The Ur-Quan Masters Discussion Forum

The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release => General UQM Discussion => Topic started by: Anthony on July 21, 2013, 06:53:23 am



Title: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
Post by: Anthony on July 21, 2013, 06:53:23 am
The Atari auctions are now over.  Bankruptcy information for Atari's Chapter 11 filing is available through public documents:

1. Go to http://www.bmcgroup.com/restructuring/Docket.aspx?ClientID=316
2. Click on any docket#.  There are over 300 documents available.

Some of Atari's assets have been listed, including Star Control:
Docket #305 (Notice of Successful and back-up bidders with respect to the auctions of certain of the debtors' assets)
(http://i43.tinypic.com/f3w3ev.png)

And check this out:
Docket #296 (Notice of attempt to assume and assign certain executory contracts)
(http://i42.tinypic.com/t9ws4i.png)

While this does not mean that a new Star Control game is coming, at least we have the satisfaction of knowing that the rights are now in the hands of people who are fans of the first two games and that Paul is involved somehow.

Stardock CEO, Brad Wardell, wrote about the auctions without mentioning the titles: http://forums.littletinyfrogs.com/446878#replies

What are your thoughts about this?


Title: Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
Post by: Tiberian on July 21, 2013, 05:56:44 pm
Shortly put: This is very interesting.


Title: Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
Post by: meep-eep on July 21, 2013, 07:39:55 pm
I'm afraid the Paul connection is old. Note the Atari party: "Accolade"
My bet is that this refers to Accolade licensing the Star Control IP to make Star Control 3, with the $0.00 meaning that no more payments are due.

I do hope that Stardock realise what they got (and what they didn't). They may now own the Star Control trademark and the SC3-specific IP, but Atari did not own the SC2 IP.
If Stardock wants to make a game including any of the SC2 races or plot points, they will still need to make a deal with Paul and Fred (unless they already did).

And considering that Paul and Fred have on numerous occasions stated that they still want to make a sequel to SC2 and that they still talk about SC3 game ideas among themselves, it's not likely that they will let another party make a true sequel.
And with the Stardock people being Star Control fans, they will not want to make a sequel based on the Star Control 3 IP.

So these are the scenario's which I came up with:
  • Stardock thought they got the SC2 IP, but didn't. Ouch. I hope they didn't pay too much.
  • Stardock were only interested in the Star Control trademark. This is probably not it, as Brad Wardell claims to be excited by the purchase.
  • Stardock are actually working with TFB. Maybe they were even enlisted by TFB to make the purchase. Still, all that excitement about just the trademark?

My money is on the first scenario.

Also, I don't know what it would mean if Atari's Star Control trademark claim would be judged invalid, considering that the extension to the registration was based on token use.


Title: Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
Post by: oldlaptop on July 21, 2013, 07:52:53 pm
I honestly find it hard to believe that Stardock wouldn't have known that all Atari has/had to sell was the trademark, but then again Atari seemed to think they still had copyright, or at least publishing rights, when they started selling SC1/SC2 again (when they didn't).


Title: Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
Post by: Elestan on July 22, 2013, 03:04:17 pm
I honestly find it hard to believe that Stardock wouldn't have known that all Atari has/had to sell was the trademark, but then again Atari seemed to think they still had copyright, or at least publishing rights, when they started selling SC1/SC2 again (when they didn't).

I'm pretty sure they knew; here's their CEO, from the link in the OP:
Quote from: Stardock_CEO
It won't be a continuation but more akin to a revisit (ala XCOM using Star Control 2 as the inspiration and start back before the earthlings were in any kind of slave shield).  We'll be talking more about our plans as we go forward.   

We won't be making any changes to the existing Star Control games.  And Atari doesn't actually own the copyright on Star Control 1/2 so it's not like one could make a Star Control 2 HD or what have you without a license from Paul Reiche.  And even if we did have rights to SC 1/2 I wouldn't touch them without his blessing.

I think what most Star Control fans are looking for is a new Star Control game where the inspiration comes from Star Control 2. They want a game with fun, adventure and top down ship battles like in Star Control 2 that all play within a fun sci fi universe.  Preferably one with Ur-Quan and Spathi and lots of insults.

I think it's pretty unlikely that they'd make a bid without having at least had a conversation with PR/FF.

Regarding the trademark, it's possible that putting the game on GoG 'cured' the potential abandonment.  That's a question for an IP lawyer.  Anybody know one?


Title: Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
Post by: Anthony on July 22, 2013, 07:33:57 pm
I'm afraid the Paul connection is old. Note the Atari party: "Accolade"

That's possible.  If I recall, Infogrames took ownership of Accolade which in turn, would become owned by Atari.  Though there was another document where "Accolade, Inc" was listed as a possible upcoming purchase of Accolade.com for $50,000 (Docket# 306).  It is also listed as "only offer received".  Either Accolade is making a comeback, or another company bought the domain which also happens to be named Accolade.

I definitely agree that GOG helped raise interest for Star Control, and DRM-free too. :D


Title: Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
Post by: meep-eep on July 23, 2013, 01:08:45 am
I asked PR3 whether he was aware of this. This was his response (posted with permission):
Quote
Hi Serge,

Stardock hasn't contacted us, so we don't yet know their plans.  Looking at
the court schedules (and this is consistent with my recollections), they
acquired the trademark 'Star Control' and copyright to the original
materials in Star Control 3 -- that is to say, not any of the copyrightable
materials from Star Control I & II, which Fred and I still hold.

In terms of our interest in the trademark and why we didn't buy it -- we
weren't sure that we could make use of the trademark soon enough to make
sense,   but we sure are interested in what Star Dock wants to do next!

- Paul


Title: Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
Post by: Razorback on July 23, 2013, 01:32:26 am
I came across this in The Escapist a few minutes ago and wanted to spread the word.  Looks like the word beat me back here.  :) Regardless, here's what I read over there.

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/126206-Star-Control-Reboot-Emerges-From-the-Wreckage-of-Atari


Title: Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
Post by: Arne on July 23, 2013, 05:21:45 pm
"Reboot"   ( ._.)   

That's when you want to do a remake, but don't want to be faithful (and maybe they can't, since TfB has everything of actual worth).


Title: Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
Post by: vok3 on July 24, 2013, 01:42:00 am
I just posted essentially this on PNF, but it can go here too:

This means nothing.

1) The only thing Stardock could have bought here is the rights to the "Star Control" name itself.  The rights to EVERYTHING ELSE - Ur-Quan, Precursors, Spathi, Chenjesu, all of it - reside with Toys For Bob.  That is why and how the sourceforge UQM release was possible, and why the title had to be changed.  If Stardock tries to make a Star Control game without involving TFB, there will be no Ur-Quan, no Syreen, no Shofixti, no Yehat, no nothing.  In short, it will not be Star Control.

2) Toys For Bob is wholly owned by Activision.  Activision has no reason to cooperate with a rival publisher.  At the very least, Stardock would have to pay Activision exorbitant amounts to be able to use Activision employees for a project intended to compete with Activision's core business - electronic entertainment.  It is extremely unlikely that Toys For Bob has avoided signing non-compete agreements.  Therefore it is highly unlikely that Toys For Bob - meaning Paul Reiche and Fred Ford, the people who count - will be involved in any Stardock Starcon project.

3) If Paul Reiche and Fred Ford are not involved, I don't care what name is slapped on it, it's not Star Control.

4) Stardock is the company that announced they were doing a Master of Magic remake and then came out with one of the worst releases in gaming history, Elemental: War of Magic.  They then put a huge amount of effort into undoing the PR damage they took from that, resulting in Fallen Enchantress, which is a passable fantasy strategy game, but nothing legendary.

5) Stardock's track record even with its successful games is that they make dry, workmanlike games.  There is not that much personality or quirkiness in them.  The whole point of Star Control is the quirkiness and the personality infused in every detail.  This is purely a matter of who actually works on the game, and their creativity and what sort of ideas they have.  Ford and Reiche have it.  Stardock has not yet demonstrated that they do, and based on the Elemental / Fallen Enchantress history, there's better than even odds that it'll turn out they just can't.

6) Star Control is about spaceships, dammit.  Not X-com like tactics.  I love X-com, but if I want to play X-com, I'll play X-com, not X-com-renamed-as-Star-Control.


Title: Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
Post by: Frogboy on July 24, 2013, 02:32:51 am
Hi guys!

Brad from Stardock here.

We have connected with Paul and Fred. Fingers crossed but things look hopeful.  The copyright to Star Control 1/2 is owned by Paul Rieche directly, not Toys for Bob so I think there is reason to think that they might be able to participate in the creation of a new Star Control game.

None of this changes the status of the Ur-Quan Masters or Star Control on GOG.

Our core team involved at Stardock (myself included) have been huge fans of Paul's work since the Archon / Star Flight days. 

By an XCOM like reboot we don't mean XCOM game mechanics but rather creating a new Star Control game that brings in the fun and game play we all know and love.  The *campground* is looking *flavorful*.



Title: Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
Post by: vok3 on July 24, 2013, 03:38:17 am
All right, that's more hopeful than I thought.  It would invalidate my points 1 and 2.


Title: Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
Post by: Elestan on July 24, 2013, 04:58:57 am
Brad from Stardock here.
Just for those who don't know, Brad is Stardock's CEO.  Thanks for dropping by!

I think I speak for everyone when I say that we're really looking forward to a new Star Control, particularly if FF+PR can be brought on-board.

Of additional interest here (since these boards are dedicated to the open-source version of SC2), is the potential resolution of a couple of lingering IP issues relating to the CGI movies used in the 3DO version of SC2.  Our understanding had been that PR+FF were not able to secure the rights to those cutscenes, so they are not included in the open-source version.  It would be really great if those movies could be released under a Creative Commons license, so that the Ur-Quan Masters project could be truly whole.

Thanks, and I look forward to hearing more from Stardock as the game starts to take shape.


Title: Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
Post by: Jeff Graw on July 24, 2013, 05:01:06 am
Hi guys!

Brad from Stardock here.

We have connected with Paul and Fred. Fingers crossed but things look hopeful.  The copyright to Star Control 1/2 is owned by Paul Rieche directly, not Toys for Bob so I think there is reason to think that they might be able to participate in the creation of a new Star Control game.

Good to hear!

Our core team involved at Stardock (myself included) have been huge fans of Paul's work since the Archon / Star Flight days.

As much as I love SC2, I think there are a few things the Starflight series did better. The RPG mechanics, and planetary exploration come to mind. On the other hand, Star Control had better combat, and the way the universe unfolded in a preset way unless the player altered events in a specific time window really solved the dilemma of openness vs. authenticity faced by many sandbox games today. Ideally, a new Star Control would take the best parts of each franchise along with some new ideas.

Brad, do you lean more towards a vast and lonely universe (SF1), a more populated and colorful one (SC2), or something in-between?  

By an XCOM like reboot we don't mean XCOM game mechanics but rather creating a new Star Control game that brings in the fun and game play we all know and love.  The *campground* is looking *flavorful*.

For me, the comparison to Firaxis' XCOM remake is scary. Many feel it took too many steps back from the original. While production values and accessibility were quite a bit improved, the core mechanics and gameplay left something to be desired.  I'm guessing you don't mean that you intend to make the new Star Control more accessible via cutting out large swaths of the original mechanics though, as SC2 is already fairly accessible.


Title: Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
Post by: Parker on July 24, 2013, 08:19:26 am
Wow wow wow wow wow wow wow! ...Is what I literally vocalized when I read the news on Slashdot.

Thanks for dropping by Brad, and at the very least thanks for hopefully keeping the name from sitting around in the dusty basement of one publisher after the other.

Please don't half-ass this.  I'm glad to hear you're a fan of TFB's games, and I hope your favorite is Star Control II. I really hope you can work with Paul in some fashion. If you can blend open exploration with good RPG elements* and fun spaceship action successfully, you'll have a valuable winner on your hands.

*Two games, SC2 and KOTOR come to mind when I think of great RPG storytelling. The conversations are branched, real decisions can be made in dialogue, and consequences manifest from those decisions.  You don't feel like you're on a track, even if ultimately you are.  Not to mention they don't take themselves too seriously.

Also if you can pretend Star Control 3 didn't happen that would be great :)


Title: Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
Post by: Parker on July 24, 2013, 08:32:13 am
And thank you for outbidding these guys (http://www.onthegotechnology.com/OTG/Welcome.html)! (wtf?)

This is the first time I've posted here in almost a decade, I can't believe how long ago it was when UQM was first released. I'm glad this forum and project are still kickin. Hey meep-eep!


Title: Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
Post by: Frogboy on July 24, 2013, 04:21:14 pm
Hiya!

There was a Star Control 3? ;-)

I like the mechanics of the Starflight games but who can forget the first time they played through Star Control 2? When they realize that just some random planet has its own dialog tree with some cool resource hidden away? 


Title: Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
Post by: Monk on July 24, 2013, 05:38:55 pm
I saw this on the Ars Technica article about the sale:  http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2013/07/stardock-acquires-star-control-rights-in-fire-sale-plans-reboot/

What I'd love to see was someone pick up Arne's idea for a game:

http://androidarts.com/starcontrol/star_control.htm

(old page with gameplay and story)
http://web.archive.org/web/20081112232751/http://www.itchstudios.com/psg/main.php?id=sce
http://web.archive.org/web/20070817174408/http://itchstudios.com/psg/sce/intro_story.htm

(an old forum thread)
http://web.archive.org/web/20070608150956/http://starcontrol.classicgaming.gamespy.com/forum/index.php?topic=828.0

(one of his last active UQM forum threads)
http://forum.uqm.stack.nl/index.php?topic=4846.0

There are a few other projects from other groups/people, too, but I never really checked them out.  A good place to also reference is the Pages of Now and Forever website:

http://www.star-control.com/

...I hope StarDock doesn't kill their domain now that they own the naming rights.


Title: Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
Post by: meep-eep on July 24, 2013, 07:49:41 pm
Of additional interest here (since these boards are dedicated to the open-source version of SC2), is the potential resolution of a couple of lingering IP issues relating to the CGI movies used in the 3DO version of SC2.  Our understanding had been that PR+FF were not able to secure the rights to those cutscenes, so they are not included in the open-source version.  It would be really great if those movies could be released under a Creative Commons license, so that the Ur-Quan Masters project could be truly whole.
This new development is not going to help there. The 3DO cut scenes (and manuals) are owned by Crystal Dynamics.
Though possibly the people who originally made those videos have some claim as well.

And hi Brad. Like Paul, I am very interested in seeing what Stardock is going to do. It's good to see that there are Star Control fans behind this news, whatever happens next.

And welcome back, Parker.


Title: Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
Post by: oldlaptop on July 24, 2013, 10:03:30 pm
As much as I love SC2, I think there are a few things the Starflight series did better. The RPG mechanics, and planetary exploration come to mind. On the other hand, Star Control had better combat, and the way the universe unfolded in a preset way unless the player altered events in a specific time window really solved the dilemma of openness vs. authenticity faced by many sandbox games today. Ideally, a new Star Control would take the best parts of each franchise along with some new ideas.

I agree wholeheartedly, particularly with respect to planetary exploration. If the Stardock folks aren't familiar with the Starflight series as well, they should look into it - there's some very good ideas there that it would be a shame to miss.


Title: Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
Post by: Elestan on July 25, 2013, 02:21:28 am
This new development is not going to help there. The 3DO cut scenes (and manuals) are owned by Crystal Dynamics.

Ah, bummer.  Okay, then we just need to wait for (researches) Square/Enix to go bankrupt, so we can buy it off their corpse.


Title: Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
Post by: meep-eep on July 25, 2013, 10:30:23 pm
For the interested, the purchase agreement (http://www.bmcgroup.com/restructuring/OpenClaim.aspx?DocName=ftp://ftp.creditorinfo.com/Atari/nysb_1-13-bk-10176_326_1.pdf&ClientID=316&DocType=CLAIM&HasChildren=2&DocNumber=326&CaseNo=1-13-bk-10176) lists the purchase prise as $305000.


Title: Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
Post by: Arne on July 25, 2013, 10:49:41 pm
Hmm. I forgot/neglected to upload those pages to my functional server, but I don't like my old SC stuff much. Didn't think anyone cared about it.

My Star Control project(s) didn't really go anywhere, maybe because Starflight won me over. Also, I feel like the SC universe is more interesting than the game mechanics, but it feels wrong to change something like the Melee (it never quite fit into the single player, I felt) or mining, so I just dropped the project(s). Actually, I'm still eyeballing my Gameboy style RPG (SC Saga) because it's so scaled back and silly that it's actually doable.


Would've loved to grab some of Atari's more obscure IPs myself, but I'm not even aware of which ones they sold (they sat on a lot of stuff). Some terrible smartphone or f2p dev probably bought the bunch anyways.


Title: Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
Post by: Frogboy on July 26, 2013, 01:02:50 am
I think a big part of the upcoming development fun is going to be including the communities in the development process.

One thing that's going to be helpful is that so many people here are already familiar with Star Flight. That's going to save us a lot of time in asking people to go play that game.


Title: Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
Post by: Jeff Graw on July 26, 2013, 02:06:58 am
One thing that's going to be helpful is that so many people here are already familiar with Star Flight. That's going to save us a lot of time in asking people to go play that game.

Well, that pretty much eliminates any fear that the new Star Control will be dumbed down like other modern redos. A game that takes the best out of SC2 and Starflight sounds like an instant masterpiece  :D

One suggestion: though the RPG crew mechanics in Starflight were pretty cool, it was a bit lame how you could just get people to max level by spending money. If those crew mechanics were to make a return, then hopefully the leveling process would be more gradual. It would also be nice to see minor as well as major skills. So in addition to the mainline stuff (piloting, engineering, communications, medicine, etc) you could have niche skills like zero-g combat, survival, programming, etc. that would come in handy in special situations.


Title: Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
Post by: Chad on July 26, 2013, 02:10:54 am
http://www.star-control.com/

...I hope StarDock doesn't kill their domain now that they own the naming rights.

Heh, thanks for the concern.  Speaking with Frogboy, that isn't going to happen.  I believe including the community sites and linking to them is one of his desires.


Title: Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
Post by: Steve-O on July 27, 2013, 05:39:14 am
None of this changes the status of the Ur-Quan Masters or Star Control on GOG.

That's all I needed to hear.  Whatever the future may hold, I'm glad to hear that Stardock won't be saber-ratling the poor volunteer army of UQM. =)

I'm excited by the news that the Star Control license is once again in the hands of a company that cares enough to do anything with it.  I honestly don't even care what Stardock's plans are, as long as it's something more than "stick it on a shelf and only dust it off often enough to keep the legals nailed down."  I think it's safe to say Stardock has something more than that in mind.

Reboot, remake, sequel, prequel, whatever.  I already know that any forthcoming Star Control game won't be exactly the same as the old one - it literally cannot be.  Just as the new Star Wars trilogy couldn't possibly have been the same as the original - it's a product of a new generation, for a new generation.  Time has changed everyone's perspectives, including Paul's and Fred's, to some degree.  Even with them involved to the hilt, it would be different.  As long as it's got enough similarities, I will be satisfied to know that the franchise is not dead anymore. =)

Rock on, Brad.  You hold a palpable piece of my heart in your hands, all I ask is that you keep the dream alive.


Title: Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
Post by: Rapajez on July 28, 2013, 08:35:35 am
So Excited!

Just make it exactly like SCII...with more turning angles...

Understand the point of a XCOM-like reboot, but would be happy with a straight up sequel to SCII. I guess it would be hard to appeal to people who never played SCII though. Maybe an opening with a short summary, or dialog in game could explain the SCII story?

Keep the top-down combat, but maybe 2 on 2? Or Massive fleet battles? Or every battle includes your primary ship + 1 ally.

It would also be cool if your allied ships could participate in conversations or events...other than just being meat shields.

Meh, who cares, just so excited that this is actually happening!!!


Title: Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
Post by: Tiberian on July 28, 2013, 09:00:50 am
Maybe an opening with a short summary, or dialog in game could explain the SCII story?

Or you could include Groombridge Log, my Star Control novel in the collector's edition.


Title: Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
Post by: Glory_device on July 31, 2013, 06:57:24 am
hehe Tiberian, wish we did finish the graphic novel ;) Would have been awesome to showcase to the whole world.

BUt, the novel itself is a masterpiece too!


Title: Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
Post by: onpon4 on July 31, 2013, 09:27:40 pm
Wishful thinking from me I suppose, but would it be possible to have a crowdfunding (e.g. Kickstarter, Indiegogo) campaign to release this game as free/libre/open-source software? I won't play it otherwise because I refuse to use proprietary software, but if it was released as FOSS I would love to play it.


Title: Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
Post by: Elestan on August 01, 2013, 06:27:56 am
Wishful thinking from me I suppose, but would it be possible to have a crowdfunding (e.g. Kickstarter, Indiegogo) campaign to release this game as free/libre/open-source software? I won't play it otherwise because I refuse to use proprietary software, but if it was released as FOSS I would love to play it.
Yeah, probably not likely.  You'd need to collect $305,000 (plus probably a few thousand in legal and other associated expenses) just to get Stardock to break even on what they've spent so far.  Then you'd need to get Brad, Paul and Fred to go for it.  And then you'd need to collect a very large truckload of money (meaning at least a million) from people who feel as passionately about FOSS as you do, and who will pay for it to be made FOSS rather than commercial.  I don't think you'll be able to find that kind of money.

For my part, I like FOSS.  All else equal, I prefer it.  But for me, it is not the single overriding factor, but merely one of several considerations.  However I do congratulate you on the strength of your convictions.


Title: Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
Post by: Rapajez on August 12, 2013, 01:00:41 am
@Frogboy

Where can we go for the latest information and news on this project?! It's been well over 6 days since the last post! ! ! 1 ! 1! !


Title: Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
Post by: FakeMccoy on August 12, 2013, 01:04:17 am
On project 6014 or the bidding?


Title: Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
Post by: Rapajez on August 12, 2013, 04:22:50 am
Project Runway


Title: Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
Post by: Mormont on August 13, 2013, 01:55:29 am
So the Pages of Now and Foreve (http://star-control.com)r did an interview with Stardock. I'm glad they want to work with Fred and Paul, as they said before. What I found particularly interesting is that they're thinking of starting the game with the First Contact and the Slave War:
Quote
Assuming we get to use the aliens from Star Control 2, I would imagine a reboot taking place at an earlier time - like 2112 with the arrival of the Chenjesu (Star Control 2 takes place in 2155).

The millions of players we want to introduce the game to won't have the ability to load up Star Control 1 without effort and Star Control 2 starts off after the Ur-Quan slave war. So starting them at the first contact point with the Earthlings first going out and meeting all these amazing species for the first time I think would delight old time players who already "know" these aliens and be good way to create a compelling story for the first new game.
Not sure how the rest of you feel about it, but I actually like this idea. There's a lot to work with in the SC1-era timeline, and it makes the story immediately accessible to those unfamiliar with Star Control, while an SC2 sequel would have a whole lot of story to explain to new players. And it provides an opportunity to revisit SC1's strategic gameplay and maybe incorporate into SC2's adventure (just because SC3 did it badly doesn't mean it's a bad idea).


Title: Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
Post by: Frogboy on August 13, 2013, 04:24:53 am
We just set up www.starcontrol.com with links (including to here).  Talking to Paul and afred to see what level of involvement Activision will allow.


Title: Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
Post by: Rapajez on August 14, 2013, 05:57:17 am
Great! Doing my best to recruit as many new Star Control/UQM Fans as possible.

You guys keep working on your end. :)


Title: Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
Post by: FakeMccoy on August 14, 2013, 06:20:05 am
We just set up www.starcontrol.com with links (including to here).  Talking to Paul and afred to see what level of involvement Activision will allow.

How exactly does one go about contacting them? I'd like to get their words on the project so far, the new races, the writing (which includes the p6014 wiki), seeing if the suggestions conflict with their view of things, and ultimately whether it's worth it to completely the project at this point as they may be close to finishing it themselves or they may diverge so much from what any people have suggested that the fan base should just leave it up to them, I'm not sure. It would suck of all the effort everyone put into p6014 went to waste.


Title: Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
Post by: Culture20 on August 15, 2013, 05:17:57 am
We just set up www.starcontrol.com with links (including to here).  Talking to Paul and afred to see what level of involvement Activision will allow.

How exactly does one go about contacting them?
They occasionally read and post here, but the easiest way to contact them with a fan "squee!" is probably to seek them out at a computer gaming conference, but even then their booth is probably manned by underlings.  Keep in mind too that the SC franchise isn't their moneymaker (at all), so don't expect too much of their attention before they try to sell you some Skylanders. ;)
Quote
I'd like to get their words on the project so far, the new races, the writing (which includes the p6014 wiki),
Point of note: "the project" in relation to Stardock's future plans has absolutely nothing to do with p6014.  One is a fan creation, the other will be a commercial enterprise.  Hopefully Stardock's lawyers don't get itchy trigger fingers if they get a license to use FF&PR3's content.
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seeing if the suggestions conflict with their view of things, and ultimately whether it's worth it to completely the project at this point as they may be close to finishing it themselves or they may diverge so much from what any people have suggested that the fan base should just leave it up to them, I'm not sure. It would suck of all the effort everyone put into p6014 went to waste.
To be frank, unless Stardock is planning on hiring them, it won't matter what they think since they would just be licensing the material to Stardock (aside to FF/PR3: please be careful with this.  I remember too many projects where the original creators gave license to use their material and had no creative say-so... rarely ends well).   
But if they *would* be working on the project for Stardock, they would fastidiously ignore any incoming suggestions to avoid lawsuits ("you used my plot I sent you on the back of a cocktail napkin that I photoshopped a picture of for the civil suit!").  Either way, I'm doubting they would comment more than generalities regarding their own plot ideas, and would avoid all comparisons to publicly available ones (even if licensed to public domain via CC or the like).


Title: Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
Post by: FakeMccoy on August 15, 2013, 04:43:50 pm
I don't know if you understand exactly what I'm trying to do. I'm not trying to talk to stardock about completing p6014 at all in ny way shape or form, I'm only looking to talk to Fred and Paul, because they themselves definitely take time to address fans and look at what they do, so if the author team I'm in decides like say, the Taalo get completely destroyed, whereas Fred and Paul one way or another have a new version where they don't, it's kind a an awkward situation and both projects sort of undermine each other.


Title: Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
Post by: Mormont on August 15, 2013, 06:30:58 pm
I'm sure Fred and Paul have their own ideas for an SC2 sequel and I doubt they would want to share specific details at this point. It's better for 6014 to be its own fan project and not try to execute Fred/Paul's vision for SC3 - in fact, there's more risk of 6014 and a new SC3 undermining each other if they're too similar than if they're very different. 6014 can be an alternate/"what if?" timeline.

Besides, it sounds like Stardock wants to start during the SC1 era to reintroduce Star Control to people. So even if Paul and Fred get fully on board, it will likely be a little while before work on SC3 begins.


Title: Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
Post by: FakeMccoy on August 16, 2013, 03:14:30 am
I'm sure Fred and Paul have their own ideas for an SC2 sequel and I doubt they would want to share specific details at this point. It's better for 6014 to be its own fan project and not try to execute Fred/Paul's vision for SC3
Well since we already have willing fans as well as art and programming already in the style of SC2, why not exactly? If anything it should speed the process along...but then I suppose there wouldn't be as much left for stardock, unless they just wanted to make a high-tech version of it...


Title: Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
Post by: Rapajez on August 16, 2013, 06:01:45 am
Because the universe doesn't work that way. Just imagine 2 separate timelines. Like the j j Abraham's Star Trek reboot, where Spock accidentally blows up all the Ewoks. Or something like that. I forget the details.


Title: Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
Post by: Kwayne on August 16, 2013, 09:15:44 am
The GUNDAM series works perfectly with different timelines, besides if I were Stardock I'd aim for originality and check P6014 to know what to do differently. That way I'd make a service to fans who then would be able to play two distinct SC2 sequels in the future.

It may be possible that Stardock won't make an SC adventure game. If they start with the Great War era, then it might turn out to be strategy-arcade mix like SC1 was. If Paul and Fred are involved too, it might be because they want to make story-driven campaigns. I'd be totally into it.


Title: Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
Post by: Tiberian on August 16, 2013, 09:50:37 am
I mean no disrespect, but if I was Stardock, I would completely ignore P6014. It is an unfinished fan project and nothing more.

I would also ignore most of the stuff said on these forums. They are not making a remastering of Star Control 2 so I ask everyone not to get hung up on specific gameplay aspects SC2 had.


Title: Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
Post by: FakeMccoy on August 16, 2013, 05:11:40 pm
I mean no disrespect, but if I was Stardock, I would completely ignore P6014. It is an unfinished fan project and nothing more.

I would also ignore most of the stuff said on these forums. They are not making a remastering of Star Control 2 so I ask everyone not to get hung up on specific gameplay aspects SC2 had.
That's exactly why i wanted to contact Fred and Paul, it wouldn't completely make sense to do all this work for the sake of an alternate timeline unless the p6014 project can be completed at least a year sooner than their game, which is why i want to contact them to see where they are with it, if  they think it's worth it to peruse the project or if they are closer to completing a much more "high-tech" version. It would still be a waste though, a lot of hours have still been put into the project.


Title: Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
Post by: CelticMinstrel on August 16, 2013, 07:34:22 pm
I really don't understand your viewpoint here... it makes no sense. P6014 has absolutely nothing to do with Fred and Paul and there's no reason why it should ever have anything to do with them, nor is there any reason why a potential sequel should have any effect on the progress of P6014. They are totally separate things that have no relation whatsoever apart from some common base material.


Title: Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
Post by: FakeMccoy on August 16, 2013, 07:38:14 pm
I really don't understand your viewpoint here... it makes no sense. P6014 has absolutely nothing to do with Fred and Paul and there's no reason why it should ever have anything to do with them, nor is there any reason why a potential sequel should have any effect on the progress of P6014. They are totally separate things that have no relation whatsoever apart from some common base material.

You don't think Fred and Paul would try and base the next star control game off of SC2? If they aren't planning on doing that and they are doing something completely original then I guess it's fine, I have no worries.


Title: Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
Post by: CelticMinstrel on August 16, 2013, 07:49:32 pm
...where in my post did I say anything to imply that? In fact, I said something to imply the exact opposite. That "common base material" I mentioned is in fact Star Control 2. That doesn't mean there is any relation whatsoever between P6014 and a hypothetical "true sequel" from Fred and Paul. P6014 can take it in whatever way they want, and Fred and Paul can take theirs in whatever way they want, and there's no reason to expect or even want any kind of coordination or communication between the two.


Title: Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
Post by: FakeMccoy on August 16, 2013, 07:54:07 pm
...where in my post did I say anything to imply that? In fact, I said something to imply the exact opposite. That "common base material" I mentioned is in fact Star Control 2. That doesn't mean there is any relation whatsoever between P6014 and a hypothetical "true sequel" from Fred and Paul. P6014 can take it in whatever way they want, and Fred and Paul can take theirs in whatever way they want, and there's no reason to expect or even want any kind of coordination or communication between the two.
Here's the problem though: Fred and Paul said the Taalo are still alive. So if we make a sequel that's very very close to what the SC2 storyline and implications, and Fred and Paul do the same (in whatever way) but make many other changes, then that defeats the purpose of the project, Fred and Paul have spoken and answered the mysteries and the differences that were made for p6104 are just wrong.

If however Fred and Paul are going in a completely different direction and there is no worry that their version will be similarly built off of SC2, then it wouldn't be a problem. But I have no idea how heavily they are going to base their new SC game off of SC2 with stardock, so it would be better to find out.


Title: Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
Post by: CelticMinstrel on August 16, 2013, 07:58:16 pm
I would be very surprised if both parties came up with something that similar. Fred and Paul may even have notes of stuff that has never been mentioned to the public.


Title: Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
Post by: FakeMccoy on August 16, 2013, 08:04:10 pm
I would be very surprised if both parties came up with something that similar. Fred and Paul may even have notes of stuff that has never been mentioned to the public.
Well, it all depends on how much stardock wants to base it off of SC2, or do something more original. Fred and Paul don't have to tell anyone what's in store I suppose, they just have to say if they are going to make a true UQM sequel or go in a different direction.


Title: Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
Post by: Steve-O on August 31, 2013, 07:28:39 pm
1. It's my understanding that Fred and Paul are not directly involved in the game Stardock is making.  They have been contacted by Stardock and have given their blessings, etc, but they aren't actively writing the game's story themselves.

2. Stardock has already made it pretty clear that the game they are making is a prequel, close to or during Earth's First Contact with the Chenjesu.  So any plot details from the new game would be overlapping SC1, if anything.

3. P6014, as awesome as it is, is not an official Star Control product, nor was it ever intended to be.  Neither Stardock nor Fred and Paul are under any obligation to adhere to the content of a fan project.

4. Even if they wanted to use elements of P6014, that would require them to enter into legal negotiations with the people working on P6014 for creativity rights on anything that can't be traced directly back to Paul and Fred.  (Even the stuff than can be traced back could still be touch and go due to extrapolation.)  It would be far cheaper, easier and wiser to just make up their own story.  For anyone in the fanbase to expect P6014 to be integrated into the official SC products is the height of arrogance, IMHO.

Showing respect to the fanbase is one thing.  Stardock has already done that in spades.  They've told us their plans, they've said they won't harass UQM.  They've even set up links to UQM on their official page.  That's already way more than I would have expected them to do.

Like all fanbase projects, P6014 is a labour of love.  You do it because you want to be part of it, not because you expect to get anything back from it.  "Getting anything back" includes recognition from the official license holders, FYI.


Title: Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
Post by: FakeMccoy on September 05, 2013, 07:44:02 am
Like all fanbase projects, P6014 is a labour of love.  You do it because you want to be part of it, not because you expect to get anything back from it.  "Getting anything back" includes recognition from the official license holders, FYI.

I'm pretty 100% sure many people who contributed would be fine one way or another if their contributions were used in the official UQM prequel for free, especially considering the current project already is free and they already did not expect to get paid anything for their contributions. And if stardock doesn't want Fred and Paul involved I guess that's their loss.


Title: Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
Post by: Death 999 on September 05, 2013, 03:31:58 pm
100% sure? Based on the notion that it was already free?

Well, sure, if stardock wanted to release their game open source, I doubt many would object to that sort of reuse. I'd bet against it.


Title: Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
Post by: Kwayne on September 05, 2013, 04:21:35 pm
I wouldn't refuse some extra cash for my contribution. If my work is used in a commercial product and people make money off of it, I want my share. I, too, have taxes to pay.


Title: Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
Post by: Elestan on September 05, 2013, 05:05:03 pm
Like all fanbase projects, P6014 is a labour of love.  You do it because you want to be part of it, not because you expect to get anything back from it.  "Getting anything back" includes recognition from the official license holders, FYI.

I'm pretty 100% sure many people who contributed would be fine one way or another if their contributions were used in the official UQM prequel for free, especially considering the current project already is free and they already did not expect to get paid anything for their contributions. And if stardock doesn't want Fred and Paul involved I guess that's their loss.

"Pretty 100% sure" isn't something a corporation can rely on.  If they wanted to use anything from p6014, they would have to get a written license signed by every contributor to p6014, and by every contributor to UQM prior to p6014 forking from it.  It's not worth it for them, and I don't think they'd gain much from it.  Best, IMHO, to just think of p6014 as a "what-if" alternate universe based on the SC world.


Title: Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
Post by: FakeMccoy on September 05, 2013, 10:45:31 pm
Well I didn't ask anyone to rely on anything, Stardock could have asked people themselves if they weren't afraid of wasting time and that they would run into legal issues, but they will find that if they say "we'd like to use p6014 stuff for UQM prequel but we are on a strict budget" I guarantee there will be many people who will be fine with it, especially considering most contributions are smaller. I have 200+ custom made planet textures and I'd be fine with giving it do them, the portfolio boost would be worth more than a couple thousand bucks anyway. And it's somewhat pointless to make a game that's "another reality" because if you assume there's one alternate reality then you have to assume there's infinite number of possible alternate realities because there's nothing stopping the probability of other realities from existing, so how come you aren't making games for all of those realities too? Why pick that one specific reality? And why not make many many others if the intent is the be an alternate reality game? Why would so many parts be based off of SC2 if the intent was to be a different reality?
This is probably why they are making a prequel rather than a sequel, so they have more time to define what the sequel is and build off of a more complete story-line.


Title: Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
Post by: Rapajez on September 06, 2013, 04:28:27 am
What do you see when you read these forum posts? I don't think it's the same thing the rest of us are seeing.


Title: Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
Post by: FakeMccoy on September 06, 2013, 05:31:24 am
What do you see when you read these forum posts? I don't think it's the same thing the rest of us are seeing.
No it's because putting your arrogance aside to see a different view is hard for the average person.


Title: Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
Post by: Kaiser on September 06, 2013, 06:06:29 am
Like all fanbase projects, P6014 is a labour of love.  You do it because you want to be part of it, not because you expect to get anything back from it.  "Getting anything back" includes recognition from the official license holders, FYI.

I'm pretty 100% sure many people who contributed would be fine one way or another if their contributions were used in the official UQM prequel for free, especially considering the current project already is free and they already did not expect to get paid anything for their contributions. And if stardock doesn't want Fred and Paul involved I guess that's their loss.
Psst.  Fred and Paul have NOTHING to do with P6014 beyond a friendly nod in its direction.

Where do you make this garbage you spew up?  You read sentences that aren't even there.  It's sort of amazing, but in a sad and pathetic way.


Title: Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
Post by: FakeMccoy on September 06, 2013, 03:29:05 pm
Psst.  Fred and Paul have NOTHING to do with P6014 beyond a friendly nod in its direction.
Cool another strawman.

Go ahead, prove I said anything about Fred and Paul working on p6014. The most they ever do is answer a few fan questions. Just another troll.


Title: Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
Post by: Death 999 on September 06, 2013, 06:03:41 pm
Yeah, this time I'm with Fake. He didn't bring up FF & PR3 at all.

Not that his overall point makes any sense at all, but on this one detail, he's right.


Title: Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
Post by: FakeMccoy on September 06, 2013, 06:29:37 pm

Not that his overall point makes any sense at all, but on this one detail, he's right.

Well it's very simple: The intent is not to write about other realities, it's to complete the storyline into the sequel with events based off of SC2. If we wanted to write about other realities, why would we only write about 1 other possible reality?


Title: Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
Post by: Death 999 on September 06, 2013, 08:07:14 pm
Stardock will not, has no reason to, and has many reasons not to, use P6014.

P6014 will not, has no reason to, and has many reasons not to, offer itself to Stardock.


Title: Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
Post by: Kwayne on September 06, 2013, 09:04:52 pm
Well it's very simple: The intent is not to write about other realities, it's to complete the storyline into the sequel with events based off of SC2. If we wanted to write about other realities, why would we only write about 1 other possible reality?

Regardless of your intent, the fact that P6014 is merely a fan sequel automatically makes it's story play in a timeline alternate to that of the TFB official or the StarDock official. You have no choice in the matter.


Title: Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
Post by: FakeMccoy on September 06, 2013, 10:51:25 pm
Regardless of your intent, the fact that P6014 is merely a fan sequel automatically makes it's story play in a timeline alternate to that of the TFB official

That would only be true if TFB had already came out with their own version, which they haven't.

Stardock will not, has no reason to, and has many reasons not to, use P6014.
No one has to use p6014 itself, they can just use assets from it. P6014 has a reason to in order to keep the storyline between all the games consistent, it would be weird and confusing if you played SC2 then you get to the completed p6014 and it's completely different than what the stardock prequel suggests, all the games should have a continuously and flow of events.


Title: Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
Post by: Kwayne on September 06, 2013, 11:04:51 pm
Regardless of your intent, the fact that P6014 is merely a fan sequel automatically makes it's story play in a timeline alternate to that of the TFB official

That would only be true if TFB had already came out with their own version, which they haven't.

Wrong. The TFB storyline ended with the destruction of the Sa-Matra, with some hints about the future that aren't necessarily worth a new plot. The fact that TFB didn't make a sequel doesn't make P6014 anything less alternate.


Title: Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
Post by: FakeMccoy on September 06, 2013, 11:56:13 pm
Wrong. The TFB storyline ended with the destruction of the Sa-Matra, with some hints about the future that aren't necessarily worth a new plot. The fact that TFB didn't make a sequel doesn't make P6014 anything less alternate.
Except if p6014 coheres to what TFB suggested or implied happens in the future, and TFB doesn't have their own sequel, then there's nothing to define what p6014 is alternate to, therefore making it the THE story-line, unless you want to count that piece of crap SC3 made completely independent of nearly any real SC2 inspiration. The concept isn't much different than saying "I'm going to chose either the round one.". Ok, either the round one, or...what? There's nothing defining what the other choice is, therefore making the round one the only current choice.


Title: Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
Post by: Tiberian on September 07, 2013, 08:30:27 am
unless you want to count that piece of crap SC3 made completely independent of nearly any real SC2 inspiration.

Why is P6014 any more legitimate sequel than SC3?

You're going to have to pull off something really spectacular, as a fan-product, to make a better story than SC3. So far it's not looking too good.


Title: Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
Post by: Kwayne on September 07, 2013, 11:07:46 am
Even if P6014 performs something truly awesome it won't be anything more than an alternate timeline to official, even if it follows the premises built by TFB. SC3 is a viable continuation of SC2 and at the time it was made -- like it or not -- it was official. Consumer preference might say otherwise, but that sentiment only is not enough to declare that a mere fan project is the true continuation of a storyline. You either have to own the franchise -- and on an official level that alone is enough -- or need to have an influence in it's creation, none of which you do.

StarDock owns the franchise now, and they decided to leave the TFB timeline to be continued by Paul and Fred whenever they wish, while SD reboots the franchise in an alternate timeline forking off from the first encounter with the Chenjesu. With this, Brad Wardell and his boys not only demonstrated how they have way more class than you have, but also made a statement that unless Paul and Fred decide to make a sequel to SC2, the conclusion of the TFB timeline is that there's nothing worth a videogame plot happening after Grandpa Zelnick's tale ends. You have no influence in this matter. The only thing you can do is to admit that whatever you make won't ever be the mainstream, just a highly appreciated alternate work at the best.


Title: Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
Post by: TiLT on September 07, 2013, 01:43:18 pm
Anyone who thinks an official Star Control game would incorporate fan-made material in any way is sadly delusional and lacks knowledge of the legal issues involved in this kind of stuff.

It. Will. Never. Happen.


Title: Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
Post by: FakeMccoy on September 07, 2013, 04:48:13 pm
Its very simple logic that shouldnt be hard to inderstand. Unless you truly like the anti Fred/Paul SC3, there is no official UQM sequel, there is nothing called "The Ur Quan Masters 2" or "The Lurg Return" or ect, therefore p6014 has nothing to be alternate to.
As far as legal issues go, all stardok has to do is have a few people fill out a form waiving royalty fees or in a more extreme case any intellectual rights. On top of that, the suggestions many random people have made are not copywriten, patented or trademarked which means they can easily have a modified version implemented into any official stardock product. I've worked on games before and I've suggested ideas to three different game companies that have been implemented, ive been on both end of legal issues, I've hired people for for flat rates and percentages, taken ideas, used stuff for free, some stuff paid for royalty free, checked licenses extensively when using various software. For ideas, all you do is hit the "I agree" button about crediting or not getting paid money or main contributors can issue the project under a CC license or public domain. If stardock really wanted to pay money they can simply offer a flat rate for royalty free purchases.
If anything, stardock can save time by having their writers look on the wiki page where there's many suggestions for evens that fit wit te SC2 storyline.


Title: Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
Post by: onpon4 on September 07, 2013, 05:22:39 pm
As far as legal issues go, all stardok has to do is have a few people fill out a form waiving royalty fees or in a more extreme case any intellectual rights.

No, what they would need to do is get permission from the respective copyright holders. The only way it would be easy is if the works were released to the public domain or under a permissive license (unlikely) or if the copyright holders assigned the copyright to Stardock (very unlikely). So what they would really need to do is go in-depth over the details for each work to its respective copyright holder to get the permission needed, all for the purpose of using works that they might not be all that interested in anyway. From their perspective, it would make much more sense to just ignore P6014, especially considering P6014 probably isn't exactly a masterpiece (no offense).


Title: Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
Post by: FakeMccoy on September 07, 2013, 05:28:28 pm
If you're talking about the artwork, script or sounds, then yes you're right, which is what I was trying to say before. You can take care of that with a document you sign to waive your intellectual rights or a document to transfer legal ownership or copywriter holdings to the Stardock company. It doesn't make sense for Stardock to use everything, like the 2-D art, but if they modified the script for the planet generator they can make some high-res planet textures. In fact if Nico can update the p6014
script to implament more complex prelin-noise algorythms that are very close to photoshop's I can give the command for noise and alterations in a particular order that will generate a much more high-res and realistic looking texture.


Title: Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
Post by: onpon4 on September 07, 2013, 08:40:52 pm
Quote
the script for the planet generator

Is the code under the GPL? Anyone using that license or any other copyleft license who as any integrity would refuse to give an exception to Stardock.


Title: Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
Post by: FakeMccoy on September 07, 2013, 09:35:10 pm
Not sure what game you're talking about, I'm talking about star control that hasn't had a sequel or prequel  for like 20 years.


Title: Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
Post by: meep-eep on September 09, 2013, 08:49:56 am
I removed all the off-topic posts in this thread; please stay on topic.


Title: Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
Post by: CelticMinstrel on October 08, 2013, 10:58:09 pm
And it's somewhat pointless to make a game that's "another reality" because if you assume there's one alternate reality then you have to assume there's infinite number of possible alternate realities because there's nothing stopping the probability of other realities from existing, so how come you aren't making games for all of those realities too?
Are you proposing someone should make an infinite number of games? :P

Why pick that one specific reality?
There doesn't have to be a reason. It's arbitrary.

And why not make many many others if the intent is the be an alternate reality game?
This question doesn't even make sense. If you're making a game that's an alternate timeline relative to another game, it's just as arbitrary as the previous choice. Again you seem to be suggesting people should make an infinite number of games.

Why would so many parts be based off of SC2 if the intent was to be a different reality?
Why would making a game intended to be a different reality preclude them from basing things on SC2?

As for your idiocy about the lack of a sequel... you're saying the lack of an official sequel means that P6014 must be the official timeline, which doesn't follow at all. It's an alternate timeline simply because it's not official. The lack of an official sequel in the main timeline is totally irrelevant.


Title: Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
Post by: rosepatel on February 25, 2018, 09:55:50 pm
I'm afraid the Paul connection is old. Note the Atari party: "Accolade"
My bet is that this refers to Accolade licensing the Star Control IP to make Star Control 3, with the $0.00 meaning that no more payments are due.

I do hope that Stardock realise what they got (and what they didn't). They may now own the Star Control trademark and the SC3-specific IP, but Atari did not own the SC2 IP.
If Stardock wants to make a game including any of the SC2 races or plot points, they will still need to make a deal with Paul and Fred (unless they already did).

And considering that Paul and Fred have on numerous occasions stated that they still want to make a sequel to SC2 and that they still talk about SC3 game ideas among themselves, it's not likely that they will let another party make a true sequel.
And with the Stardock people being Star Control fans, they will not want to make a sequel based on the Star Control 3 IP.

So these are the scenario's which I came up with:
  • Stardock thought they got the SC2 IP, but didn't. Ouch. I hope they didn't pay too much.
  • Stardock were only interested in the Star Control trademark. This is probably not it, as Brad Wardell claims to be excited by the purchase.
  • Stardock are actually working with TFB. Maybe they were even enlisted by TFB to make the purchase. Still, all that excitement about just the trademark?

My money is on the first scenario.

Also, I don't know what it would mean if Atari's Star Control trademark claim would be judged invalid, considering that the extension to the registration was based on token use.


¯\_(ツ)_/¯


Title: Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
Post by: vok3 on February 25, 2018, 10:37:24 pm
https://www.screencast.com/t/uixGUE0h

Quote from: Paul Reiche & Brad Wardell
On Wed, OCt 16, 2013 at 3:13 PM, Paul Reiche <email snipped, it's in the screenshot> wrote:

Hi Brad,

As always, sorry for the tardy response.  One question Fred and I have - what are the total Star Control rights and assets you acquired from Atari?

Thanks,

- Paul

On Wed, Oct 16, 2013 at 4:05 PM, Brad Wardell <email snipped> wrote:

Hi Paul,

What we received was the trademark and all of Accolade's publishing rights for the original trilogy (i.e. the ability to sell, distribute, market and promote) plus all code and assets for Star Control 3.

Brad

On Oct 22, 2013, at 5:55 PM, Pal Reiche <snipped> wrote:

Hi Brad,

What was your cost on the trademark and publishing rights to SC1-3?

Thanks,

- Paul

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

But go ahead and trust random forum posters to inform your ideas of legal outcomes.  That'll end well.


Title: Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
Post by: rosepatel on February 25, 2018, 11:07:40 pm
Appreciate you trying to keep everyone's head on the law. Just trying to make the point -- the truth has been out there for at least 5 years.

We see consistently that Paul and Fred own the copyright to the first two games, including every creation in it.

And we see consistently that Stardock contracted to buy the trademark (or what's left of it, depending on the validity of the extension), plus whatever derivative copyrights there are in SC3.


Title: Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
Post by: vok3 on February 26, 2018, 03:29:42 am
We see consistently that they own the IP within it.  Stardock's claim (as I understand it) is that part of what they purchased was a license to sell and distribute the games - a license with no termination.  The quoted email exchange seems to support that - Wardell is talking about having purchased distribution and marketing rights, Reiche doesn't argue.  Paul Reiche and Fred Ford were the ones to issue the DMCA takedown, which, if the email exchange quoted is correct, appears to be something they might not have had the right to do.  Take it out of the Star Control context for a moment: you have a company, you've bought a property which - as you understand it - includes the right to sell certain things digitally.  So you do that.  Then somebody starts throwing DMCA takedowns at you, on - as far as you can tell - fraudulent bases.  What else is there to do besides lawsuit at that point?

I'm not saying I like seeing lawsuits flying here.  I'm not saying Stardock can't possibly have done anything wrong.  I AM saying that I can see it's very possible or indeed probable they think they're doing perfectly reasonable things in the interests of SC and are suddenly getting whacked by a two-by-four out of left field for doing things that, as far as they can see, they think they have a perfect right to do and paid good money for.

I can also see how and why Reiche & Ford might not want someone else capitalizing on their work if they think that other party doesn't have a right to do so - and also how Stardock, in full admiration of what Reiche & Ford created, could talk about it in positive terms, in the context of what they've bought and hope to accomplish, without expecting it to be taken badly - even if they're wrong in that expectation.  But that's the whole point of having a legal dispute and getting it settled in a courtroom in the first place - to figure out what's what, and who actually has what rights.

I don't see any bad guys here.


Title: Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
Post by: Death 999 on February 26, 2018, 04:35:19 am
The only bad guys I can see for sure are the lousy lawyers Stardock has who thought that their first claim was a good idea to include. Its sheer implausibility and audaciousness puts the rest of their claims in a poor light.


Title: Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
Post by: CelticMinstrel on February 27, 2018, 02:50:34 am
But go ahead and trust random forum posters to inform your ideas of legal outcomes.  That'll end well.
I'm just amused to see you describe the administrator of this forum as a "random forum poster".


Title: Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
Post by: Death 999 on February 27, 2018, 02:56:05 pm
But go ahead and trust random forum posters to inform your ideas of legal outcomes.  That'll end well.
I'm just amused to see you describe the administrator of this forum as a "random forum poster".

I'm not a lawyer, though, and for that point, it's what matters.


Title: Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
Post by: Serosis on February 27, 2018, 04:34:32 pm
But go ahead and trust random forum posters to inform your ideas of legal outcomes.  That'll end well.
I'm just amused to see you describe the administrator of this forum as a "random forum poster".

The point still stands though. Serge has no connection to P&F besides being handed the code to what became UQM and a few correspondence between them and Chris Nelson.
None of us are lawyers here, including him. He wouldn't know exactly what Stardock bought unless he was shown the full documentation.

All of us here are pretty much arguing out of our collective asses over the posts by Fred & Paul. And their focus on things that don't exactly pertain to the case.
It's highly likely Stardock will lose the creator debate, but Stardock isn't taking them to court over SC1&2, they're taking them to court for trying to associate Ghosts of the Precursors with Star Control.

Nobody seems to be talking about that last bit, just the emotional crap that P&F post on their blog.


Title: Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
Post by: rosepatel on February 27, 2018, 05:02:01 pm
I was actually talking about the crap that Stardock is posting publicly, that somehow Paul and Fred didn't create the game, and don't own the copyright.

Quote from: Stardock
For many years, I, and most people, believed that Paul and Fred personally created the Star Control games. I certainly believed it. We figured Fred did the coding and Paul did the art and story. But as it turns out, that's not really the case (https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2018/02/star-control-countersuit-aims-to-invalidate-stardocks-trademarks/).

... and then he links to his own website.

Meanwhile, you have literal employees who worked on Star Control 2 saying "hey, it's nice of you to give us credit, but this was Paul and Fred's game (https://kotaku.com/1823244996)".

Anyway, most of us aren't commenting based on feelings. (Oh my god, the creators have a FEELING about being sued into dispossession of their game! What terrible human beings.)

I, for one, was actually digging into the legal documents.

For example, the 1988 Accolade agreement on page 30 here (https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/4385486-2635-000-P-2018-02-22-17-Counterclaim.html).



Title: Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
Post by: Mormont on February 27, 2018, 05:38:58 pm
The point still stands though. Serge has no connection to P&F besides being handed the code to what became UQM and a few correspondence between them and Chris Nelson.
None of us are lawyers here, including him. He wouldn't know exactly what Stardock bought unless he was shown the full documentation.

All of us here are pretty much arguing out of our collective asses over the posts by Fred & Paul. And their focus on things that don't exactly pertain to the case.
It's highly likely Stardock will lose the creator debate, but Stardock isn't taking them to court over SC1&2, they're taking them to court for trying to associate Ghosts of the Precursors with Star Control.

Nobody seems to be talking about that last bit, just the emotional crap that P&F post on their blog.
We've mostly been going by the text of the legal complaints and the documents contained within, plus public statements by Stardock and others. The "creator" stuff is obviously an attempt by Stardock to marginalize Fred and Paul from associating themselves with Star Control 2 in any meaningful way, even though "from the creators of X" is  regularly used in marketing. (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/othersidegames/underworld-ascendant) It's an absolutely absurd point, especially when contradicted by people who actually were actually there helping with the game. The fact that Stardock was probably ramping up for questioning their authorship since at least November with the 25th anniversary post makes them look really bad.

Stardock has clearly been doing some shady stuff and seemed to be trying to muscle Fred and Paul out of their IP as much as they can get away with before this went public and maybe even before Ghosts was announced. Like ordering them to cancel the GOG agreement (as Wardell has publicly said) - if they want to be the adults in the room and defuse tensions, why would they do that? In addition to selling the old games, their use of Orz and Spathi in marketing Origins is copyright infringement if the license has expired (let's set aside the comm screen for the moment). If Stardock doesn't have a license, Fred and Paul would have the basis of a legal complaint even if Stardock hadn't sued first.

Not long ago, Wardell was saying he had a license that not only gave him the right to distribute the games, but that he essentially had carte blanche to make a sequel or anything he wanted with the Ur-quan universe and chose not to only by his good graces. This looks very difficult to support by a straightforward reading of the contracts (NAL), and they appear to have backed down on it now. I've come to the conclusion that Wardell's reasonableness is largely a facade - he's just quite good at PR. And I've defended Stardock in the past too; I wanted to give them the benefit of the doubt.


EDIT:

Took a closer look at the Underworld Ascendant (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/othersidegames/underworld-ascendant) Kickstarter I linked to earlier, which is a game from "the creators of Ultima Underworld" by people who do not own the Ultima trademark. It is interesting for another reason:
Quote
Far more than a dungeon crawl, Underworld Ascendant is a next-generation sequel to the legendary fantasy RPG’s Ultima Underworld & Ultima Underworld 2.
Quote
Get drawn into an epic story with ties to the original Ultima Underworld games.
Quote
Is this a “spiritual successor” to Ultima Underworld? Is it Ultima Underworld 3? Or what?

Underworld Ascendant is a genuine part of the Underworld series. We have the rights to use all of the elements of the original Underworld games, except for the Ultima brand itself. The characters, monsters, settings, and stories from the original Underworld games are all available for us.
So actually a pretty similar situation in more ways than one (Ultima Underworld 1 and SC2 even came out the same year). And they not only associated it with the first two Ultima Underworld games but explicitly called it a sequel. EA, owner of the Ultima trademark, did not protest. I don't know how much this would count as a precedent in a court of law, but it's definitely an interesting parallel that makes Stardock's position look worse. Neither of us are experts in TM law but Stardock seems to be making some pretty expansive claims to what their trademark means.


Title: Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
Post by: Serosis on February 27, 2018, 08:20:39 pm

Stardock has clearly been doing some shady stuff and seemed to be trying to muscle Fred and Paul out of their IP as much as they can get away with before this went public and maybe even before Ghosts was announced.

I want to see every bit of proof on this while you're still mouthing it off.

Quote
their use of SC2 alien art in marketing Origins

You mean the commission of art to celebrate the 25th Anniversary that had in no way anything to do with marketing Origins?


Title: Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
Post by: Mormont on February 27, 2018, 08:39:24 pm
I want to see every bit of proof on this while you're still mouthing it off.
At the very least we know they forced the cancellation of the GOG agreement as has been publicly stated by Wardell. (https://forums.starcontrol.com/486284/stardock-response-to-paul-and-fred-update) (second update) Why do this if you know tensions are brewing and want to avoid a legal conflict?
Quote
Paul and Fred claimed they were the ones who had set up the agreement and upon verification with GOG, we instructed them to terminate this agreement which they have which we appreciate.
Also not long ago, Wardell was publicly claiming he had an exclusive license to the Ur-quan universe (including sequels) and that he would need to give Fred and Paul rights to their work to allow them to make Ghosts. Even if you're not trying to enforce your unlimited license behind the scenes, saying that you definitively have one when the contracts appears dubious about it at best is pretty sketchy.

Then there's the narrative in their legal complaints, where things started getting rough before Ghosts' announcement. It is very likely at least partly true (faking evidence is a crime - they're not going to quote from and give exact dates for e-mails that don't exist in a legal document). Admittedly it's true that we don't have the e-mails and no definitive proof of their description of events, but we don't have any explicit proof of Wardell's version of their communications where he is the reasonable one who only wants to compromise either. Both accounts are probably selective and omitting some important things. But IMO, the evidence we do have leans toward Fred and Paul's claims (though they also have a few weaker arguments too, yes), especially the contracts. And their account is in more formal and detailed legal format. So I'm more inclined to trust their version of what isn't proven.

Quote
You mean the commission of art to celebrate the 25th Anniversary that had in no way anything to do with marketing Origins?
It was posted to an Ars Technica interview about Origins and put in the header of the Origins site. And it's one thing to draw or even personally commission fan art, it's another thing for a company to officially put it on their site without rights to it.

Anyway, that'll probably be my last post on this at least for a long time - don't want to keep fighting and want to withdraw from following the legal conflict a bit. You can have the last word.


Title: Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
Post by: Krulle on February 27, 2018, 09:37:23 pm
New blog by FF and PR:

https://www.dogarandkazon.com/blog/2018/2/27/report-from-planet-surface

Basically, they now publish the emails between them, Atari, and GOG of the previously referenced licensing contract between GOGand Paul Reiche, and the publishing contract between GOG and Atari.

The read is very interesting, and also very telling, and the results of this inter-party agreement between Atari and Paul Reiche will be considered by a judge admitting this as proof (IF admitted).


Title: Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
Post by: Krulle on February 27, 2018, 09:56:55 pm

EDIT:

Took a closer look at the Underworld Ascendant (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/othersidegames/underworld-ascendant) Kickstarter I linked to earlier, which is a game from "the creators of Ultima Underworld" by people who do not own the Ultima trademark. It is interesting for another reason:
Quote
Far more than a dungeon crawl, Underworld Ascendant is a next-generation sequel to the legendary fantasy RPG’s Ultima Underworld & Ultima Underworld 2.
Quote
Get drawn into an epic story with ties to the original Ultima Underworld games.
Quote
Is this a “spiritual successor” to Ultima Underworld? Is it Ultima Underworld 3? Or what?

Underworld Ascendant is a genuine part of the Underworld series. We have the rights to use all of the elements of the original Underworld games, except for the Ultima brand itself. The characters, monsters, settings, and stories from the original Underworld games are all available for us.
So actually a pretty similar situation in more ways than one (Ultima Underworld 1 and SC2 even came out the same year). And they not only associated it with the first two Ultima Underworld games but explicitly called it a sequel. EA, owner of the Ultima trademark, did not protest. I don't know how much this would count as a precedent in a court of law, but it's definitely an interesting parallel that makes Stardock's position look worse. Neither of us are experts in TM law but Stardock seems to be making some pretty expansive claims to what their trademark means.
Is the Ultima trademark owner actually aware of this project?
Their case may follow.

Also, is the Ultima trademark owner currently trying to build something  new under the Ultima trademark?

A trademark does not have much value if you're currently not doing anything with it and just keeping it in reserve.
They might even be happy for a private project, and then they can latch redistribution of the old games on the new publication, so they start making a bit money again.
Or wait beyond the point of no return for the creators, and then sue them. (typical tactic with copyright infringements, the money is spent, stopping now would be desastrous -> good incentives for settlements)

The case for Stardock is different. Stardock has announced and is marketing and developing a new game under the trademark Star Control.


Title: Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
Post by: Mormont on February 27, 2018, 10:05:54 pm
Last post for real: from a quick look at trademark law I am not certain about this point, not having the expertise. You are definitely allowed to connect your product to someone else's trademark at times, but it's open to interpretation. I think there's a good chance either the courts or a settlement will say they can associate Ghosts with "Star Control" in certain ways but not in others.

Anyway, as I said I've wasted enough time arguing about this online. We'll see how it shakes out.


Title: Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
Post by: Serosis on February 27, 2018, 10:34:18 pm
Anyway, as I said I've wasted enough time arguing about this online. We'll see how it shakes out.

Yes, before this gets too heated I think as fans we should sit it out and wait.
This is an issue between Stardock and Paul & Fred. No amount of our bickering will help either cause.


Title: Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
Post by: rosepatel on February 27, 2018, 11:20:03 pm
There's absolutely no reason for it to get heated. Most of us are trying to understand the facts, and make reasonable inferences about what that means for the future of Star Control. Keep in mind that if the game came out in 1990, then most of us are well north of 30 years old, at minimum. And that means that at least SOME of us here have professional, if not legal experience. And so many of us are capable of having an intelligent conversation about what's going on, and those who can't will properly tune out anyway.

As for what's going on, there's news nearly every day.

First, Paul and Fred published (alleged) emails where both Atari and GOG agreed (https://www.dogarandkazon.com/blog/2018/2/27/report-from-planet-surface) that Atari's rights to publish the games had expired.

Quote from: Kelsey Musgrave @ Atari
Hi Paul, I had our attorney check this out and you are correct. I sincerely apologize for this mistake. We have a standard rights clearance process, but apparently our legal team was misled by the title of the game.

The second piece of news... apparently Stardock is trying to register a trademark for "The Ur Quan Masters":

http://tsdr.uspto.gov/#caseNumber=87720654&caseSearchType=US_APPLICATION&caseType=DEFAULT&searchType=statusSearch


Title: Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
Post by: Elestan on February 28, 2018, 12:49:04 am
The second piece of news... apparently Stardock is trying to register a trademark for "The Ur Quan Masters":

http://tsdr.uspto.gov/#caseNumber=87720654&caseSearchType=US_APPLICATION&caseType=DEFAULT&searchType=statusSearch

It looks like the application was denied because it wasn't signed, didn't demonstrate use in commerce, and was insufficiently precise.

I'm really baffled by this maneuver.  Even if they really wanted to push this, I doubt that Stardock could provide proof of use in commerce; any web search will turn up the open source project first, and any attempt to claim that the use of the phrase "Ur-Quan Masters" in the original game justifies a trademark would fail because it hasn't been defended in the decades that UQM has been around.  And attempting to register 'Ur-Quan Masters" out from underneath the community project is going to have a host of very negative PR consequences.

Frogboy, if you're listening, please rein in your IP lawyer.

EDIT:  I just sent an email to the USPTO examiner, to make sure that they are aware of this project and how long it has been around.


Title: Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
Post by: Frogboy on February 28, 2018, 03:13:27 am
Bear in mind, I'm around and willing to talk.

I just don't want to be personally attacked. 

So if you have questions I can answer them to the best of my ability.  Just bear in mind I'm not a lawyer.


Title: Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
Post by: Elestan on February 28, 2018, 04:11:06 am
Bear in mind, I'm around and willing to talk.

I just don't want to be personally attacked. 

So if you have questions I can answer them to the best of my ability.  Just bear in mind I'm not a lawyer.

That's completely fair.  I think the most relevant question to this community is to say what your intentions are with respect to trademarking "The Ur-Quan Masters".  The best explanation I can come up with is a zealous IP lawyer trying to grab every possible advantage for a potential legal fight.  But he's picking a fight with your potential customers here, and I don't see much benefit in doing it.


Title: Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
Post by: CelticMinstrel on February 28, 2018, 04:20:33 am
Off-topic, but...

Also, is the Ultima trademark owner currently trying to build something  new under the Ultima trademark?
As far as I can tell, Ultima Online is still available for purchase from EA. Does that count?


Title: Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
Post by: Frogboy on February 28, 2018, 05:03:34 am
Off-topic, but...

Also, is the Ultima trademark owner currently trying to build something  new under the Ultima trademark?
As far as I can tell, Ultima Online is still available for purchase from EA. Does that count?

Good question.

So, the concern is the future of the UQM.  Our long-term goal is for the UQM community to be set up as an independent, open-source destination for creating stories without interference.  If that's for Star Control, great.  If it's for Ghosts of the Precursors, that's fine too.  What we don't want is a scenario where Star Control is legally blocked by an external trademark source enforcing their rights.

I am here.  If Stardock does something bad, there's someone you can yell at. :)

My opinion is that open-source modding is the future.  I don't mean tomorrow or next year.  But in a few years, modding as we know it today will be a much bigger deal.  And open-source is the future of that. 

We want a destination to release the Star Control III source code (for example).  We want to make source code for parts of Star Control: Origins.

Now, that might sound like lip service but we already do this with our software today and have for 17 years: http://www.wincustomize.com.  So we're not talking about the importance of independent communities as a theory but we've been walking the walk for 17 years.


Title: Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
Post by: Frogboy on February 28, 2018, 05:05:30 am
BTW, just to add more for that WinCustomize link, it is now the primary resource for all of Stardock's customization competitors.  Some of Stardock's competitors on the software side now use that site as their primary support community and help moderate it.


Title: Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
Post by: rosepatel on February 28, 2018, 05:31:49 am
The UQM never needed anyone to protect us from "an external trademark source enforcing their rights".

The whole reason it's called the Ur Quan Masters is because an external trademark source wouldn't let this community call it Star Control 2.

Now YOU'RE the external trademark source.

Do you mean to tell us you're going to stop enforcing the Star Control trademark against this community, and we can now call it Star Control 2?


Title: Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
Post by: Frogboy on February 28, 2018, 05:36:57 am
The UQM never needed anyone to protect us from "an external trademark source enforcing their rights".

The whole reason it's called the Ur Quan Masters is because an external trademark source wouldn't let this community call it Star Control 2.

Now YOU'RE the external trademark source.

Do you mean to tell us you're going to stop enforcing the Star Control trademark against this community, and we can now call it Star Control 2?

You've been posting on this community for what? a week? 

As you probably know,  Paul and Fred also filed for a trademark.  Do you have the same concern with them? If not, why not?


Title: Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
Post by: rosepatel on February 28, 2018, 05:39:05 am
Fred and Paul don't own the Star Control Trademark -- or at least not until the lawyers and courts figure out if it expired.

You claim that you own the Star Control trademark.

You claim that your goal is for this community to make games without an "external trademark source enforcing their rights".

Can the community rename Ur Quan Masters to Star Control 2 yet?


Title: Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
Post by: Frogboy on February 28, 2018, 05:43:01 am
If the community has a consensus that they want that, I am sure Stardock would be willing to discuss it.


Title: Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
Post by: rosepatel on February 28, 2018, 05:51:31 am
That comment makes me hopeful.

In the back of my head, I still worry about motive. This project exists thanks to the generosity of Paul and Fred releasing the source code, which means they'd be party to the negotiations. So it becomes a question of whether you'd offer the TM, or if you'd attach a lot of strings, taking us back to your ongoing legal dispute.

Either way, it's a nice little dream.


Title: Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
Post by: Elestan on February 28, 2018, 05:58:27 am
So, the concern is the future of the UQM.  Our long-term goal is for the UQM community to be set up as an independent, open-source destination for creating stories without interference.  If that's for Star Control, great.  If it's for Ghosts of the Precursors, that's fine too.  What we don't want is a scenario where Star Control is legally blocked by an external trademark source enforcing their rights.

(I'll presume this was a reply to me, despite the quoted text)

So, a repository for open-source game code sounds great to me.  But I think the method being used has some problems:

First, and most importantly, you're trying to take over the ownership of the name of our project.  Without consulting us first.  That's not very friendly.

Second, it's not clear that you have any right to do so.  We've been using this name for over fifteen years, and my understanding of trademark (though I am not a lawyer) is that you can't just take a name that someone else is actively using and register it after the fact.  

Third, saying that "Ur-Quan Masters" could be a legally-blocking issue for "Star Control" only makes sense if you are intending to use the Ur-Quan in your games, which is something that you had previously disavowed.

So, if you want an open-source repository into which Star Control code could be donated under an appropriate open-source license, I think we're all for that, and would be happy to help out.  But you don't need a trademark for that, and trying to register one makes it look like you are seeking a level of control or ownership over this community that I think many here would see as unwelcome.  I'd strongly encourage you to pursue your goals by engaging this community, rather than by legal maneuvers.

EDIT: I see that Paul R. did file to register (https://tsdr.uspto.gov/#caseNumber=87772787&caseType=SERIAL_NO&searchType=statusSearch) this same trademark yesterday.  I would welcome a clarification as to his intent, though for now I'm going to give him the benefit of the doubt here, and assume that his action was prompted by your own.  I think the same argument about post-facto registration applies to him as well, but realize that he does have some banked credit here, as it was his gratis donation of the code that allowed this community to form in the first place.


Title: Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
Post by: Krulle on February 28, 2018, 10:44:52 am
And they are the owners of the Intellectual Property behind UQM (and Star Control 1,2 - the "classic Star Control games" - I would draw the line differently than Stardock's lawyers did, but then the Origins players will draw the line where Stardock draws it.)


Title: Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
Post by: Krulle on February 28, 2018, 11:36:23 am
Off-topic, but...

Also, is the Ultima trademark owner currently trying to build something  new under the Ultima trademark?
As far as I can tell, Ultima Online is still available for purchase from EA. Does that count?
Nope. Star Control 1 and Star Control 2 have also been for sale (GoG), and I think Steam still has them online, or at least Stardock said they're pushing to keep them online.
The trademark owner of Ultima has not announced anything being under development, AFAIK.
So the situation is different.
EA does not seem to have a vested commercial interest in keeping others away from their trademark RIGHT NOW.
Their leniency to accept "fair use" will likely be much larger than in an alternate universe where EA is currently developing a new Ultima game under the trademark.


Title: Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
Post by: Lakstoties on February 28, 2018, 05:25:12 pm
To Stardock...

Hold! What you are doing to us is wrong! Why do you do this thing?


Title: Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
Post by: Death 999 on February 28, 2018, 09:55:53 pm
 ;D

THE WORDS!

Welcome to the forum. I think you'll fit in.


Title: Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
Post by: CelticMinstrel on March 01, 2018, 03:24:19 am
Off-topic, but...

Also, is the Ultima trademark owner currently trying to build something  new under the Ultima trademark?
As far as I can tell, Ultima Online is still available for purchase from EA. Does that count?
Um, I think you quoted the wrong person here, because your post has nothing to do with mine.