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August 10, 2022, 09:44:06 pm
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News: Paul & Fred have reached a settlement with Stardock!

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1  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Stardock Litigation Discussion on: June 13, 2019, 05:03:10 am
I don't know, can you?

Preemptively open source the code in case that it's ever found?
Didn't Wardell claim to have the SC1 source at one point? Or was that made up?
2  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Stardock Litigation Discussion on: June 12, 2019, 10:56:12 pm
That's a negotiating tactic. To ask for everything. And then it almost feels reasonable if you only give them something, even if they weren't entitled to it.

Stardock has taken many different positions on how to affiliate their new game with the old games, but the underlying interest was to make sure that SC:O had some piece of SC2 in it. Whether that was some of the lore, the ships, or even Paul and Fred themselves. They finally got something, and they turned it into their headline.

"Stardock, Paul Reiche to team up on next Star Control game."

I'd agree with you that it's pretty absurd spin. But Stardock is milking it for all it's worth.
This seems like a bit of deft maneuvering to make Brad feel good about the circumstances. Which is frustrating, because we'd all love to see this reckoning where Brad admits defeat, but that just isn't something that could ever happen. So they gave him some token encouragement and he took the bait.

It's like if a toddler stole your keys, and you had to distract him by dangling a new toy in front of them to get them back. F&P got their damn keys back, and they did it before running out of time and money, so that's the most important thing.
3  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Stardock Litigation Discussion on: June 12, 2019, 04:17:17 am
It is clear that Paul is the real hero in this. Brad Wardell is mentally ill and not going to accept any scenario that he feels is a defeat or a concession. Paul realized this and gave Brad the necessary encouragement and pretense of friendship and flattery that he needed to extricate himself from the mess he created while still framing it as a "win."

In reality, of course, this is only a win for the lawyers. The settlement does not seem substantially different from the March 2018 settlement offer (with a couple of frivolous niceties thrown in), which itself doesn't seem all that different than the defacto understanding before any of this began.

So essentially Brad cost himself and his victims millions of dollars and wasted years of everyone's time that could have gone into making bigger, better games, because he refused to negotiate in good faith. But now he's running victory laps because Paul said he likes his game and his bees are cool.

Much respect for Paul for getting that done.
4  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Stardock Litigation Discussion on: June 10, 2019, 11:03:14 pm
Star Control 1 and 2 has popped back up on Steam. Same listing as before, with Stardock as the publisher. Some are taking this as a bad sign, but I think it's more likely they've just hashed out an agreement on P&F's piece of the pie. If this is the case, it's probably helpful, as it reinforces their IP rights (which can become weaker when something is no longer monetized).

Some are speculating that Stardock has gotten the copyright to the old games, but this is certainly not the case, as he clarified his new game is set in the SCO-verse. Meanwhile both of their joint statements clearly spell out Ur Quan Masters as if it's a separate IP, and I think that's the clear implication.

Which means that basically, Stardock wasted 15 months and millions of dollars to end up with exactly the offer he had in hand in March 2018, had he just negotiated in good faith back then. What a waste.
5  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Stardock Litigation Discussion on: February 28, 2019, 02:43:36 am
Now if Stardock could prove that scientifically a "HyperSpace" is likely to be red-shifted (and not just black), will likely have moving "streaks" and will have a hole near gravity wells, then F&P could not claim a copyright on that FTL expression (or the scientific paper would lead to them losing the copyright held until then), but again, I presume if Stardock would be able to prove that, earning money with games would become a lucrative side-job when selling games to the crews outward bound from our Solar system with the HyperSpace drive provided by Stardock Inc.

Even beyond this, I think Stardock is going to have a much more difficult time framing their product's similarities as arbitrary or derivative simply because of their repeated interest in and claimed ownership of the Reiche IP. The "parallel thought" argument is tough to make when you're literally making a game with the same title.

And this sort of thing can be very compelling in IP cases. Consider for a moment Harlan Ellison's lawsuit against Orion over a writing credit on The Terminator over similarities to a couple of Outer Limits episodes Ellison wrote. These similarities were noticeable but not so severe that the studio couldn't play them off as coincidence, EXCEPT James Cameron gave an interview in which he said he got the idea by "ripping off a couple Outer Limits episodes." Once that chain is established, the claim becomes significantly more damaging.

There is no real way Stardock can argue that these similarities are coincidence. Stardock has already laid out the argument that they own the Reiche IP so they can't claim to be unaware of it. They're going to have to double down on the argument that they own it somehow, which seems, frankly, like a ridiculous claim.

I'm kind of surprised this is even going to trial. It's a testament to Stardock's lawyers that it wasn't just tossed out. Although that might do Stardock more harm than good in the end, especially if they end up with an invalid trademark and no rights to anything.
6  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Kickstarter? on: March 17, 2012, 11:09:54 pm
Actually very good idea. With just one problem - they need to be given the time free of other development. Quite possible it could really generate the funds and thus show Activision true interest (and financial potential) in true SC3.

It's true that their schedule is probably fully booked with the skylander sequal...
Eh, you're looking at this wrong. A new Star Control would need a team of like what? 10 people maybe? Toys for Bob has 75 people. They get the money up front at Kickstarter, they can hire a few new people and have their pick of who they want to work on it. It's not like it would ever be their only/primary project.

Alternately they could get someone else to develop it with them. Maybe Greg Johnson's HumaNature Studio would be appropriate. I don't know if their contracts allow them to do side projects like that, but just a thought.
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