News "Broken" gimmick deal made between Hardy's and Anthem

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Inside the battle between the Hardys’ ‘Broken’ gimmick

Reported by Justin Barrasso Via Sports illustrated:


The battle over the “Broken” trademark is becoming an extremely personal affair.

The Hardys want full control of their creation. Matt Hardy created the “Broken” gimmick, while Jeff Hardy embraced it. The Hardys created and funded the gimmick on the Hardy compound, invested time and money into building the “Broken” gimmick, and were justifiably upset that a third party—Anthem Sports and Entertainment, which is the parent company of Global Force Wrestling/Impact—claimed ownership.



The two sides are actually not fighting over the “Broken Universe” trademark, because it is not trademarked by either side, but they are fighting over its ownership.

For those following the ebb-and-flow of the case, the smart move is to always follow the money. Sources tell Sports Illustrated that Impact attempted to sign Jeff Hardy to a lucrative offer, yet only offered Matt Hardy a fraction of what he had been making. Matt Hardy was also promised a position on the Impact creative team, but sources close to the situation informed SI that offer was rescinded by Impact head Jeff Jarrett.

Though the dispute has gotten ugly at times, especially on social media, it was nearly settled within the past month, according to sources close to the negotiation. Both sides came to terms on an agreement, sources say, with the Hardys paying $10,000 to $15,000 for the rights to the trademark. The deal would have included a non-disparagement clause, which Matt’s wife, Reby, mentioned on Twitter. A $1,000 fine would have been levied for the first offense, and then $5,000 penalties would have been enforced thereafter. The Hardys were even willing to sign off on a press release, publicly ending the ordeal on good terms. Yet Anthem then wanted 50 percent of all Hardy revenue, including Jeff Hardy’s art and music, which was viewed by the Hardys as a monumental heist and money-grab.
50% of all revenue? Nah fam.
 
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Grievous 3D

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This is just sad really...

It clear that Anthem/Impact/GFW (whoever the fuck they are) are
just bitter and twisted about letting the Hardys go in the first place.

They could have kept the Hardys and continued the "Broken Univese"
but they ditched the idea and the Hardys. You knew this was going to
happen as soon as the Hardys appeared at Wrestlemania because
that is the moment where Anthem/Impact/GFW would have heard that
crowd chanting Delete and would have said...

"Derrr...I think we done fucked up...Derrr!"

I can honestly say I only watch Anthem/Impact/GFW for three performers...
Rosemary, Allie & Gail Kim...the rest I couldn't care less about.
 

The Reagmaster

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I don't want the broken thing to happen. They're fine where they are now and the broken gimmick is stale and has been since the first final deletion. It went downhill after the first one and if WWE gets their hands on it, it's gonna be even worse.
 

JacobFox

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The problem is that even if the Hardys created the gimmick 100% on their own, they created it while they were under contract to TNA. We have a law here called "Work for hire." That means if a person is an employee of a company and while employed by that company, they create an intellectual property to be used for the company they work for, then the company NOT the employee owns copyright of the intellectual property.

So I don't know a lot about the Hardys contract situation when they created the gimmick. But if they were under contract to TNA when they created it for use on TNA television, then Anthem could legally claim ownership of the entire property.

So, if I am correct that they created it while contracted to TNA and for original use on TNA programming, they should happily embrace the offer of 50% because it is a lot more than they're legally entitled to and about 50% more than WWE would have offered them.


EDIT: Oh and this is not me endorsing the Work for Hire law. I think it's bullshit, but it is the law nonetheless.
 

RedDwarfTechy

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Anthem is just doing what any corporation would do. Think WWE is better? Ask Cody Rhodes. He can't even wrestle under his 'family' name.

Is it annoying for fans? Yes. Is the company well within its rights? Yup. Like Fox said its all part of the work for hire thing. This happens quite a bit in the gaming industry too. The most notable one is the Bethesda vs Oculus suit.
 

JacobFox

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Anthem is just doing what any corporation would do. Think WWE is better? Ask Cody Rhodes. He can't even wrestle under his 'family' name.

Is it annoying for fans? Yes. Is the company well within its rights? Yup. Like Fox said its all part of the work for hire thing. This happens quite a bit in the gaming industry too. The most notable one is the Bethesda vs Oculus suit.
At least Anthem offered 50%. WWE would not have offered even 1% and I think we can all agree on that.
 

¡Tranquilo!

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I don't want the broken thing to happen. They're fine where they are now and the broken gimmick is stale and has been since the first final deletion. It went downhill after the first one and if WWE gets their hands on it, it's gonna be even worse.
If WWE just keeps them as a tag team I don't think it's necessary as they're still over as fuck. On the off chance they are separated down the line I think it would be beneficial for Matt to have the gimmick at his disposal.
 

Jeffry Fucking Mason

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I think it's worth mentioning that Jeremy Borash was a major part of creating or at least producing a lot of the Broken stuff. It's also super worth mentioning that Impact didn't "let them go," the Hardys refused to sign. If it's true that Jeff was offered a decent contract, but Matt a lesser one, then it seems fair, because while he wasn't going to be on the proper "creative team", he was allowed major creative freedom over his own character in an industry where "creative freedom" is rarer than cum on a gold tooth (shit, I think I mixed up my ridiculous Cornette phrase. Oh well, it works in this scenario too :D). This only raised his own stock, as seen by his merch sales and insane amount of bookings elsewhere. I would even say that if they had not become so popular with the Broken stuff, it would have been much harder for them to get resigned with the WWE.

Another big part of me believes that Impact/Anthem offered them contracts they knew they wouldn't sign, in order to get them to leave. Yes, the Hardys were getting them a big boost in fans, ratings, etc. But they realized that this was the main thing getting people to watch and the main thing people were talking about, and were having to give more and more time to their segments each week in order to please the new fans. While this sounds like an odd business strategy to drive away a major draw, it actually makes pretty good sense. By keeping the Hardys and continuing to give more and more TV time to the Broken stuff, it would have eventually ceased to be Impact and started to solely be the Hardy Show. By getting rid of the Hardys before they couldn't control the monster they had created, they instead opted to do what was best for their brand of wrestling in the long term
 

Tom Colohue

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This deal was never offered. It never happened.

There are a lot of problems with the Broken gimmick. Firstly, there's the fact that WWE fans think they'll accept it when years of experience has shown that they won't. Look at the House of Horrors, look at Kurt Angle/Jason Jordan.

Then there's the fact that Anthem are 100% in their right to claim ownership of it. If The Undertaker had left and gone to WCW he couldn't have been the Undertaker. Mark Calloway might have played The Undertaker on TV, he might have heavily shaped it but it was not his character. Anthem own the Broken gimmick. Every law with jurisdiction makes that abundantly clear.

I think that there would be a deal already in place to be honest if not for the constant assault that Anthem are under from Reby Hardy. Fans are getting behind her, sure, but what exactly is she trying to do? You think Anthem wants to work with the Hardys when they're endorsing constant attacks on their product? You think WWE are happy about it?

This whole thing has become a public opinion vs big business issue in perception but it's really not. Anthem are a baby in terms of wrestling promotion versus the WWE. Everyone is. Together with Matt Hardy, they created something that helped drag them off the ground and into prominence. When things were going well, the actors playing the part walked away. I can totally see where they're coming from in this.
 
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