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SEGA files new trademark for "Sonic & Friends" on June 23rd

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by jubbalub, Jul 2, 2023.

  1. The Joebro64

    The Joebro64

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    For what it’s worth, Rafa has been caught lying on multiple occasions and was directly called out by Aaron Webber for it because she remains salty no one at Sega wants to do work with her because of her behavior. I think it’s best to take any of her claims with a grain of salt.
     
  2. This is the only part of the story I knew. Still doesn’t change the fact that I’ve never hired someone to do contract work with a clause that they wouldn’t be credited, and can’t think of an instance that would necessitate it outside of the examples I gave before, which is my only point. Idk if that’s actually what happened here, for all we know Rafa’s stuff was never used, I was just replying to Laura that it would seem shitty to me and that’s independent of the freelancer’s behavior.
     
  3. The Joebro64

    The Joebro64

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    Yeah I think it would certainly be scummy if her work is indeed being used and she's not getting credit for it. But she's far from a reliable source so I wouldn't take her claims at face value.
     
  4. Shaddy the guy

    Shaddy the guy

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    upload_2023-8-7_21-18-46.png
     
  5. Chimera

    Chimera

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    This is very cute and i'm kind of taken aback by the very, very strange online reactions acting like it's some gross mistake. I wasn't a fan of frontiers' promotional material and I was vocal to some people about that, but now I'm starting to agree with people who say sonic fans are never satisfied, jesus.

    Anyway


    I do find it interesting the models are so similar *yet again,* the main differences seem to be the head and shoes (shoes are pointier I think? head has the quills point backwards instead of deliberately to one side). It's very likely a heavily edited model based on her original work just to save some time, because both with her models & these, the original design sheets did not belong to her. Anyone trying to match those proportions closely would land on something *very close* to the classic series' models or this kawaiidesu style, and its POSSIBLE these are completely knew, but knowing sega I doubt it.


    I'm in the same boat; I'm kinda reminded of Ken Penders a little bit (hear me out). it's interesting how people like him could have paved the way for incredibly progressive precedents of contractors owning the work they put out, but his attitude towards his peers and fans of the series was just so toxic, everyone wanted him to fail & see his win over sega & archie as an embarrassment. Rafa too should be properly compensated and given credit for her work being used for so long by so many side projects, but the way she carries herself makes it hard to be on her side, seemingly picking battles that aren't that important & rocking the boat too hard.
    There's a bit of an element of "I don't care and you've annoyed me now" whenever the topic of her & her work comes up, along with other subcontractors active-and-aspiring just wanting her to not poke the bear, but there really is a lot behind how people treat others that makes them actually care about their problems.
     
  6. LF222

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    On rafa's situation i feel like the models she made are left as archival now, its the same as them reusing like, a sonic 1 sprite in the UI of a mobile game or something, they arent gonna credit 1's sprite artists for that, they already got thier credit. they didnt personally work on whatever new game the sprite was used in, so they arent credited. i think thats where rafa's models are at
     
  7. Shaddy the guy

    Shaddy the guy

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    I seem to remember a twitter thread by one of the Sonic Dash artists saying that they basically asked him to do the equivalent of "tracing" for 3D models for Sonic in the game, (even though nearly-identical models of Sonic already existed so why not just use those, yadda yadda) and it was possible something like that was going on here. I have no idea how that would work out from a credit perspective, but it should be noted that calling that Amy model "heavily modified" might be inaccurate if it's literally rebuilt from the ground up only to use the exact same proportions.
     
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  8. Chimera

    Chimera

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    I'm not buying the "tracing" argument from that developer. He was right to speak his mind about his situation, but his job was basically downscaling models to fit on old iphones without overheating. He was rightfully annoyed his job had no artistry, but importantly his job served function. He was making assets that'd run on weaker hardware; Sonic Team (re: Superstars) is not.

    That would also be the case with this series of shorts. These are all gonna be pre-rendered clips so no need to optimize for like, VR or anything, unless I'm missing something. So there's no need to "optimize" these models, just make 'em cueter, hence sonic's nose being more of a sharp point like amy's now. Hell, knowing they're cute little CG animated clips for children, I have to wonder why they aren't turbosmoothed. Did they just... forget? Or did that team think the models are "good enough" res as it is that they didn't want to waste render time? I know from experience render-heavy clips can be a bottleneck in any production so like, maybe, but it's still odd if you're making CG clips that don't have a "max polycount" to not at least slap on a meshsmooth. Maybe they figured this stuff's for toddlers so who cares lol

    Point is, I don't think that gentleman's experience applies here. I haven't made assets for games but I have dealt with producers being anal retentive about character designs. Sometimes they give you an in-house model sheet and say "make it work," sometimes they give you a sheet and tell you to... use it as-is. The latter feels like what happened to Rafa's stuff more likely, while the former was Del Walker's job.


    This is exactly correct. By their framing, Sega "owns" the model now so it's theirs to use. Except, Rafa's arguing the terms of her contract don't actually apply there. We haven't seen it, she could be lying by omission, but if her obligation to sega begins and ends with "you're expected to make us a render a week," then legally *no* they don't own the explicit work she made. They own the Sonic IP still and the copyright on the character she made, yes, but not the literal work. They just own the images she rendered out *with* that work.

    The problem is, again assuming she's right, that Sega believes this model is theirs to use however they want. Much like Sega and Archie believing they had full rights to Penders & others' characters for their comics, until that was found not legally enforceable. In response I'd imagine they tightened their contracts w/ the rest of Archie & then with IDW, far as it's understood they own all IDW OCs like tangle and wisper etc., but that wasn't set in stone before and it might not be set in stone with Rafa's previous work Sega just owns now.

    A while back I saw Aerosol reply to someone saying some things don't add up w/ how she claimed her contract never required her to give sega those models. And yet, they *have* them somehow, so it's questionable how that even came about. She could have willingly given them her stuff, sure, probably back when they were still in good graces with each other. It might have also just been assumed by both parties that any model she makes, sega owns, but again that's an assumption and not written into law. I can definitely see Rafa not reading her contract, being asked by Sega to provide her assets, and complying because, yaknow, might as well.

    I still think her posting about this on twitter consistently w/o actually planning on changing anything is a tad obnoxious. It's just gonna shake things up behind the scenes and make people stressed out, and both having contracted with sega in the past & working with others who've produced animations for them, yeah that's not a fun time lol. I'm not usually one to say people should go through the "proper channels" for this kinda stuff but i'll make an exception for this.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2023
  9. Shaddy the guy

    Shaddy the guy

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    I guess I was thinking about the ways that the standard Sonic model has been picked and pulled at from Unleashed to Generations to Lost World to Forces to Frontiers, if they were essentially just forced to make the same model over and over it would kinda fit.
     
  10. shilz

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    Man. I guess it really was just the sitting pose + perspective making me think the entire thing looked more appealing to me than it is in practice.

    Now I'm sad.
    Edit: my impression was possibly influenced by Nibroc's take which might have actually been repurposed as Roblox Avatar accessories.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2023
  11. Laura

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    I'm going to be honest, I don't think this is a complicated situation at all.

    I looked into the Rafa situation and yes she was unprofessional and broke NDA.

    That being said, the NDA of the contract is specifically made so that SEGA fucks her over. They take her models to be used in future projects, pay her small amounts of money, and then never credit her. It's a contract which is standard in gaming, sure. Rafa did agree to it. It is still disgusting. Lootboxes which are made in consultation with psychologists to prey upon vulnerable people are common in mobile gaming. People agree to pay into them. Still disgusting.

    It is abundantly clear that both Amy's model in Origins Plus and the Sonic models in Sonic and Friends were essentially made by Rafa and only lightly edited. The evidence which Rafa has provided by putting her models side by side with SEGA's is overwhelming. Kate said that the Amy model was custom made by the team of the game but she clearly had no idea what she was talking about. And I find Aaron dunking on her in the way he did extremely unprofessional and distasteful. Essentially telling her to shut up and accept how awful the contract was because everyone does it.

    I won't talk about it anymore so not to spam up the forum, but I'm just very surprised by how much the fandom both on Retro and across the Internet side with SEGA on this matter. You can think that Rafa has been unprofessional and maybe even an idiot while also thinking SEGA have acted badly.

    Who knows how much this kind of thing has happened in the Classic Sonic games? I also just find it kind of funny how the forum obsesses over which person composed which track in Sonic 3, who designed the levels and made the art etc. But when it comes to the Amy model in Sonic Origins Plus, for example, there's a general feeling of 'ah well, just contracted work,,who cares'. Lol.
     
  12. Starduster

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    My take on the Rafa stuff is as follows:
    • I don't find it far-fetched that the models she created are being used by SEGA in Origins Plus, Superstars, this, etc.
    • They are within their legal rights to do so and just following industry convention
    • This isn't what industry convention should be - it's harmful to artists and subsumes what they create into the corporate whole; I strongly believe we should have a system where artists are paid royalties for the continued use of their works
    • But the fact is we don't, and I don't think Rafa's entitled to any kind of preferrential treatment regarding this, especially given her alleged behaviour towards those she has worked with
    I also think we're only really discussing this stuff because she's making a stink about it in the first place, while other contractors are content to just get on with things, which is neither here nor there and I don't think justifies the practice, but the conversation is pretty much squarely centred on Rafa.
     
  13. LF222

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    On the model comparison with the sonic and friends ones, theres enough difference in body proporitons i wouldnt be suprised if it was a new model set. especially around the stomach. all depends what the actual model sheet looked like, given its a merch line usually sat face-to front, its no wonder the face would be basically identical even between multiple artists.
     
  14. Sneekie

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    I also agree that Rafa is the only person to actually say anything about this, with their controversial history, it doesn't get people invested much or even remember.

    It's not right what Sega's doing, but when the only person who speaks out has a history of actually breaking NDA and getting in trouble with the company (which some people use to justify the apparent lack of credit), as well as having this be commissioned work which means that Sega is legally allowed to do what they please with the models without needing to credit the original artist (which itself calls into question just how common this practice is with Sonic models), makes it sound like a "them" problem.

    Comparing them to Ken Penders is probably how other people see it: another errant, problematic creator trying to take a bigger stake out of the franchise than people think they should have. Even if Rafa is more justified.

    I don't know how much this can actually work, but Rafa SHOULD actually pursue some kind of legal case, because bitching about it on Twitter isn't working. Ken Penders may have only been successful in his legal endeavor because of Archie and Sega's incompetence, but he did still try.
     
  15. Wildcat

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    So up until Origins Plus I had no idea who Rafa was. I don’t follow any specific artist.

    It does seem very likely they used the same models and in general credit should be given to whoever contributes something (I’m not aware of this person’s past behavior other than what I’ve read here)...however I really DISagree that people should be paid royalties. As long as you get paid fairly and are credited where credit is due I think that’s as far as it should go.

    I’m always amazed to find out certain things are not technically owned by so-and-so because of so-and-so rights and royalties. This is how things get split up for no good reason other than money.

    Like Sega does not actually own the Green Hill theme right? I thought I read that awhile ago on here. That’s why it and others are not really used in the movies. Not even referring to the MJ stuff.

    Recently there was a discussion on TheTechnodrome boards about the rights to the OG TMNT theme song and whether Nick got it when they finally bought the old cartoon. This is a little different because TMNT wasn’t always owned by Nick but the discussion was about someone possibly owning separate rights to the theme song.

    Imo if you make something for a company/franchise it should be belong to them. Get paid and credited (how far out should a credit even last?). It’s not like anyone is going to use these specific things outside of whatever franchise they’re a part of. Any kind of secondary rights and royalties just makes things complicated and honestly kinda greedy.

    I would love to contribute something to the Sonic franchise. Games, TV, movies etc whichever. I’d want to get paid of course and credited with everyone else but after that it’s Sega’s. That’s who I made it for. I’m not in it for royalties or to be mentioned every time it appears in someway.
     
  16. Aerosol

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    I can't believe we're arguing about Rafa again to be honest.
     
  17. The Joebro64

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    I honestly would not be surprised if she cropped that screenshot of her contract to remove the parts that would tear apart everything she was claiming.
     
  18. Overlord

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    I have a contract with the council to build a community hall. I build it for them. I do not have a right to take a percentage of every single thing that hall hosts in perpetuity.
     
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  19. Chimpo

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    We'll let the public court of the Twits pass judgements on that
     
  20. Chimes

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    *public court of the Xes