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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: Regarding 'Star Control: Origins' and Stardock on: September 24, 2018, 12:14:49 am
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.

It feels weird that this was the end of it - is there a reason you can't take the original agreement, drop the "3. Ownership" clause, and rewrite "5. Termination" to merely terminate the license instead of prohibiting even legal / "fair use" of the mark? I can't come up with a quick rewrite of "6. No Sublicensing", but I'd assume there's some common wording for assigning it to the project as a whole / allowing people to pass it down to their replacement if they leave the project.

My role is to deliver documents back and forth. If Serge wanted to modify it and send it back I would have forwarded his changes to the appropriate people and they’d evaluate.
2  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Regarding 'Star Control: Origins' and Stardock on: September 23, 2018, 11:46:52 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 was the end of the chain.

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.
Almost. Unless the screenshots where you were shown having posted part of this exchange on your own private channel, with the 'eliminating the vile little community' remark, were fake.


That privately made remark was made during the DMCA attacks in our game while simultaneously vile little comments were being made. A short time later, Death cleaned them up.  I’m not sure if you’ve been paying much attention lately but a lot of pretty nasty, personal attacks have been directed at me and yes, I confess that in private they have on occasion pissed me off. 

But that those private comments were not about UQM but the forum, have no connection to the license agreement and were still weeks ago regarding a situation that is no longer relevant.
3  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Regarding 'Star Control: Origins' and Stardock 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.
4  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Regarding 'Star Control: Origins' and Stardock 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. 
5  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Regarding 'Star Control: Origins' and Stardock 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.
6  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Stardock Litigation Discussion on: September 11, 2018, 02:11:21 am
All of that was written before they started to meddle with our launch.

Launch is less than 2 weeks from now. We shall see what Paul and Fred choose to do between now and then.
7  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Stardock Litigation Discussion on: September 11, 2018, 01:36:39 am
We have said we are not trying to stop them from making a game.  We will not consent to a game called Ghosts of the Precursors because it has already been connected to Star Control.  

How much their game is able to be connected to Star Control is going to either be determined by the courts or a settlement. Meddling with our release is not going to make us more inclined to let them connect their game to Star Control II.
8  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Stardock Litigation Discussion on: September 11, 2018, 12:30:48 am
No, I but I suspect they want to use names that are connected to Star Control that might cause consumers to believe their new game is connected or associated with Star Control.

The Lanham act 43a is pretty clear. https://www.bitlaw.com/source/15usc/1125.html

If a game came out that had the Spathi and Ur-Quan and Orz, I think it's safe to say that many people would believe it is connected and/or associated with Star Control.  Therefore if they want to make a game that utilizes elements connected to or associated with Star Control II they will need our permission.
9  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Stardock Litigation Discussion on: September 11, 2018, 12:06:17 am
Suffice to say, our position with regards to names will be reciprocal.

Edit: Rose, your legal beliefs are just nuts.  There's just no other way to describe it.  They have no basis in law or fact.  It doesn't help that you obviously have no familiarity with Star Control: Origins or even what copyright is.
10  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Stardock Litigation Discussion on: September 10, 2018, 02:21:25 pm
Just remember these arguments, however, when the time comes for discussing the matter of whether having Melnorme in a game might cause a liklelynood or confusion in a consumer to think that game is connected with Star Control.  I know I will.

For someone that continues to insist you're not trying to block production of Ghosts Of The Precursors, you spend an awful lot of time sinisterly hinting about how you're going to twist our words and use them to block production of Ghosts Of The Precursors

No. I’ve said we aren’t trying to prevent them from making their game.   Obviously, the more effort they put into blocking our game is going to have an effect in our willingness to allow their game to be connected to Star Control. 
11  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Stardock Litigation Discussion on: September 10, 2018, 02:22:41 am
The similarity to the Melnorme is obvious to anyone who's played the game. Whether it's similar enough to be an infringement is not clear, sure. But there are very clear similarities that I'm sure would be taken into account when trying to determine whether it is, in fact, an infringment:

  • They are orange and bulbous.
  • They have the same name (while it's not outright stated, it's very strongly implied that the Mael-Num and the Melnorme are the same race). And no, I'm sure a missing hyphen won't make a difference.
  • They are information brokers.

You're drawing attention to all the differences, but as far as I can tell that's really just a diversion. The differences aren't what matter here, are they? What matters is the similarities. Are there enough similarities to constitute a copyright infringement? Who knows. But there are definitely some pretty substantial similarities.

“Information brokers”? I’m sorry but have you played the game? If you had you’d know that is not their role. They’re spies. They don’t sell information.  

In any event, sounds like a question for a jury.

Just remember these arguments, however, when the time comes for discussing the matter of whether having Melnorme in a game might cause a liklelynood or confusion in a consumer to think that game is connected with Star Control.  I know I will.

Edit: I've requested the name to be changed from Maelnum to Maelnir despite the fact that you can't copyright a word.
12  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Stardock Litigation Discussion on: September 09, 2018, 03:10:10 am
Like I said Elestan, I would very much like to see them argue in open court that that alien is a “derivative” of a one-eyed big mouthed orange Alien with a toothy grin most famous for what color it’s background is.

The Maelnum have nothing in common with the Melnorme from SC2. Their histories are different. Their motivations are different. They don’t even have starships. You’re just grasping at straws here.  And arguing about words falls into trademarks anyway.

For a guy who vigorously argued about “fair use” on the trademark side you certainly seem to have adopted a much more liberal concept of what copyright protects.  Maybe you should replay UQM to look at its inspirations.

In any case, it’s a matter for the courts to decide.  Stardock has already taken steps to make sure the situation has reached a status quo while the courts sort things out. But that’s a two way street. The more we have to modify our game to appease Paul and Fred, the more concessions we will demand from them on their game.
 

13  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Stardock Litigation Discussion on: September 09, 2018, 02:15:47 am
That's quite a stretch, Elestan.



I would really like to see Paul and Fred argue in open court that that appears even similar to the Melnorme expressed in SC2.  Also, you linked to the Mael-Num.  It's one thing to quibble over copyright but now you're trying to argue that similar *spelling* of a word of a spy race is somehow in violation of someone's copyright?

The DLC, btw, were tracks of *music* created by Riku.  That was the content that got DMCA'd.

They also DMCA'd fleet battles.   There are two ways of interpreting that:

Either:

a. They believed that the Fleet Battles containing the Earthling Cruiser that looked remotely similar to the one in SC1/2/3 along with a ship with the word Arilou in its name somehow violated their copyrights.

or

b. They think they own the idea of Space Wars!

If it's the former, then we can litigate that in court and in the meantime have made changes previously discussed.  If it's the latter, then it will be interesting to see who, if anyone, still supports Paul and Fred if they DMCA based on *gameplay*.  You can't copyright gameplay.  If it could, then Paul and Fred would be in big trouble themselves.

The Fleet Battles part of Star Control: Origins plays substantially differently than SC2 anyway (and quite a few founders were unhappy with the changed gameplay but it was necessary for the pacing and ship variation we were looking for along to deal with some of the griefing that the Space Wars! / SC2 style Super-Melee resulted in).

Paul and Fred do have the opportunity of becoming very famous if the keep on the course they seem to be taking.

14  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Stardock Litigation Discussion on: August 26, 2018, 01:39:53 am
There’s a Q&A thread on starcontrol.com. You can always ask there or see if your questions haven’t already been asked dozens of times and answered dozens of times.
15  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Stardock Litigation Discussion on: August 26, 2018, 01:21:24 am
I've said I care about this community. 

I don't know you. You just joined here.   I may get annoyed with Elestan but at least he's actually been part of this community for years.  I get angry with him but I respect him so I am more likely to answer him than some guy who just showed up to stir up trouble.

As for the litigation, it has nothing to do with you.  You're just random internet guy who thinks he's entitled to answers. You're not.   I'm here at my pleasure and will talk about whatever I'd like within the rules of the community.
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