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Author Topic: Stardock Litigation Discussion  (Read 24525 times)
CelticMinstrel
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Re: Stardock Litigation Discussion
« Reply #495 on: January 08, 2019, 05:25:56 am »

I'm certain that there will be exceptions. And I'm sorry to hear if you're one of them who was waiting on a sale and still wants the game.
I wasn't specifically referring to SCO, which I still haven't entirely decided on, but sale or not, I generally only buy games that have been released for awhile.

I do kind of want to try SCO but I really don't want to give Stardock my money, so I dunno. Probably the only way I'd actually buy it would be in a Humble Bundle type situation that allows me to specify that all the money goes to charity (or other developers) instead of to Stardock.
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Shiver
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Re: Stardock Litigation Discussion
« Reply #496 on: January 08, 2019, 11:02:14 am »

I do kind of want to try SCO but I really don't want to give Stardock my money, so I dunno. Probably the only way I'd actually buy it would be in a Humble Bundle type situation that allows me to specify that all the money goes to charity (or other developers) instead of to Stardock.




...like this?
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Shiver
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Re: Stardock Litigation Discussion
« Reply #497 on: January 08, 2019, 11:06:27 am »

That's a little joke, by the way, I haven't actually done that myself. The screenshot is from elsewhere. I meant to say that CeltricMinstrel's idea was something you could do on Humble Bundle just a few days ago.
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Talonious
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Re: Stardock Litigation Discussion
« Reply #498 on: January 08, 2019, 08:04:39 pm »

That's a little joke, by the way, I haven't actually done that myself. The screenshot is from elsewhere. I meant to say that CeltricMinstrel's idea was something you could do on Humble Bundle just a few days ago.

Which does make the point that the game has already been heavily on sale in certain places. (Having already bought it I hadn't really been watching for sales on it so I didn't really know if it had or not.) So there probably aren't THAT many fans who would likely be impacted by the game being taken off of Steam and GoG at this point who hadn't already bought.

Naturally there will be some, but games usually don't show up on Humble Bundle early on in the distribution and sale life cycle.
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Krulle
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Re: Stardock Litigation Discussion
« Reply #499 on: January 08, 2019, 09:05:52 pm »

Yan can still buy Origins on the stardock site (whichalso just issues a Valve Steam key, which may  be the reason Valve could lost its safe harbour status, if judge and/or jury finds Valve is supporting a continued sale of Origins).
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CelticMinstrel
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Re: Stardock Litigation Discussion
« Reply #500 on: January 10, 2019, 03:15:18 am »



...like this?
Yeah, exactly like that. I'm not particularly inclined to get that particular bundle mind you, since it doesn't even include SCO, but that's what I was referring to.
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Shiver
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Re: Stardock Litigation Discussion
« Reply #501 on: January 10, 2019, 07:32:13 am »

SC:O was on Humble Bundle briefly for a few days. The screen cap was from someone who got the game during that window.
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Krulle
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Re: Stardock Litigation Discussion
« Reply #502 on: January 10, 2019, 11:23:19 am »

Either they got DMCA'ed too, or they ran out of Steam keys, or Steam also closed automated access to new keys for humblebundle.

On Reddit someone pointed out a spike in sales when the DMCA came.
Likely those who wanted the game but've been waiting for a price reduction, and now fear the game may never come online again.

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lostsoul
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Re: Stardock Litigation Discussion
« Reply #503 on: January 11, 2019, 01:18:14 am »

i picked it up for under $10 on release day from g2a marketplace...i laughed at their price then, just like i'm laughing at their reduced price now...

Flim and Flam are best ponies?
« Last Edit: January 21, 2019, 04:49:10 pm by Death 999 » Logged
CelticMinstrel
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Re: Stardock Litigation Discussion
« Reply #504 on: January 12, 2019, 01:40:14 am »

Yeah, if I decide I want to play it I guess I'd have to take that route now, huh.
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PRH
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Re: Stardock Litigation Discussion
« Reply #505 on: January 14, 2019, 01:08:39 pm »

So what do you think of the comparison table at the end of the Injunction Junction post? Currently it seems to me that F&P's arguments for copyright infringement in this particular case are very weak. Most of the points they have listed seem to be completely irrelevant, as they are generic concepts, gameplay elements or UI elements, neither of which is copyrightable as far as I know (otherwise why would we have so many video game clones?). The only parts that do seem relevant are the visual appearance of hyperspace and maybe the "true space" name (which in itself would not constitute copyright infringement, but may contribute to substantial similarity - IANAL, though, and currently I'm inclined to think that this is also irrelevant). And yet, there are still some ways in which the expression of hyperspace travel in SCO is different from that of SC2, though still obviously inspired by it. So I'm currently on the fence whether the court is going to rule that as infringing, as there are good reasons to believe it won't (I'm personally amazed at how Accolade managed to avoid a lawsuit from whoever owns the copyright to the 2001: A Space Odyssey film, when ICOM in SC3 looks like this). This post by Brad on the SCO forum and the Kotaku link he gives are also interesting.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2019, 01:18:53 pm by PRH » Logged
tingkagol
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Re: Stardock Litigation Discussion
« Reply #506 on: January 14, 2019, 02:02:51 pm »

I'm not a fan of that particular argument by P&F either, but the fact that Stardock was poised to release "Chenjesu" and "Arilou" DLCs and included the Zoqfotpik, Frungy, Precursors, Arilou-not-Arilou, etc in the game and the fact that Stardock applied trademarks for essentially everything in SC1 & 2, even Fwiffo, and with the on-going litigation, kind of strengthens P&F's argument.

Without all those stunts, yes, I might sympathize with Stardock on that one argument.
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Krulle
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Re: Stardock Litigation Discussion
« Reply #507 on: January 14, 2019, 02:43:07 pm »

Also, not a lawyer myself.

Personally, I found the list of stuff very interesting, as indeed all of that stuff contributed to "we want Origins to feel like SC2", which Brad announced beforehand.
So, intention was there, the stuff seemed very interesting.
Beforehand, I did not think much about it, but indeed, the current implementation of HyperSpace in Origins does seem to be intentionally and by feel very close to the UQM hyperspace, which has in this form first been programmed by FF and PR3... (e.g. HyperSpace has no "flow" pushing ships "off course", like HyperSpace in Babylon 5 does, And Hyperspace in babylon 5 has no "holes for solar systems", no you need a hyperspace gate (generator) to transfer from Hyperspace to TrueSpace and the other way).
Of course the hyperspace music by Riku is not copyright protected by FF and PR3, but by Reiku. But again, the use of a remix of the music used for UQM again contributes to the similarity of Origins hyperspace to UQM hyperspace.

I fear the final straw tipping the balance in favour of FF and PR3 will be the announced intention of "all copyright belongs to us anyway" barked by the PR department and the CEO of Stardock...


Also, the clones in games are simply there, because the smaller authors often do not have the money to go after the clone makers/distributors. And sending DMCA notices is also rather expensive (through the use of a lawyer) for these small independent authors.
And even if the copycats would not counternotify, it's simply often not worth the hassle.

Here, the situation is different.
A company has announced it will use ALL of the settings and characteristics of a previous game. (Announcing the intention to steal the copyright.)

Also, ICOM is very different from Hal 9000 (Space Odysee 2001).
Hal 9000 is fully sentient, but conflicted due to space mission requirements, and always polite  ("I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that."), even when he is deadly.
ICOM is outright annoying, and far from appearing to be sentient.
(But then, ICOM was also able to end your "life" (game). But it seems that the lack of commercial success also prevented anyone (read: MGM) from scrutinizing this too much.
Yes, ICOM could've been designed differently (e.g. a monitor with a speaker) instead of the iconic "camera eye", but in a genre full of "nods" towards other's creations,...)
I would not wager on how a copyright infringement case would've gone.

And the player vs Player fighting game Stardock uses in its defense? The game elements are simply based on necessity (ruling), as such there was no real way the "copying" company could avoid likeliness (yes, the health bars could've been placed differently - but the rest (persons positions, move directions,... is required through gameplay).
Yet, Origins could've used a different form  of interstellar travel without hurting the gameplay. So the example of streetfighter is not fully analogous (but one which Stardock's attorneys will try to ride until the end - and they would be unwise to not try this defense).
Also, Capcom never went to appeal, IIRC. In the Kotaku article reference is made to teh PAcman/KC Munchkin case. Pacman lost on first instance, but prevailed in appeal.
Who knows how the StreetFighter (Capcom) case would've ended on appeal?
(And I always found the specific charaters in Fighter's History to be too similar to the characters in Street Fighter.... Heck, just give the blond guy different moves and keep hsi moves for a blue haired guy. Shuffle the stuff around.... For the rest, the appearance of a chinese traditional dress is a step rather obvious for a game implementing East Asian fighting styles...)



Also, copyright violation is not comparing single items against each other, like Mr. Wardell does in his posts, but by making a list of similarities, and differences.
And he is simply not able to explain why his hyperspace had to be red, and not black, why he even has hyperspace and not a bubble warp like SC3 did,...

Stardock could for example not have prevented from using a starmap, similar to UQM. In a space setting, you have stars. When doing quests, it is obvious to fly some way from one star to the next. And you need a kind of map to allow the players where to go next. But Stardock could've used a kind of "bubble warp", or "stargates", or any other device.
But Stardock purposefully chose a system extremely similar to the one in UQM, because they wanted to make the game feel alike.

Guess what? Intentions are relevant. And Stardock's intention is pretty well documented.
If there is intention, the dissimilarities need to be larger than when intent cannot be assumed or even proven.

End of my layman's comment.



Let's help Stardock a bit, and compile a list of how HyperSpace in Origins differs from UQM:

- The "holes" show what is happening INSIDE the system. (although systems at that time might've had a hard time showing such a behaviour)
- Ship orientation when flying into a system does matter.
- there are Spacestations stationed in HyperSpace.
- Hyperspace travel speed is not determined by amount of hyperspace engines, but by type of engine (although this point does not affect the feel of actual hyperspace travel itself)
« Last Edit: January 14, 2019, 02:47:10 pm by Krulle » Logged
Elestan
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Re: Stardock Litigation Discussion
« Reply #508 on: January 14, 2019, 05:42:54 pm »

it seems to me that F&P's arguments for copyright infringement in this particular case are very weak. Most of the points they have listed seem to be completely irrelevant, as they are generic concepts, gameplay elements or UI elements, neither of which is copyrightable as far as I know (otherwise why would we have so many video game clones?).

One thing to keep in mind is that even though the color 'red' itself is clearly not copyrighted, the fact that two different items are both red can still be a point of similarity when deciding whether one is "substantially similar" to the other.  Brad is trying (with some success) to make P&F look unreasonable, by misrepresenting their post as though they were actually claiming to have a copyright on the individual items in their table, when that is not at all the case.

Unfortunately, many of the people reading Brad's twitter feed do not catch on to that distinction.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2019, 05:44:41 pm by Elestan » Logged
Krulle
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Re: Stardock Litigation Discussion
« Reply #509 on: January 14, 2019, 09:26:31 pm »

But a judge will not be convinced by this argumentation of Mr. Wardell.
Which will then create a very difficult situation for Stardock and their fans.... (since the fans will be unaccepting of how a judge could gave decided against Stardock...)
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