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News: Paul & Fred have reached a settlement with Stardock!

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16  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Stardock Litigation Discussion on: August 14, 2018, 04:29:52 pm
We expect players to assume that the Arilou species is related to the Arilou species in SC2. That’s trademark. No ifs or buts.
Not exactly, because if you had instead made an independent foreign film in rural Asia about the struggles of an impoverished farmer, no one would have ever thought for a second that it had anything to do with Star Control. It's not just the name, it's the characters themselves under the same circumstances.
17  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Stardock Litigation Discussion on: August 14, 2018, 08:16:40 am
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Fair enough, but you could have respectfully asked me to just state clearly what my position in the beginning and I would have had no problem laying it out.

I think it was important that lurkers see that you explicilty believe that copyrights are trademarks and that you believe that the two images are substantially similar.  Otherwise, people might really believe I am "Straw manning" your position.

When someone asks what Paul and Fred's fans are mad about and what rights they think they have, I can point them to your post and they can decide for themselves about how reasonable that position is.

But instead of being manipulative you could have just explained that. You could have said "I think it's important for the public understanding for you to clearly illustrate what you think is protected under their copyright" which is already beside that I asked myself and then determined how reasonable it is.
18  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Stardock Litigation Discussion on: August 14, 2018, 03:58:51 am

I just wanted to make sure your argument was made clear for lurkers to read.  I don't want to add anything else to it.
Fair enough, but you could have respectfully asked me to just state clearly what my position is in the beginning and I would have had no problem laying it out.
19  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Stardock Litigation Discussion on: August 14, 2018, 03:54:33 am

You think copyrights cover names.  They don't. That's trademark.


And again I refer you to the concept of a "strawman", seen conveniently explained here on wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straw_man. I don't think stated I support the notion that copyrights cover strictly names, and I've even been consistently in support of suggesting Stardock owns the trademark to "Star Control." Copyrights however, do cover characters and derivatives of those characters.

The images as you present them, in conjunction with the names, also in conjunction with the project being in the same industry, also in conjunction with similar use altogether strongly constitutes copyright infringement as a derivative of Fred & Paul's copyrighted characters, Starock made all four attempts at once when it could have easily gotten away with 3 out of 4. But, by moving forward with the names, you have made your own claims weaker because now it's even easier to construe that those images are derivative of F&P's characters and is quick to draw attention to any random similarity someone might suggest.
20  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Stardock Litigation Discussion on: August 14, 2018, 03:46:40 am
Because accusing a someone of criminal activity, which is what a copyright violation is, is a pretty serious allegation.  It should not be made lightly.  
Nearly every single academic institution in the entire world agrees climate change exists, but that doesn't stop millions of people from choosing to believe the contrary and say that it doesn't, so even a citizen's defiance of actual facts that negatively affects other people doesn't even constitute a claim. All your random opinions are just as opinionated as anyone else's opinions, you're not above that.
21  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Stardock Litigation Discussion on: August 14, 2018, 03:27:13 am

Where is the moderator? Why is this poster being allowed to potentially libel other posters without providing evidence? I thought this rule went both ways, Death999?


Libel is a very specific term with very specific regulations that has little to no legal enforcement on some random internet forum. A judge might literally laugh at you if you tried to file anything for it. The fact that you only created your account today and that you're using a similar fringe term as Frogboy and are inexplicably only in support of Stardock suggests something suspicious.



The evidence of such is already public knowledge. Firstly, there's the artwork that Stardock itself has publicly released along with the beta test of the game, then, there's the claims and visual evidence within the claims showing your own

Let's see the evidence then.   You guys really like to make allegations but always slink away when asked to back it up.

So post it. Show the copyright infringement.  

Should be easy if it's publicly released.

Here you go https://www.stardock.com/games/starcontrol/store It even uses the full term "Arilou Lalee'lay" and then mentions in the story itself that the Chenjesu are crystalline and come from a crystalline world. If you had only used just the names, or, only just similar art, you would probably be able to get away with it and even probably people who overall side with F&P exclusively wouldn't have much of an issue with it, but both together is very easy to construe as an infringement on F&P's copyrighted content through derivative works.

I just can't believe a supposedly neutral forum that has banned posters for making accusations against pro-Fred and Paul posters is allowing posters aligned with Paul and Fred to make clearly libelous statements against another poster while refusing to provide proof. This forum has banned posters for one strike of this rule if they didn't withdrawal the statement and yet rosepatel is allowed to repeat his same unsubstantiated claim repeatedly while refusing to substantiate it when challenged?

I don't see any basis to suggests people are banned for only making pro-Stardock statements, I made plenty myself that are still perfectly visible, and I even told F&P myself that I thought some of Stardock's points were fair, which Frogboy would get to see if he manages to subpoena F&P. Secondly, Death999 isn't here to micromanage everyone's opinions with their own opinion, people are allowed to have discussions, they only interfere if someone is acting toxic.

Actually, it was the 'providing proof of a serious accusation when such proof should be readily available' part. SVS was banned for making an accusation against Elestan about what Elestan had said right in that thread, being told to find an example, being warned to fix it as top priority before posting again, and ignoring that. - D999
22  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Stardock Litigation Discussion on: August 14, 2018, 02:29:47 am
If you want to accuse someone of wrong-doing, it is up to the accuser to provide evidence.

Rose alleged that I posted that we intended to copy the way the Star Control II aliens were expressed in Star Control II.  The onus is on Rose to back that claim up.  Or to be clear enough for you, if you have "the security footage and shards of broken glass" then let's see it.  Otherwise, that libelous comment should be retracted. 


The evidence of such is already public knowledge. Firstly, there's the artwork that Stardock itself has publicly released along with the beta test of the game, then, there's the claims and visual evidence within the claims showing your own correspondence of asking F&P to use their content showing that you not only repeatedly asked to use their work but ultimately stated you would then be refusing their request. You can publicly say it's some giant conspiracy, but in order to file a claim, you at least need some evidence, so the fact that you haven't means you have such minuscule or non-existent evidence for such a claim that not even a lawyer could bring themselves to file it.
23  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Stardock Litigation Discussion on: August 13, 2018, 07:18:00 pm
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Especially when there's multiple forum posts from the CEO saying they're trying to copy without triggering Copyright law. That's like saying you're going to jump on a neighbor's lawn so fast that you can't be caught trespassing, or you're only going to take a few grains of rice so nobody can tell you're stealing. It would work a lot better if you didn't say out loud that's what you're trying to do.

That's the second time I've seen you make this claim.  Please show where I've ever posted that we are trying to "copy" the artwork from SC2.

Next, show what copyright violation exists within Star Control: Origins.  Otherwise, kindly retract your suggestion that Stardock is "stealing" something.

You simply denying something happened doesn't have any bearing on whether it actually happened. If someone breaks into a store and steals a TV, them denying they stole a TV doesn't magically erase the security footage and shards of broken glass.

Using the names of the races in conjunction with an objectively overall derivative artwork of each individual race that function in the same play-style, within the same genre, within the same industry doesn't constitute an infringement on any trademark, it constitutes an infringement on F&P's copyrighted characters themselves. If you chose to use the names for a completely different kind of game or at the least completely different races, you would be legally safe, and if you chose to use the current derivative art but with completely different names, you would have been legally safe, but using both is the most abrasively possible choice and has more than enough grounds to constitute infringement.

ACTUALLY, FROGBOY IS RIGHT TO ASK FOR A CITATION ON THAT. IT SHOULD BE AVAILABLE. - D999
24  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Stardock Litigation Discussion on: August 08, 2018, 11:25:22 pm
That they have to do it by creating DLC packs is in itself further evidence that the use of Arilou in the games is non-trademark use.

Except that they don't because Fred and Paul's copyrighted content is not protected by the Star Control trademark, it's protected by their own completely separated copyright. Stardock using FP's races only makes it more likely that the court will rule Stardock is infringing on FP's copyright.
25  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Making a video to help spread the word about the Frungy Fund and Stardocks greed on: July 28, 2018, 06:05:40 am
Sure, but I find the arrogance and manipulation in some of Stardock's statements to be particularly distasteful...

Brad can say whatever he wants publicly which I can attest to just like F&P can, it's just typical PR for pre-sales which a lot of companies do, and people only take notice because he happens to be very good at it. When you learn how he named planets after people in exchange for pre-sales, it's ingenious since it both does the work of his own team having to come up with names and gets players invested in the game, so it seems like he knows what he's doing.
But ironically, doing all this PR about his personal opinion instead of sticking to Stardock's more defensive expression of what it believes to be factually true would have probably turned more fans against him than F&P ever could have. Stardock doesn't actually have "facts" to support their claim of Fred and Paul's conspiracy to infringe on any of Stardock's ability to exercise its rights, that's why Stardock isn't legally asking for punitive damages, and if Fred and Paul did do it, then how could SCO be so successful already? 

Legally, it seems a very weak argument given the lack of direct evidence and how liberal free speech laws are and so he's very unlikely to win anything on that grounds, so there's no reason to pay much attention to it.
Could he be held liable for abusing the case itself just to get sales? Since he filed similar claims as part of the complaint, if he does it to an extreme extent such that the judge deems it is was his obvious intent, then it would seem that yes, the court could very well hold him liable for punitive damages for those actions and that is part of Fred & Paul's countercomplaint, which is possible but just as unlikely as his own claims of ill-tent from F&P. Free speech covers a lot of things, so the statutory damages would come more from the alleged copyright and/or trademark infringement than anything else.
26  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Making a video to help spread the word about the Frungy Fund and Stardocks greed on: July 28, 2018, 02:27:09 am
There's no reason to take Brad or F&P that seriously as if it's some giant conspiracy, they're not even lawyers. It's classic PR just like how pro wrestlers scream at each other to get the crowd psyched before a fight, except where the crowd doesn't have such a great time and no one cares for the fight.
27  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Making a video to help spread the word about the Frungy Fund and Stardocks greed on: July 27, 2018, 08:07:51 am
Seems like other people have had a fair chance to input, I can't necessarily speak to all the facts as the court needs to determine those, but I would say you should be more cautious before making vindictive claims as it makes the case muddier. You're of course entitled to make a video about your opinion about it, but it may appear biased, and there are already videos on the topic from neutral observers.

What I can offer is my perspective as someone who used to be in a similar situation as you with many questions, so I investigated including by corresponding personally with both parties and neutral observers.


(1) Summary:

Though I was originally more enthused about Stardock's public opinions as I perceived their initiative for making an SC game sooner, I see now the biggest dispute in the case comes down to that the culmination of classic SC characters (the ones Fred and Paul developed) in Stardock's Star Control: Origins are overall too similar to not to be considered derivative of those classic characters and therefore constitutes an infringement on Fred and Paul's copyright, while Fred and Paul used the SC title (trademarked by Stardock) in their Ghost of the Precursors poster and possibly over twitter and their blog that lead others to confuse their relationship with Stardock's Star Control trademark and their SCO game regardless of whether it was intentional or not.
Stardock then claims to justify the separate and newer trademarks to the names of Fred and Paul's races by using them within its game, which on its own would normally be acceptable since trademarks are dependent on current use, but in this case, because the basis for the claim to the trademarks is already an infringement on Fred and Paul's copyrighted work via derivative in the same industry, it is very improbable that Stardock's filing for those newer trademarks will be upheld by the court.

-There was a point where Stardock indicated they were not interested in using Fred and Paul's copyrighted characters when looking at the correspondence offered in Fred and Paul's countercomplaint.
->But, Stardock in the past asked Fred and Paul about using their characters for various projects multiple times, and Fred and Paul rejected Stardock every time.
->At a certain point, Stardock then stated they would no longer conform to Fred and Paul's wishes to avoid using their classic races, and eventually advertised DLC content using derivatives of some of Fred and Paul's characters and publicly stated plans to add all remaining Fred & Paul classic races to the SCO game.


(2) Majority win for Stardock

If Stardock were to win the majority of their claims, from what I see, it wouldn't necessarily be the end of the Ghost of the Precursors project, it would only put constraints on Fred and Paul's original plans.

In the worst case scenario for people who side with Fred and Paul,
->Stardock would win the trademarks to the names of Fred and Paul's characters and then refuse to license the right to use those names to Fred and Paul, preventing Fred and Paul from using them in commerce.
->In a more likely scenario, since one of Stardock's claims in their complaint is trademark infringement via confusion due to the original Ghost of the Precursors project, it would more likely lead the judge to decide that Fred and Paul will have to rename their game and/or pay damages for the trademark infringement.
->If Stardock were to win the majority of their claims, then it would be possible the current UQM as we know it would be shut down in some way on a similar basis as mentioned before, though not a guarantee either way as Stardock has made no legally binding promises.
->Fred and Paul would have the option to dispute Stardock's claims to the trademarks to the names of the classic SC races at the trademark office, but Fred and Paul may not have the money to dispute those claims and would already have to pay damages for the SC trademark infringement.


(3) Majority win for Fred and Paul

For Fred and Paul's side of the case, if they won a majority of their claims, then the worst for Stardock would be
->Stardock would lose the trademark to Star Control which seems highly improbable, and in that case most likely it would be ruled anyone could use it, including Stardock's competitors.
->Stardock would have to completely remove any derivative of Fred and Paul's races, by name, image and story.
->Stardock would pay damages for unfairly (legally unfair, not ethically) claiming the trademarks.


(4) Balanced ruling for both parties

To me, the most likely and most moderate scenario arising from this dispute seems to be:
->Stardock will have to change the races that Fred and Paul claim infringe on their own copyrighted characters, though not remove all of the content originally relating to them.
->Fred and Paul will have to rename their game due to the trademark confusion having already spread to the public, though not pay damages because they did not use the alleged infringement in commerce.
->50/50 toss up that Stardock will pay for damages.
->Stardock will definitely retain their Star Control trademark.
->Fred and Paul will definitely validate their copyright.

If you're wondering why both parties bother debating these highly probable or improbable scenarios, it's apparently because they're legally obligated to file such claims to the court if they want to mention them at all in any way for any grounds for any of their arguments. The legal representatives for both sides don't necessarily expect to win every claim and likely both advised their respective clients against some of the audacious claims. Fred and Paul will win some of their claims and Stardock will win the others.

So most likely, there is no reason for supporters of either side to panic, there are just a lot of aggressive opinions floating around.

And additionally, both parties can still agree to settle on their own terms at any time before the trial.
28  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Support Dogar and Kazon, legal defense fund is up! on: July 26, 2018, 06:27:33 am
No, no, no, no... I wouldn't stoop so low to accuse anyone of being that guy.

Shepard was the username that was the correct way of spelling "Zelnick" on the Discord. Not "Zelnik" without the 'C'.

That "Zelnik" was "DreadCassowary" on Discord and was banned just as fast.

Tch! Such a shame. I figured ban evasion was enough reason to get rid of Chatty Cathy here. No such luck.

I don't see that you're providing coherent reasoning for disputing points I make in regards to the case, but I do admit I've been posting more often than what it seems like many others have. The reason I did however is specifically because I investigated and I wanted to bring certain information to light that may have been overlooked as an expression of my perspective, but looking back I recognize now that even in that case it was excessive, so I apologize for that. It seems I was perhaps monopolizing the conversation and I will refrain from posting for a while.
29  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Support Dogar and Kazon, legal defense fund is up! on: July 26, 2018, 06:13:40 am
So I was literally just about to give Brad the benefit of the doubt and suggest he more likely wasn't being emotional but simply was expressing what he understood to be true, and then ironically he strongly supported my original opinion of his emotional bias by banning or having someone ban me from his discord chat room.

Can't say I blame them if you act the same way there as you do here. On this forum, you're 50% of the forum activity right now. It used to be the Ur-Quan Masters forum, and now it's CommanderShepard's living room. I've griped to Death 999 over PM, and as has always been the case around here, they take a painfully laissez faire view of forum moderation.

Even if it were true that I was 50% of the "activity," I don't see that there is anything wrong with that on its own. I can have my own opinion on the subject and share it. If Death999 thinks I am breaking any forum rules, they are free to tell me and I will respect their request.

Whoa, is this Zelnick too? I had confirmed that CmdrShep is the same guy as that horrible "Fake McCoy" troll poster from a few years back based on the email address he has on his profile. What are you using to determine that he's also Zelnik, exactly?

I wouldn't be so quick to make that assumption. Someone on discord suggested I was some other poster here named "Zelnik" but the reason I chose "Zelnick" is just because it happens to be a name I saw on the UQM game. I also made this account on a public server in an area where there are other people interested in the SC games, so I can't attest to that other point. From my perspective I've given a fair perspective on the issue after putting much effort into investigating it. If people want to disagree with that, they are certainly entitled to.
30  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Support Dogar and Kazon, legal defense fund is up! on: July 26, 2018, 06:01:54 am
He just banned you for being two-faced, "Zelnick".

But that excuse doesn't make sense.

One exactly wouldn't take it kindly to be talked down to behind their back while saying something different to their face.

I don't generally take such actions to mean kindness either, I feel he consistently mislead me by intentionally neglecting evidence that would have questioned some of his claims, which to me, indicates he was not giving a fair assessment, or otherwise bias, and possibly to the extent of propaganda and the defamation of Fred and Paul. In terms of the documents, I don't see that there is a claim for defamation in Fred and Paul's counter-complaint, it would just be my opinion as a possible effect, but there is a claim for punitive damages in the countercomplaint.
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