The Ur-Quan Masters Discussion Forum

The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release => General UQM Discussion => Topic started by: CommanderShepard on July 16, 2018, 02:32:34 am



Title: Can I use a different coding platform under the UQM2 Name
Post by: CommanderShepard on July 16, 2018, 02:32:34 am
I'm interested in making a UQM2 myself. I see that part of the reason the P6014 failed, as I found out after finding these after seeing what became of the project after the Stordock game, is that it used a very outdated platform. This not only made it less efficient to create a desired feature and also provided less resources in terms of potential contributors and assets and ultimately would have made it harder attract people to it. Under the GNU license UQM is released under, can I use the name UQM2 without keeping the original coding? If not, then can I loophole it by including an insignificant or significant part of the coding, or perhaps just the title itself, and then include in the new coding?

If the answer is still no, who would I contact about obtaining authorization to use the name?


Title: Re: Can I use a different coding platform under the UQM2 Name
Post by: Elestan on July 16, 2018, 03:15:34 am
I'm interested in making a UQM2 myself. I see that part of the reason the P6014 failed, as I found out after finding these after seeing what became of the project after the Stordock game, is that it used a very outdated platform. This not only made it less efficient to create a desired feature and also provided less resources in terms of potential contributors and assets and ultimately would have made it harder attract people to it. Under the GNU license UQM is released under, can I use the name UQM2 without keeping the original coding? If not, then can I loophole it by including an insignificant or significant part of the coding, or perhaps just the title itself, and then include in the new coding?

I really wouldn't advise starting a new project with the name "Ur-Quan Masters anything" while there are two different parties engaged in litigation over the name.  The rights to that name are a question of trademark, not copyright, so the GPL/CC license isn't going to protect you, and both Stardock and P&F might feel they had to sue you or risk weakening their legal case against the other.

Also, as a matter of simple courtesy, I think it would be horribly rude to try to start an "Ur-Quan Masters 2" without P&F's blessing, since that's sort of the alternate working title for Ghosts of the Precursors.

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If the answer is still no, who would I contact about obtaining authorization to use the name?

That's the problem:  Both Stardock and P&F claim to be the proper party to contact, so trying to use the name would be sticking yourself into the middle of a raging legal firefight.  It's probably best to wait until that fight is over, and then talk to the victor.


Title: Re: Can I use a different coding platform under the UQM2 Name
Post by: CommanderShepard on July 16, 2018, 04:40:28 am
You mentioned a point of courtesy, yet it's been over two decades and there is still no UQM2. People clearly want the game and what I don't like seeing is a dedicated fan base that is perpetually disappointed by a large company hindering creative freedom, and I myself am also disappointed that p6014 never came to fruition because that could have been developed into SC3.

I have several skill sets and the potential to assemble a team myself and I'm tired of their plans going nowhere slowly, so I have no problem blowing past both of them while they waste time arguing. P&F's blessing would count more towards the storyline, so there are plenty of assets I can create regardless of the storyline, such as models of the ships, planets, aliens and communication animations. If Stardock gets it, they will have the resources to make a larger game, but if P&F get it, they will make a higher quality but likely smaller game, unless they can come to a collaborative agreement.

If P&F know they have the support of contributors like myself and others to fall back on they will be less inclined to lose out to Stardock, or on the other hand, the mere sight of a third party attempt might bring both of them to collaborate. If the ownership itself is being disputed, then I don't see how anyone could be sued by the "owner."

Is there any ETA for when this dispute would be settled? If it will be settled soon then it wouldn't be safe to start any kind of project like this, but if it would take them years to overcome it, then both could be pressured to settle.


Title: Re: Can I use a different coding platform under the UQM2 Name
Post by: Elestan on July 16, 2018, 05:01:43 am
You mentioned a point of courtesy, yet it's been over two decades and there is still no UQM2. People clearly want the game, so what I don't like seeing is a dedicated fan base that is perpetually disappointed by a large company hindering creative freedom, and I myself am also disappointed that p6014 never came to fruition. I have several skill sets and the potential to assemble a team myself, so I have no problem blowing past both of them while they waste time arguing.  P&F's blessing would count more towards the storyline, so there are plenty of assets I can create regardless of the storyline, such as models of the ships, planets, aliens and cut scenes. If Stardock gets it, they will have the resources to make a larger game, but if P&F get it, they will make a higher quality and more interesting but likely smaller game, unless they can come to a collaborative agreement. If P&F see gigabytes of assets for free ready to be made into a game, they would likely be interested in the project anyway more so than a larger company like Stardock.

If you want to make a new fanfic game in the UQM universe under a GPL/CC-NC-BY-SA license, and under a name that's not currently under legal dispute, then I'd say good luck and more power to you.  I just wouldn't call it any of the names currently under dispute, because that would be an invitation to get sued, and in particular I wouldn't call it UQM2 without Paul's consent, regardless of how much time has gone by. 

Just because George R.R. Martin is taking forever to write the next "Song of Ice and Fire" book doesn't mean that fans can jump in and write it for him.


Title: Re: Can I use a different coding platform under the UQM2 Name
Post by: CommanderShepard on July 16, 2018, 05:04:00 am
Just because George R.R. Martin is taking forever to write the next "Song of Ice and Fire" book doesn't mean that fans can jump in and write it for him.
George R.R. Martin didn't release the intellectual rights to his books under a GNU license, and he also isn't going to take 20+ years to write the next one. The spirit of the GNU is to make software accessible and free, which was the intention with UQM. Perhaps I won't call it that then, initially, unless the team is contacted by either party. The capacity to make the game has existed for all these years, but all major parties have failed to act upon it for no good reason, so they may have given up on any serious idea for a real SC3.

Do you know if it is legal for me to still use the character names? I know that the rights to the names were likely owned by Activision before ownership was transferred, but then again, the character names, their images and animations are within a game that is released under a GNU license, and it's the right to call a project by its specific "SC" name that is being disputed.

I am still interested in an ETA if there is one, because if they will take a long time to settle, it will be enough to create a project that would pressure them into either settling or probably better yet, collaborating. If it will be settled soon however, such as before SCO is released, then I should likely wait to see what announcements are made, though fans have a long history of being told to wait with little payoff.


Title: Re: Can I use a different coding platform under the UQM2 Name
Post by: Shiver on July 16, 2018, 06:52:14 am
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I'm interested in making a UQM2 myself.

Please don't try to start a fan project named "Ur-Quan Masters 2".


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I see that part of the reason the P6014 failed, as I found out after finding these after seeing what became of the project after the Stordock game, is that it used a very outdated platform

A team that was too small and too inexperienced bit off more than they could chew. It wasn't going to get finished regardless of platform. Various people worked on it for a time, then left. I did too.


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I am still interested in an ETA if there is one, because if they will take a long time to settle, it will be enough to create a project that would pressure them into either settling or probably better yet, collaborating. If it will be settled soon however, such as before SCO is released, then I should likely wait to see what announcements are made, though fans have a long history of being told to wait with little payoff.

The court case is scheduled for June 2019. I suppose the case could be appealed afterward, but that's the optimistic ETA I've been operating with.


Title: Re: Can I use a different coding platform under the UQM2 Name
Post by: Elestan on July 16, 2018, 07:02:07 am
The capacity to make the game has existed for all these years, but all major parties have failed to act upon it for no good reason, so I would say they've given up on any serious idea for SC3.

You do know that it was Paul and Fred's announcement (https://www.dogarandkazon.com/blog/2017/10/6/launch-fighters) last October that they were finally starting work on a sequel that set off the whole legal fight, right?  It just seems like odd timing to decide that you've run out of patience after the original creators of the game finally said that they're going to make a sequel.

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Do you know if it is legal for me to still use the character names?

That depends on who you ask.  Stardock would say definitely not, because they believe their trademark controls those names.  I can't say for sure what P&F's position would be on specific characters, but I suspect that if you used the appropriate free licenses to match UQM, and didn't name it something as presumptuous as UQM2, it would be okay.

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I know that the rights to the names were likely owned by Activision before ownership was transferred...

I think you mean Atari (after it bought Accolade).  Unless the information we've gotten is really wrong, Activision has never owned any of the rights to "Star Control".

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...but then again, the character names, their images and animations are within a game that is released under a GNU license, and it's the right to call a project by its specific "SC" name that is being disputed.

Be careful about what you assume the GPL covers.  Names are generally protected by trademark, not copyright, so the GPL does not necessarily control or permit their use (the extent of this is likely to be a subject of the lawsuit).  The images and animations should be usable under CC-BY-NC-SA.

And Stardock is contesting a lot more than just the use of "Star Control".  Some of Stardock's claims would, if upheld, invalidate Paul's release of UQM under those free licenses, and pull the whole thing back under All Rights Reserved, which would also invalidate every sub-project that came out of UQM, including P6014.  I personally think those claims are unlikely to succeed, but I'm not a lawyer.

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I am still interested in an ETA if there is one, because if they will take a long time to settle, it will be enough to create a project that would pressure them into either settling or probably better yet, collaborating. If it will be settled soon however, such as before SCO is released, then I should likely wait to see what announcements are made, though fans have a long history of being told to wait with little payoff.

I don't see how starting a new project would "pressure" either of them into doing anything any faster.  I'm sure that P&F would like nothing better than to get to work on their sequel as soon as they're not tied up fighting a lawsuit.

I think my bottom line is that jumping into this mess while it's in litigation is like diving into a pit with two rabid VUX beasts and a dozen buried land mines.  Summary judgement is next March, and the trial is next June; I'd wait until then to see what happens.  Until then, you don't even know who you would need to ask for permission to do anything.  You can't even count on the GPL-ed stuff, because if Stardock were to win completely, UQM's GPL release would have been illegal.


Title: Re: Can I use a different coding platform under the UQM2 Name
Post by: CommanderShepard on July 16, 2018, 07:40:19 am
You do know that it was Paul and Fred's announcement (https://www.dogarandkazon.com/blog/2017/10/6/launch-fighters) last October that they were finally starting work on a sequel that set off the whole legal fight, right?  It just seems like odd timing to decide that you've run out of patience after the original creators of the game finally said that they're going to make a sequel.
They're saying the same things they've been saying for years, like just before they went off to develop Skylanders "we want to, but let's wait and see while we take care of something else". It's not official until they set a release date.

It seems like you have some misconceptions, so I will say I certainly don't want impose my own story-line or design over theirs anyway. If they say Ur-Quan are now purple, then I make them purple, if they say Vux intruders shoot potatoes, I make a potato, add the texture, animate it and explode it with a particle engine, and that's really the kind of support they expect when you see how they easily they garnered support from fans.
But, if they continue to say nothing, I will take matters into my own hands until they decide to become involved. There's several possible routes for this, obviously starting smaller will create a more achievable goal that avoids the mistakes many independent projects fail from and create the least risk of conflicting story-lines and mechanics when the dispute is settled.
 
The smaller initial version of the game can be either:
-Planet/space exploration based focused on generating a large region to explore and species interactions and detailed planets and stars to investigate, which would more likely be a revamp of the current games with some projections of species interactions, but not too much. We can infer plots that continue on from UQM like the Ur-Quan being forced to accept peace for a time after losing the Samatra, and that the Orz have some ulterior motive. It also doesn't seem realistic that literally every single Thraddash and Illwrath was eliminated, so the possibility of integrating those races exists. If we also focus on the exploration based version, we can also have multiple interaction and plot options depending on where the player left off in SC2, whether the Pkunk got destroyed by the Yehat or however many races were conquered by the Kor-Ah before you finished the game, like in Mass Effect, if it is possible to port such data into a newer platform.  

-Multiplayer and AI versus match based, focusing the most on getting players into ship v. ship matches with many customizations and incentives for playing. It's not the most sophisticated, but it's the most fun.

-Creature creation and civilization based, from the view of individual members of individual worlds, like managing worlds to reasonable success which admittedly would probably be the largest undertaking unless simplified to the level of GalCiv.

All of these appeal to different demographics and it would likely take too long for a small team to integrate all three aspects, so a tough decision will need to be made.


I think you mean Atari (after it bought Accolade).  Unless the information we've gotten is really wrong, Activision has never owned any of the rights to "Star Control".

I did mean Atari, I decided to forget the company that made that fired them and it worked.


Be careful about what you assume the GPL covers.  Names are generally protected by trademark, not copyright, so the GPL does not necessarily control or permit their use (the extent of this is likely to be a subject of the lawsuit).  The images and animations should be usable under CC-BY-NC-SA.


And Stardock is contesting a lot more than just the use of "Star Control".  Some of Stardock's claims would, if upheld, invalidate Paul's release of UQM under those free licenses, and pull the whole thing back under All Rights Reserved, which would also invalidate every sub-project that came out of UQM, including P6014.  I personally think those claims are unlikely to succeed, but I'm not a lawyer.

That's good to know, thank you. However, what about revamping images to create a more up-to-date look for all of the races? I did notice in p6014 that there were some modifications to the art, but I'm talking about representing the image of a race from 2D to 3D.


I don't see how starting a new project would "pressure" either of them into doing anything any faster.

They're the ones in a dispute over ownership, not me. If they want to sue me, they have to first decide who actually has the right to sue me and then start a whole new case, and that's if I don't take any precautions like changing the name.
Stardock has the most to lose from having someone else usurp their role in any kind of SC3. Whether I succeed with such a project or botch it, it will affect them negatively by either shortening the shelf life by the time they complete it or by giving their project a bad name. Large companies tend to stick to in house development, so if assets are created, P&F have the most to gain since they would have access to all open source material my team creates to fit whatever storyline they like. I like Stardock, but they shouldn't be screwing around with the SC series, that's what "Atari" did and it didn't go well for them.

I think my bottom line is that jumping into this mess while it's in litigation is like diving into a pit with two rabid VUX beasts and a dozen buried land mines.  Summary judgement is next March, and the trial is next June; I'd wait until then to see what happens.  Until then, you don't even know who you would need to ask for permission to do anything.  You can't even count on the GPL-ed stuff, because if Stardock were to win completely, UQM's GPL release would have been illegal.

If I was actually involving myself in any way with either of those parties, your analogy would have remote relevance. But, I'm not, I would be making my own project and researching what needs to be done to avoid legal conflicts, and even in the event that there is one, they wouldn't be able to do anything about it for a couple years.


Title: Re: Can I use a different coding platform under the UQM2 Name
Post by: Elestan on July 16, 2018, 08:44:50 am
And Stardock is contesting a lot more than just the use of "Star Control".  Some of Stardock's claims would, if upheld, invalidate Paul's release of UQM under those free licenses, and pull the whole thing back under All Rights Reserved, which would also invalidate every sub-project that came out of UQM, including P6014.  I personally think those claims are unlikely to succeed, but I'm not a lawyer.
That's good to know, thank you. However, what about revamping images to create a more up-to-date look for all of the races? I did notice in p6014 that there were some modifications to the art, but I'm talking about representing the image of a race from 2D to 3D.
If Stardock establishes that it still had an exclusive license to the SC2 copyrights, then making any derivative work from the original artwork would be illegal.  It would be as if the GPL release never happened.

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If they want to sue me, they have to first decide who actually has the right to sue me and then start a whole new case, and that's if I don't take any precautions like changing the name.

Actually, no.  If you use something that either of them thinks is covered by their trademark, then they can decide to sue you whether or not they've resolved the current litigation.  You could raise questions about the validity and ownership of that trademark in your defense, but you'd first have to cough up thousands of dollars in legal fees just to draw up the paperwork to respond, or else you'd fairly quickly lose by default.  Legal fights aren't always 'fair' in the ways we might like them to be.

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Stardock has the most to lose from having someone else usurp their role in any kind of SC3. Whether I succeed with such a project or botch it, it will affect them negatively by either shortening the shelf life by the time they complete it or by giving their project a bad name.

Do you really think Stardock cares about their reputation with the old SC crowd, given the degree to which they've dragged it through the mud with their legal tactics?

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I think my bottom line is that jumping into this mess while it's in litigation is like diving into a pit with two rabid VUX beasts and a dozen buried land mines.  Summary judgement is next March, and the trial is next June; I'd wait until then to see what happens.  Until then, you don't even know who you would need to ask for permission to do anything.  You can't even count on the GPL-ed stuff, because if Stardock were to win completely, UQM's GPL release would have been illegal.

If I was actually involving myself in any way with either of those parties, your analogy would have remote relevance. But, I'm not, I would be making my own project and researching what needs to be done to avoid legal conflicts, and even in the event that there is one, they wouldn't be able to do anything about it for a couple years.

See above.  There's no way to be certain of avoiding legal conflicts when the IP is under active litigation this way, and the existence of the litigation makes it more likely that someone will decide to sue you sooner rather than later.

But if you feel like taking your chances, don't let me stop you...


Title: Re: Can I use a different coding platform under the UQM2 Name
Post by: CommanderShepard on July 16, 2018, 11:04:42 am
And Stardock is contesting a lot more than just the use of "Star Control".  Some of Stardock's claims would, if upheld, invalidate Paul's release of UQM under those free licenses, and pull the whole thing back under All Rights Reserved, which would also invalidate every sub-project that came out of UQM, including P6014.  I personally think those claims are unlikely to succeed, but I'm not a lawyer.
That's good to know, thank you. However, what about revamping images to create a more up-to-date look for all of the races? I did notice in p6014 that there were some modifications to the art, but I'm talking about representing the image of a race from 2D to 3D.
If Stardock establishes that it still had an exclusive license to the SC2 copyrights, then making any derivative work from the original artwork would be illegal.  It would be as if the GPL release never happened.

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If they want to sue me, they have to first decide who actually has the right to sue me and then start a whole new case, and that's if I don't take any precautions like changing the name.

Actually, no.  If you use something that either of them thinks is covered by their trademark, then they can decide to sue you whether or not they've resolved the current litigation.  You could raise questions about the validity and ownership of that trademark in your defense, but you'd first have to cough up thousands of dollars in legal fees just to draw up the paperwork to respond, or else you'd fairly quickly lose by default.  Legal fights aren't always 'fair' in the ways we might like them to be.
Yes, legal fights aren't always fair, trying to bleed out opponents with legal fees instead of making an objective determination is a common strategy of large companies. But, I've won disputes by bogging down the system down before, Stardock would be the one spending thousands of dollars per day on legal fees because their the ones paying for a team of lawyers. I already know what to research to keep them occupied and it's not hard for me to sustain myself with the passive income of my business. That's beside the fact that they do have to prove ownership in order to win a case against for infringing on their rights or there's no point in them trying as obviously the result has drastic consequences, which can't be done until their matter is resolved, which is already beside two other major points below.

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Stardock has the most to lose from having someone else usurp their role in any kind of SC3. Whether I succeed with such a project or botch it, it will affect them negatively by either shortening the shelf life by the time they complete it or by giving their project a bad name.

Do you really think Stardock cares about their reputation with the old SC crowd, given the degree to which they've dragged it through the mud with their legal tactics?
What makes you think their reputation only exists among the SC crowd? If someone publicly voices a negative opinion of Stardock or any of their games, anyone with internet can see it, and I haven't seen an actual coordinated effort here to "drag Stardock's reputation through the mud" anyway. There's plenty of games new players avoid because of the low ratings. In fact, when I tell people I still play GalCiv, they say something or make a face analogous to "ew," so it wouldn't be difficult to use such a strategy as Stardock's fanbase is niche. I don't know what it is about Stardock, but there's just always something subpar about it, I only play it over Sid Miere's because I like sci fi, which is exactly my point. Other people? Well, they like GTA or Skyrim or COD which all seem more well done.
If it was more like EA Games which is larger which has published lots of more universally appealing and highly rated games, that would be quite a difficult endeavor, it would require a lot more luck and finding a major mistake of theirs to capitalize on for any chance and that's why Spore 2 hasn't been made despite the opriginal Thrive team's attempt to threaten beating them to the punch years ago. But, this is all if we couldn't manage to settle out of court too, they would likely find it more profitable to settle for a few provisions than waste all that time and money over what would then become an open source ripoff, and even then, they would probably just settle for me changing the cosmetics of the project, not it's functionality.
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I think my bottom line is that jumping into this mess while it's in litigation is like diving into a pit with two rabid VUX beasts and a dozen buried land mines.  Summary judgement is next March, and the trial is next June; I'd wait until then to see what happens.  Until then, you don't even know who you would need to ask for permission to do anything.  You can't even count on the GPL-ed stuff, because if Stardock were to win completely, UQM's GPL release would have been illegal.

If I was actually involving myself in any way with either of those parties, your analogy would have remote relevance. But, I'm not, I would be making my own project and researching what needs to be done to avoid legal conflicts, and even in the event that there is one, they wouldn't be able to do anything about it for a couple years.

See above.  There's no way to be certain of avoiding legal conflicts when the IP is under active litigation this way, and the existence of the litigation makes it more likely that someone will decide to sue you sooner rather than later.
You're right that there's no way to be certain so long as I use exact the names. However, whether or not derived works infringe on anyone's rights is to be determined by who ultimately gets those rights. Like I said p6014 used alternative art and had no trouble during its run, so similarly, you have to own something before you can argue someone stole it from you, and then you have to find out about it, and something tells me a cavalier CEO isn't going to be spending their time browsing old forums of a dying game. They can start a case against such a project, but unless they win this dispute, they won't finish the next. All that aside, I can shell the project with an LLC, and since the game would be open source, there would be no profit to be lost. It would be like if Adobe tried to sue GIMP, assuming Stardock doesn't win.

But if you feel like taking your chances, don't let me stop you...
That was never a dilemma for me. Like I said, I'm doing research to see where the limits are, this site is only one means of investigating.


Title: Re: Can I use a different coding platform under the UQM2 Name
Post by: Serosis on July 16, 2018, 01:07:34 pm
Simple solution, Don't call it UQM2 because that's what P&F are going to end up calling their sequel.

Hard solution, go ahead and call it UQM2 and wait for the DMCA to hit you when P&F start working on their sequel then change the name to something else.

You'd think Stardock would have a problem with fan sequel calling itself UQM2 but you'd be wrong, because they could not care less. It doesn't interact with SCO, it doesn't touch SCO, and unless you're stupid it won't mention SCO.

Speaking of Project 6014 it died out because it was too ambitious and lost motivation quickly. They had the tools and talent and anyone with any sort of skill and motivation can pick it right back up and restart it if they wanted to.

Now, word of advice, I know you are all on your blah, blah, blah boycott Stardock, shtick. But their engine is bar none going to be the best you're ever going to get when it comes to doing anything remotely better than using UQM to do a fan sequel.

Wait til SCO is released, read the reviews, don't let nostalgia keep your balls in a vice.


Title: Re: Can I use a different coding platform under the UQM2 Name
Post by: Elestan on July 16, 2018, 03:28:27 pm
Hard solution, go ahead and call it UQM2 and wait for the DMCA to hit you when P&F start working on their sequel then change the name to something else.

It sounded like he was intending his game to be under the proper open-source licenses, which (I believe) would mean that a DMCA from P&F would not be possible.  The risks would be either copyright action from Stardock (if the legal case went in its favor), or trademark action from either or both of them over the name.

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Now, word of advice, I know you are all on your blah, blah, blah boycott Stardock, shtick. But their engine is bar none going to be the best you're ever going to get when it comes to doing anything remotely better than using UQM to do a fan sequel.

The problem with this is that P&F only licensed their copyright for use in open-source software.  So unless Stardock open-sources the SC:O engine (which seems unlikely), I don't think it can legally be used to make a fan sequel.


Title: Re: Can I use a different coding platform under the UQM2 Name
Post by: Lakstoties on July 16, 2018, 05:09:23 pm
Checking around the licensing information on the UQM Wiki Page:  http://wiki.uqm.stack.nl/The_Ur-Quan_Masters_Project_FAQ#Under_what_license_is_the_game_released.3F

The source code is released under the GNU General Public License:  http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/gpl.html
So if you use any code directly from the UQM source, that source code must be made publicly available and it cannot become part of a proprietary code base.  (Less you keep the proprietary components in separate compiled libraries.)


The content for the UQM is released under a Creative Commons 2.5  Attribution, Non-Commerical, Share Alike license:  https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.5/
So anything created based on the content has to be shared under the same license as the source material, attribution is given, and the content is use for non-commercial purposes.


Hence you can create your own remix of stuff so long as the remix or extension is licensed the same as the source materials used.  Now, none of these cover the titles of the works, which are not part of these licenses as these licenses are working upon a copyright law foundation.  Copyright law only covers the fixed representation of a work. 

Protection of titles fall into trademark territory.  As with what many fan projects have done before, just use a title that can't deemed as having a "likelihood of confusion" against another mark.  That's all you have to do.  It avoids so much right there.  If you don't, once the current legal battle is settled, there will be a company with the legal grounds to demand an injunction from the courts and halt use of conflicting, similar titles.  And willingly branding a product under that mark can be seen as intent to infringe and deceive, which does not help anyone's case.  This is would be lining up for a textbook trademark infringement:  https://tmep.uspto.gov/RDMS/TFSR/current#/current/sec-07400cca-6bf9-4569-a845-7eca77832d20.html   And probably a summary judgement would be requested (and probably granted), hence it would never go to trial.  Trademarks are ruled primarily by first to file basis unless they are challenged with a prior use before the filing date.

Them's the breaks.


Title: Re: Can I use a different coding platform under the UQM2 Name
Post by: CommanderShepard on July 16, 2018, 05:21:52 pm
blah, blah, blah boycott Stardock, shtick. But their engine is bar none going to be the best you're ever going to get when it comes to doing anything remotely better than using UQM to do a fan sequel.
That doesn't follow. The UQM engine is only 25 years old and somehow you think only one company in the entire world has the capability to make something better? I can create a model of physical and population dynamics that no tenured professor in the world knows how to wholly model, and I know that because I asked the experts in their respective fields who said they don't know and there are no published works which address them. Do I need that much precision? Unlikely, but I've seen the games Stardock releases and they is not particularly impressive because they care more about adhering to genre than exploring something new for the user, so there's more than one way to be effective.

Wait til SCO is released, read the reviews, don't let nostalgia keep your balls in a vice.
That point is moot. Nostalgia isn't what determines which party is going to write a better game, which to me seems obvious.

It sounded like he was intending his game to be under the proper open-source licenses, which (I believe) would mean that a DMCA from P&F would not be possible.  The risks would be either copyright action from Stardock (if the legal case went in its favor), or trademark action from either or both of them over the name.
Once assets are created, anything can be done with them. They don't need to be released under a GNU, though it would be ideal. Like I said, more than once, F&P can take control of the assets once their dispute is settled either way, and there are only risks if I take 0 precautions. There are a number of creative ways I can attribute such a project to UQM without mentioning it directly, aside from using similar races and ships. At the very least, no one can copywrite the concept of a planet, so the foundation of the exploration can still be created regardless.

Hence you can create your own remix of stuff so long as the remix or extension is licensed the same as the source materials used.  

Protection of titles fall into trademark territory.  As with what many fan projects have done before, just use a title that can't deemed as having a "likelihood of confusion" against another mark.  That's all you have to do.  It avoids so much right there.  If you don't, once the current legal battle is settled, there will be a company with the legal grounds to demand an injunction from the courts and halt use of conflicting, similar titles.  And willingly branding a product under that mark can be seen as intent to infringe and deceive, which does not help anyone's case.  This is would be lining up for a textbook trademark infringement:  https://tmep.uspto.gov/RDMS/TFSR/current#/current/sec-07400cca-6bf9-4569-a845-7eca77832d20.html   And probably a summary judgement would be requested (and probably granted), hence it would never go to trial.  Trademarks are ruled primarily by first to file basis unless they are challenged with a prior use before the filing date.

I'm glad to see my suspicions were warranted, thank you.


Title: Re: Can I use a different coding platform under the UQM2 Name
Post by: Serosis on July 16, 2018, 09:40:26 pm
Quote
Now, word of advice, I know you are all on your blah, blah, blah boycott Stardock, shtick. But their engine is bar none going to be the best you're ever going to get when it comes to doing anything remotely better than using UQM to do a fan sequel.

The problem with this is that P&F only licensed their copyright for use in open-source software.  So unless Stardock open-sources the SC:O engine (which seems unlikely), I don't think it can legally be used to make a fan sequel.

You can use the content and derivatives how you like as long as you supply the license and let everyone know you're not exploiting it for profit.

Sure P&F can throw a hissy fit, which they haven't so far seeing as there are other games that use the CC'd content, but as long as the creators of the mod follow the license to the letter there should not be a single problem.

I could remake UQM in its entirety in SCO and I technically would only have to provide the CC license because the code doesn't carry over.
At most I would have to supply the XML files for the dialog trees and ship stats.


Title: Re: Can I use a different coding platform under the UQM2 Name
Post by: CommanderShepard on July 16, 2018, 11:39:16 pm
I could remake UQM in its entirety in SCO and I technically would only have to provide the CC license because the code doesn't carry over.
When you say the "code doesn't carry over," it seems to be like you're contradicting what you said earlier. Could a completely new coding platform in fact be used to make an updated version of the game, as long as it is under the same license?


Title: Re: Can I use a different coding platform under the UQM2 Name
Post by: Serosis on July 16, 2018, 11:49:16 pm
There's two different licenses in effect with UQM

GNU General Public license v2 for the source code

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 for the content

Recreating UQM in SCO would take a lot more footwork in the Creative Commons license than the GPL2 license because we can't edit the SCO code directly, but we can interpret some of UQM's code into the markup language SCO uses for a lot of its components.

You can get the gist of the licenses on tldrlegal.com

GPL2 (https://tldrlegal.com/license/gnu-general-public-license-v2)

CC (https://tldrlegal.com/license/creative-commons-attribution-noncommercial-sharealike-(cc-nc-sa))

Creating a UQM2 (Which I hope you wouldn't call "UQM2" for your sake) would fall under the same licenses if you decided to use the anything derived from UQM.


Title: Re: Can I use a different coding platform under the UQM2 Name
Post by: CommanderShepard on July 16, 2018, 11:57:48 pm
I don't care about SCO, I'm strictly focused on UQM and a supposed UQM 2. However, since it seems that SCO plays a role in determining who has the rights to what, I should know more about it.

If all of the art and coding for a..."proxy SC3" was created entirely from scratch, but the designs of the races and ships bared an exact resemblance and the title had some similarity to UQM, is that still acceptable under the GNU license? If anything it would only be intellectual aspect would be carried over, as in the inspiration is derived from UQM, but the actual content of the game wouldn't include anything from original UQM at all, it would all be new.

Perhaps an entirely different title is used like Star Explorer or Star Battle which are cliche, but if it's just a proxy it's not as important.


Title: Re: Can I use a different coding platform under the UQM2 Name
Post by: Serosis on July 17, 2018, 12:53:05 am
SCO has no bearing on UQM if you don't give a reason to.

Like if I were to start inserting SCO ships or aliens into the MegaMod, then Brad would have words to say to me.
Actually, probably not even then... I'd have to check with him on that.
I guess it might depend on how far I take it.

Anyways, back to the licenses.

Safest way to go about it is if you have a UQM alien in your fan sequel, say, a Supox. Just slap the Creative Commons license in a text file and keep it with the game.


Title: Re: Can I use a different coding platform under the UQM2 Name
Post by: CommanderShepard on July 17, 2018, 12:56:20 am
Like if I were to start inserting SCO ships or aliens into the MegaMod, then Brad would have words to say to me.
But see, some of the SCO ships and races probably coincide with some of the UQM ships and races. Stardock supposedly claims they own the rights to everything UQM when they bought content at the bankruptcy auction, and that affects any kind of UQM sequel.  

Safest way to go about it is if you have a UQM alien in your fan sequel, say, a Supox. Just slap the Creative Commons license in a text file and keep it with the game.
So again that seems to contradict what was stated earlier. You're saying by choosing to put *more* UQM races in that it will decrease the likelihood it infringes on the license?


Title: Re: Can I use a different coding platform under the UQM2 Name
Post by: Serosis on July 17, 2018, 01:15:06 am
Like if I were to start inserting SCO ships or aliens into the MegaMod, then Brad would have words to say to me.
But see, some of the SCO ships and races probably coincide with some of the UQM ships and races. Stardock supposedly claims they own the rights to everything UQM when they bought content at Atari's bankruptcy auction, and that affects any kind of UQM sequel. 

Safest way to go about it is if you have a UQM alien in your fan sequel, say, a Supox. Just slap the Creative Commons license in a text file and keep it with the game.
So again that seems to contradict what was stated earlier. You're saying by choosing to put *more* UQM races in will decrease the likelihood it infringes on the license?

If it has to do with UQM as it pertains to P&F, slap a GNU license on it. Simple.


Title: Re: Can I use a different coding platform under the UQM2 Name
Post by: CommanderShepard on July 17, 2018, 01:23:38 am
Like if I were to start inserting SCO ships or aliens into the MegaMod, then Brad would have words to say to me.
But see, some of the SCO ships and races probably coincide with some of the UQM ships and races. Stardock supposedly claims they own the rights to everything UQM when they bought content at Atari's bankruptcy auction, and that affects any kind of UQM sequel.  

Safest way to go about it is if you have a UQM alien in your fan sequel, say, a Supox. Just slap the Creative Commons license in a text file and keep it with the game.
So again that seems to contradict what was stated earlier. You're saying by choosing to put *more* UQM races in will decrease the likelihood it infringes on the license?

If it has to do with UQM as it pertains to P&F, slap a GNU license on it. Simple.

Alright well I hope you're right. I'll see if others agree.


Title: Re: Can I use a different coding platform under the UQM2 Name
Post by: Serosis on July 17, 2018, 01:52:38 am
Well, again, it depends on exactly what you're doing.

You'd have to tell us exactly what you're planning to do in regards to alien art, ships, music, voices, etc.
If any of it relates back to UQM then you have to slap the appropriate license.

If you want to make money off of it then you'd have to license whatever you need directly from the original owners or license holders.
For the music it would be the individual artists. (Riku Nuottajärvi, Dan Nicholson, Eric Berge, etc, etc.)
The artwork is now under assignment to P&F as of April
The 3DO assets ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I've done some considerable footwork to find out who controls the SC2 3DO assets and have not received a single response from any of the individuals involved.

Paul definitely owns most of the voices since he and his family voiced a good chunk of them, as did Erol Otus and Greg Johnson. It might be another case of the individual owning their specific part or, like the art, is under assignment to P&F.

And as you've said, you wouldn't be using any of the old code so you wouldn't have to worry about the GPL2 license at all.

Making a fan-sequel to UQM shouldn't need any licenses involved from Stardock unless you plan to use their licenses.


Title: Re: Can I use a different coding platform under the UQM2 Name
Post by: Elestan on July 19, 2018, 04:19:19 am
I could remake UQM in its entirety in SCO and I technically would only have to provide the CC license because the code doesn't carry over.
Safest way to go about it is if you have a UQM alien in your fan sequel, say, a Supox. Just slap the Creative Commons license in a text file and keep it with the game.

Sorry, this slipped through the cracks in the rest of the excitement.

While this might be true, I would definitely check with a lawyer before relying on it.  If your mod is useless without Stardock's commercial product, there's a plausible argument that it is driving sales of SC:O, and therefore serves a commercial purpose, which would be disallowed under the non-commercial requirements of the CC-NC license.


Title: Re: Can I use a different coding platform under the UQM2 Name
Post by: Serosis on July 19, 2018, 08:20:15 am
If your mod is useless without Stardock's commercial product,

Take out "Stardock out of there and that's the virtual majority of mods.

Actually don't take "Stardock" out because there's already a mod out there called Seven Deadly Sins (http://star-control.com/community/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=40) for Sins of a Solar Empire that uses CC content from UQM.
It's pretty damn useless without SoaSE.

Now, if P&F wanted to be vindictive they could say that they'll allow mods like Seven Deadly Sins but won't allow a UQM reboot in SCO.



Title: Re: Can I use a different coding platform under the UQM2 Name
Post by: Elestan on July 19, 2018, 08:39:08 am
Now, if P&F wanted to be vindictive they could say that they'll allow mods like Seven Deadly Sins but won't allow a UQM reboot in SCO.

If I was in your position, I would ask P&F how they felt about it, and respect their decision.  I would give them that courtesy because they certainly could have chosen to use a more restrictive license, or to not open-source the game at all.  But they did, and that's why we're all here.  Obviously, you also have the option of deciding that you don't care what they think, and then seeing if they object enough to try to force the issue.  But if it were me, I just wouldn't feel right doing that.


Title: Re: Can I use a different coding platform under the UQM2 Name
Post by: Serosis on July 19, 2018, 08:50:06 am
When it comes down to the moment I'll ask, but that's months from now and just a theoretical.
Depending on which directions certain things go with the MegaMod by that time I may reboot SC3 in SCO.
(Which depends on the SC3 source being released at a reasonable time as well.)

It's really all fluid right now.


Title: Re: Can I use a different coding platform under the UQM2 Name
Post by: Elestan on July 19, 2018, 09:10:06 am
Depending on which directions certain things go with the MegaMod by that time I may reboot SC3 in SCO.  (Which depends on the SC3 source being released at a reasonable time as well.)

Well, from my (still not-a-lawyer) read of Addendum 2 of the 1988 agreement, both Stardock and P&F will have to agree to the terms of that open-sourcing.  I expect that P&F would have no objection to it in principle (they proposed doing so in their settlement agreement), but they might have concerns if it seems like it could lead to the SC2 races or ships showing up in SC:O.  Stardock could certainly authorize bringing all of the SC3-unique elements to SC:O, though.