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Author Topic: My take on Stardock  (Read 24271 times)
astkr5
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #540 on: April 15, 2018, 08:08:12 am »

My honest belief is that Elestan's posts are deceptive and confusing to others. I don't think that is fair to the overall discussion here, or to Stardock/Brad.
The analysis of the legal situation might be of interest to me, but doesn't really contribute to my view of Stardock itself one way or the other. Elestan may be completely on the wrong track about which trademarks Stardock actually holds or what they are permitted to do with them, or the status of the 1988 agreement might be completely different than any of us are understanding it, but that doesn't really impact my view of the company. I mean, why would it? What they own is a totally different conversation to what they are doing with it. My view on the company is mostly informed by what they themselves are doing and saying.
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My opinion, and you can quibble with it if you wish, is that Brad honestly did idolize Fred and Paul and he did want to pick up the mantle they left on the side of the road. Somewhere along the way, that relationship was damaged.. but I still feel that Brad intends to make the best Star Control game he can. That is better than no Star Control game.

This could all be true. Sorry if quoting the Words was painting people too much as villains, it was just a joke, I don't really think Stardock is some kind of supervillain here. I think there is a dispute, and disputes do include two parties. What I don't understand is why Stardock are taking the very aggressive stance that they are taking, not just legally but with respect to (for example) including alien names from the original games in express denial of the original designers' wishes. Stardock may even legally be in their rights to do this, but can doesn't imply ought. If you'd personally rather keep away from legal discussions with non-lawyers, I understand, we can stick with just real-world observable facts and how we feel about them.

And sure, their game probably is better than no new Star Control game, for anyone who really desperately wants a game in the same genre (it's a pretty sparse field out there). All else being equal, I'd rather see both games get made. But I'm assuming if you're here you're a fan of the original games -- are you really saying you don't find it at all disappointing that Stardock is putting blocks in the way of the game we've all been waiting decades for?
« Last Edit: April 15, 2018, 08:10:36 am by astkr5 » Logged
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #541 on: April 15, 2018, 11:33:45 am »

Edit: In my mind, it is similar to arguing about tax policy with relatives of a different political viewpoint than your own over the holiday, why bother? No one truly knows enough to offer great insight, and even if they did.. there is no point one could make to convince someone to move away from their pre-existing position.
Yet, if we never discuss things, no-one might become interested and start learning to become an expert.
In Germany we always talk, during big football (soccer, for you americans) tournaments about having 80 million national team trainers....
A lot of discussion, but...

Yeah, doesn't stop me from discussing.
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Jeep-Eep
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #542 on: April 15, 2018, 03:12:42 pm »

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What IP are you thinking Paul has here? There is no IP of Paul and Fred in SCO.

You were saying?
https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/380722421390639107/434370792835252225/unknown.png

A particularly foolish fanboy of Stardock leaked this to the SC subreddit, in this thread:https://www.reddit.com/r/starcontrol/comments/8c2t9n/starcontrolorigins_arilou_revealed/

It's not looking pretty, to be blunt.
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Frogboy
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #543 on: April 15, 2018, 03:22:38 pm »

You just ignored pages of discussion on that very topic.

The Star Control discord is publicly available and anyone is welcome to join. Existing posts are viewable including the Arilou and discussion on its character design and differences from How they were expressed in Star Control 2.

https://discord.gg/starcontrol
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Death 999
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #544 on: April 15, 2018, 11:03:17 pm »

I just want to remind everyone, again, that Elestan actually does not know the law. Simple summaries of specific areas of a legal subject matter are not inclusive enough to give one anymore than an extremely basic, general understanding of broad concepts. Such summaries are *completely* useless when trying to apply the law to the specific facts of a real dispute.

Yawn. He says this over and over again. We should expect the real result when the cases proceed, and should expect to be surprised. The only unsurprising things are that he will say that he doesn't know, and you will say that he doesn't know, more rudely.


On the other hand, HuhligÖ svs has not been making object-level predictions. This is a relevant distinction, so your 'you too' doesn't apply.

Thank you Death 999, for giving me that one point.

I actually don't know the outcome of any given issue in dispute, and I've stated that and tried my best to avoid making declaratory statements. What I do know is enough about IP law to know when someone is misstating simple concepts, a lot about the firm Stardock hired, the reputation of the lead counsel in this field, and that Brad likely has a lot more *personal* experience dealing with IP related litigation (and litigation, in general) than Fred and Paul. My intuitions are based on that knowledge. That said, I can't speak to the definitive outcome of a specific legal issue in this dispute because I either don't know the field well enough and/or have no way of knowing all of the pertinent facts.

The difference I am trying to get at with my posts is that an attorney is more likely to *know* and be cognizant of their lack of knowledge than an untrained keyboard warrior. An attorney is more likely to feel constrained from making incorrect statements of law and/or facts, or simply has the knowledge that his or her statements are likely incorrect. My honest belief is that Elestan's posts are deceptive and confusing to others. I don't think that is fair to the overall discussion here, or to Stardock/Brad. My opinion, and you can quibble with it if you wish, is that Brad honestly did idolize Fred and Paul and he did want to pick up the mantle they left on the side of the road. Somewhere along the way, that relationship was damaged.. but I still feel that Brad intends to make the best Star Control game he can. That is better than no Star Control game. I want that view fairly represented on this board.

As to the argument I should be debating the law with individuals who clearly don't even understand the most basic of concepts... no thank you. I have better uses of my time than to debate an extremely complicated topic, factually, with individuals who have no base of knowledge on the topic. I think that is one of Brad's major faults here, he should not be debating these types of issues on the forum. It doesn't help persuade anyone to his side, and it is too easy to be brought down "into the mud" by other posters who have no idea what they are talking about. Edit: In my mind, it is similar to arguing about tax policy with relatives of a different political viewpoint than your own over the holiday, why bother? No one truly knows enough to offer great insight, and even if they did.. there is no point one could make to convince someone to move away from their pre-existing position. The inevitable result is pointless, heated argument. Although, I guess that is why online message boards were invented. Smiley


I've told you in public, I've told you in private. If you're going to accuse someone of this: "My honest belief is that Elestan's posts are deceptive and confusing to others" (emphasis added) you need to provide quotational evidence.

Your two responses were, via PM, "Ya, no thank you. I am not going to waste my time addressing that complaint." and then to just keep on going.

You're done here.
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #545 on: April 15, 2018, 11:58:31 pm »

can doesn't imply ought.
This ◊1000.
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Elestan
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #546 on: April 16, 2018, 12:14:57 am »

My honest belief is that Elestan's posts are deceptive and confusing to others.
If you're going to accuse someone of this [] you need to provide quotational evidence.  You're done here.

I regret the necessity, but agree with the decision.  I would have much rather engaged with 'svs' in a vigorous debate over any of the issues here, but when someone impugns someone else's character ("deceptive" implies deliberate intent) while adamantly refusing to back it up with anything concrete, it's really just trolling.

Regarding the whole question of discussing legal issues, please allow me a moment on the soapbox:

While I don't usually like trying to guess at people's motivations, his attitude was not unlike many American lawyers I've met.  In most American states, the legal profession is highly protected, in part by placing strict rules on giving legal advice.  U.S. law schools vigorously drill these rules into their students.  Unfortunately, in my opinion, this causes some of them to get overzealous, and become very indignant when anyone not blessed by a bar association tries to talk about any sort of legal matter.

This, of course, creates a problem for the non-lawyers, since they are required to deal with legalese on a regular basis - almost every website and piece of software you try to use has a terms of service or license agreement that the courts will assume you have read and understood, and hiring a lawyer to interpret all of them would cost a mint.  The lawyers, unsurprisingly, don't seem to view this as a major problem.

So while I would never take money for legal advice, or try to pass myself off as a lawyer, and while I would never recommend making an important legal decision without proper counsel, I think that it is entirely proper for people to study and comment on the law, on legal matters, and on legalese documents.  To share information and knowledge, so that collectively, they can gain insight without paying the exorbitant sums needed to hire a professional.  The alternative is to accept that non-lawyers are all blind and impotent in an aspect of the world that is vital to modern society, and unable to see or act save through the intercession of an ordained priest of law.

I should also note that this heavily protected status is not a global norm.  Many countries have much less restrictive rules, such that while a person might need to be a lawyer to address a court or do certain tasks, anyone can give legal advice, and even get paid for it.  In fact, this is the case in the Netherlands, where people can give legal advice as "rechtskundig adviseurs" without needing any formal qualifications.  Since this forum happens to be based in the Netherlands, I think it is safe to say that giving legal analysis or even advice here should not need to cause anyone legal indignation.

Even so, I usually try to stay a couple of steps back from the line.  If I thought there was anyone listening who would actually make a legal decision based on my words, I would be more circumspect.  But the only people making legal decisions here are Paul, Fred, and Brad, all of whom already have professional counsel.  Moreover, I don't think any rational person would believe that it's reasonable to rely on legal advice from a pseudonymous poster on an internet video game forum.  Between that and the many disclaimers I use, I think I'm well within bounds, and will continue commentating as I have to date.

<steps off the soapbox>
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lostsoul
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #547 on: April 16, 2018, 04:50:18 am »

is it me... but the more Elestan fleshed out his arguments...the more frogboy and svs seemed agitated, like it was hitting more closer to home than either one wanted to lead on...but thats just me inferring text into feeling...hmmm.
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #548 on: April 16, 2018, 07:22:47 am »

I've seen this behavior before in the political realms and quite a bit in my professional day to day.  With some people, if you can't counter the argument, you counter the person making the argument.  You discredit and devalue them in an attempt to discredit and devalue the point they make.  Meanwhile, you claim superior position over them and try to showcase their inadequecies to the audience.  The argument is never properly addressed, but given the right crowd, dissent is quelled and countering opinions routed.

Nasty tactic, but it works to those who are not willing to question and/or have already decided their position on the matter.

Those same people often get very defensive when you hit too close to home...  And they ignore you/divert to another topic/go silent when you hit the mark.

Those who are confident of their position should show no troubles explaining it and should seek to educate others so they understand the situation enough to arrive at the same positon.  Those that are afraid of explaining their positon often are not confident of it... or know exactly what may be revealed via explaining it.
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #549 on: April 16, 2018, 09:05:52 am »

Those who are confident of their position should show no troubles explaining it and should seek to educate others so they understand the situation enough to arrive at the same positon.  Those that are afraid of explaining their positon often are not confident of it... or know exactly what may be revealed via explaining it.

Eh, let's not read sinister overtones in to it. I'll note that Frogboy has, at least, done us the grace of responding to us here. Fred and Paul haven't.

I do think svs was rather a problem, since if it was really so terribly wrong as to be worth his time to call it out as "deceptive" then... it was probably worth a 30 minute basic rebuttal? I can't fathom spending that much time writing content-free replies, when a single knowledgeable reply probably could change a few minds around here. But Frogboy has, by and large, offered substantial replies and actual information - the occasional "just Google it", but I honestly felt my own foray in to Googling it was pretty productive.

And, for what it's worth, I have found this thread (and others like it elsewhere) rather educational. Coming in to this, it felt like Stardock was "obviously" in the wrong, because at heart I am a huge fangirl of Fred and Paul. Hearing Frogboy explain himself has helped me get a better perspective on a lot of it. I can see why he's angry. I can even see why it came to a legal battle. I still think he's doing a disservice to the fandom if he stops "Ghosts of the Precursors" from using Orz and Arilou, because the story I've wanted to hear has always been Fred and Paul's story of what comes next with those races and that plot. But I can at least understand why he'd be angry enough to talk about that.
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astkr5
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #550 on: April 16, 2018, 11:34:31 am »

Those who are confident of their position should show no troubles explaining it and should seek to educate others so they understand the situation enough to arrive at the same positon.  Those that are afraid of explaining their positon often are not confident of it... or know exactly what may be revealed via explaining it.

Eh, let's not read sinister overtones in to it. I'll note that Frogboy has, at least, done us the grace of responding to us here. Fred and Paul haven't.
Yeah, I agree, we don't need to imagine conspiracies. As you say, Frogboy has been present and engaging if evasive (e.g. telling people to Google things that seem like complex questions without obvious answers) and occasionally straying into appeal to (lack of) authority fallacies especially when it comes to Elestan for some reason. I'll be honest, I don't appreciate Stardock's actions (with regard to applying for trademarks on the UQM species names, etc.) thus far but if we judge them let's judge them based on what they are actually doing, not what we imagine they might be intending.

Paul's posted in other topics on this forum and he is likely reading this one, but it seems a safe bet the exact reason he hasn't stopped by in this one is because Frogboy was already posting in it. I don't think these forums are really the appropriate venue for them to hash out disagreements and I don't think it would be doing anyone any favours for him to wade in here.
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #551 on: April 16, 2018, 02:26:51 pm »

To be clear: the suggestion to google was in response to the continued misunderstand so e people here have on what copyright is and isnít.

The reason Elastan gets annoying isnít that heís onto something but because he is completely wrong on even the basics. As an example, he keeps implying that a word can be copyrighted. It canít.  And then goes on into the realm of fantasy on how trademarks canít be transferred based on some good will argument. And this in defense of someone whoís day job, right now, is literally working on a Re-master of Spyro the Dragon, something that only possible because of the same IP laws that some on this forum now lament.

I donít think heís intentionally being dishonest. I think he wants a certain legal outcome and is grasping at straws to make something that isnít that complicated into it.

As a reminder, Paul and Fred had the opportunity to acquire the Star Control IP and declined. They got fortunate that the IP holder was, for years, willing to voluntarily not exploit that IP fully in deference to their wishes. But as I told Fred, if they are going to create a competitor and not cooperate with us then it makes sense for us to use all our IP rights which goes well beyond the trademark for just Star Control. 

We only began to register the marks for the aliens, AFTER they started implying they may have some rights to Galactic Civilizations, a game and universe Iíve spent my entire adult life on while simultaneously trying to cancel our Star Control trademark. Itís not about retaliating, it is about making very clear what our IP rights are and to eliminate confusion on who has what rights.

Btw, did you see this article? https://io9.gizmodo.com/star-trek-discoverys-version-of-the-enterprise-had-to-1825276401/amp It provides an example of what level of change it takes not to be ďsubstantially similarĒ (not much).
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #552 on: April 16, 2018, 03:19:58 pm »

To be clear: the suggestion to google was in response to the continued misunderstand so e people here have on what copyright is and isnít.

The reason Elastan gets annoying isnít that heís onto something but because he is completely wrong on even the basics. As an example, he keeps implying that a word can be copyrighted. It canít.  And then goes on into the realm of fantasy on how trademarks canít be transferred based on some good will argument. And this in defense of someone whoís day job, right now, is literally working on a Re-master of Spyro the Dragon, something that only possible because of the same IP laws that some on this forum now lament.

I donít think heís intentionally being dishonest. I think he wants a certain legal outcome and is grasping at straws to make something that isnít that complicated into it.

As a reminder, Paul and Fred had the opportunity to acquire the Star Control IP and declined. They got fortunate that the IP holder was, for years, willing to voluntarily not exploit that IP fully in deference to their wishes. But as I told Fred, if they are going to create a competitor and not cooperate with us then it makes sense for us to use all our IP rights which goes well beyond the trademark for just Star Control. 

We only began to register the marks for the aliens, AFTER they started implying they may have some rights to Galactic Civilizations, a game and universe Iíve spent my entire adult life on while simultaneously trying to cancel our Star Control trademark. Itís not about retaliating, it is about making very clear what our IP rights are and to eliminate confusion on who has what rights.

Btw, did you see this article? https://io9.gizmodo.com/star-trek-discoverys-version-of-the-enterprise-had-to-1825276401/amp It provides an example of what level of change it takes not to be ďsubstantially similarĒ (not much).

You do realize that all Atari sold you was a name and a questionable right to distribute. Everything else would have reverted back to them based on the 1988 agreement by your own admission. Also they have "priority of use" on all of the non common names used in the canon as they have been using them in commerce since 1992 and gave an implied license to the open source community to use them long before your attempt at registration. Your lawyer should have made that quite clear to you.
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astkr5
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #553 on: April 16, 2018, 05:24:48 pm »

We only began to register the marks for the aliens, AFTER they started implying they may have some rights to Galactic Civilizations

Do you have any kind of direct quote from them with the implication you're suggesting? I'd like to understand the context. It certainly seems like a reach for them to be making any claim to Galactic Civilizations, outside of some kind of analogy. For example, them stating a view that your rights to use elements from SC1/SC2 is comparable to theirs to use elements from Galactic Civilizations -- no doubt you'd dispute that as well but it's materially different from an actual claim to the Galactic Civilizations material.
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #554 on: April 16, 2018, 05:35:08 pm »

To be clear: the suggestion to google was in response to the continued misunderstand so e people here have on what copyright is and isnít.

The reason Elastan gets annoying isnít that heís onto something but because he is completely wrong on even the basics. As an example, he keeps implying that a word can be copyrighted. It canít.  And then goes on into the realm of fantasy on how trademarks canít be transferred based on some good will argument. And this in defense of someone whoís day job, right now, is literally working on a Re-master of Spyro the Dragon, something that only possible because of the same IP laws that some on this forum now lament.

I donít think heís intentionally being dishonest. I think he wants a certain legal outcome and is grasping at straws to make something that isnít that complicated into it.

As a reminder, Paul and Fred had the opportunity to acquire the Star Control IP and declined. They got fortunate that the IP holder was, for years, willing to voluntarily not exploit that IP fully in deference to their wishes. But as I told Fred, if they are going to create a competitor and not cooperate with us then it makes sense for us to use all our IP rights which goes well beyond the trademark for just Star Control. 

We only began to register the marks for the aliens, AFTER they started implying they may have some rights to Galactic Civilizations, a game and universe Iíve spent my entire adult life on while simultaneously trying to cancel our Star Control trademark. Itís not about retaliating, it is about making very clear what our IP rights are and to eliminate confusion on who has what rights.

Btw, did you see this article? https://io9.gizmodo.com/star-trek-discoverys-version-of-the-enterprise-had-to-1825276401/amp It provides an example of what level of change it takes not to be ďsubstantially similarĒ (not much).

You do realize that all Atari sold you was a name and a questionable right to distribute. Everything else would have reverted back to them based on the 1988 agreement by your own admission. Also they have "priority of use" on all of the non common names used in the canon as they have been using them in commerce since 1992 and gave an implied license to the open source community to use them long before your attempt at registration. Your lawyer should have made that quite clear to you.

I think you should talk to an actual IP attorney before making legal conclusions.
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