This is the email that I was sent from Hasbro’s public relations department after I emailed them regarding the cease and desist order issued to Mane6 for Fighting is Magic. From what I’ve been told, several people who also emailed them were sent the same exact message verbatim. It’s callousness is disgusting, and I’m completely fed up with this company.
Here’s what I want you all to do. IMMEDIATELY STOP BUYING HASBRO MERCHANDISE. Whether you thought the take-down of Fighting is Magic was justified or not, THEIR CONDUCT IN THE MATTER IS NOT. Do not buy ANYTHING officially licensed by Hasbro. If you need to purchase MLP merchandise, make SURE it is is 100% fan made and that none of the proceeds go back to Hasbro in any way. If they insist on shutting down non-profit fan projects protected by fair use, then make sure that the fan content exists in it’s own little economic bubble and that Hasbro can NOT profit from it in any way. They don’t deserve your money.
Also, if you make fan content, make sure you remain anonymous. Clearly, not even non-profit fan projects are safe.
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I don’t think you fully understand whats going on here. I can understand you being upset that something you like is being taken down by forces beyond your control, but all this is fully within their rights as the primary copyright and trademark owners on the franchise.
The response letter you received is frankly, not callous or disrespectful. In fact it is typical respectable legal boilerplate response to an inquiry by an uninvolved 3rd party. They didn’t even need to respond to you as you are not involved directly in the events transpiring, but they did. That’s actually a more respectful move than you are giving them credit for.
Also, non-profit fan works absolutely do not fall under fair-use laws. Fair use only covers IP being used in criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, research, and “parody.” This game falls under none of these categories, not even parody as parody usually implies criticism. I can’t stress this enough, —> Fan projects are NEVER protected by fair-use <— The only way they can be is if they fall under one of those aforementioned categories.
They OTHER problem here is that if you guys start boycotting Hasbro merch, including FIM merch, all you are doing is sucking money from the company that funds your franchise. They can do one of 3 things. Give in to your demands (not likely, you are not their main audience which is the 2-11 age bracket.) Do nothing at all and let things happen. (Most likely response) Or just take their ball and go home, no money coming in for merch = death of your tv show (possible but very unlikely)
In this situation, the only thing you can possibly do, is petition and raise money so that Mane6 can buy an actual license to the MLP:FIM franchise to continue their game. But since a game where the main characters in a friendly kids cartoon are fighting each other, against the actual intention of the show’s core message of friendship (its in the freaking subtitle) I highly doubt they would ever allow that license to be acquired.
I was just as sad when Chrono Ressurection was cease and decist’d, but its not their intellectual property to play with. Just let this go.