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News: Celebrating 30 years of Star Control 2 - The Ur-Quan Masters

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Author Topic: UQM Legalities  (Read 1674 times)
Zebranky food
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UQM Legalities
« on: October 16, 2005, 06:38:10 am »

What are the legalities that stand around UQM and the whole UQM/StarControl universe? I understand that the following is true, so please correct me if I am wrong:

1: The game title StarControl is still privately owned, and therefore it cannot be used without the permission of whatever entity owns that name. However, the phrase Star Control, as used in UQM the game for the army of the old Alliance of Free Stars, can still legally be used by that game.

2: The source code and data for the 3DO version of the game formerly known as StarControl 2 has been released under the GPL. This license, effectively, means that any codebase that uses any code from UQM must fully release the source code to the public, even if that codebase were used to build a project that was being sold.

So, given the above, here are my questions:

A: Does the GPL extend to the game data of UQM as well, such that attempting to use that data in another project (possibly in the SC/UQM universe) is not possible without releasing the source code? Even if no source code from UQM is used in that project?

B: Is it possible to use the UQM setting and universe for another game and sell this game legally without having to pay various licensing fees? Was the copyright to the setting of UQM included in the UQM GPL release, or is that still the property of the original developers?

C: If the SC/UQM universe is part of the UQM GPL release, does that also mean that use of this universe's material would have to adhere to the source code release statute of the GPL?
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Re: UQM Legalities
« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2005, 07:07:58 am »

The trademark "Star Control" is still owned, for "computer game software, and manuals supplied as a unit therewith" (see

The copyright of the game data is (see the AUTHORS file):
The content -- voiceovers, dialogue, graphics, and music -- are copyright (C) 1992, 1993, 2002 Toys for Bob, Inc. or their respective creators.  The content may be copied freely as part of a distribution of The Ur-Quan Masters.  All other rights are reserved.
Side Note: The content will become more freely redistributable and reusable in later releases.

As for the setting, I don't know how that works under (American) copyright law. We at least have permission from TFB to use it for UQM and non-commercial fan spin-offs.


“When Juffo-Wup is complete
when at last there is no Void, no Non
when the Creators return
then we can finally rest.”
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Re: UQM Legalities
« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2005, 12:33:47 pm »

Is "Smaug" the dragon from Tolkien's The Hobbit ?  it's very familiar but I can't put my finger on it

"You boldly enter our space! Approach this Dreadnought as though it were a recreation base and then play the dumb hominid?
Who do you take us for, Captain... Spathi!?"

Re: UQM Legalities
« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2005, 04:30:59 pm »

He is the last of the old dragons, only desendants of the Greater Dragons (IIRC) who were the only ones with the ability to destroy the rings by consuming them, and then not the one ring.
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