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Old 12-02-2014, 11:39 AM   #1
neatoman
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So how much of TMNT does Viacom/Nickelodeon/Paramount actually have control over?

So the whole thread about Nicktoons starting to air the 2003 show had some interesting posts, someone said Nick does not actually own the 1987 cartoon. Which lead me to consult Wikipedia, this is what Wikipedia had to say about it:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wikipedia
The original animated series (1987–1996) was produced by Fred Wolf Films Dublin (as Murakami Wolf Swenson (MWS) and Murakami Wolf Dublin (MWD) during earlier seasons), and syndicated by Group W. The series itself is owned by Wolf Films, with home entertainment rights residing with Lions Gate Entertainment, and until recently, syndication rights belonged to Nickelodeon's former corporate sibling CBS Television Distribution.[citation needed] The initial five-part miniseries (retroactively considered the first season) was copyrighted by Playmates Toys, although their rights to those episodes were bought out by Fred Wolf Films.
Which I found interesting, here's what it says on the other TV shows:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wikipedia
Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation was produced by Saban Entertainment, and as of September 2011, is owned and distributed by Saban Brands.[39][40][41]

The second animated series (2003–2009) was a co-production between Mirage Studios and 4Kids Entertainment. Nickelodeon's October 19, 2009 buyout of the TMNT franchise included an approximate $9.75 million payment to 4Kids to terminate its right to serve as the merchandise licensing agent prior to the scheduled expiration of the representation agreement in 2012.[7] Due to the buyout, all future TMNT film and television series rights are owned by Nickelodeon.[38]
Here's what it had to say about the movies:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wikipedia
The first three TMNT live-action films were produced by Golden Harvest, with New Line Cinema (now a sister company of Warner Bros. Entertainment) distributing the films in the United States, with 20th Century Fox distributed the second and third films in most other territories. The first two films were copyrighted by the UK-based Northshore Investments, who according to the legal indicia for the comic book adaptations of those films, owned the supporting characters Keno, Tatsu, Chief Sterns and Professor Jordan Perry.[42][43][44][45][46][47][48][49] The third film was copyrighted by Clearwater Holdings. The fourth film was produced by Imagi Animation Studios, and released by Warner Bros. Entertainment in association with the Weinstein Company.
And finally the comics:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wikipedia
Initially, Mirage allowed employees and freelancers to retain the rights to characters they created for the TMNT Universe but had never licensed for media and merchandise outside comic books. Eventually, due to the difficulty of keeping track of everyone's rights, Mirage made TMNT character creators sign retroactive work-for-hire contracts. One creator who did not sign over the rights to his TMNT work was Swamp Thing veteran Rick Veitch.[50]
So if I understand this correctly, aside from what was created after the buyout, all Viacom owns of TMNT is the 2003 series, the majority of the comics and (possibly) the toyline? Am I missing something here? Is Wikipedia a reliable source on this? How much can Viacom pull from the parts they have little or no control over, without risking copyright infringement?
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Old 12-02-2014, 12:32 PM   #2
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The first movie and The Next Mutation are on Netflix. However, Viacom and Netflix don't do business anymore. All that being said, it's unlikely Viacom has control over the movies and The Next Mutation. Since Viacom owns the source material, I doubt they have to worry about copyright infringement regarding the Turtles.
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cow·a·bun·gler
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a person who enjoys the 1980s animated series, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, but erroneously believes that no other incarnation of the franchise can possibly compare to the cherished cartoon of their childhood, often expressing their opinion in an obnoxious manner.
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Old 12-02-2014, 12:32 PM   #3
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Ciro said that he has a list of characters he can use, and it's a big list.
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Old 12-02-2014, 12:36 PM   #4
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Ciro said that he has a list of characters he can use, and it's a big list.
I wonder if that List includes all the characters from the Archie comic as well.
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Old 12-02-2014, 01:07 PM   #5
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Quote:
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I wonder if that List includes all the characters from the Archie comic as well.
I'm pretty sure he also suspected the majority were just rejected toy designs.
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Turtles is basically the red-headed stepchild of Nick.
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Old 12-02-2014, 03:00 PM   #6
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Viacom owns:

- The Mirage comics (including Image)

- Archie TMNT Adventures comics

- 4kids TMNT cartoon

- Most if not 90% of TMNT characters in all universes

- The new stuff like the Nick cartoon, IDW comics, and movie obviously


They don't own the original cartoon, movies or next mutation.
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Old 12-02-2014, 07:35 PM   #7
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I edited that info on Wikipedia, and I can verify it's all true, at least to the best of my understanding. Note that I used sources for most of it (the thing about CBS having had the syndication rights to the 1987 series lacks a citation, and was not added by me FYI).

I think the only characters to originate in TMNT media (besides crossover characters like Pterano-Man, the Conservation Corps., and Virago from Savage Dragon) that Viacom might not own are:

Keno, Prof. Jordan Perry, Chief Sterns and Tatsu (Northshore Investments used to own them, and I can't find any information to suggest that that's changed. Northshore might not exist anymore, so maybe Golden Harvest owns them now.).

Headrush from Paul Castiglia's TMNT Adventures Special.

Some of the characters from Steve Sullivan & Brian Thomas's TMNT Adventures stories.

The characters from Don Simpson's two "Alternate Turtles" short stories

Lucindra and her brother Malcolm, and other related but unnamed characters in TMNT v1 #44.

Bloodsucker, Old Man River, Gabby and the other characters from Rick Veitch's TMNT stories.

Aska from the Tournament Fighters game. Also, I don't think they own Sisyphus, either.

All the characters from the TMNT RPGs (they're owned by Pallidium's Kevin Siembieda).

Von Clutch and Darlin' (owned by Peter Laird's company Funatix!).

The characters from the TMNT short story by Fred Hembeck that was included in a reprint of TMNT vol. 1 #2.

The characters from all the stories in the original Turtle Soup one-shot (except the stories by Steve Bissette and Eric Talbot).

Maybe the characters from Dave Garcia's zombie story in Turtle Soup vol. 2 #2.



Some notes:

Although Viacom does not own the Next Mutation episodes, they DO own every character introduced in that series (unless you count the Power Rangers in the NM/PRiS crossover).

AFAIK, Viacom owns every single character from the 1987 TV series, except for Usagi, who, naturally, belongs to Stan Sakai.

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Old 12-02-2014, 08:51 PM   #8
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I wonder if that List includes all the characters from the Archie comic as well.
He's using Armaggon, so yes.
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Old 12-02-2014, 09:03 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Pannozzi View Post
Although Viacom does not own the Next Mutation episodes, they DO own every character introduced in that series (unless you count the Power Rangers in the NM/PRiS crossover).
Good to know, as I'm dying to see the villains get rebooted in IDW or something.
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Old 12-03-2014, 08:45 AM   #10
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So where do things stand regarding music? The Nick toon is certainly referencing the original theme song as much as it can--I assume its under license from Fred Wolf?
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Old 12-03-2014, 09:57 AM   #11
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So where do things stand regarding music? The Nick toon is certainly referencing the original theme song as much as it can--I assume its under license from Fred Wolf?
I'm not a music guy and I don't know where the copyright for the music is, but is the intro similar enough to the original song for a lincense to be needed? Is it just me, or does the tones sound off even where it tries to sound the same?
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Turtles is basically the red-headed stepchild of Nick.
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Old 12-03-2014, 11:51 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neatoman View Post
I'm not a music guy and I don't know where the copyright for the music is, but is the intro similar enough to the original song for a lincense to be needed? Is it just me, or does the tones sound off even where it tries to sound the same?
Let's start by analyzing the chords and melody separately. First, the OT theme and the Nick theme only has a minor (pardon the pun) difference in the primary chord sequence, which repeats itself throughout the song.

OT theme:
C-major (full note) | E-major (full note) | F-major (half note) F-minor (half note) | C-minor (full note)

Nick theme:
C-minor (full note) | E-major (full note) | F-major (half note) F-minor (half note) | C-minor (full note)

In short, only the first chord is different. Also, C-major and C-minor only has one key difference, ie. E note changed to E note.

As for the melody, the pacing is similar but the notes are quite different.

OT theme:
G A G A G A G A | B C B C B C B C | E F E F E F E F | C C C C B C (rest) C C C C

Nick theme:
E E D D E E C C | E E D D E E C C | E E D D E E F E | C C C C B C (rest) C C C C

Lyrics:
Teen-age Mu-tant Nin-ja Tur-tles | Teen-age Mu-tant Nin-ja Tur-tles | Teen-age Mu-tant Nin-ja Tur-tles | He-roes in a half shell (rest) tur-tle po-wer

In short, only the last phrase (heroes in a half shell, turtle power) is exactly the same.

So when you feel that "the tones sound off even where it tries to sound the same" it's basically due to the Nick theme melody being combined with the same pacing and (almost) the same chord sequence as the OT theme. You're definitely not the only one who felt that
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Old 12-03-2014, 12:52 PM   #13
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Fred Wolf Films owns all the music from the 1987 series AFAIK.

I should note that the original music from Next Mutation now belongs to Bug Music: https://web.archive.org/web/20110907...510fa82cf296ee



Edit: and BMG owns Bug Music: http://www.americansongwriter.com/20...-sues-company/
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bergerjacques
It was definitely not a kid's book.
That was the thing that always mystified me about the turn the franchise took when Eastman and Laird licensed the cartoon and the parallel comic book published by the same outfit that gave us Archie. The turtles' original origin story? The whole thing hinges on a for-Christ's-sake rape-murder!!!!
from here.

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Old 12-03-2014, 05:03 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Pannozzi View Post
I edited that info on Wikipedia, and I can verify it's all true, at least to the best of my understanding. Note that I used sources for most of it (the thing about CBS having had the syndication rights to the 1987 series lacks a citation, and was not added by me FYI).

I think the only characters to originate in TMNT media (besides crossover characters like Pterano-Man, the Conservation Corps., and Virago from Savage Dragon) that Viacom might not own are:

Keno, Prof. Jordan Perry, Chief Sterns and Tatsu (Northshore Investments used to own them, and I can't find any information to suggest that that's changed).

The characters from Don Simpson's two "Alternate Turtles" short stories

Lucindra and her brother Malcolm, and other related but unnamed characters in TMNT v1 #44.

Bloodsucker, Old Man River, Gabby and the other characters from Rick Veitch's TMNT stories.

Aska from the Tournament Fighters game. Also, I don't think they own Sisyphus, either.

All the characters from the TMNT RPGs (they're owned by Pallidium's Kevin Siembieda).

Von Clutch and Darlin' (owned by Peter Laird's company Funatix!).

The characters from the TMNT short story by Fred Hembeck that was included in a reprint of TMNT vol. 1 #2.

The characters from all the stories in the original Turtle Soup one-shot (except the stories by Steve Bissette and Eric Talbot).

Maybe the characters from Dave Garcia's zombie story in Turtle Soup vol. 2 #2.



Some notes:

Although Viacom does not own the Next Mutation episodes, they DO own every character introduced in that series (unless you count the Power Rangers in the NM/PRiS crossover).

AFAIK, Viacom owns every single character from the 1987 TV series, except for Usagi, who, naturally, belongs to Stan Sakai.
Also:

* Kris Mu and Dark Mu from Supermutants OVA.
* Tora and Shogun Warrior from TMNT 2: The Arcade Game.
* Characters from Las Tortugas Ninjas
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Old 12-04-2014, 08:38 AM   #15
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So can someone tell me who owns the rights to the Konami Turtles games? Is it UbiSoft or another company?
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Old 12-04-2014, 09:52 AM   #16
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So can someone tell me who owns the rights to the Konami Turtles games? Is it UbiSoft or another company?
It's Konami, I know this because Ubisoft needed to license Turtles in Time to do the remake, and the arcade game was removed from XBLA after Ubisoft got the rights to TMNT.
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Turtles is basically the red-headed stepchild of Nick.
Hahahaha!
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Old 12-04-2014, 11:52 AM   #17
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Also:

* Kris Mu and Dark Mu from Supermutants OVA.
* Tora and Shogun Warrior from TMNT 2: The Arcade Game.
* Characters from Las Tortugas Ninjas
Actually, I think they own Kris Mu and Dark Mu.

Didn't either Tora or Shogun have an action figure?

No clue on the Las Tortugas Ninjas characters, but I think characters from another comic guest-starred in it at one point.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bergerjacques
It was definitely not a kid's book.
That was the thing that always mystified me about the turn the franchise took when Eastman and Laird licensed the cartoon and the parallel comic book published by the same outfit that gave us Archie. The turtles' original origin story? The whole thing hinges on a for-Christ's-sake rape-murder!!!!
from here.

Last edited by John Pannozzi; 12-04-2014 at 12:02 PM.
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Old 12-04-2014, 12:05 PM   #18
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I wonder if that list includes Ninjara? She appeared in the Archies Comics, But wasn't a character created by Eastman and Laird, But someone else. And she appeared in 3 issues of a comic called Furrlough, by Radio Comix after the Archie Comics were canceled.
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Old 12-04-2014, 01:14 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by John Pannozzi View Post
Didn't either Tora or Shogun have an action figure?
Nope. You're likely thinking of Patraw's customs, unless you've mistaken Panda Khan & Lord Norinaga for those two.
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Old 12-04-2014, 01:35 PM   #20
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I wonder if that list includes Ninjara? She appeared in the Archies Comics, But wasn't a character created by Eastman and Laird, But someone else. And she appeared in 3 issues of a comic called Furrlough, by Radio Comix after the Archie Comics were canceled.
Eeeehhhh, I think Murphy/Allan retain the rights to the character. I suspect that might have been the point of Alopex, to have Ninjara without risking a lawsuit.
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Turtles is basically the red-headed stepchild of Nick.
Hahahaha!
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