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Harmony Gold asks website to stop taking pre-orders for toys..

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Kevin Lam of the Valkyrie Exchange posted the following e-mail to the alt.fan.macross newsgroup today, the website was sent this mail by Steve Yun, webmaster of Harmony Gold:

Dear Kevin,

Hi, my name's Steve and I'm the Webmaster at Harmony Gold. Our legal department was about to send you a notice about your website, valkrie-exchange.com, and I was able to convince them to let me email you first before they sent a Notice of Infringement.

As I understand it, you're taking preorders for the Toycom Macross Plus fighters. Your site says "International Orders Welcome!" and in several places mentions the discussions between Harmony Gold and Big West as if they only pertain to US licensing. I hope you understand first of all that the discussions between Big West and Harmony Gold concern worldwide licensing outside of Japan, as Harmony Gold holds the exclusive license to all Macross-related materials outside of Japan. This includes toys, and means that Valkyrie Exchange (or any other company) can't legally ship the Macross Plus fighters outside of Japan as well as domestically. Please make that clear on your website.

I therefore have to ask you to stop taking any pre-orders. Until the discussions with Big West have ended, anyone who is taking preorders for these toys causes a slowdown in talks because we have to investigate and confirm that none are being shipped. If it turns out that even one toy was shipped outside of Japan through a distribution channel, it would throw an enormous monkey wrench into negotiations. Please understand that we can't just take everyone's word for it when they say that they haven't shipped or received any. There were some rumors that Yamato had shipped a limited amount of them outside of Japan, and we're looking into that. If you're aware of anyone else taking preorders, please pass this information onto them also. It will make both Harmony Gold's and Big West's negotiations quicker and easier.

As I'm not a lawyer, I'm not sure about what the specific legal issues are, but I know that you're a big fan of Macross and because of that I thought that you deserved to get a friendly email asking you to stop taking preorders rather than a legal notice demanding that you stop. As for a resolution, at this point we really don't know how long the negotiations between BW and HG will go on. I know that everyone wants to get these Macross Plus toys as soon as possible, and HG has been trying to reach an agreeable solution as quickly as possible.

Steve Yun
Webmaster, Harmony Gold USA

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