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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: Untitled UQM Sequel's new name discussion on: June 13, 2019, 03:33:55 pm
I see two really fertile paths.

UR QUAN (CONTINUATION)
  • Ur Quan Odyssey
  • Ur Quan Aftermath
  • Ur Quan Exodus
  • Ur Quan Insurgents
  • Ur Quan Origins (LOL)

STAR (CONTINUATION)
  • Star Odyssey
  • Star Liberator
  • Star Succession
  • Star Continuum
  • Star Revolution

My last good idea is to call it "The New Alliance of Free Stars".

In all cases, it's easy for fans of UQM/SC2 to connect the title to the original series. But obviously, you have to consider how the titles are received by newcomers.

2  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Stardock Litigation Discussion on: June 12, 2019, 10:39:13 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.
3  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Stardock Litigation Discussion on: June 12, 2019, 06:14:23 am
Paul and Fred agree not to sue, if Stardock can stand by their promise, and allow P&F to review Stardock's game and DLC to make sure they keep their word.

Brad says that effectively means that P&F will give SC:O their seal of approval, and are effectively consultants on the project.

Paul and Fred shuffle around uncomfortably. But have no other substantial objections.

And that creates the license: Stardock pays P&F a small licensing fee. Stardock can include precursors, observers, and info-brokers, and other superficial similarities between aliens and lore (Rainbow Worlds, Tzo Crystals, dimensions "above" and "below", SC2-style hyperspace, Commander Hayes, etc.).

Stardock throws Paul and Fred in the credits for SCO, and pushes it to every media outlet that will mention it.[/i]

Just quoting myself here and giving myself a pat on the back, and also pointing out the second last statement where I missed the real solutoin. It doesn't seem that Stardock gets some SC2 races. It seems Stardock, instead, gets Paul to fully consult on the creation of new races.

Stardock begged Paul and Fred to work with stardock for years, then sued P&F, until P&F offered to work with Stardock. It's a pretty shitty tactic that it succeeded.
4  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Stardock Litigation Discussion on: June 11, 2019, 08:20:54 pm
Keeping in mind we're about to find out very very soon... I'll speculate just for the sake of the entertaining discussion.

Which likely means they've now seized some of the SC2 aliens for their game, gained some kind of financial interest in P&F's new game, or both.

Just to be clear, my wager is on the former. Stardock would have little incentive to settle in a way which would leave it open to another lawsuit, so I suspect that Stardock's past sales of the Classic games (and the purportedly derivative SCO, for that matter) have been legitimized and Stardock's use of R/F's characters -- including, without limitation, the Ur-Quan, the Orz, the Yehat, the Spathi, the Syreen, the Arilou Lalee'lay, the Chenjesu, the Melnorme (f/k/a Mael-Num), the Precursors, Commander Hayes, and the Earthling Cruiser -- and other IP has been retroactively licensed by R/F.

This is my bet too. I imagine the negotiations going something like this:


Paul and Fred want all the SC2 similarities gone from Stardock's games. That Stardock is in the legal wrong.

Brad says that there are no SC2 similarities. That it's a matter of interpretation. That P&F are in the legal wrong.

Paul and Fred say their main goal is to protect their universe, so that they can have control over their own story.

Brad says his goal is the same. He doesn't want any more DMCA threats over Star Control: Origins.

Paul and Fred say they can't promise that, because they don't know what Stardock is going to add.

Brad says he doesn't need to overtly add the Orz or the Ur Quan. But that precursors/observers/etc. are fair game. And it's too late to remove them now.

Paul and Fred begrudgingly accept the similarities to SC2's hyperspace, let alone precursors, the melnorme, and the arilou. Need assurances it stops there.

Brad agrees to go (barely) much further with SCO's similarities to SC2, as long as P&F don't sue for existing similarities.

Paul and Fred agree not to sue, if Stardock can stand by their promise, and allow P&F to review Stardock's game and DLC to make sure they keep their word.

Brad says that effectively means that P&F will give SC:O their seal of approval, and are effectively consultants on the project.

Paul and Fred shuffle around uncomfortably. But have no other substantial objections.

And that creates the license: Stardock pays P&F a small licensing fee. Stardock can include precursors, observers, and info-brokers, and other superficial similarities between aliens and lore (Rainbow Worlds, Tzo Crystals, dimensions "above" and "below", SC2-style hyperspace, Commander Hayes, etc.).

Stardock throws Paul and Fred in the credits for SCO, and pushes it to every media outlet that will mention it.
5  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Stardock Litigation Discussion on: June 11, 2019, 01:24:10 am
I'm really not sure at this point. I really doubt that Stardock would let the terms of the settlement go public unless it was a win for them. Which likely means they've now seized some of the SC2 aliens for their game, gained some kind of financial interest in P&F's new game, or both.
6  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Stardock Litigation Discussion on: June 08, 2019, 09:10:17 pm
I'm sure the parties are going to say SOMETHING. It just might be heavily scripted and edited for confidentiality. The early silence has me thinking that confidentiality was indeed worked into the settlement agreement, and that they're going to both be on a tight script when we finally hear something.

If that's the case, we might never know the details of the settlement. But things to watch for.

  • Which Trademark applications get dropped? Which Trademark oppositions get dropped?
  • Does SCO get edited to reduce the SC2 similarities? Does SCO get edited to add MORE overt SC2 similarities?
  • How do further Star Control / Ur Quan spinoffs get announced by each party?
  • Do the classic games go on sale? Do they go open source? (This is the most likely area where money changes hands. And we might never hear about it.)
7  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Stardock Litigation Discussion on: June 08, 2019, 06:32:55 am
Anyone wanna place bets about what the terms were, before the terms leak?

Pretty much betting on status quo. Copyrights in SC1 and SC2 safe with P&F. Trademark and original copyrightable elements of SC3 with Stardock. Stardock withdraws all Trademark applications for the SC2 alien names. Stardock doesn't sell the classic games on Steam or GOG.
8  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Stardock Litigation Discussion on: October 31, 2018, 12:37:30 am
There's another thing I've been thinking about. As we all know, SCO has been released as a "Crimson Corporation production". So if Stardock holds on to the Crimson Corporation trademark, and F&P release GotP with the fictional Crimson Corporation in it, will Stardock be able to sue F&P for defamation (since the fictional Crimson Corporation are ugly villains)? Will the fact that SC2/UQM used the fictional Crimson Corporation long before Stardock registered the trademark protect F&P from that lawsuit?

Not defamation. In Trademark it's often called "Tarnishment".

If "The Gap" appears on a character's sweatshirt, maybe that's fair use. (In practice, I wouldn't need to pay "The Gap". They'd probably pay me for the product placement.)

If I feature "The Gap" in my movie as an evil, albeit fictionalized, corporation that's destroying the environment and sexually harassing employees, they'd have a case for tarnishment. Basically, you're destroying the goodwill that has been established in "The Gap" Trademark.

Not saying the case would succeed. But there's a case.
9  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Stardock Litigation Discussion on: October 30, 2018, 05:36:55 am
I'm seeing a pattern. If Wardell thanks you for poking a hole in one of his pernicious falsehoods, it's because he needs your help convincing the room that it's all a big misunderstanding.
10  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Stardock Litigation Discussion on: October 27, 2018, 09:50:31 pm
Brad's response to that was something along the lines of "This is an amazing post."

Keep in mind Stardock's response to being outed for some of their more insidious actions on this very forum.

Stardock privately said, in May, that "the UQM forum may need to go away".
Stardock sent letters asking this community to acknowledge that Stardock owns the "Ur Quan Masters" Trademark.
Which would give them authority to revoke the domain name.
Stardock then sends multiple letters, adding deadlines, and more stringent language.
After this community refused, Stardock privately shares that refusal with his supporters, and suggests again that "this vile little community will be eliminated".

When the duplicity is revealed, his reaction?

Greetings!

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

If you think he really means to add clarity to the topic, and he really appreciates being outed by this community, then I want to tell you about a Nigerian prince who could use your help.

Look closer. Stardock is jumping into the forums for PR. For their own self interest. Their actions tell you the real story.

For your story about GC2... I don't have any context for why Stardock jumped into your thread and called it "an amazing post". But in hindsight, you might ask yourself if his motive was to actually do anything meaningful based on your criticism, or if his motive was to stem any further criticism, and turn the commentary into "wow, it seems like they're really listening".

If I've learned anything in the past year, Stardock hears us, but they are most assuredly not listening.
11  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Paul and Fred discuss SC2's development on: October 25, 2018, 01:23:53 am
The actual journalist is aware of the lawsuit for sure. And is one of few people who have spoken directly with both parties to the lawsuit.

https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2018/02/star-control-countersuit-aims-to-invalidate-stardocks-trademarks/

I suppose it's equal opportunity when they bring both sides on to talk about big moments in their history. You could even say it's neutral that they let P&F tell their story about SC1 and SC2.

But when Ars Technica says "we've scored big: we tracked down the creators of the Star Control series—none other than Fred Ford and Paul Reiche III", they probably knew that was a shot across Stardock's bow. It's an obvious point to everyone in the world (except Stardock and their lawyers after September 2017).

Is Art Technica biased against Stardock? Or does reality have a bias against Stardock?

Let's not spend too much airtime on this. There's another thread for lawsuit stuff, and this video is a great story that should be enjoyed on its own merits.
12  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Paul and Fred discuss SC2's development on: October 24, 2018, 04:32:51 pm
Really enjoyed this. You can tell there's a lot of really interesting ideas that never made it into the final game. I wonder how many of those were because they weren't fun or interesting in practice, and how many were just too tricky to implement. I wonder if P&F have any more ideas up their sleeves, 30 years later.
13  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Stardock Litigation Discussion on: October 23, 2018, 12:56:02 am
here brad says they've sold over 50,000 copies...i highly doubt that...
https://forums.starcontrol.com/491316/page/1/#replies

It's odd that in the same thread, he says GC3 sold 60k units in a month. Elemental sold 82k in two weeks. That's more sales than GC3, and yet Elemental led to layoffs.

It's hard to make sense of how well SC:O is doing. But I suspect, regardless of sales, Stardock has the money to cover any shortfall.
14  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Stardock Litigation Discussion on: October 22, 2018, 09:48:53 pm
I don't wonder. It seems completely obvious. I'd be stunned at anyone who still thinks otherwise.
15  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Stardock Litigation Discussion on: October 21, 2018, 05:16:31 pm
Distinguish between a reason and a rationalization. Thinking people usually do things for reasons. A rationalization is what you do after you've already decided to do something, and need to justify it to yourself and others.
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