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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: Regarding 'Star Control: Origins' and Stardock  (Read 12921 times)
meep-eep
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Regarding 'Star Control: Origins' and Stardock
« on: September 22, 2018, 10:01:32 pm »

Hey guys,

As you may know, Stardock has just released its latest game. Considering that this game shares part of its name with the game to which this forum owes its existence, I can imagine that a few people here bought it and would like to discuss it.

I would like to point out that this forum was created for the The Ur-Quan Masters Open Source project, and that the ‘General Discussion’ forum is only intended for all things related to the The Ur-Quan Masters game (which includes the UQM universe, its creators Paul Reiche and Fred Ford, fan creations, the remix project (a.k.a. the Precursors), etc.).

Discussions regarding Stardock's ‘Star Control: Origins’, which is related to Star Control II: The Ur-Quan Masters only by name, belong in the off-topic section of this forum, the Starbase Café. I will allow discussions regarding the lawsuit in ‘General UQM Discussion’, as it directly involves the future of the UQM universe, and it is now threatening the Ur-Quan Masters Community. (Read on...)

Stardock's ‘licence agreement’
A little while ago, Stardock, through its CEO Brad Wardell (known as ‘Frogboy’ on this forum), has contacted me to — in his words — ‘alleviate concerns that Stardock's trademark enforcement might have negative consequences for the UQM project.’
He did this not by unilaterally granting the community the use of the trademarks which Stardock claimed it had, but by offering what he called a ‘license agreement’. By signing this document, I would have stated that Stardock owns these trademarks (including ‘The Ur-Quan Masters’ and alien and ship names) and I would assign any rights I myself have regarding these to Stardock.
Even though I do not see how Stardock could be owning any of these trademarks other than ‘Star Control’ — unless it recently bought them from Paul Reiche and Fred Ford — by signing this contract, I could have actually given Stardock some claim on them. After all, the UQM project has been actively using these trademarks since 2002. (I by the way offered to Paul and Fred to transfer any claim that I might have on these trademarks, to them, gratis.)

I do not know whether I am legally allowed to post the complete mail exchange with the legal documents, but I will include here my response to Brad and his legal team, which should give some insight in what he asked of me:
Quote
Date: Mon, 30 Jul 2018 19:44:13 +0200 (CEST)
From: Serge van den Boom
To: Brad Wardell
Cc: Henry Pailing, legal@stardock.com, David May
Subject: Re: The Ur-Quan Masters project

Hi Brad,

I am glad that Stardock is supportive of the UQM project, and that you
want to alleviate the fan concerns that Stardock's trademark enforcement
might have negative consequences for the UQM project.

I do not feel, however, that signing an agreement is necessary, or
indeed, in the best interest of the UQM project, or the community.

First of all, I do not have any reason to conclude that you in fact have
any tenable claim to the The Ur-Quan Masters trademark; the assets which
Stardock bought from the Atari bankruptcy sale included no claims on
this trademark, nor have you yourself used it in commerce.
On the other hand, we (the UQM team), and creators of spin-off projects,
have been continuously using 'The Ur-Quan Masters', under the auspices
of Paul Reiche and Fred Ford, since 2001.

Second, in your agreement, you want us to state that Stardock *does* own
the trademark rights, and to the extend that *we* do, assign those
trademark rights to Stardock. That seems like a step backwards to me.

Third, if we were to sign your agreement, we could not transfer or
sublicense the rights which you gave to us, which is incompatible with
an Open Source project which could be abandoned and continued by
different people at any time.

Fourth, if you do not like the way in which we use the trademarks, you
could in theory unilaterally revoke the license at any time, leaving us
with nothing.

That said, I do think that there is a genuine concern within the fan
community that Stardock's trademark enforcement might have negative
consequences for the UQM project. Not because it is perceived that your
trademark claims would stand up to scrutiny, but because a small Open
Source project of a few individuals is no match against a large company
backed by a law firm, if that company were to decide to use the Open
Source project as a pawn in a legal battle with the original creators of
the game.

Fortunately, there is a way to alleviate those concerns, and show the
fans that you would not act in bad faith against the community.

What I am suggesting is that you unilaterally grant a full and
non-revocable license to whatever necessary intellectual property rights
you hold to the community. It is my understanding that it is in fact not
required to have the licensee assert that the licensor actually has the
rights they are licensing; you could instead say 'to the degree that we
own ...'.

You could probably just publish such a license grant on Stardock's
website, and it would put a few minds at ease.

Please consider it. After all, with your new game on the way, some
positive attention is always welcome.


Regards,

Serge van den Boom


On behalf of the UQM core team:
    Serge van den Boom
    Mika Kolehmainen
    Michael Chapman Martin
    Alex Volkov

I understand that other members of the community have been approached by Stardock. By posting this, I hope to avoid that any others who have their own UQM-derived project, sign an agreement which could hurt not just them, but Paul and Fred as well.

The ugly
Now a little while after I sent my response to Brad, I was contacted by someone (who wishes to remain anonymous) with screenshots purportedly from Stardock's #sco-elite channel. In one of these screenshots the user ‘Draginol’ — a name which is used by Brad Wardell — posted the email exchange between Brad and me. Another screenshot was this one:

Note the line about eliminating this community (‘and star-control.com as well’).

I have no means to verify that these screenshots are genuine, so keep this in mind when forming your opinion. Considering the potential impact on the UQM community however, I thought it was important to share this. I can confirm however that the email posted in the screenshot by ‘Draginol’ appears to be the one which I sent to Brad, and I have only sent a copy of this to a few trusted others.

For me personally, these events, combined with Stardock's legal actions against Paul and Fred, are enough that I will never buy another Stardock game as long as Brad Wardell is its CEO and Stardock hasn't dropped the lawsuit against Paul and Fred.
I apologise to Stardock's other developers who have nothing at all to do with these unpleasantries and are just trying to create a fun game and earn a living.


Edit 2018-09-22: Those supportive of Paul and Fred's case, who would like to see their sequel to Star Control II (in spirit, though not in name) made, may want to consider donating to the Frungy Defense Fund.
« Last Edit: September 22, 2018, 10:28:51 pm by meep-eep » Logged

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Re: Regarding 'Star Control: Origins' and Stardock
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2018, 05:29:00 am »

Serge was kind enough to send me a copy of that licensing contract, and it was every bit as deceptive as he indicated.  While it was portrayed as a generous offer of a "perpetual" license to protect the project, and accompanied by sweetly-worded statements about how much Starodock valued and supported fan projects, and how much they liked the UQM Project in particular, Stardock's license actually contained clauses that would have placed the Project firmly under its thumb, and handed whatever leverage it had over the trademarks over to Stardock.  Moreover, it contained language specifying that Stardock would have sole discretion to determine whether its marks were being used to an acceptable "standard of quality", and could be cancelled immediately if Stardock ever decided it was not.

It's hard to overstate how incredibly deceptive and two-faced this was.  Brad has long been loudly proclaiming how much of a fan he is of UQM, and how he considers himself a member of this community.  When he registered those trademarks, and we all expressed concern, he made reassuring noises about how it was intended to protect the UQM project:

I'm not a lawyer so I am not going to make speculate on things like the Ur-Quan Masters other than to say Stardock is glad it exists andis supportive of that effort and will never take any action to interfere with it.

Our long-term goal is for the UQM community to be set up as an independent, open-source destination for creating stories without interference.
[...]
I am here.  If Stardock does something bad, there's someone you can yell at. Smiley
(emphasis added)

Quote from: Quatloo
If your trademark applications go through, do you plan on shutting down the open-source UQM, too?

No.  Stardock's games have many fan communities and we support what they do.  After this is over, we plan to release Star Control 3 source code to the fan community as well as work with them on what we are calling the Open Universe project.

So now that we can see what he says about us behind our backs, we should have no illusions about Stardock's real message to the fan communities of the classic Star Control games:

YOUR INDEPENDENCE IS NOT PERMISSIBLE -- ONLY SUBSERVIENCE SHALL BE TOLERATED.

We can but hope that a different quote from Brad does turn out to be true:

It's not a good idea to antagonize fan communities.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2018, 02:33:13 pm by Elestan » Logged
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Re: Regarding 'Star Control: Origins' and Stardock
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2018, 08:38:28 am »

You were right all along Elestan. I wasn't a 100% in when you mentioned it awhile back, and quite repeatedly actually, that the UQM project is in danger. I will no longer believe anything that sounds remotely reassuring from Brad Wardell that he's going to protect the open source project or anything related to settling with P&F - this includes those "there's been some positive movement behind the scenes" quotes from him (come to think of it, he's been doing it since day 1 - suggesting P&F were on board with the SCO project during its early days). At this point, Stardock most likely will try to take over the SC subreddit as well probably through the main reddit admin to silence all his critics in any SC related channels.

The above exhibits need to be framed and pinned everywhere (reddit, forums) so that people won't be fooled anymore.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2018, 09:02:14 am by tingkagol » Logged
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Re: Regarding 'Star Control: Origins' and Stardock
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2018, 11:55:00 am »

Serge, thank you for informing us and sending that reply.
I agree with your statements, and thank you for your care.
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Re: Regarding 'Star Control: Origins' and Stardock
« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2018, 01:17:08 pm »

@Serge.

Exellent posting! Thanks. I completly agree with your statements and i am glad you shared this info with us.

Groet uit Groningen.



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Re: Regarding 'Star Control: Origins' and Stardock
« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2018, 04:27:30 pm »

It's so easy to demonize the guy now that I pinch myself to check if I'm in some kind of soap opera. The fact that he is lashing out at a community that became increasingly hostile only because of his actions and his company's aggressive legal strategy is truly dumbfounding.
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Re: Regarding 'Star Control: Origins' and Stardock
« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2018, 07:53:16 pm »

This is something I feared from the beginning with Stardock's filing for "The Ur-Quan Masters" trademark over half a year ago.  And here we are...
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Re: Regarding 'Star Control: Origins' and Stardock
« Reply #7 on: September 23, 2018, 09:08:12 pm »

Greetings!

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

As some of you know, when the trademark concerns between Stardock and Paul and Fred heated up, Stardock began to register the trademarks it believes it inherited from its Accolade/Atari acquisition.  One of these trademarks is the sub-title to Star Control II (The Ur-Quan Masters).

After this occurred, a number of UQM community members urged us to send Serge a license agreement for the trademarks (as you can read in the comments here over and over again https://forums.starcontrol.com/487690/).  

I also repeatedly stated that I did not believe that UQM requires a trademark license because it is not engaging in commerce.  Again, you can read in the comments of that thread, I probably said, at least 20 times in that thread (or more) that I do not believe that UQM requires a trademark license because it is not engaging in commerce.

Nevertheless, members of the community insisted that we needed to send Serge and co a trademark license in order to send a message that Stardock would not interfere with the UQM project.  Thus, this past Summer, I relented and asked the lawyers to draft up a very short licensing agreement for the trademarks in question and sent it over.

Your first response was simply to state that you didn't think you needed to sign a licensing agreement which echoed my position and I've seen no reason to pursue it further.  If I don't see a reason and you don't see a reason then when should we invest time and energy pursuing it further?

With regards to my *private* venting regarding some of the extremely toxic and hate-filled posts that have been directed at me *personally* from this forum.  It is true that on occasion I have vented that this forum (not the project but the forum) should be shut down.  However, each time, Death999 has demonstrated an even-handed moderation to remove the more excessive of the hate from some of the new (all new as of this year) posters that have entered the community.   This doesn't make it okay to even entertain such opinions. But I don't claim to be anything but flawed human being either.   This project has been very difficult given the controversy and abuse that has often been directed at me personally.  But I would like to think that most of you understand the difference between being angry versus acting on that anger. 

We have not, nor do we plan to, take any action against any Star Control fan community.

Stardock is one of the oldest independent game developers in the industry. It is supported by countless fan communities. We have never, in all that time, done anything to intefrere with any of them.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2018, 09:11:58 pm by Frogboy » Logged
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Re: Regarding 'Star Control: Origins' and Stardock
« Reply #8 on: September 23, 2018, 09:28:21 pm »

After this occurred, a number of UQM community members urged us to send Serge a license agreement for the trademarks (as you can read in the comments here over and over again https://forums.starcontrol.com/487690/).

Almost true, but not quite.  My suggestion was to offer a unilateral license, not to try to get the UQM team to sign one:

If you really want to put this issue to bed, would you be willing to issue an irrevocable license for any marks from UQM (which of course does not include "Star Control") for use in any project covered by the Creative Commons Non-Commercial license?  This would guarantee that the UQM project will be unaffected by the outcome of this litigation - which is something you've said was your understanding and desire all along.

Would you mind if Serge posted the contracts you sent him, so that people can see for themselves what terms they contained?

EDIT:  The initial approach email to Serge has been posted by its author (initially to Discord).  I think it would be great if Brad would grant permission for the whole email chain to be posted, so that we could all see the full context.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2018, 10:53:18 pm by Elestan » Logged
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Re: Regarding 'Star Control: Origins' and Stardock
« Reply #9 on: September 23, 2018, 10:05:46 pm »

@Frogboy
You act like that ‘license agreement’ didn't include a clause where I would be stating that Stardock owns the various trademarks which are under legal dispute,
nor a clause where I would be transferring whatever rights I have on them to Stardock.

Would you consent to me posting the entire email chain, including the proposed license agreement, so that everyone can judge for themselves?
« Last Edit: September 23, 2018, 10:13:39 pm by meep-eep » Logged

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Re: Regarding 'Star Control: Origins' and Stardock
« Reply #10 on: September 23, 2018, 10:17:41 pm »

The lawyers put it together and we sent it off. As I’ve said, my personal opinion is that none of it is necessary and I don’t like the precedent it sets (I really don’t want to get into the business of sending mod communities license agreements).

This was urged on by the community. The threads in question are publicly available for anyome to read and verify.

You’re welcome to post the proposed license agreement.

But like I said, we aren’t the ones who pushed for this. If UQM doesn’t want to sign an agreement, then don’t. If there is alternative language you want, then modify it as you see fit. 
« Last Edit: September 23, 2018, 10:21:57 pm by Frogboy » Logged
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Re: Regarding 'Star Control: Origins' and Stardock
« Reply #11 on: September 23, 2018, 10:42:41 pm »

i stand with fed, paul, the uqm and pages of now and forever communities...let the resistance begin
« Last Edit: September 23, 2018, 10:46:05 pm by lostsoul » Logged
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Re: Regarding 'Star Control: Origins' and Stardock
« Reply #12 on: September 23, 2018, 10:57:43 pm »

Ok, here is the full email conversation, unmodified except for the removal of email addresses, response history present in emails, and email signatures.

The attachments are shown with the email to which they belong, but for convenience, I will link them here as well:

Quote
Date: Sat, 30 Jun 2018 16:16:37 +0200 (CEST)
From: Serge van den Boom
To: Henry Pailing
Subject: Contact information


Hello Henry,

I understand that you've been trying to contact me. I'm not on Steam or
Discord, but feel free to send me an email.
As you can see in the 'sender' header, my email address is
[REMOVED].


Regards,

Serge van den Boom
(Meep-Eep on the UQM forums)

Quote
Date: Sat, 30 Jun 2018 19:03:36 +0000
From: Henry Pailing
To: Serge van den Boom
Subject: Re: UQM Project

Hello,


I am the lead community manager here at Stardock. I'm contacting you to have a chat about the UQM project and Stardock's relationship with the project.
As you are probably aware, we have been developing a new Star Control<https://store.steampowered.com/app/271260/Star_Control_Origins/> title for some
time now (read: 4 years) which is scheduled for release this year in September.


In the meantime we have been going back and forth with founders and various members of the community and one issue that has been raised is idea of
preserving the UQM project for future generations. With many of us here being fans of the classic games, and some of the original talent involved with
SCO having worked on SC2 in the past, we wish to make it clear that we have no intention of interfering with the Ur-Quan Masters project now or anytime
in the future.


If you have time to talk properly I'd like to get you on something like Skype or Discord if possible or even IRC. This is more my preferred way of
discussing things since email is pretty much snailmail for me and I expect you will have quite a few questions which I can better answer in realtime. If
you want to join us on Discord all you need is to set up an account and poke me (Schism Navigator) on here: https://discord.gg/starcontrol

[https://discordapp.com/assets/ee7c382d9257652a88c8f7b7f22a994d.png]<https://discord.gg/starcontrol>

Discord - Free voice and text chat for gamers<https://discord.gg/starcontrol>
discord.gg
Step up your game with a modern voice & text chat app. Crystal clear voice, multiple server and channel support, mobile apps, and more. Get your free
server now!



On the other hand, if you prefer to have this chat all via email I'll do my best to accommodate you.


Kindest Regards,

Henry Pailing

Quote
Date: Tue, 3 Jul 2018 21:59:47 +0200 (CEST)
From: Serge van den Boom
To: Henry Pailing
Subject: Re: UQM Project

Hello Henry,

As you may or may not know, the UQM project is led by four core team
members. While I may have been the more visible person in the past, and
I am the one who administers the UQM forum and the Ultronomicon, I
cannot generally speak for all of us, and I certainly cannot make any
decisions about the future of the project on my own.

I therefor do prefer to use email, as this gives me the chance to
discuss your points with the others before responding.

I do apologise for the consequence that this will make the conversation
slower than it would otherwise be.

That said, I am certainly interested in hearing what Stardock's thoughts
are regarding the future of the UQM project.


Regards,


Serge

Quote
Date: Thu, 5 Jul 2018 01:49:26 +0000
From: Henry Pailing
To: Serge van den Boom
Subject: Re: UQM Project
Attachments: UQM perpetual trademark license v1.pdf

Hello Serge,

I was not aware that there was a four-person core team involved. Is it the case that any decision has to be decided unanimously by all four then? You are
free to forward the contents of this email to the other core members of the UQM project as this is intended as an offer to the UQM Project as a whole.

We like UQM and our founders who have been helping us shape Star Control: Origins have explicitly asked us to support the Ur-Quan Masters project. You
may or may not be aware that Stardock has a long history of supporting the modding and fan communities of our games. In fact, some of our people were
hired from the modding community as well, that includes me by the way.

As a show of good faith from our end, we would like to grant your project a perpetual license to the "Ur-Quan Masters" trademark at no cost to
yourselves. This will allow you to continue using the Ur-Quan Masters name in connection with the project, so long as it remains a non-commercial
endeavour.

I know this might seem a little unusual, but it is all to make sure the lawyers are happy. The guys here, that is to say, the team working on Star
Control: Origins including the CEO himself want the Ur-Quan Masters project to continue on without any interference or legal technicalities getting in
the way. In the near future we also hope to release the Star Control 3 source code and assets.

As a bonus, we would also like to give you and the rest of the UQM core team copies of Star Control: Origins and invite you to try out the beta,
including the modding tools we have been building into it. One of our main goals is to create an engine which allows amazingly creative and dedicated
fans such as yourselves to tell, retell and remix your own adventures and we would appreciate your input.

Attached is a version of the perpetual license agreement. It has been pre-filled out with your name but it can be modified as required and sent through
DocuSign whenever possible. If you have any questions about it or anything else I've said here just ask and I will do my best to answer them.

Kindest Regards,

Henry.

Quote
Date: Tue, 17 Jul 2018 17:53:13 +0000
From: Henry Pailing
To: Serge van den Boom
Subject: Re: UQM Project

Hello Serge,


Just following up to check that you got my last message on the 5th. Hope to hear back from you soon.


Regards,

Henry Pailing

Quote
Date: Tue, 24 Jul 2018 20:12:46 +0000
From: Henry Pailing
To: Serge van den Boom
Subject: Re: UQM Project

Hey Serge,


Just another reminder. I hope everything is okay.


Regards,

Henry Pailing

Quote
Date: Fri, 27 Jul 2018 15:14:33 -0400
From: Brad Wardell
To: Serge van den Boom
Cc: Henry Pailing, legal@stardock.com, David May
Subject: The Ur-Quan Masters project
Attachments: UQM perpetual license agreement v2.pdf

Hi Serge,

My colleague, Henry Pailing, has been in contact with you regarding the UQM
project.

I'm aware that the UQM is led by a team of four members and that you are
the one who administers the UQM forum and the Ultronomicon.

As you know, Stardock acquired the Star Control trademarks in 2013 and we
very much want to support the UQM project.

Unfortunately, a trademark dispute between Paul and Fred and Stardock has
arisen forcing us to lock down the Star Control related trademarks
including the Ur-Quan Masters trademark.

Some fans have been concerned that Stardock's trademark enforcement might
have negative consequences for the UQM project.  To help alleviate these
concerns we'd like a representative of the UQM who has administrative
access to the site to sign a trademark licensing agreement that will allow
UQM to continue forward as it always has.

With our release of the new Star Control game, we want to clear up any
confusion or fan concerns regarding the trademark rights surrounding Star
Control.  For that reason, I'm going to have to ask that you or one of the
other members with administrative access to the UQM project site to sign
the trademark license no later than Friday, August 3.

I am attaching an updated version of the agreement that provides more
protection for the UQM project than v1 did.  We are very interested in
seeing the UQM project continue forward and want to avoid seeing it being
drawn into this dispute.

If you or the other members have any questions, please don't hesitate to
ask.

Thanks,

Brad

Quote
Date: Mon, 30 Jul 2018 19:44:13 +0200 (CEST)
From: Serge van den Boom
To: Brad Wardell
Cc: Henry Pailing, legal@stardock.com, David May
Subject: Re: The Ur-Quan Masters project

Hi Brad,

I am glad that Stardock is supportive of the UQM project, and that you
want to alleviate the fan concerns that Stardock's trademark enforcement
might have negative consequences for the UQM project.

I do not feel, however, that signing an agreement is necessary, or
indeed, in the best interest of the UQM project, or the community.

First of all, I do not have any reason to conclude that you in fact have
any tenable claim to the The Ur-Quan Masters trademark; the assets which
Stardock bought from the Atari bankruptcy sale included no claims on
this trademark, nor have you yourself used it in commerce.
On the other hand, we (the UQM team), and creators of spin-off projects,
have been continuously using 'The Ur-Quan Masters', under the auspices
of Paul Reiche and Fred Ford, since 2001.

Second, in your agreement, you want us to state that Stardock *does* own
the trademark rights, and to the extend that *we* do, assign those
trademark rights to Stardock. That seems like a step backwards to me.

Third, if we were to sign your agreement, we could not transfer or
sublicense the rights which you gave to us, which is incompatible with
an Open Source project which could be abandoned and continued by
different people at any time.

Fourth, if you do not like the way in which we use the trademarks, you
could in theory unilaterally revoke the license at any time, leaving us
with nothing.

That said, I do think that there is a genuine concern within the fan
community that Stardock's trademark enforcement might have negative
consequences for the UQM project. Not because it is perceived that your
trademark claims would stand up to scrutiny, but because a small Open
Source project of a few individuals is no match against a large company
backed by a law firm, if that company were to decide to use the Open
Source project as a pawn in a legal battle with the original creators of
the game.

Fortunately, there is a way to alleviate those concerns, and show the
fans that you would not act in bad faith against the community.

What I am suggesting is that you unilaterally grant a full and
non-revocable license to whatever necessary intellectual property rights
you hold to the community. It is my understanding that it is in fact not
required to have the licensee assert that the licensor actually has the
rights they are licensing; you could instead say 'to the degree that we
own ...'.

You could probably just publish such a license grant on Stardock's
website, and it would put a few minds at ease.

Please consider it. After all, with your new game on the way, some
positive attention is always welcome.


Regards,

Serge van den Boom


On behalf of the UQM core team:
    Serge van den Boom
    Mika Kolehmainen
    Michael Chapman Martin
    Alex Volkov
« Last Edit: September 23, 2018, 10:59:47 pm by meep-eep » Logged

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Re: Regarding 'Star Control: Origins' and Stardock
« Reply #13 on: September 23, 2018, 11:09:24 pm »

I think that was the end of the chain, correct? We’ve not threatened or interfered with this or any other fan community nor do we plan to.

This exchange, as you know, was two months ago.  I received your response and forwarded it on to BizDev and that was the end of it.
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Elestan
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Re: Regarding 'Star Control: Origins' and Stardock
« Reply #14 on: September 23, 2018, 11:23:35 pm »

This was urged on by the community. The threads in question are publicly available for anyome to read and verify.
[...]
But like I said, we aren’t the ones who pushed for this. If UQM doesn’t want to sign an agreement, then don’t.

So, this doesn't square with what the emails and license wording show:

First, as I noted earlier, the community requests (which I believe mostly came from me), were not to have the UQM community sign an agreement, but to make a blanket grant guaranteeing its safety.

Second, Henry was the one to approach Serge, not the other way around.  It looks like he came in with the "carrot", saying that the license agreement was being offered because:

Quote from: Henry Pailing
...we wish to make it clear that we have no intention of interfering with the Ur-Quan Masters project now or anytime in the future.

Finally, when Serge did not respond, you came in with the "stick", insisting that they sign:

Quote from: Brad Wardell
I'm going to have to ask that you or one of the other members with administrative access to the UQM project site to sign the trademark license no later than Friday, August 3.

I also notice that when you sent the revised agreement to him, you called out that it "provides more protection than v.1 did".  I do see some language added about it being "perpetual", but that language is rendered effectively meaningless by the language giving Stardock sole discretionary power to determine quality, and revoke the license on that basis at any time.  

However, I note that for some reason, you failed to call out the changed language in v.2 that would:
* Explicitly bring the starship and character designs into the trademark claim,
* Ban the UQM team from taking a position contrary to Stardock's ownership of the trademark, and
* Assign any rights they might already have to Stardock.  

So, I think I would describe v.2 as a bait-and-switch.

In sum, it's pretty clear to me that the main effect of these "licenses" was not to protect the UQM project, but to snatch ownership of any trademark rights that it might have accrued in the games over the past 16 years.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2018, 11:26:33 pm by Elestan » Logged
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