they still suppress the other Macross series from being released in the USA? That's really the sticking point, that they're keeping those out and they're not doing anything with them otherwise.
Old 07-08-19, 03:42 AM
  #5  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Ash Ketchum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 12,132
Received 112 Likes on 83 Posts
Re: Harmony Gold extends Robotech/Macross license with Tatsunoko

I had no idea Harmony Gold was still in existence.
Old 07-08-19, 07:43 AM
  #6  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Posts: 36,570
Received 835 Likes on 660 Posts
Re: Harmony Gold extends Robotech/Macross license with Tatsunoko

I doubt anything is going to change. I thought part of the reason the other series haven't come out isn't because Harmony Gold holds the rights, it's because they hold certain rights to things like UN Spacy AND Big West, which does own the rights, wants absolutely nothing to do with them.

Since Harmony Gold is like a shell of a company, this seems like they just paid out so that they could hold onto the rights for the planned Sony Robotech movie and they're not going to do anything else with it.
Old 04-08-21, 08:24 PM
  #7  
WTK
Anime Talk Contributor / Moderator
Thread Starter
 
WTK's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 18,034
Likes: 0
Received 147 Likes on 130 Posts
Re: Harmony Gold extends Robotech/Macross license with Tatsunoko

https://www.funimation.com/blog/2019...-harmony-gold/ (Oct 21, 2019)
The Robotech Franchise is Joining the Funimation Family!

Suit up, ace pilot! The cult classic anime hit Robotech is coming to Funimation!

Licensed through Kew Media Distribution, Robotech: The Series, Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles and Robotech 2: The Sentinels will join the Funimation catalog. The titles will arrive as part of an expansive agreement that includes all rights to the franchise, including home entertainment and merchandising opportunities.

“Robotech is a beloved and foundational series for fans around the world,” said Colin Decker, General Manager of Funimation. “We are so proud and excited to connect this iconic series with millions more fans through Funimation.”

When Robotech premiered in 1985, the action adventure sensation shaped an entire generation of anime fans. Since then, it’s grown into a global phenomenon, spawning films, toys and much, much more. There’s even a Hollywood live-action adaptation on its way from Sony Pictures Entertainment.

Take a look below at the three Robotech titles joining the Funimation lineup, and stay tuned for more information from Funimation and Harmony Gold on this exciting adventure!

Robotech: The Series starts as the human race finds itself on the brink of annihilation under attack by a fleet of gigantic alien warships capable of destroying an entire planet in a split second. The only hope for survival lies with the secrets of Robotech, an advanced alien technology which has given humans access to powerful robotic systems and interstellar spacecraft.


Produced in high definition 5:1 with digital surround sound, Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles film sequel picks up the story many years later with vibrant anime characters voiced by Mark Hamill (Star Wars, Batman: The Animated Series) and Chase Masterson (Star Trek: Deep Space 9).

Based on the popular series, Robotech 2: The Sentinels is the enthralling film sequel, where two cultures, the citizens of Earth and the planet Optera, come together to determine the fate of their two worlds in a compelling story of love, courage and the pursuit of freedom.
Nothing has happened until this announcement today...

https://www.funimation.com/blog/2021...y-harmony-gold (April 8, 2021)
Big West Officially Recognizes Macross License by Harmony Gold

Big West has officially recognized the licensing of Macross (Super Dimension Fortress Macross) by Harmony Gold in the 1980s, ending decades of concern over the series’ rights outside of Japan.

Today, Big West and Harmony Gold announced that previous conflict over the Macross and Robotech series has been resolved, with Big West acknowledging the proper licensing of the series by Harmony Gold, and Harmony Gold recognizing the Macross spin-offs that Big West has produced since the series’ initial release.

Existing licenses of the series were confirmed to be unaffected by this news.

The series first released as Super Dimension Fortress Macross in 1982 in Japan, and was licensed by Harmony Gold USA (along with Super Dimension Cavalry Southern Cross and Genesis Climber MOSPEADA) and released as Robotech in the United States in 1985.

In 2019, Funimation announced that it had acquired home video, streaming and merchandise rights to the Robotech series in partnership with Harmony Gold, with more info to come.
https://macross.jp/b2b/
https://robotech.com/news/big-west-c...tech-worldwide
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

BIG WEST CO. LTD., STUDIO NUE, INC. AND HARMONY GOLD U.S.A. ANNOUNCE EXPANSIVE AGREEMENT FOR THE FUTURE OF ROBOTECH AND MACROSS WORLDWIDE!

April 9, 2021 - Tokyo, Japan & Los Angeles, California - Landmark agreement between the anime companies will allow immediate international distribution of most Macross television sequels and films, while affirming Harmony Gold’s rights to the Robotech franchise. Both companies will cooperate on the international distribution of future Macross and Robotech projects post 2021.

Tokyo based BIGWEST CO. LTD. and Los Angeles based Harmony Gold U.S.A. announced an agreement regarding the worldwide rights for the legendary Macross and Robotech franchises. This expansive agreement signed by both companies on March 1, 2021, ends two decades of disagreements and will allow Big West and Harmony Gold to chart a new path that will unlock the great potential of both the Macross and Robotech franchises worldwide.

The landmark agreement immediately permits worldwide distribution of most of the Macross films and television sequels worldwide, and also confirms that Big West will not oppose the Japanese release of an anticipated upcoming live-action Robotech film. The agreement also recognizes Harmony Gold’s longstanding exclusive license with Tatsunoko for the use of the 41 Macross characters and mecha in the Robotech television series and related merchandise throughout the world excluding Japan.

Moving forward, both parties will cooperate on distribution regarding future Macross and Robotech projects for the benefit of both franchises.

Big West Representative Director, Kaya Onishi added, “Stories that feature Valkyries, a transformable realistic mecha, in action among the galaxies while diva's sing in the background, as well as love triangles involving the pilots and singers. That was and continues to be the concept behind the Macross series, and I am happy that I can now help bring Macross to people all over the world on the 40th anniversary of the series. I would like to express my deepest gratitude to Harmony Gold Chairman, Frank Agrama for his courageous decision in this matter.”

Harmony Gold USA Chairman, Frank Agrama stated, “This is an incomparably historic moment for both Harmony Gold and Big West and the anime industry overall. This is also an exciting moment for fans of Robotech and Macross worldwide. I thank my friend, Big West Representative Director, Kaya Onishi for her hard work to help us reach this long-desired resolution that protects both of our franchises while building a better tomorrow for both our companies.”
The following users liked this post:
John Pannozzi (04-10-21)
Old 04-09-21, 11:52 AM
  #8  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Posts: 36,570
Received 835 Likes on 660 Posts
Re: Harmony Gold extends Robotech/Macross license with Tatsunoko

If this means we finally get media releases of Macross again and (more importantly) toys in the US, I'm happy.
The following users liked this post:
John Pannozzi (04-10-21)
Old 04-09-21, 03:24 PM
  #9  
DVD Talk Legend
 
milo bloom's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Chicago suburbs
Posts: 15,510
Received 522 Likes on 399 Posts
Re: Harmony Gold extends Robotech/Macross license with Tatsunoko

This is amazing news. It's no small exaggeration to say that Robotech is one of the things that helped my wife and click as a couple, way back in high school. We're definitely looking forward to a nice release of Do You Remember Love?

And hopefully maybe more Robotech animation.
The following users liked this post:
John Pannozzi (04-10-21)

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.