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News: Paul Reiche and Fred Ford want to continue the story they started when they created Star Control II — The Ur-Quan Masters. «Happy days and jubilation!» «But wait!» «There is something wrong here... something which makes my sheath retract and my talons ooze.» «Please, Captain, we need your help!»

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Author Topic: Stardock Litigation Discussion  (Read 19658 times)
Jeff Graw
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Re: Stardock Litigation Discussion
« Reply #450 on: October 26, 2018, 08:40:20 pm »

My guess is the latter is the case. I believe within his company he has made sure to surround himself with yes men.  And when he encounters opinions from outside his sheltering environment he becomes obsessed with "correcting" them at any cost. Whether it be suing P&F for not agreeing to meet with him over dinner or sign a license agreement, arguing with us on this small forum or doxing Elestan for exposing where he buried the bodies. None of these actions are good moves from a purely-selfish financial or business standpoint it seems clear to me.

I've been lurking on this thread for quite awhile, but figure I should chime in here. From what I know of Brad, I don't think that's a fair assessment. Mind you, I don't agree with all of his actions in this kerfuffle, but I can remember a Reddit post I once made on a topic Brad created, disagreeing with whatever his premise was and sort of disparaging GalCiv on a basic level as not all that well designed, albeit as politely as I could muster, and Brad's response to that was something along the lines of "This is an amazing post." I know people who only want to hear self-affirming things, and by and large they don't respond like that to serious criticism.

If Brad has a flaw, it's probably an extra helping of impulsiveness combined with not much in the way of a filter. As entertaining as it was to read the back-and-forth earlier on, in no universe was coming on here to argue about a major ongoing legal dispute with people who, to put it bluntly, don't even matter, a smart move thanks to the significant risk of self sabotage -- a risk that has probably solidified into fact on at least a few occasions.

In Brad's defence, game developers tend to be extremely self-censoring, and it's always a breath of fresh air when someone bucks the trend. Does he go too far in the other direction? Probably. But I still prefer that to the typical tight-lipped alternative.
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Elestan
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Re: Stardock Litigation Discussion
« Reply #451 on: October 27, 2018, 02:38:53 am »

If Brad has a flaw, it's probably an extra helping of impulsiveness combined with not much in the way of a filter. As entertaining as it was to read the back-and-forth earlier on, in no universe was coming on here to argue about a major ongoing legal dispute with people who, to put it bluntly, don't even matter, a smart move thanks to the significant risk of self sabotage -- a risk that has probably solidified into fact on at least a few occasions.

In Brad's defence, game developers tend to be extremely self-censoring, and it's always a breath of fresh air when someone bucks the trend. Does he go too far in the other direction? Probably. But I still prefer that to the typical tight-lipped alternative.

Impulsiveness, however, cannot explain or excuse the more calculated things he's done, like attempting to trick Serge into signing away the UQM project's rights, or trying to trademark UQM's names in the first place.  Those seem to be deliberate actions designed to further his legal case at the expense of a community that he has, on various occasions, professed to be a part of and care deeply about.  And even if we assume that most of the more belligerent things he's said were simply thoughtless angry outbursts, he has not, to my knowledge, given any indication of genuine remorse or contrition for them.  This suggests that the picture of him one would draw from those statements is not, in fact, an inaccurate one.
« Last Edit: October 27, 2018, 02:42:04 am by Elestan » Logged
tingkagol
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Re: Stardock Litigation Discussion
« Reply #452 on: October 27, 2018, 04:20:55 am »

...Brad's response to that was something along the lines of "This is an amazing post." I know people who only want to hear self-affirming things, and by and large they don't respond like that to serious criticism.
There are other people. Then there's Brad. He's been like that for as long as I've seen him post. I can't recall a time when he hasn't done an appreciative post - especially when the OP is of top-notch quality and most especially if it comes from a new poster - even if he doesn't agree with it. We've seen it when P&F first sent DCMAs to the classic games last year- and I've sided and sympathized with him before all the info was available. He maintains a PR stance he defaults to as a CEO of a company and it's usually done to sway the other party to his side and see things from his perspective. Most people do it- even I do. But his problematic behavior starts when he can't convince people to his reasoning - resorting to ad hominem (and in extreme cases doxxing). One thing's for certain about him: if it's about his interests, there's no changing his mind.
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rosepatel
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Re: Stardock Litigation Discussion
« Reply #453 on: October 27, 2018, 09:50:31 pm »

Brad's response to that was something along the lines of "This is an amazing post."

Keep in mind Stardock's response to being outed for some of their more insidious actions on this very forum.

Stardock privately said, in May, that "the UQM forum may need to go away".
Stardock sent letters asking this community to acknowledge that Stardock owns the "Ur Quan Masters" Trademark.
Which would give them authority to revoke the domain name.
Stardock then sends multiple letters, adding deadlines, and more stringent language.
After this community refused, Stardock privately shares that refusal with his supporters, and suggests again that "this vile little community will be eliminated".

When the duplicity is revealed, his reaction?

Greetings!

I appreciate you bringing this up as it allows us to clear the air on this topic.

If you think he really means to add clarity to the topic, and he really appreciates being outed by this community, then I want to tell you about a Nigerian prince who could use your help.

Look closer. Stardock is jumping into the forums for PR. For their own self interest. Their actions tell you the real story.

For your story about GC2... I don't have any context for why Stardock jumped into your thread and called it "an amazing post". But in hindsight, you might ask yourself if his motive was to actually do anything meaningful based on your criticism, or if his motive was to stem any further criticism, and turn the commentary into "wow, it seems like they're really listening".

If I've learned anything in the past year, Stardock hears us, but they are most assuredly not listening.
« Last Edit: October 27, 2018, 09:55:07 pm by rosepatel » Logged
CommanderShepard
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Re: Stardock Litigation Discussion
« Reply #454 on: October 29, 2018, 04:19:51 pm »

I've been lurking on this thread for quite awhile, but figure I should chime in here. From what I know of Brad, I don't think that's a fair assessment. Mind you, I don't agree with all of his actions in this kerfuffle, but I can remember a Reddit post I once made on a topic Brad created, disagreeing with whatever his premise was and sort of disparaging GalCiv on a basic level as not all that well designed, albeit as politely as I could muster, and Brad's response to that was something along the lines of "This is an amazing post." I know people who only want to hear self-affirming things, and by and large they don't respond like that to serious criticism.
Unfortunately that's still just a PR tactic because he knows appearing reasonable to a potential customer is more likely to garner him sales. I can tell you from personal experience that if you disagree with him for long enough, no matter how logically consistent you are, no matter if you reasonably cite basic evidence, he will turn on you because he will deem it is too much work to be equally consistent to convince you to advocate for him past a certain threshold, so it is instead more profitable reputation wise for him to try and garner another new person, even regardless of whether such an action is good his company as a whole. This has been the case with myself and many people here, where he seemed reasonable at first, but then over time, people saw the larger pattern.
« Last Edit: October 29, 2018, 04:25:46 pm by CommanderShepard » Logged
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Re: Stardock Litigation Discussion
« Reply #455 on: October 30, 2018, 03:49:40 am »

Early this year Greg Johnson posted on Stardock's forum saying that, yes, Paul and Fred did in fact create Star Control 2 and he was there for it. Brad's response was something like "Thanks Greg, honored to have you here!" while ignoring the substance of Greg's post.

Was Wardell actually happy to have him there contradicting Stardock's narrative? Probably not.
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rosepatel
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Re: Stardock Litigation Discussion
« Reply #456 on: October 30, 2018, 05:36:55 am »

I'm seeing a pattern. If Wardell thanks you for poking a hole in one of his pernicious falsehoods, it's because he needs your help convincing the room that it's all a big misunderstanding.
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PRH
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Re: Stardock Litigation Discussion
« Reply #457 on: October 30, 2018, 07:24:03 pm »

There's another thing I've been thinking about. As we all know, SCO has been released as a "Crimson Corporation production". So if Stardock holds on to the Crimson Corporation trademark, and F&P release GotP with the fictional Crimson Corporation in it, will Stardock be able to sue F&P for defamation (since the fictional Crimson Corporation are ugly villains)? Will the fact that SC2/UQM used the fictional Crimson Corporation long before Stardock registered the trademark protect F&P from that lawsuit?
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Krulle
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Re: Stardock Litigation Discussion
« Reply #458 on: October 30, 2018, 09:49:49 pm »

As FF/PR continue their storyline including the Crimson Corporation, I would find it weird if a jury and/or a judge would give the copyright to Stardock. As long as GotP isn't marketed as "brought to you by the Crimson Corporation", "made by the Crimson Corporation", or "Crimson Corporation Coding Division" or similar, the jury and/or judge would not see a violation of trademarks, as "Cromsin Corporation" wouldn't be used as a source of origin.
You can even write a synopsis of the story including a reference to the Crimson Corporation, as long as it is clear that the Crimson Corporation is part of the story, and not the source of the product Ghosts of the Precursos.

But then, who am I? I am not a lawyer, nor can I represent anyone in front of US official procedures....
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PRH
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Re: Stardock Litigation Discussion
« Reply #459 on: October 30, 2018, 10:44:40 pm »

As FF/PR continue their storyline including the Crimson Corporation, I would find it weird if a jury and/or a judge would give the copyright to Stardock. As long as GotP isn't marketed as "brought to you by the Crimson Corporation", "made by the Crimson Corporation", or "Crimson Corporation Coding Division" or similar, the jury and/or judge would not see a violation of trademarks, as "Cromsin Corporation" wouldn't be used as a source of origin.
You can even write a synopsis of the story including a reference to the Crimson Corporation, as long as it is clear that the Crimson Corporation is part of the story, and not the source of the product Ghosts of the Precursos.

But then, who am I? I am not a lawyer, nor can I represent anyone in front of US official procedures....


Yeah, I don't think that would be trademark infringement either. I was wondering if Stardock would play the defamation card, though.
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rosepatel
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Re: Stardock Litigation Discussion
« Reply #460 on: October 31, 2018, 12:37:30 am »

There's another thing I've been thinking about. As we all know, SCO has been released as a "Crimson Corporation production". So if Stardock holds on to the Crimson Corporation trademark, and F&P release GotP with the fictional Crimson Corporation in it, will Stardock be able to sue F&P for defamation (since the fictional Crimson Corporation are ugly villains)? Will the fact that SC2/UQM used the fictional Crimson Corporation long before Stardock registered the trademark protect F&P from that lawsuit?

Not defamation. In Trademark it's often called "Tarnishment".

If "The Gap" appears on a character's sweatshirt, maybe that's fair use. (In practice, I wouldn't need to pay "The Gap". They'd probably pay me for the product placement.)

If I feature "The Gap" in my movie as an evil, albeit fictionalized, corporation that's destroying the environment and sexually harassing employees, they'd have a case for tarnishment. Basically, you're destroying the goodwill that has been established in "The Gap" Trademark.

Not saying the case would succeed. But there's a case.
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Re: Stardock Litigation Discussion
« Reply #461 on: October 31, 2018, 02:35:53 am »

AAAAAND the FUD continues:
https://steamcommunity.com/id/Anthris/recommended/271260/
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Re: Stardock Litigation Discussion
« Reply #462 on: November 23, 2018, 03:19:46 am »

Brad's response to that was something along the lines of "This is an amazing post."

Keep in mind Stardock's response to being outed for some of their more insidious actions on this very forum.

Stardock privately said, in May, that "the UQM forum may need to go away".
Stardock sent letters asking this community to acknowledge that Stardock owns the "Ur Quan Masters" Trademark.
Which would give them authority to revoke the domain name.
Stardock then sends multiple letters, adding deadlines, and more stringent language.
After this community refused, Stardock privately shares that refusal with his supporters, and suggests again that "this vile little community will be eliminated".

When the duplicity is revealed, his reaction?

Greetings!

I appreciate you bringing this up as it allows us to clear the air on this topic.

If you think he really means to add clarity to the topic, and he really appreciates being outed by this community, then I want to tell you about a Nigerian prince who could use your help.

Look closer. Stardock is jumping into the forums for PR. For their own self interest. Their actions tell you the real story.

For your story about GC2... I don't have any context for why Stardock jumped into your thread and called it "an amazing post". But in hindsight, you might ask yourself if his motive was to actually do anything meaningful based on your criticism, or if his motive was to stem any further criticism, and turn the commentary into "wow, it seems like they're really listening".

If I've learned anything in the past year, Stardock hears us, but they are most assuredly not listening.

Wow, that's actually disturbing.  Silencing all criticism is every dictator's wet dream.  That sort of thinking is incredibly destructive as it shows a dogmatic rejection of any possibility that one might oneself be in the wrong, as well as a desire to stop others from expressing their opinions.

On the other hand: I don't know how to feel about F&Ps GoFundMe legal defense campaign.
Maybe someone can enlighten me here: I thought that if you have to spend $X on a court battle, and you win, isn't it pretty much a given that the loser can then be sued to pay for the court costs?
If yes, are F&P going to do that so that they can pay their supporters back in the event that they win?  Or are they just going to keep the money?  Or not bother recouping it (after all, it's someone else's money...)?
« Last Edit: November 23, 2018, 04:04:38 am by Soul Reaver » Logged

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orzophile
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Re: Stardock Litigation Discussion
« Reply #463 on: November 23, 2018, 08:17:27 am »

Quote
Maybe someone can enlighten me here: I thought that if you have to spend $X on a court battle, and you win, isn't it pretty much a given that the loser can then be sued to pay for the court costs?

Not really. It can vary a lot in terms of results, particularly if both parties are determined to have valid complaints

Unfortunately, all these costs have have to paid up front regardless of the outcome. Unlike in class action suits against well-funded organizations, attorneys in the vast majority of court cases or even settlements have limited expectation of any post-trial payout. They bill as professional services, which is typically hourly at fixed rates, possibly with some defined fixed-priced statement of work with and additional time and materials option. These bills have to be paid whether or not you win, which is among the reasons that there are ethical standards for attorneys about misleading their clients, and also why it's a known tactic to try to intimidate the other party with legal costs to force them to a settlement.

In the event that F&P manage to get an overwhelming agreement from the court and jury and take Stardock to the cleaners, they might recoup all costs and then some -- however this isn't a sure bet even given Stardock's mostly preposterous  arguments.

More likely that no matter what, both F&P and Stardock are going to come out of this monetarily poorer unless it truly is a completely one-sided jury decision that assigns all fault to one par ... I can't keep up the facade, assigns all fault to Stardock. What F&P are on the hook for is chump change, what Stardock is on the hook for is potentially huge if they get hit with willful copyright infringement.

Obviously no one can speak for PR3 if he ends up getting some huge sum in damages from Stardock, but in that event I'd like to hope it goes towards funding the GOTP project. As a donor I don't expect any of that money back, and it's legally classified as a gift, but my willingness to send money to "the good guys" is partially founded in their long history of not being assholes, so I have a modicum of faith they're not going to pocket the trial results and escape to Fiji. If they do, maybe they'll at least fund a Fiji Frungy Beach Party.

It's worth noting that given my exposure to IP-related court cases, the current amount of the FDF is probably at best 25% of F&P's likely legal costs after the trial is all said and done, and most probably much less.
« Last Edit: November 23, 2018, 08:20:59 am by orzophile » Logged
Elestan
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Re: Stardock Litigation Discussion
« Reply #464 on: November 23, 2018, 06:54:40 pm »

Maybe someone can enlighten me here: I thought that if you have to spend $X on a court battle, and you win, isn't it pretty much a given that the loser can then be sued to pay for the court costs?
If yes, are F&P going to do that so that they can pay their supporters back in the event that they win?  Or are they just going to keep the money?  Or not bother recouping it (after all, it's someone else's money...)?

Getting your legal fees from the other side is really rare in the U.S. court system, and I wouldn't expect to see it happen here.  In the unlikely event that it does happen, my expectation is that P&F would use the money from the defense fund to help pay for developing their game.

What F&P are on the hook for is chump change, what Stardock is on the hook for is potentially huge if they get hit with willful copyright infringement.

It's not so one-sided as that...the variance in possible awards for trademark infringement is huge, and depends on how persuasive Stardock's expert is in convincing the jury that P&F caused them harm.  And Stardock's damages for copyright infringement prior to last April are limited because P&F hadn't registered their copyrights.  If SC:O itself were found to be infringing, that could be large, but the case there is far from ironclad.

Quote from: orzophile
It's worth noting that given my exposure to IP-related court cases, the current amount of the FDF is probably at best 25% of F&P's likely legal costs after the trial is all said and done, and most probably much less.

I would assume much less.  The fund is just shy of $39k, and they've had two lawyers working this case for over a year now, and recently added a third.  Maybe Mark (P&F's generalist laywer) only bills $200/hour, but Stephen, their lead IP attorney, probably bills $400/hour, and Tiffany (who might be their planned trial lawyer?) is probably somewhere in between.  All of these lawyers are probably not full-time on the case, but the math adds up pretty fast.
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