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Author Topic: NEWS: Ghosts of the Precursors is coming!  (Read 2074 times)
Mormont
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Re: NEWS: Ghosts of the Precursors is coming!
« Reply #45 on: December 10, 2017, 07:05:26 pm »

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My feeling is that they've went through the logistics of making Ghosts and now feel like they can't pull it off.
So they started this legal battle to create an antagonist as a scapegoat.
I really, really don't find this conspiracy theory plausible and am disappointed so many on Stardock's official homeground, even longtime SC fans, have gone for it. They've made multiple successful modern games and know what goes into it. The design was starting out with just the two of them but they always planned to get more people on board later and secure some form of funding.

Even if Fred and Paul's legal case is partly mistaken or if they're pressing things too hard, I think they really do feel like their IP is being threatened. They've also been involved with legal matters in Star Control in the past and I'm sure have spent a lot of time looking at the ins and outs many years before Stardock entered the picture, whose claims are pretty novel (remember that none of us really know the details - having read quite a bit of Stardock's side as a founder...well, I won't say Stardock is lying outright but I'm wary of trusting it, at least not completely). And perhaps they feel that confusion over the IP, especially Stardock claiming ownership of SC2, is making it more difficult to get a publisher or funding for Ghosts.

Also, I'm not necessarily calling out you specifically on this, but a lot of people in Stardock's turf are now saying both "TFB aren't allowed to make a sequel except by Stardock's good will" and "TFB have just been making excuses for no sequel for 25 years, what took them so long?" at the same time now. These are contradictory statements. Suppose for the sake of argument that Stardock's sweeping interpretation of their rights - where F&P "own" the universe but can't really legally do anything besides collect royalties - is accurate.  It can't also be true that Paul and Fred were lazy or didn't care about fans for taking so long to make a sequel that they had no legal right to makew. If (if - again, conceding it hypothetically) Ghosts can only be allowed by Stardock magnanimously signing their license over, the second statement is mutually exclusive.

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Maybe my tune would change if P&F actually reached out to their fans like they used to, which Brad is actually doing now.
Instead of taking pot-shots from the sidelines only to go radio silent after every blog post.
Likely their lawyers have advised them to stay silent for now. They did answer my recent e-mail though (a brief exchange, no juicy information to share). And with Frogboy posting on all the major fan forums they probably don't want to argue with him directly here. If going public with the blog posts was possibly premature or mistaken, squabbling on the forum would be much worse!

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They might go the Project 6014 (?) route, by adapting the UQM code sufficiently to continue the story, and thus care less about actual coding, or delivering code according to modern standards.
The UQM source is notoriously messy and I'm sure they wanted to do more new things than just iterating on the SC2 engine anyway.
« Last Edit: December 10, 2017, 10:20:32 pm by Mormont » Logged
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Re: NEWS: Ghosts of the Precursors is coming!
« Reply #46 on: December 11, 2017, 12:59:58 am »

Not really a conspiracy theory, more of a guarded speculation.

Paul & Fred have had an inside look at SC:Origins from the very beginning, they knew what all of us within the NDA know.
And if their lawyers were advising them to be quiet then they wouldn't have taken those pot shots in the first place.

There was no reason to drag this into public view other than to turn Stardock into an antagonist in the public eye.
This is not how professionals take care of legal matters.

On the flip side, what would be the reasoning behind Brad's lawyers letting him speak his mind about the whole thing?
Shouldn't they be figuratively gagging him so as to not make things worse?
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Re: NEWS: Ghosts of the Precursors is coming!
« Reply #47 on: December 11, 2017, 10:53:51 am »

Well, this is a surprise... and from what it looks like, it's a surprise to Brad as well.
[...]
Brad is basically saying "You have our permission, go ahead!", while FF and PR3 are saying they shouldn't NEED permission. This seems like a fairly technical point, but in the murky world of IP law and business, the distinction between permission being granted and not needing permission in the first place could actually be a literal gamebreaker for GotP. As supportive as Brad is, permission is something that can potentially be withdrawn, if something happens to Stardock that means that Brad is no longer in charge of Stardock's side of the IP - a hypothetical new holder of Stardock's side of the IP could, in theory, withdraw permission and issue a cease and desist on GotP, or even if FF & PR3's permission to make GotP is future-proofed, a hypothetical future owner of the Stardock side of the IP might be able to freeze FF & PR3 out of doing anything else with their universe afterwards. Such uncertainty in the status of the IP might be making it difficult for FF & PR3 to get investors and other backers for their project.

The other issues FF & PR3 raise are essentially symptoms of this: Stardock releasing Star Control 1, 2, and Kessari Quadrant without permission, and putting the Ur-Quan Masters and Kessari Quadrant universes in their diagram, is essentially demonstrating to potential backers that the exact status of the Ur-Quan Masters IP is not fully resolved, and therefore that the risk that a future holder of the Stardock side of the IP might pull the plug remains.
"Who owns exactly how much of exactly what now" seems to be most of the problem.
Which is why it remains frustrating to those involved, confusing for those of us who read about it and unsatisfying for everyone interested in past and future games.
But there's also some inevitable miscommunication. And sunk costs. And obligations to others. And "enforce it or lose it" rule for trademarks making this disagreement more frantic than it needs to be otherwise.
So either lawyers will have to pick this mess dust grain by dust grain, or Paul and Fred take Brad's proposal to discuss this directly and try to work out some agreement.
Then again, by now all three probably are annoyed with this enough that using some common acquaintance as a mediator may be better than "phone call", despite an extra layer of miscommunication.
Then this agreement have to be turned into something binding by lawyers. Simply because it's one thing to trust Frogboy who is cool and all... and it's entirely another thing (in long term) to trust Stardock. Look at what's left of Ed Greenwood's agreement with TSR representative, who was cool and all, and himself was one of their best designers - how much all this matters now?
All this have to take some time.

Stardock forum's thread on this predictably shows frustration, confusion and fanboys (of either and both sides) chasing their own tails per tradition of internet discussions.
« Last Edit: December 11, 2017, 11:58:08 am by TBeholder » Logged

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Re: NEWS: Ghosts of the Precursors is coming!
« Reply #48 on: December 11, 2017, 01:16:13 pm »

Actually, I think the trademark is one thing that they all agree on, so that's not at issue.
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Re: NEWS: Ghosts of the Precursors is coming!
« Reply #49 on: December 12, 2017, 04:58:42 pm »

Psst. Frogboy. You have been outed as a liar. Stop while you are ahead.

Stardock is like a mini EA games or Blizzard. It's a bad idea to spread your bull when you have been exposed.
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Re: NEWS: Ghosts of the Precursors is coming!
« Reply #50 on: December 12, 2017, 06:55:39 pm »

Zelnik, show the evidence or stop. And preferably, even as you show the evidence, don't be so rude about it.
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Re: NEWS: Ghosts of the Precursors is coming!
« Reply #51 on: December 15, 2017, 04:07:02 pm »

Not really a conspiracy theory, more of a guarded speculation.

Paul & Fred have had an inside look at SC:Origins from the very beginning, they knew what all of us within the NDA know.
And if their lawyers were advising them to be quiet then they wouldn't have taken those pot shots in the first place.

There was no reason to drag this into public view other than to turn Stardock into an antagonist in the public eye.
This is not how professionals take care of legal matters.

On the flip side, what would be the reasoning behind Brad's lawyers letting him speak his mind about the whole thing?
Shouldn't they be figuratively gagging him so as to not make things worse?

I totally agree, Paul and Fred are behaving like a bunch of childish people in a judge judy show. But then again perhaps that's how things always work in california. In my eyes they look bad for it. So I wonder what they gain by doing things like this. Childish play tactics might work for the skylanders crowd but not for us?
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