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

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Author Topic: NEWS: Ghosts of the Precursors is coming!  (Read 9419 times)
Mormont
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Re: NEWS: Ghosts of the Precursors is coming!
« Reply #60 on: February 23, 2018, 08:52:23 pm »

Brad has been an open book ever since this started. P&F have not showed any interest in interacting with anybody except their lawyers.
If they would have just once came onto this forum, like they used to long ago, and explained everything that's got them riled up instead of bottling it in
and staying in their own private echo-chamber maybe they or we could gain some insight into what the hell is actually going on.
Brad has not been an an open book, just very vocal about broadcasting his highly selective version of events.  He has gone around for months propping himself up as the adult in the room who just wanted to talk things out without mentioning that his company had already sued them, and with some ridiculous claims.  (I found out there was a lawsuit back in December when I accidentally stumbled on it by a legal site, but decided to stay quiet and see how the news played out).

Their last blog post of 2017 was December 4; Stardock filed their suit December 8. I can understand why F&P would want to save their ammunition until they had everything in systematic legal form. Brad is also not technically a party to the lawsuit (Stardock is), which may give him a bit more freedom to speak publicly. Also, they have always been quick on answering my e-mails.

(snip)

Basically… Frogboy? WTF. Until this you looked like a fairly reasonable party here, just asking and being denied permission to use something, and going ahead and (mostly?) not using it, while using what you did.

TFB's complaint has one odd bit too, though:

(snip)

The only TFB action that seems off was using box art for promoting their material, which they shouldn't have done, as that was from Accolade in the first place, and I don't see anywhere that transferred that copyright or granted a license (and it wasn't a trademark, so even its expiry would not achieve this). There was plenty of in-game material they had undeniable rights to, that they could have used.

One of these infringements seems substantially greater than the other.
Not a lawyer, but having read the documents I agree with Death here. Both sides have their weak points (the argument on the trademark expiring seems iffy), but overall Stardock's complaint is absurd and F&P's case seems stronger.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2018, 10:34:14 pm by Mormont » Logged
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Re: NEWS: Ghosts of the Precursors is coming!
« Reply #61 on: February 23, 2018, 09:26:21 pm »

Quote
Both sides have their weak points (the argument on the trademark expiring seems iffy), but overall Stardock's complaint is absurd and F&P's case seems much stronger.

You think Stardock's complaint about Paul and Fred claiming Ghosts is a direct sequel to Star Control II and promoting it as such as absurd? 

I'd recommend reading Stardock's response here: https://forums.starcontrol.com/487690/

We spent months trying to work out a co-existence agreement.  In response, they filed a DMCA take down on Steam and GOG for not just Star Control 1 and 2 but also 3 which they have no copyright claims to whatsoever. 

And it's a little ridiculous to be attacking Stardock over lawyer-speak as to what constitutes a "Creator" when Paul and Fred made a press release publicly accusing me, a non-party to any of this, of being a thief. 

You say that you've read both cases.  Did you notice exhibit E?

https://www.screencast.com/t/uixGUE0h

That was from 2013.  The games were already being sold then.   Stardock acquired the rights discussed in the email. Paul acknowledged this and for 5 or so years things went smoothly.   

I just want to make a Star Control game and we have done everything we can to respect Paul and Fred.  But if they're willing to DMCA games they had nothing to do with (even if you believe that the licensing agreement has expired, that doesn't give them DMCA power over Star Control 3) what would stop them from doing the same thing to Star Control: Origins on release? 

We've spent the last 4 years making the new Star Control. It's really good.  It doesn't use any of the characters and story even though, as that email makes clear, we acquired the publishing rights which granted us a perpetual license to their characters.  They didn't tell us we didn't have the rights to use those aliens, they asked us not to use them. In front of witnesses.  None of this was in dispute until this past Fall when they decided to do Ghosts of the Precursors.

So what would you have us do? They won't talk to us. I offered to talk to them on the phone several times and got their lawyer instead.

When two parties can't work it out privately, they seek a third-party to litigate it. That's where it is now.  The lawyers will figure it out.   

I think this will be my last post on this community.   For the last few years I've tried to be supportive of Star Control and I am the person who created this thread celebrating Paul and Fred's new game. 
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Re: NEWS: Ghosts of the Precursors is coming!
« Reply #62 on: February 23, 2018, 10:07:04 pm »

Also, they have always been quick on answering my e-mails.

This is meant to be a joke unless it could work: Why don't you act as a mediator to see what the hell is going on since you seem to be able to get ahold of them?
Maybe if either side knew each other's true intentions this could be resolved.

P&F want Stardock to stop selling SC1/2 on Steam. We got that.
They also don't want them using SC1/2 characters in Origins. That's a given.

But why announce it publicly as if Stardock were doing these things maliciously when they could have simply emailed Brad and said, "Hey, could you do us a favor?"
Then they try to DMCA the games off both GOG and Steam.

They then go on to file a suit because in one image of an early Tywom comm screen you could see a Spathi Eluder and Ur-Quan Dreadnought hanging from the ceiling.
Because references and homages are definitely not ok. Says the guys who designed a game with tons of homages and references.

And that the in-game ship creator could be used to recreate previous Star Control ships.
A bit late to that boat because those ships have been recreated in other games long before Origins, and in other Stardock games. (Sins of a Solar Empire: Seven Deadly Sins mod)
Why Origins' ship creator makes this different, ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

All I know is that Stardock started Origins because of their love for Star Control and had no intentions to piss off Paul and Fred or the fandom, but somehow managed piss them all off anyways.

It feels like someone snuck up behind P&F and deceitfully said that Brad called them both stupid cunts and ran away laughing like Dick Dastardly's dog Muttley.


____


EDIT:

Yes, and all the counter-suit nonsense.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2018, 10:12:11 pm by Serosis » Logged

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Re: NEWS: Ghosts of the Precursors is coming!
« Reply #63 on: February 23, 2018, 10:21:19 pm »

Still reading the cmplaint.
Now I know where to send Christmas cards.... ;)the fina

Otherwise I sincerely hope thta this will not throw spanners imto the cogwheels of both projects.

The caes are all weak.
And the judge/jury will not be happy to have to do a case like this.
But they are final mediators. expensive ones, too.


edit: hmm, in paragraph 20, the complaint explains what Stardock purchased in Ataris bankruptcy, and refers to an asset purchase agreement of 18 July 2013, Exhibit A.
But Exhibit A seems to be the IP Assignment Agreement, which itself refers to the Purchase Agreement (last lines of first paragraph of Exhibit A). exhibit A is signed, but has no date ("closing date"). Wrong document attached? Exhibit D also seems to be IP Assignmemt Agreement...
Because I want to know what the bankruptcy deal entailed.
And the contract of 1988 is not attached. FF and PR have attached it (counterclaim Exhibits 1-3, see paragraphs 5, 10a-10c,) but it's not part of the list of docs I printed...
Seems like an expensive way for Stardock to get copies of the agreement. I'm wondering if Atari was ever able to provide them with proof they could sell what they did sell to Stardock. I was expecting this to be the first Exhibits in the Complaint.

Because all will hinge on what's written there.
If the IP was written there as Reiche's(and/or Ford's), then Stardock is on very weak basisrigjt from the start, and they can only rely on a finding of unfair use of the trademark. But if the IP was split in the original agreement(and its amendments), then it will all hinge ony very minor details.

I'm still at square one regarding making an opinion on who's right.
But I tend to lean towards FF's and PR's position.
A car designer having designed a Ferrari will always be associated with that brand, even when he later designs FIATs.
I find that a fair use of the brand name. Personal opinion.


Edit: in paragraph 18 first mention is made of Accolade owning all classic Star Control copyrights, pursuant to the 1988 agreement.
As the game was developed without FF and PR. Here it starts mixing the classic StarControl and Star Control II with Star Control 3, where the situation is different than in 1 and 2. This seems to be an attempt to distract the jury/judge, and expand all borders to the borders of the widest property, which is SC3....  in paragraph 14, "classic SC games" is defind as all three games. (SC, SC II, and SC3).
Only in paragraph 28 is SC copyrights defined to limit to SC3 copyrights.
Yet I feel the complaint is trying to encroach beyond the border of the actual copyright.

Well. I'll see how it plays out. Until then, I'm still waiting for SC:O and GotP.

further edit: (to keep new posts on topic)
Complaint paragraph 52: the GOG sales agreement was part of the contracts Stardock bought, and listed in the assets when Atari went bankrupt. I distinctly remember having seen that as part of the agreements. Yet I miss all references to that in the Complaint. Hence why the Asset Purchase Agreement is not attached? Should've been listed there...
Again, paragraph 52 expands the scope of the Star Control copyrights beyond SC3. The lawyers seem to be mixing it all up....
Also, Exhibit M does not refer to provide further games for free under the Star control mark. (paragraph 54) It refers only to UQM.

paragraph 55: the name is not the goodwill. If I hear a new publisher/developer is behind a sequel with the same name, I am cautious (after my desaster with StarControl 3, and the very disruptive ICOM online gameplay), since then my goodwill is with the developer/programmers...
I know, for marketing the name is more important, as it catches attention of the relevant target group faster.

paragraph 57: from what I've read, previous Stardock attempts to resurrect older series has crated the negative reports for SC:Origins, and not the announcement done by FF and PR3. I cannot remember a comment from them negative for Origins, besides that UQM is better than SC2 on Steam or GOG.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2018, 11:44:58 pm by Krulle » Logged
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Re: NEWS: Ghosts of the Precursors is coming!
« Reply #64 on: February 23, 2018, 10:37:21 pm »

I think this thread needs to be locked. It has long since been derailed from its original topic.
Which was to celebrate the coming of a sequel to The Ur-Quan Masters.
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Re: NEWS: Ghosts of the Precursors is coming!
« Reply #65 on: February 23, 2018, 10:53:17 pm »

Split off into a new thread, then?


I'm still celebrating the coming of two new StarControl games....
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Re: NEWS: Ghosts of the Precursors is coming!
« Reply #66 on: February 23, 2018, 11:05:39 pm »

Yes, let's get this thread back on track.

And... I guess that guy Zelnik can start another Stardock bashing thread over in Starbase Cafe.
Good luck competing with Zanthius.

Do you think through all these legal precedings that P&F had time to work on Ghosts?
Would be nice if they had a website, Discord, or even a thread on here with updates to their progress.

You think they're going to repurpose the UQM code or start on a new engine?
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Re: NEWS: Ghosts of the Precursors is coming!
« Reply #67 on: February 23, 2018, 11:18:26 pm »

Idk.

I'm hoping for a new engine, but that'll take a long while.
Since I feel, that their project scope is intended to remain small, and just tell the story they're coming up with, doing something hardcoded like UQM, and not freely changeable like Origins, seems more likely.
I'm therefore expecting a kind of Project 3014 (?), shifting (or maybe even enlarging) the map of UQM, and go from there.

Would be much cheaper as a project, not according to modern gaming standards, but depends on who they're catering for: just the hardcore fans and supply a continuation of the story, or a real new game alluring new players too, which would require a new engine.

I can live with both.
A simple, out of modern touch, game with a continuation,
or a full blown game, which will take very long to develop, and will require a rather large team, and not just those two.

But hmestly, I think they're still writing the story, and shifting through their original notes, as far as they survived.
Project scope comes once they are contend with the story.
But as SC2/UQM showed, a lot of story can be told in a very variable way using conversation trees.
For feel, I would even prefer a game like that.
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Re: NEWS: Ghosts of the Precursors is coming!
« Reply #68 on: February 23, 2018, 11:41:46 pm »

That's one of the things I liked about Project 6014 was they used the same map but shifted the focus.

As far as engines that are not UQM I could see them taking advantage of Unity, heck, if everything gets resolved amicably they could use Origins as a platform.
Brad would be over-the-moon if that were the case.

But Unity seems like the most logical starting point and possibly porting some of the code from UQM over like the Melee code so they don't have to reinvent their wheels.
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Re: NEWS: Ghosts of the Precursors is coming!
« Reply #69 on: February 23, 2018, 11:48:14 pm »

I just hope they'll be able to create new ships and have them balanced near as well as the new ships in SC2 were compared to the SC1 ships.

(I am using the trademark name here, because the games were published as such first.
It won't be easy to refer correctly to the games otherwise, even if I want to avoid using the trademark now.)
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Re: NEWS: Ghosts of the Precursors is coming!
« Reply #70 on: February 24, 2018, 12:42:52 am »

That will definitely be one of the most difficult bits.

Though they might not need to come up with too many new ships this time around. Depending on how their story works out.
But than again to get a proper adventure out of it there should be quite a few new alien races.

I'm curious about the Keel-Verezy comment from the original blog post. I wonder how they'll fit in.
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Re: NEWS: Ghosts of the Precursors is coming!
« Reply #71 on: February 24, 2018, 03:22:33 am »

I think this will be my last post on this community.   For the last few years I've tried to be supportive of Star Control and I am the person who created this thread celebrating Paul and Fred's new game. 


I for one am sorry to see that, although I totally understand why (assuming your motives are honest) you might be feeling a bit beleaguered right now.  There's nothing wrong with just not commenting further until after the legal dispute is over.  Assuming and hoping that it does resolve such that both games still get made, it would be great to have you around afterward.
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Re: NEWS: Ghosts of the Precursors is coming!
« Reply #72 on: February 26, 2018, 03:54:03 pm »

Also, they have always been quick on answering my e-mails.

This is meant to be a joke unless it could work: Why don't you act as a mediator to see what the hell is going on since you seem to be able to get ahold of them?
Maybe if either side knew each other's true intentions this could be resolved.
They're not going to use a random unqualified fan as a mediator, haha. I don't have any legal training and they haven't shared any legal details with me. There are lawyers whose specialty is mediating suits, and for all we know F&P and Stardock might hire one.

That said, why don't you e-mail them? If you're polite they'll probably answer. I'm sure they would be interested to see the modding you've done with UQM too (not joking).
« Last Edit: February 26, 2018, 04:04:15 pm by Mormont » Logged
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Re: NEWS: Ghosts of the Precursors is coming!
« Reply #73 on: February 26, 2018, 05:01:36 pm »

Nah, I don't think now is the right time to start contacting them with my fanboy projects.
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Re: NEWS: Ghosts of the Precursors is coming!
« Reply #74 on: February 27, 2018, 06:40:45 pm »

Quote
Stardock filed a complaint in Federal court against us, personally, alleging among other things that we are not actually the creators of Star Control.  This is news to us!  Are we clones of the original Fred and Paul, just now learning of our squelchy vat birth?

https://www.dogarandkazon.com/blog/2018/2/22/stardock-claims-we-are-not-the-creators-of-star-control-sues-us-wtf

Maybe I shouldn't joke about this, but I always had this theory that the Arilou transmitted Star Control 2 to you telepathically:



But I guess the theory just originated from a general I distrust I had in the ability of humans to create anything meaningful. Now I am more convinced that humans actually have the potential to create meaningful things (if they are properly nurtured).
« Last Edit: February 27, 2018, 07:45:10 pm by Zanthius » Logged
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