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Thread: Hostile Makeover: The Man Who Hijacked Masters of the Universe

  1. #51
    Heroic Warrior headache79's Avatar
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    I haven't worked for a copyright and IP lawyer in about five years so it's possible laws have changed, but fan fiction and fan derivative works are not this cut and dried.

    If you sell a product on Masters of the Universe packaging and try to pass it off as authentic, yes they can sue you for infringement. At that point you are potentially interfering with their business and weakening their IP.

    If you create a character and write stories about it and make your own action figures -- they can send you a cease and desist for infringement but they are not legally given the rights to your character, stories, or action figures. You could go in and change everything that makes it MOTU and make it an original story and they can't do anything -- and they wouldn't have the right to use your evil Blue Robot Cat.

    Otherwise there would be no 50 Shades of Grey -- as that started out as Twilight fan fiction and was changed and altered to be its own thing.

    This is why many companies discourage their employees from reading unsolicited scripts, fan fiction, or interacting in fan spaces -- because the potential for being accused of stealing an idea or concept from a fan could lead to bigger headaches.

  2. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by nicholighkun View Post
    Also, the notion that Scott basically created a model that allowed other companies to swindle fans is worth mentioning. Again, yeah the video went too far into the personal attack zone in my opinion, but there is more than one topic worth mentioning.
    How on earth is selling a customer a product considered 'swindling'?

    Also, Scott did not create the concept of minimum POs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by headache79 View Post

    If you create a character and write stories about it and make your own action figures -- they can send you a cease and desist for infringement but they are not legally given the rights to your character, stories, or action figures. You could go in and change everything that makes it MOTU and make it an original story and they can't do anything -- and they wouldn't have the right to use your evil Blue Robot Cat.
    I don't think there's much argument against most of your points. But if your evil blue robot cat is visually almost identical to one MOTU character save for color, and uses specific identifiable characters of another MOTU character, surely that would not be viewed as a legally distinct item? Surely not enough to claim that IP owner that your character is derivative of 'stole' your character.

    Not to mention, there was likely a narrative surrounding this character that further tied it to MOTU. I believe one of the main points that allowed Neil Gaiman to win the Medieval Spawn case was that the origin story was significantly different from Al Simmons Spawn.

  3. #53
    Loco Motu Vato ehenyo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adam_Prince of Eternia View Post
    Fan-created characters are unauthorized derivative works of an existing intellectual property, which is copyright infringement. So not only can fans not monetize their creations, but if Mattel so chose, they could sue those fans into bankruptcy. Moreover, Mattel cannot "steal" something that does not legally belong to someone else. Fans do not have legal rights to their infringing works, so they cannot be stolen.
    This is one of those times where I can say if Mattel or anybody else going after fans would lose more in goodwill (and sales) than they would gain from going after fans.
    "I wouldn't be surprised if this movie has Adam as a skinny nerd from Earth battling another skinny nerd-hacker from Earth that used an alias of Keldor. They then enter Tron-style to a cyber world called Eternia, where they control muscle-bound avatars to battle (called He-Man and Skeletor). And these same avatars come to life and continue to battle in present-day Earth." - VZX

  4. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by ehenyo View Post
    This is one of those times where I can say if Mattel or anybody else going after fans would lose more in goodwill (and sales) than they would gain from going after fans.
    I dont think the point was that they should, but merely that they likely already have a legal claim anyway, thus nullifying any concept of theft.

  5. #55
    ‹ber Fan Adam_Prince of Eternia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by headache79 View Post
    I haven't worked for a copyright and IP lawyer in about five years so it's possible laws have changed, but fan fiction and fan derivative works are not this cut and dried.

    If you sell a product on Masters of the Universe packaging and try to pass it off as authentic, yes they can sue you for infringement. At that point you are potentially interfering with their business and weakening their IP.

    If you create a character and write stories about it and make your own action figures -- they can send you a cease and desist for infringement but they are not legally given the rights to your character, stories, or action figures. You could go in and change everything that makes it MOTU and make it an original story and they can't do anything -- and they wouldn't have the right to use your evil Blue Robot Cat.

    Otherwise there would be no 50 Shades of Grey -- as that started out as Twilight fan fiction and was changed and altered to be its own thing.

    This is why many companies discourage their employees from reading unsolicited scripts, fan fiction, or interacting in fan spaces -- because the potential for being accused of stealing an idea or concept from a fan could lead to bigger headaches.
    Yes, it is this cut and dry, you just do not understand the law. If you create an original work, and attempt to mislead consumers into believing its source is Mattel, that is trademark infringement. If you create an unauthorized derivative work of an intellectual property that belongs to Mattel, that is copyright infringement.

    Entities do not accept unsolicited works, because it is costly to defend against lawsuits, whether they have merit or not. It is much simpler and more cost-effective to reject unsolicited works outright, than to have to prove ownership in court.

    50 Shades of Grey may have started as a Twilight fan-fiction, but was changed substantially enough, that they are no longer related. There are no vampires, werewolves, or witches in 50 Shades of Grey. There are no references, oblique or otherwise, to Twilight. Hell, there is no supernatural whatsoever. All of the characters, their names, backgrounds, and relationships are changed. It is a completeld different work.

    That is not what is happening here. Copy Cat is a Battle Cat derivate deisgned to be a mount for Faker in Masters of the Universe. It is a work that at least one person posted before Joe Amato registered here. And years later, another person posted one, and it was named "Copy Cat." A post to which Joe Amato responded, and suggested the name "Doppel Cat." So he did not come up with the idea or the name, let alone fundamentally change it and remove it from the world of Masters of the Universe.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ehenyo View Post
    This is one of those times where I can say if Mattel or anybody else going after fans would lose more in goodwill (and sales) than they would gain from going after fans.
    I am not suggesting that Mattel should pursue that course of action or that it would be a worthwhile endeavor for them, only that it is within their legal rights to do so. It is why most entities are willing to turn a blind eye to unauthorized derivative works prepared by fans, so long as fans do not attempt to commercially exploit those works.

  6. #56
    In Stereo Where Available Dynamo of Eternia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nicholighkun View Post
    Also, the notion that Scott basically created a model that allowed other companies to swindle fans is worth mentioning. Again, yeah the video went too far into the personal attack zone in my opinion, but there is more than one topic worth mentioning.


    So because Scott came up with a model for selling items, and other companies took a queue from that and did their own shadier versions of it, he is responsible and should be blamed?

    If someone has a bad experience at a fast food drive-thru window, should we blame the person/restaurant that first came up with the drive-thru concept, rather than the restaurant/company where the bad experience occurred?

    If someone buys a set of kitchen knives from a store and used one of them to stab somebody, do we blame the store? Do we blame the company that made the kitchen knives? Do we blame the inventor of the kitchen knives?


    What the hell kind of logic is that? For a guy whose belief system is substantially based on the concept of forgive and forget, when it comes to your frustrations over toys and collectibles, you are quick to overreact, blow things out of proportion, and cast blame on people who are not actually responsible for the misdeeds of others just because you can find of some sort of "6 degrees of Kevin Bacon" connection between the person you are blaming and the people actually at fault (if there is any "fault" at all.... at times I've seen you blow issues out of proportion to the point where the vitriol itself is ridiculous no matter who you are pointing it at).
    Last edited by Dynamo of Eternia; September 21, 2021 at 03:32am.
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  7. #57
    ‹ber Fan Adam_Prince of Eternia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hoffman View Post
    I dont think the point was that they should, but merely that they likely already have a legal claim anyway, thus nullifying any concept of theft.
    Correct. An unauthorized derivative work is considered stolen intellectual property, so the person who prepared it has no exclusive rights to it. Legally speaking, it would be like stealing a car and repainting it, then when the police return the car to the original owner, trying to sue him for ownership of the paint job.

  8. #58
    Heroic Warrior Bonehead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nicholighkun View Post
    Also, the notion that Scott basically created a model that allowed other companies to swindle fans is worth mentioning.
    Yeah it's worth mentioning that it's completely false and untrue.

  9. #59
    In Stereo Where Available Dynamo of Eternia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by headache79 View Post
    I haven't worked for a copyright and IP lawyer in about five years so it's possible laws have changed, but fan fiction and fan derivative works are not this cut and dried.

    If you sell a product on Masters of the Universe packaging and try to pass it off as authentic, yes they can sue you for infringement. At that point you are potentially interfering with their business and weakening their IP.

    If you create a character and write stories about it and make your own action figures -- they can send you a cease and desist for infringement but they are not legally given the rights to your character, stories, or action figures. You could go in and change everything that makes it MOTU and make it an original story and they can't do anything -- and they wouldn't have the right to use your evil Blue Robot Cat.

    Otherwise there would be no 50 Shades of Grey -- as that started out as Twilight fan fiction and was changed and altered to be its own thing.

    This is why many companies discourage their employees from reading unsolicited scripts, fan fiction, or interacting in fan spaces -- because the potential for being accused of stealing an idea or concept from a fan could lead to bigger headaches.

    I see your point here, and being that you've worked in that field, you are far more qualified to speak on this sort of thing than I am.

    The only point I will make here is that I think there is a big difference between someone creating an unofficial all new character that they intend to be part of their fan-fic lore of an existing IP, and someone making what is barely a derivative variant of an existing character.

    For example, as controversial at the character has been in the MOTU fandom and is of course part of the topic of the video in question, let's look at Scott's own creation, The Mighty Spector. Obviously that now does exist as an officially branded MOTU character.

    But hypothetically, let's suppose Scott never worked for Mattel and was someone making his own fan-fic and maybe figure customs or artwork based on this character that he created. Obviously (in this scenario) he is intending this to be part of MOTU in his mind, and he is likely trying to make artwork, customs, or whatever in roughly some form of MOTU ascetic.... BUT it's obviously an original character that does not have any substantial similarity to other existing MOTU characters.


    On the other side of the coin, there is something like Duplicat...

    Faker, an official MOTU character, as depicted in the original toy line, was an evil robot version of He-Man with blue skin, orange hair, and orange Skeletor armor. He was literally a very derivative character with next to no major differences. Now while in the original toy line or even 200X, we never really got a version of Faker as a toy with any kind of battle damage showing his internal robotic parts, that did change in MOTU Classics when we got a Faker head (packed in with NA Skeletor if I recall correctly) with battle damage. And even if that never happened, the general concept of a robot with mechanical parts on the inside and looking like a living being on the outside isn't some foreign new concept.

    He-Man rides Battle Cat, and Faker is an evil robotic duplicate of He-Man. The idea of giving Faker and evil robotic duplicate of Battle Cat is not much of a leap to make. There have been various fan variations of that concept. And Joe Amato's is particularly good. But in concept, it is not a huge original conceptual leap to make, and does not really differ that substantially from Battle Cat, the character that it is derived from.

    So the idea that Mattel should be completely hands off of such an idea because fan versions of it already exist is kind of silly IMO.


    Now, there are clearly some particular similarities between Duplicat and Joe Amato's Copicat... and as pointed out in this RetroBlasting video, some of the people at Mattel involved with it even referred to the Mattel Power-Con exclusive as Copicat a few times when the should have been using the Duplicat name. So it does seem that they took particular influence from Joe's creation even if they won't come right out and admit it.

    Do I think that is at least kind of ethically a little shady? Yeah. But (and I say this as someone who is NOT a legal expert) I don't think it's anything that would hold up in court.

    And Joe (and other customizers like him) does make a living making and selling custom figures based on existing official IPs. I personally have no problem with that at all. I think he does a lot of great work and I love seeing what he makes. I think it is awesome that he has been able to make a living doing this. BUT none the less, he is making a living selling unofficial items (even if they are, at least partially made up of parts taken from official items) under IPs that are officially owned by other companies.

    Legally speaking, those companies could send a cease and desist to him and potentially do worse if they wanted to. I don't want that to happen, as fan creations like this are typically done because those fans are typically making these things out of passion and love for those brands that they've enjoyed and supported for years. But given that what they are doing is most likely technically copyright infringement, I think it's best to pick one's battles. That means if a fan is regularly making and selling items that can be considered infringement of the copyright that the IP owner had, it might be best for that fan and others like them to look the other way if once in a blue moon something like a Duplicat/Copicat situation arises with the owner of that IP.
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  10. #60
    No Red Beast, We Riot! Whiplash7's Avatar
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    If it's a hit-piece on Scott, I'm not even going to watch it.
    Edit: saw a quick clip, like very quick. It's typical Retroblasting whining. Look like he was taking some shots at some great characters too, that I like (Previous He-Men).
    Go back to playing with your 5 POA Star Wars figures, Michael. No one cares.

  11. #61
    Heroic Warrior headache79's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dynamo of Eternia View Post
    I see your point here, and being that you've worked in that field, you are far more qualified to speak on this sort of thing than I am.

    The only point I will make here is that I think there is a big difference between someone creating an unofficial all new character that they intend to be part of their fan-fic lore of an existing IP, and someone making what is barely a derivative variant of an existing character.

    For example, as controversial at the character has been in the MOTU fandom and is of course part of the topic of the video in question, let's look at Scott's own creation, The Mighty Spector. Obviously that now does exist as an officially branded MOTU character.

    But hypothetically, let's suppose Scott never worked for Mattel and was someone making his own fan-fic and maybe figure customs or artwork based on this character that he created. Obviously (in this scenario) he is intending this to be part of MOTU in his mind, and he is likely trying to make artwork, customs, or whatever in roughly some form of MOTU ascetic.... BUT it's obviously an original character that does not have any substantial similarity to other existing MOTU characters.


    On the other side of the coin, there is something like Duplicat...

    Faker, an official MOTU character, as depicted in the original toy line, was an evil robot version of He-Man with blue skin, orange hair, and orange Skeletor armor. He was literally a very derivative character with next to no major differences. Now while in the original toy line or even 200X, we never really got a version of Faker as a toy with any kind of battle damage showing his internal robotic parts, that did change in MOTU Classics when we got a Faker head (packed in with NA Skeletor if I recall correctly) with battle damage. And even if that never happened, the general concept of a robot with mechanical parts on the inside and looking like a living being on the outside isn't some foreign new concept.

    He-Man rides Battle Cat, and Faker is an evil robotic duplicate of He-Man. The idea of giving Faker and evil robotic duplicate of Battle Cat is not much of a leap to make. There have been various fan variations of that concept. And Joe Amato's is particularly good. But in concept, it is not a huge original conceptual leap to make, and does not really differ that substantially from Battle Cat, the character that it is derived from.

    So the idea that Mattel should be completely hands off of such an idea because fan versions of it already exist is kind of silly IMO.


    Now, there are clearly some particular similarities between Duplicat and Joe Amato's Copicat... and as pointed out in this RetroBlasting video, some of the people at Mattel involved with it even referred to the Mattel Power-Con exclusive as Copicat a few times when the should have been using the Duplicat name. So it does seem that they took particular influence from Joe's creation even if they won't come right out and admit it.

    Do I think that is at least kind of ethically a little shady? Yeah. But (and I say this as someone who is NOT a legal expert) I don't think it's anything that would hold up in court.

    And Joe (and other customizers like him) does make a living making and selling custom figures based on existing official IPs. I personally have no problem with that at all. I think he does a lot of great work and I love seeing what he makes. I think it is awesome that he has been able to make a living doing this. BUT none the less, he is making a living selling unofficial items (even if they are, at least partially made up of parts taken from official items) under IPs that are officially owned by other companies.

    Legally speaking, those companies could send a cease and desist to him and potentially do worse if they wanted to. I don't want that to happen, as fan creations like this are typically done because those fans are typically making these things out of passion and love for those brands that they've enjoyed and supported for years. But given that what they are doing is most likely technically copyright infringement, I think it's best to pick one's battles. That means if a fan is regularly making and selling items that can be considered infringement of the copyright that the IP owner had, it might be best for that fan and others like them to look the other way if once in a blue moon something like a Duplicat/Copicat situation arises with the owner of that IP.

    Right. All of this.

    But the important point is that Mattel doesn't get to legally assume that they own the character or the name no matter how derivative it is. Stealing a fan design no matter how derivative or unoriginal it seems to you or I doesn't make it right or legal. Mattel pays a lot of money to in-house designers on staff for a reason rather than buying outside ideas.

    Would a lawsuit against Mattel be successful on Faker's blue robot mount-cat? Iffy. Especially for the design since it is essentially Battle Cat/Panthor with Faker colors. A legal case would be a lot stronger for the name -- which is my assumption as to why they officially call it Dupli-Cat rather than Copy-Cat on the boxes and for the solicitations.

  12. #62
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    I only own one Classics figure... Adora. That's it. Only because she is my favorite character. So, I wasn't around for the Classics drama, whatever it is. I'm a GIJoe fan first, but Origins got my fandom of He-Man cooking.

    The only thing I really care about/agree with in the video... The Classics combined mythology is bad - I agree. Listening over time in Scott's videos does sound lame when he talks about different story elements Classics introduced. That's my opinion. The characters as figures were supposed to be basic arch-types anyway, skull/death, warrior woman, evil sorceress, a warrior man with a sword and shield, on and on. All these in-depth details and explanations are unneeded, and worst of all, a lot sound cringe. This is the only one I really care about because once bad ideas are introduced, you can't get rid of them (see Luke as a sad piece of crap who gave up in Last Jedi).

    The other stuff gone over in the video I don't have much opinion on (Classics impact on toy collecting as a hobby, Scott as a shill for toy companies, influencers carrying water for Mattel, etc). I do think the one thing you can say for certain, though, companies are not friends to the consumer.

  13. #63
    Heroic Warrior MGurlea's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by headache79 View Post
    Right. All of this.

    But the important point is that Mattel doesn't get to legally assume that they own the character or the name no matter how derivative it is. Stealing a fan design no matter how derivative or unoriginal it seems to you or I doesn't make it right or legal. Mattel pays a lot of money to in-house designers on staff for a reason rather than buying outside ideas.

    Would a lawsuit against Mattel be successful on Faker's blue robot mount-cat? Iffy. Especially for the design since it is essentially Battle Cat/Panthor with Faker colors. A legal case would be a lot stronger for the name -- which is my assumption as to why they officially call it Dupli-Cat rather than Copy-Cat on the boxes and for the solicitations.
    It would be interesting to hear from an actual IP attorney on this topic. You used to work with some? Can you get a free opinion on the matter? Just based on the clips that the Retro Blasting guy showed there is an issue and people are aware of it. Clearly Mattel can not just straight up take these ideas and run with it based on those clips and they know it. He showed one video with Val and they were trying to placate the topic. The "attack" on Pixel Dan was more just Retro Blasting pointing out how he gave cover to Mattel when it came to Dupli-Cat. You have to admit that was kind of bad on Pixel Dan's part. The Mattel guy clearly says, "Copy-Cat" and Dan immediately cuts him off and says, "YOU MEAN DUPLI-CAT?! DUPLI-CAT! THE PRESS RELEASE SAYS DUPLI-CAT!" Talk about cover. I get it that Dan would not have a channel if he didn't play nice with Mattel. I guess Retro Blasting's point is that don't expect hard hitting journalism from Dan. But at the end of the day who really cares about Dan trying to hold Mattel accountable because it is just toys.

    So how much in this video is true about Neitlich? I have not followed things that closely for years but have just seen people post how they hate Neitlich and don't listen to what he has to say. But I would never see anyone explain why. Same thing with Bobby Vala. The Vala issue to me seems more that people just don't like his personality and politics. Whatever. I actually kind of like it. But if what Retro Blasting says is true about Neitlich then I kind of see why people don't like him. How much of the criticism against Neitlich should we believe?

    My thing is, Vala and Neitlich are like the only two people who have worked in the toy industry who post inside information about how the industry works and you can ask them questions. That reason alone I am willing to give them a pass on some things to hear their answers and understand things better about toys.

  14. #64
    Heroic Actor Johnny Depp's Avatar
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    I honestly canít even remember the last time I posted anything (or even logged in, for that matter) instead of lurking around, but I really felt like I wanted to add to this discussion.
    Retroblasting doing a hit piece on Scott is in pretty poor taste, but there are also a lot of shades of gray to sort through.
    I think itís a good example of Scott being his own worst enemy, which may as well be his trademark move at this point. The guy has caught a lot of flack over the years, some of it deserved, and some of it not so much.
    His YouTube crusade to make a case of Origins failing has just become ridiculous at this point, and I can genuinely see why some of the stuff that he posts could get this sort of reaction out of people. As someone mentioned earlier, heís never been the type of guy to admit heís wrong, usually choosing to double down.
    He recently posted a video about the power-con reveals, and continued his narrative of origins being a failure. Itís like he totally ignores the that one of the founding ideas of MOTU was parts re-use, and we all know very well, as does he, that re-using parts isnít any kind of a death knell for this property. Heís doing that on purpose, folks.
    I asked him in the comments how heíd compare MOTUC at the same stage to Origins, since itís the most apples to apples comparison we could possibly get, and he said that Classics was on fire and he got a lot more unique tooling than Origins has at this point.
    And thatís simply not the case. I sat down and checked everything, and Classics had Tytus and Gygor, both of which were reused (and Iím sure) had been planned out that way.
    Origins has Ram Man, Mosquitor, Grayskull, the sky sled, Land Shark, and the Wind Raider.
    I replied to him with that information, and he hasnít said anything back yet, so Iím going to assume heís just going to ignore it.
    TL;DR, while I donít condone what Michael is doing with that video, I also donít think that we should pretend that Scott is totally innocent here, either. Heís just as thirsty, heís just going about it in a different way, and itís really obvious to me that heís still got a lot of hurt feelings.

  15. #65
    No Red Beast, We Riot! Whiplash7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny Depp View Post
    I honestly can’t even remember the last time I posted anything (or even logged in, for that matter) instead of lurking around, but I really felt like I wanted to add to this discussion.
    Retroblasting doing a hit piece on Scott is in pretty poor taste, but there are also a lot of shades of gray to sort through.
    I think it’s a good example of Scott being his own worst enemy, which may as well be his trademark move at this point. The guy has caught a lot of flack over the years, some of it deserved, and some of it not so much.
    His YouTube crusade to make a case of Origins failing has just become ridiculous at this point, and I can genuinely see why some of the stuff that he posts could get this sort of reaction out of people. As someone mentioned earlier, he’s never been the type of guy to admit he’s wrong, usually choosing to double down.
    He recently posted a video about the power-con reveals, and continued his narrative of origins being a failure. It’s like he totally ignores the that one of the founding ideas of MOTU was parts re-use, and we all know very well, as does he, that re-using parts isn’t any kind of a death knell for this property. He’s doing that on purpose, folks.
    I asked him in the comments how he’d compare MOTUC at the same stage to Origins, since it’s the most apples to apples comparison we could possibly get, and he said that Classics was on fire and he got a lot more unique tooling than Origins has at this point.
    And that’s simply not the case. I sat down and checked everything, and Classics had Tytus and Gygor, both of which were reused (and I’m sure) had been planned out that way.
    Origins has Ram Man, Mosquitor, Grayskull, the sky sled, Land Shark, and the Wind Raider.
    I replied to him with that information, and he hasn’t said anything back yet, so I’m going to assume he’s just going to ignore it.
    TL;DR, while I don’t condone what Michael is doing with that video, I also don’t think that we should pretend that Scott is totally innocent here, either. He’s just as thirsty, he’s just going about it in a different way, and it’s really obvious to me that he’s still got a lot of hurt feelings.
    He's doing what now? Claiming origins is a failure? LOL
    I almost don't even want to know.

    Quote Originally Posted by Man-Man View Post
    Michael is the definition of an insufferable gatekeeper. Dude is so entrenched in the past that it’s rotting his brain.
    This is so very well put. This x1000

  16. #66
    Heroic Warrior motogp_fanatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nickdoobs View Post
    Imagine being on the toy aisle and hearing a kid throwing a temper tantrum cause his mom wouldn't buy him what he wanted... for 37 minutes straight.
    This response sums it up for those people who don't like to give time to the video or read long post here.


    Quote Originally Posted by Adam_Prince of Eternia View Post
    Yes, it is this cut and dry, you just do not understand the law. If you create an original work, and attempt to mislead consumers into believing its source is Mattel, that is trademark infringement. If you create an unauthorized derivative work of an intellectual property that belongs to Mattel, that is copyright infringement.

    Entities do not accept unsolicited works, because it is costly to defend against lawsuits, whether they have merit or not. It is much simpler and more cost-effective to reject unsolicited works outright, than to have to prove ownership in court.

    50 Shades of Grey may have started as a Twilight fan-fiction, but was changed substantially enough, that they are no longer related. There are no vampires, werewolves, or witches in 50 Shades of Grey. There are no references, oblique or otherwise, to Twilight. Hell, there is no supernatural whatsoever. All of the characters, their names, backgrounds, and relationships are changed. It is a completeld different work.

    That is not what is happening here. Copy Cat is a Battle Cat derivate deisgned to be a mount for Faker in Masters of the Universe. It is a work that at least one person posted before Joe Amato registered here. And years later, another person posted one, and it was named "Copy Cat." A post to which Joe Amato responded, and suggested the name "Doppel Cat." So he did not come up with the idea or the name, let alone fundamentally change it and remove it from the world of Masters of the Universe.

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    I am not suggesting that Mattel should pursue that course of action or that it would be a worthwhile endeavor for them, only that it is within their legal rights to do so. It is why most entities are willing to turn a blind eye to unauthorized derivative works prepared by fans, so long as fans do not attempt to commercially exploit those works.
    This response sums it up for those people who like the issues to be crystal clear.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dynamo of Eternia View Post
    I see your point here, and being that you've worked in that field, you are far more qualified to speak on this sort of thing than I am.

    The only point I will make here is that I think there is a big difference between someone creating an unofficial all new character that they intend to be part of their fan-fic lore of an existing IP, and someone making what is barely a derivative variant of an existing character.

    For example, as controversial at the character has been in the MOTU fandom and is of course part of the topic of the video in question, let's look at Scott's own creation, The Mighty Spector. Obviously that now does exist as an officially branded MOTU character.

    But hypothetically, let's suppose Scott never worked for Mattel and was someone making his own fan-fic and maybe figure customs or artwork based on this character that he created. Obviously (in this scenario) he is intending this to be part of MOTU in his mind, and he is likely trying to make artwork, customs, or whatever in roughly some form of MOTU ascetic.... BUT it's obviously an original character that does not have any substantial similarity to other existing MOTU characters.


    On the other side of the coin, there is something like Duplicat...

    Faker, an official MOTU character, as depicted in the original toy line, was an evil robot version of He-Man with blue skin, orange hair, and orange Skeletor armor. He was literally a very derivative character with next to no major differences. Now while in the original toy line or even 200X, we never really got a version of Faker as a toy with any kind of battle damage showing his internal robotic parts, that did change in MOTU Classics when we got a Faker head (packed in with NA Skeletor if I recall correctly) with battle damage. And even if that never happened, the general concept of a robot with mechanical parts on the inside and looking like a living being on the outside isn't some foreign new concept.

    He-Man rides Battle Cat, and Faker is an evil robotic duplicate of He-Man. The idea of giving Faker and evil robotic duplicate of Battle Cat is not much of a leap to make. There have been various fan variations of that concept. And Joe Amato's is particularly good. But in concept, it is not a huge original conceptual leap to make, and does not really differ that substantially from Battle Cat, the character that it is derived from.

    So the idea that Mattel should be completely hands off of such an idea because fan versions of it already exist is kind of silly IMO.


    Now, there are clearly some particular similarities between Duplicat and Joe Amato's Copicat... and as pointed out in this RetroBlasting video, some of the people at Mattel involved with it even referred to the Mattel Power-Con exclusive as Copicat a few times when the should have been using the Duplicat name. So it does seem that they took particular influence from Joe's creation even if they won't come right out and admit it.

    Do I think that is at least kind of ethically a little shady? Yeah. But (and I say this as someone who is NOT a legal expert) I don't think it's anything that would hold up in court.

    And Joe (and other customizers like him) does make a living making and selling custom figures based on existing official IPs. I personally have no problem with that at all. I think he does a lot of great work and I love seeing what he makes. I think it is awesome that he has been able to make a living doing this. BUT none the less, he is making a living selling unofficial items (even if they are, at least partially made up of parts taken from official items) under IPs that are officially owned by other companies.

    Legally speaking, those companies could send a cease and desist to him and potentially do worse if they wanted to. I don't want that to happen, as fan creations like this are typically done because those fans are typically making these things out of passion and love for those brands that they've enjoyed and supported for years. But given that what they are doing is most likely technically copyright infringement, I think it's best to pick one's battles. That means if a fan is regularly making and selling items that can be considered infringement of the copyright that the IP owner had, it might be best for that fan and others like them to look the other way if once in a blue moon something like a Duplicat/Copicat situation arises with the owner of that IP.
    This response sums it up for those people who wants to have a more personal touch on the topic.

    I love the explanations guys, it is good to learn and be more informed on stuff.
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  17. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whiplash7 View Post
    He's doing what now? Claiming origins is a failure? LOL
    I almost don't even want to know.


    This is so very well put. This x1000
    Yeah, it’s absurd. I wouldn’t want to encourage anyone to watch his videos, but apparently it’s been going on for a little bit. They even went out of their way to confirm that Origins isn’t going away at the power-con panel.

    Totally agree about Michael being a gatekeeper, too.

  18. #68
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    Yeah I watched one of Scott's origins videos, and he simultaneously says thst MOTU as a brand has historically relied on parts reuse, and then says that Origins is faltering because some waves have heavy parts reuse.

    I think his general statements are accurate, that the better a line sells, the more budget it will have for tooling. That'sbasic business budgeting. But he seems to be looking at origins with a skewed lens, since he doesn't seem to see the original tooling, and seems to be looking for new tooling in situations where it isn't even needed.

  19. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by nickdoobs View Post
    Imagine being on the toy aisle and hearing a kid throwing a temper tantrum cause his mom wouldn't buy him what he wanted... for 37 minutes straight.
    This, only it’s not a kid it’s a 40+ year old man screaming like a little kid
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  20. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hoffman View Post
    Yeah I watched one of Scott's origins videos, and he simultaneously says thst MOTU as a brand has historically relied on parts reuse, and then says that Origins is faltering because some waves have heavy parts reuse.

    I think his general statements are accurate, that the better a line sells, the more budget it will have for tooling. That'sbasic business budgeting. But he seems to be looking at origins with a skewed lens, since he doesn't seem to see the original tooling, and seems to be looking for new tooling in situations where it isn't even needed.
    As far as I can remember, Scott is telling his viewers to always watch out for releases that used new tooling because it is a sign that the line is healthy and making money. If we see continuous waves with parts reuse, it is a sign that the line might not be making enough profit or losing the interest of the investors.

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    Quote Originally Posted by motogp_fanatic View Post
    As far as I can remember, Scott is telling his viewers to always watch out for releases that used new tooling because it is a sign that the line is healthy and making money. If we see continuous waves with parts reuse, it is a sign that the line might not be making enough profit or losing the interest of the investors.

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    Yes, but my point is that the entire origins line is dependent on heavy parts re-use. I would guess that's one of the only reasons it was green-lit, and at such an affordable price point. The vintage style suits parts re-use, since that's how it was created originally. I'm not sure what characters he's expecting to be revealed that have more original tooling than the stuff we've gotten.

  22. #72
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    I have no desire to watch this video, but my private messages online have blown up with people telling me about it.

    A quick glance at the RB video's comments and clearly a lot of people do not agree with the video. The dislikes are also very strong. I don't know if there's some rivalry there between Retroblasting and Scott, but airing one's dirty laundry is never a good look IMO.

    As far as RB going after Pixel Dan and me for something that isn't related to the video, and is something neither one of us has any control over, that whole part is baffling to me based on what I've been told about it. My position about Dupli-Cat is outlined quite well in the Fans of Power video; a video where Joe himself said he wasn't upset and he told people not to blame me for Dupli-Cat. So RB is flagrantly disregarding Joe's wishes and Joe's position on the matter.

    No matter how anyone feels about Scott, I feel trying to roast the guy serves little purpose. In fact, this RB video actually seems to have helped Scott.
    From what I've read in this thread, you all are keeping things mostly civil and thank you for that. That said, I wouldn't be surprised if a mod shuts this down simply because it's wandering into territory about speaking ill of others and that's just not the atmosphere we like to project here on the Org.
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  23. #73
    Heroic Warrior motogp_fanatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hoffman View Post
    Yes, but my point is that the entire origins line is dependent on heavy parts re-use. I would guess that's one of the only reasons it was green-lit, and at such an affordable price point. The vintage style suits parts re-use, since that's how it was created originally. I'm not sure what characters he's expecting to be revealed that have more original tooling than the stuff we've gotten.
    I understand your point but with new tooling, Scott is refering to the basic human(He-Man) and reptile(Skeletor) buck. If we see Rio Blast, Extendar or Mekaneck with action feature, it is a new tooling. Also Snake Men like King Hsss, Squeess and Kobra Khan with action features. Continuos vehicle and playset release means investment is pouring in on the line which means it is healthy and going strong forward.

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  24. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by motogp_fanatic View Post
    I understand your point but with new tooling, Scott is refering to the basic human(He-Man) and reptile(Skeletor) buck. If we see Rio Blast, Extendar or Mekaneck with action feature, it is a new tooling. Also Snake Men like King Hsss, Squeess and Kobra Khan with action features. Continuos vehicle and playset release means investment is pouring in on the line which means it is healthy and going strong forward.

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    Sorry, I'm not sure what you're trying to communicate. You seem to be repeating basic information that we're all aware of. I'm well aware of what constitutes new or reused tooling.

    The fact of the matter is, they are working through all the normal characters that any MOTU line would work through. And we are getting new tooled figures, playsets, vehicles, and creatures.

    Any line thst is managed in a healthy manner isn't going to dump a whole bunch of new tooling at once. No, you will never see all the Snakemen at once or anything like that. It wouldn't be good pacing for a line anyway.

    I dont think we're necessarily disagreeing on any point, but you keep replying with pretty basic statements and I'm trying to dig a little deeper into the rationale behind the pace and structure of the line.

  25. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by nickdoobs View Post
    that video makes me want to buy a Mighty Spector figure.
    What's funny is I sold off the majority of my Classics collection a number of years ago and yet hung onto my Mighty Spector. I don't think there's a collector who if they are truly honest with themselves saw MS as a 'glory project' for Scott. He ran the line and made sure it stayed on course (with fans subbing of course) and when it came time to insert his childhood created character into Classics he went for it. I actually dig the idea because it moves the mythos forward rather than Classics merely being a retread of the 80's line. Oh and Retroblasting's comment about Scott creating MS as a child to stave off boredom while being lonely... wow, low blow. I'm sure many of us would raise our hands if we were asked if we spent time lonely as children because of whatever circumstance, but RB implying Scott was lonely because he was friendless, that's just dirty pool and Michael should be ashamed of himself for going for the throat.

    Furthermore, I really hate hit pieces like RB's video. It's nasty, mean-spirited and frankly very indicative of the type of person RB is becoming as he gets older, more bitter and dissatisfied with modern collecting. Save it for your therapist or offline conversations with your friends and family. Just doesn't need its own allocated video to gripe endlessly and ad hominem attack Scott Neitlich.
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