Impact Wrestling, Hardys Embroiled in Nasty Legal Battle Over "Broken" Universe

Discussion in '[Hidden] Impact Wrestling' started by It's Damn Real!, Mar 14, 2017.

  1. It's Damn Real!

    It's Damn Real! The undisputed, undefeated TNA &

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    http://www.wrestlinginc.com/wi/news...dy-responds-to-impact-wrestling-legal-threat/

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    This is ugly. Reby Hardy recently released an Anti-Impact parody t-shirt that reads "Fuck That Owl", and has been lashing out at the company on social media for the last week, plus.

    Apparently IW are OK with the Hardy's using the gimmick outside of Impact, but want a cut of their profits, which has both sides pitted against each other baring teeth.
     
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  2. d_henderson1810

    d_henderson1810 Mid-Card Championship Winner

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    It depends who "owns" the gimmick.

    If Matt Hardy created the gimmick, and owns it, then he can do the character when he likes, to who he likes, and there is nothing that TNA can do about it.

    But if he signed away the "gimmick" as part of his contract, then TNA might own the gimmick, even though Matt created it.

    It is like if a rock musicians signs with Sony. They sign over their songs, meaning that the record company gets to decide who gets to cover it, sample it or any other use, but the original musician gets a cut every time it is used as well.

    So Matt, as creator of the gimmick, still gets compensated, but the question is whether TNA also "own" the gimmick.

    It is a shame that it has come to this, considering that the "Broken Hardys" have saved TNA from going under, and made it relevant and "interesting" again. Maybe Jarrett and Anthem need to remember that.
     
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  3. It's Damn Real!

    It's Damn Real! The undisputed, undefeated TNA &

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    Another update in the never-ending feud between the Hardys and IW:

    Matt Hardy tweeted at Ed Nordholm, the EVP of Anthem Sports, claiming he wants to keep Hardy's creation (the Broken universe) "hostage from fans", citing that because of this, they (Anthem), "DO NOT care about the fans". He and his wife, Reby, in fact, have been hounding Impact for what feels like months over this.

    Before I explain why I think he's wrong, let me just say that I am actually hoping for a resolution here and that WWE and Impact come to a financial agreement to allow the use of the Broken characters on WWE TV. It's clear the fans want to see it, which puts Impact in a fortuitous position. Given WWE's wealth, it's not inconceivable that they can simply financially compensate Impact in order to secure the rights to reference both brothers as Broken on WWE television. Whether or not that happens, however, Matt is simply wrong here. He's been wrong from the start, and he proves it with appeals to emotion like this recent tweet.

    In the world of IP (Intellectual Property), it's really, really simple. If you are contracted to a company and use that company's assets (computers, screen time, fuckin' legal pad, whatever) to flush that idea out, especially to the level of profit, that company, at the bare minimum, owns a percentage of your profits. This is complicated given the nature of pro wrestling contracts but in the case of the Hardy's it's quite simple. The characters debuted and were grown organically on Impact television. It doesn't matter what toilet bowl, IHOP, outhouse, or used car sales lot Reby or Matt or Jeff "thought" the ideas up. They were developed through Impact Wrestling. As a result, Impact owns the rights to these characters. In exactly the same way that WWE owns the rights to Cody's "Rhodes" last name. It' why he's simply gone by "Cody" in Impact, ROH, and Japan. Because none of those companies have secured the rights to legally refer to him by the IP of WWE.

    I joked a while ago, but I've since said seriously, that should Impact sign Cody Rhodes to a long-term contract, the solution here is simple — an exchange of IP. Just as they did years ago when Ric Flair (then under contract to TNA) appeared at a WWE Hall-of-Fame event. TNA allowed him to do so in exchange for an appearance by Christian Cage (then under contract to WWE) at a TNA PPV. It was a very minor deal. In this case, it would be larger, but given WWE's apparent plans for the Hardy's, should Impact get Cody Rhodes under contract, a simple exchange of the IPs makes too much sense not to happen. WWE would get access to all of the Broken universe, and TNA can finally refer to him as Cody Rhodes. It's win-win, really.

    Impact may be losing in the court of public opinion, but they are on pretty firm legal grounds as far as I can tell. Sure, being petty about this probably isn't gaining them any favor as they fight for the eyeball of fans, but I certainly can't fault them for not giving away an IP they have a legal right to and foregoing financial compensation in exchange for allowing it to be seen outside their programming.
     
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  4. Psykohurricane55

    Psykohurricane55 Moderator
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    What made the broken universe so special in tna was that matt had total control of the direction of the characters and what they did within the universe. That the reason why they left tna in the first place, because jarrett and company didn't want to give them total control anymore and while the fans reall wants to see it brought back in wwe, matt won't get total control over this and we might get another house of horrors type gimmick which isn't a good thing.

    Personally, while I think bringing this gimmick to wwe would be good, it would only work if matt is in control of it and anyway jeff doesn't need the gimmick to be over as a main eventer so they would bring this in for matt hardy only which I think it's not worth it if it's to only use it to created a midcard comedy character like the wwe will probably use this for.
     
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  5. ShinChan

    ShinChan Gone. For. Good.

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    I agree that IMPACT Wrestling actually has the rights to "Broken" stuff. Same with Cody Rhodes in case of WWE.

    But hear me out. What good does adding "Rhodes" to Cody's name does to IMPACT Wrestling? Almost all of us know that he's the son of Dusty Rhodes. So what's the benefit? It's not like he has been treated as a nobody. So how is it a win for IMPACT Wrestling? On one hand, IMPACT Wrestling loses the right to "Broken" stuff which indeed matters. On the other hand, IMPACT Wrestling gains the right to "Rhodes" name which doesn't matter as much.
     
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  6. klunderbunker

    klunderbunker Welcome to My (And Not Sly's) House

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    As IDR said, TNA does indeed have legal rights to the characters. That is about the extent of their positives in this whole situation.

    Before I get into this, allow me the following caveat: none of this matters if TNA's long term goal is just getting WWE to write them a big check for the rights to the Broken characters.

    Anyway, the company does indeed own the rights to the characters and they're the only people who care about that whatsoever. I know they have the IP and all that jazz but does ANYONE believe/care about that? Sure Impact can sit there and claim that it's their property but how does that benefit them? Are they going to keep selling the merchandise? Or debut Broken Sonjay and Brother Robbie E?

    Sure they could, but at the moment this is making them look like they don't care about the fans, which is a REALLY bad idea when you drawing half a million would be reason to break out the champagne (only the stuff from Walgreens though as they don't have the budget for the Wal-Mart brand).

    Over the years this company has looked rather stupid over and over again with one bad idea after another. I don't know if they believe there's some competition between themselves and WWE (there isn't) but this really does come off like "if we can't have it, no one can", which isn't the best way to build up popularity or public support.

    So what should they do? Pretty much just put the gimmick up for sale to WWE. No one else is going to benefit from it other than the Hardys so just take a big check and let it go. I have no idea what TNA thinks they're gaining from this by just sitting on the gimmick but they're going to lose in the court of public opinion, which is really the only thing that matters here.
     
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  7. Jack-Hammer

    Jack-Hammer YOU WILL RESPECT MY AUTHORITAH!!!!
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    I think it's been obvious that Impact Wrestling owned the "Broken Universe" from the moment the Hardy Boyz returned to WWE. If Vince's legal team thought that the company had anything remotely resembling solid legal ground to use the "Broken" gimmick, then WWE would've used it almost from the moment Matt and Jeff returned at WrestleMania.

    If Impact stubbornly refuses to enter into a deal with WWE, it'll be a shame for the fans who're into the gimmick but Impact will be the ones coming out looking like bad guys. Kinda weird when you think about it as this whole situation seems like something kind of petty and vindictive, which is what we tend to expect out of Vince if relationships sour between him and high profile talent who leave WWE.
     
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  8. It's Damn Real!

    It's Damn Real! The undisputed, undefeated TNA &

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    I realize the optics are bad, but I'd argue that they are always bad given their history of effectively always operating behind the eight ball with fans due to sour relationships established very early on (with WWE and ROH especially).

    I'd also go so far as to say that while much of what you said is true and makes sense (though it's also an appeal to emotion), that's not in and of itself a reason to simply let go of an IP that clearly has value.

    My guess is that they overvalued its worth, WWE low balled an offer for the rights, and everyone got stuck between.
     
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  9. It's Damn Real!

    It's Damn Real! The undisputed, undefeated TNA &

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    What you call a stubborn refusal to enter into a deal they'd likely call a refusal to accept a bad deal, which is irrelevant from a business perspective to fan perception/optics.

    Again, I completely understand they're losing the court of public opinion, but until we have a better idea of exactly what is misfiring here, it's really tough to say one way or another.
     
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  10. klunderbunker

    klunderbunker Welcome to My (And Not Sly's) House

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    It does have value, but not to TNA at the moment. Right now, it's sitting there, losing value every day they don't use it. The Hardys are probably going to stay in WWE as long as WWE wants them and I'd be surprised if they don't retire there. How much value can TNA get out of it at this point when the only buyer is WWE, who doesn't need it but rather wants it?
     
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  11. It's Damn Real!

    It's Damn Real! The undisputed, undefeated TNA &

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    I have no idea. It's worth something though, so it's worth it for them to not simply give it up for nothing which is what a lot of fans are effectively demanding they do. It's what Hardy and his wife are demanding they do, too.
     
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  12. ShinChan

    ShinChan Gone. For. Good.

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    I think that all IMPACT Wrestling could get out of "Broken" stuff is significant amount of money. You can't recreate it so there's no use of just keeping it so that Hardyz can't use it elsewhere. Maybe IMPACT Wrestling is expecting more money than acceptable or maybe WWE is offering less money than acceptable. Either way, it's going to affect the fans of "Broken" stuff. And regardless of the actual situation, IMPACT Wrestling will be the one on the hard end. Not that it's right but that's what is the perception now. It's more about "IMPACT Wrestling holding 'Broken' stuff hostage".
     
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  13. George Steele's Barber

    George Steele's Barber Advertise Here $9.95/month

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    Lets not pretend that only Matt Hardy is talented enough to color his hair and read quirky lines with a bad accent.

    IW could throw others in to the gimmick. And while it would be a mockery and not likely as good as the original, I sure as hell will actually tune in to the show to see how bad it is. It goes along with everything the Broken gimmick was, a train wreck. It helped that it was being played by a popular veteran but that doesn't mean Cody couldn't pull it off. It also doesn't have to be a long term veteran. Imagine if EC3 put his stamp on this. Even a young guy with nothing to lose could adopt the gimmick.

    I don't know. I agree that Anthem looks bad for holding the gimmick hostage but it is entirely hypocritical to criticize them when, for example, Damien Sandow goes to IW as nothing resembling a renaissance man, a stunt double, or the Macho Man himself. WWE eats, sleeps, and breaths their intellectual property rights, Anthem should be no different. They should use this little bit of leverage and get whatever they can out of it.
     
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    It's Damn Real! likes this.
  14. klunderbunker

    klunderbunker Welcome to My (And Not Sly's) House

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    It's true that WWE does the same thing but they're also in a very different place. Impact Wrestling is in more of a fight with ROH and various other companies for the indy fan market. They hardly have a good reputation in the first place and I really don't think they need to be worrying about intellectual property as much as building their business up to actually make some money. Telling wrestlers that anything they might develop underneath the Impact banner can't be used elsewhere isn't exactly a great way to attract much needed fresh talent.

    I get why they're doing this and there is something to it but it seems like they have FAR more important things to worry about right now.
     
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  15. It's Damn Real!

    It's Damn Real! The undisputed, undefeated TNA &

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    Conversely, neither is simply allowing IP you develop to walk out the door and make money hand-over-fist for a rival company a sound business strategy.
     
    #15
  16. klunderbunker

    klunderbunker Welcome to My (And Not Sly's) House

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    True but since when has wrestling functioned like a normal business? There's a public scrutiny here that matters more than it does in almost any other and ticking fans off one after another, especially when TNA is in the place they're currently in.

    While they have every legal right to do so, waving contracts in fans' faces and telling them "You can't have the Broken Universe because WE INVENTED IT" isn't going to sit well with a large portion of the audience. It's not like they're going to make any money off the characters while owning them anyway so I really don't see how the positives outweigh the negatives here.
     
    #16
  17. It's Damn Real!

    It's Damn Real! The undisputed, undefeated TNA &

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    If I'm IMPACT, and I guess Matt would say it's because I don't care about fans, I'd say "tough fucking shit."

    If WWE or ROH do this, no one bats an eye. They understand "it's a business". When TNA does it, because they're everyone's favorite company to hate, they get shit for it. It's a double standard.
     
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  18. George Steele's Barber

    George Steele's Barber Advertise Here $9.95/month

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    Had viewership gone down since this became public knowledge?

    While I can see some animosity coming from fans, this is a drop in the bucket that is TNA's mistakes. Losing the Hardy's in general is a probably worse for business than the small internet uproar they will receive from holding the gimmick hostage. If they finally go belly up this won't be one of the main reasons.
     
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  19. klunderbunker

    klunderbunker Welcome to My (And Not Sly's) House

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    Yeah it is, and it should be. They're in very different places and WWE has shown the ability to be a profitable company. They're on top of the business and can get away with things other companies can't. ROH doesn't quite do this either. A lot of names that have been grown there have shifted to WWE. If ROH can do it, I don't see why TNA needs to be this way.

    No it won't be, but it would be nice for them to stop doing things that look stupid and just keep barreling through because it's "good business", even though they haven't shown the best business savvy in the past.

    I also don't see the point in going with ANOTHER questionable move just because it's far from their worst error (which is true). That being said, I still don't see how this benefits them whatsoever. I know the idea is setting a precedent, but it comes off more as them trying to be WWE, which they're not.
     
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  20. d_henderson1810

    d_henderson1810 Mid-Card Championship Winner

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    Maybe Vince is waiting it out until TNA go under (which they will, sooner or later), buy the company, trademarks, video library, some of the talent contracts and amongst those things, the "Broken" gimmicks.
     
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  21. stingray11214

    stingray11214 Cena is no Bruno & Cole is no Solie

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    This is the perfect example of "forgetting how good you had it until it is gone". The Hardy's had the freaking world at their feet. They had a great gimmick. A schedule they could handle. Matt bringing Reby and the baby along. Making money hand over fist on the Indy scene. ANd, storylines that THEY could control. All the Hardy's had to do was sign an extension while Dixie was in charge. She would had let them keep "Broken".

    But, NOOOOOOO...

    They had to go play footsie with Vince, Trips and the rest of the Stamford gang. They had to send feelers back and forth. And, when Dixie tanked, Double J and Eddie Nordholm Shoved it all the way up with a red hot poker. Now, they are back to the same gimmick in WWE that nearly broke them in half. No matter how many people scream "Delete! Delete!", Anthem owns the gimmick. And, definitely will shove it up deeper because Reby cannot keep her pie hole shut. And, the Hardy's have a 300 day a year schedule that they cannot handle. Oh, did I mention that Matt can no longer bring Reby and his son on the road?

    Look, the Hardy's are just as much to blame in all this as Anthem. Sure, Anthem looks bad. But, they are in the right. And, Nordholm will continue to tighten the screws.
    The Hardy's made their bed. Let them sleep in it.
     
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  22. New Hot Fed

    New Hot Fed Championship Contender

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    Many guys are gonna realise their mistakes soon enough. Look at what happened to the Dudleys. Bully was hired as a commish on Impact but left them in the dust and wanted one last glory ride with the Vince. Did not happen. They did jackshit with them.(funniest shit, the guy was too proud to return to Impact and admit his mistakes and sign with ROH for no money, good luck, pal lol). Christian left TNA to go back to and they still never cared for him. I cannot wait to see Roode, Galloway and Crazy Steve bring jerked around with failed pushes and disappointments.
     
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  23. d_henderson1810

    d_henderson1810 Mid-Card Championship Winner

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    I suppose people taking TNA's side over the Hardys are also okay with a record company screwing over the signer and writer of a song. I mean, the singer concieved the song, wrote it, and sung it, but the record company claims it, and controls when it can be used, not the singer.

    The person who made up the concept should get the final ownership of the concept. They did the work.

    It was Matt Hardy who conceived the "Broken" idea. He wrote the segments and played them out. It was the only thing TNA have done in the last couple of years anyone even talked about, and if not for that gimmick, TNA would be an even bigger basketcase than it is today, and there wouldn't be a company for Jarrett and Anthem to even buy and throw their dictatoral weight around. TNA should be kissing the Hardys' feet for keeping the company even slightly relevant. But, like every other good thing TNA has ever done, they then follow it by pissing it down the toilet.

    You are all just upset because the Hardys went to WWE who you hate, instead of ROH, so you see them as "sell outs". Face it, if Vince stopped Steve Austin using the "Stone Cold" nickname, you would be upset, but when it isn't one of your favourites being screwed over, you have no problem with it, hypocrites.
     
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  24. jpickens

    jpickens Pre-Show Stalwart

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    First off if SCSA went to another promotion rather than retire then he would've been simply known as Steve Austin completely different from the Hardy's besides IW did them a favor since there was no way the WWE would have watered down the broken gimmick.
     
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  25. d_henderson1810

    d_henderson1810 Mid-Card Championship Winner

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    When Austin did the TV series "Nash Bridges" and did films (like "The Expendables") he was still referred to as "Stone Cold" Steve Austin.

    Besides, didn't Austin create the "Stone Cold" moniker (actually Jeannie Adams, his wife at the time, came up with it). So I don't know how WWE can own the IP on it.

    If I was sought after as a wrestler, one of my conditions is that I get to keep my IP, and loan it out to the company. Once I leave, I take my IP with me, since I created it, to the next company.

    I don't see why TNA still want the "Broken" gimmick. They can't use it, since the Hardys have left. They are just doing this out of spite, no other reason.

    Anyway, WWE should pay TNA for the "Broken" gimmick, as Vince will soon get his money back, both from the "Broken" merchandise, and also when he buys TNA (which he eventually will) and owns them anyway, and sacks Jarrett and co (unless they lose control beforehand, knowing how shambolic TNA is).
     
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