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By Mike Johnson on 2017-11-29 20:02:00

It's not exactly Christmas yet, but all Impact Wrestling talents will soon be receiving a gift from management - the rights to their characters and all everything that goes with them, lock, stock and barrel.

After digging in their heels on the ownership of the Hardys' "Broken Universe" for the last year, Impact Wrestling, under Anthem Media, has made a complete about-face on their position when it comes to ownership of characters. has been told by several sources that going forward, all contracted Impact Wrestling talents will be given and retain complete ownership of their intellectual property.

What this means, using EC3 as an example, is that should EC3's deal expire and he decide not to sign a new contract with the company, he would be able take the rights to his name and all the IP associated with it (mannerisms, moves, catchphrases, etc.) to his next destination, whether that be WWE, Ring of Honor or elsewhere.

We are told this week's decision was one made by Ed Nordholm.  There is no word yet what sparked the decision, but it opens the door for the company to try and mend fences with fans angered by the company's former stance against the Hardys.  Impact management had claimed they owned the "Broken Universe" trademarks and attempted o trademark the associated IP, despite the fact that the IP was essentially worthless without Matt and Jeff Hardy's involvement.   

The ongoing back and forth, online and behind the scenes, certainly hurt what momentum came with Anthem taking the company over from Dixie Carter's Impact Ventures LLC and certainly painted Impact in a negative light vs. The Hardys, who have a sizable fan base online. 

The move also appears to be made as a way to open things up between the company and its wrestlers in a way that has never been done before by a major, national promotion.  It would allow the company to partner with its contracted talents to build characters and intellectual property together, as opposed to Impact claiming ownership of those characters if and when the talents move on at the end of their Impact run.   

This would allow Impact to be positioned as a company that is trying to foster talents, not control them.  It certainly softens the company's outlook from a moral standpoint and opens a bridge for talents, new and established alike, to use Impact as a blank space where they can work and maintain ownership in what they develop.

In a statement to Sports Illustrated earlier today, Impact Wrestling made it clear they intend to make this IP ownership provision to former talents as well, allowing them to own and utilize their former TNA/Impact Wrestling hallmarks if they choose to do so.  Hopefully, that doesn't mean the return of the Johnsons!



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