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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 9506 times)
rosepatel
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Re: NEWS: Ghosts of the Precursors is coming!
« Reply #90 on: February 28, 2018, 06:28:35 am »

The root word of "publish" is public. What do you think is going to happen when two different parties both try to publish the same games on different stores? It was going to play out in public no matter what. They aren't just arguing about money either, where the lawyers can let events play out and just argue behind the scenes about the dollars. They're arguing about who has the right to proceed with their creative plans. Surprise. Both parties are going to make a lot of conflicting announcements.

(As an aside, that's not how a lawsuit for Trademark infringement works. Or juries, for that matter.)
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Serosis
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Re: NEWS: Ghosts of the Precursors is coming!
« Reply #91 on: February 28, 2018, 06:41:34 am »

Quote
They're arguing about who has the right to proceed with their creative plans.

...Ummm, no, they're not.

P&F may think that's what it's about but Stardock were all for Ghosts and were just as excited as everyone else.
That is until P&F started making bitchy blog posts and filing DMCAs.

The dates of the legal filings show as much. The lawyers were completely shackled until P&F started fighting dirty.
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rosepatel
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Re: NEWS: Ghosts of the Precursors is coming!
« Reply #92 on: February 28, 2018, 06:43:38 am »

You realize the DMCA happened because they saw their copyrighted games being sold without their authorization? That they approached Atari under the same issue, and Atari quickly conceded the issue? By the same token, this might have been avoided, or at least delayed, if Stardock hadn't tried to package and sell an anniversary edition of the old games to help promote their new game.

You're also ignoring the post that Stardock made trying to diminish their role as authors, made before Stardock tried to sell the old games, and conveniently cited over and over now that the legal shit has hit the fan.

Playing "who started it" is stupid when you have a bonafide disagreement about who has the right to do what.



« Last Edit: February 28, 2018, 06:52:51 am by rosepatel » Logged
Serosis
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Re: NEWS: Ghosts of the Precursors is coming!
« Reply #93 on: February 28, 2018, 06:49:38 am »

And that DMCA triggered a lawyer flood. Which Brad has repeatedly said that if they had talked to him, that he would have taken the games down on their behalf.

Also editing your post to add more things to it after I've responded is a bit of a dick move.
« Last Edit: February 28, 2018, 06:54:32 am by Serosis » Logged

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rosepatel
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Re: NEWS: Ghosts of the Precursors is coming!
« Reply #94 on: February 28, 2018, 06:55:49 am »

If you stole my car, would it be my lawyers who started it, or the fact that you stole it? Or the fact that you thought you had the right to take it because you thought it was your car? Or the fact that I thought you might think it's your car, so I pre-emptively announce to everyone "hey, that guy might try to say this is his car, but it's really not".

Again, it's silly to talk about what "triggered" it. They had conflicting rights, or at least conflicting understandings of those rights. It was bound to go this way.
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Krulle
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Re: NEWS: Ghosts of the Precursors is coming!
« Reply #95 on: February 28, 2018, 11:04:06 am »

First of all thanks for stilll hanging out and answering questions.
Despite the legal situation.

Quote
Honest question, no sarcasm. Why do you even want to call it a Star Control game?

The reason is that we wanted to create a very specific game.

How many games these days actually brag about "randomly generated quests"?  How many of you now wince that that sort of thing?

At its core, what does Star Control mean to you? Honestly?  To me, back in Fall of 1992 what it meant to me is that I was playing a game, for the first time ever, where I felt like I was captain of a ship going on adventures with hand crafted stories.
Thank you. Still looking forward to Origins.



[...]  Ask yourselves, how would you even go about it in a world with SC3? How do you undo space cows? It's just so messy.  Only Paul and Fred could clean that up was our thinking at the time.  Let them return someday to their story.   We offered to help them when that day came whether we were involved or not.
I actually liked the idea of space cows. I found that a pretty unique answer to how a pan-galactic empire could disappear without many traces.
While they messed up certain things totally, I also liked others. But they simply closed too many storylines.
SC2 was such a success, because the story had more open ends than endings. Everybody filled it out differently in their minds.
And SC3 simply tried to solve as many mysteries as possible. Which finally ruined it all.
On top of that SC3 had a kind of rubbish gameplay: very often I just sat in my ship waiting for a new found colony to produce the fuel I needed to fly elsewhere.
So I planted a colony in nearly EVERY system I visited.


Quote from: Frogboy
Now, not using the aliens and lore diminishes the value.  If the cost had been a lot higher, it wouldn't be worth it.  But for $300k or so? Yea, that's a no-brainer to have a game that has the brand recognition.  It would cost far more than that to make a new game from scratch and have to explain "it's like Star Control" over and over.
But then, Star Control has acquired a certain expectation of the story line and background. Your'e changing that, thus messing up the goodwill acquired to the trademark Star Control.
But, as I said elsewhere before, the trademark is a catchy name. It's short, and hints directly at quite a diversity of things around Space. Controlling space (which can be done through battle, diplomacy,...), which also imply reconaissance missions. To compare with Star Wars: the name hitns much more towards physical violence, than Star Control does. Star Trek as a brandname goes more towards "trekking", flying hrough space in whatever your mission is, but does not necessarily imply fighting/adventuring. In my mind the more boring elements come to play, like being the captain of a trader ship flying the secure trade routes between the main worlds.
I find the name "Star Control" simply a well chosen one, even if in-game lore the name has no value during the story line of SC2. (Star Control is the military wing of the UNO, during the events while the Ur-Quan are Masters an organisation that has been dissolved by the Ur-Quan.)




Quote from: Frogboy
But then, after a quarter century,  but only a few years after we had started, after we've spent millions of dollars, Paul and Fred, not retired but rather on the eve of our beta release, decide to come out and announce they are making a sequel to Star Control lI?  Not a sequel to Ur-Quan Masters.  Star Control.  After we had offered to transfer it to them at our cost.   Now, after all these years, right when we're starting our marketing ramp-up they decide they want to compete with us and do so by associating their game with Star Control.  Not just associating but literally calling it the true sequel to Star Control.  
I agree, that FF and PR may have been leaning very close to your efforts.
But then, they were the lead designers of SC2.
And as such, I, personally, find the mentioning of the trademark being "fair use".
Now, naming their new game the "direct sequel" is in that context extremely unlucky, and may have overstepped the boundaries.
If a judge decides so, I can accept that. But also if a judge decides that that's still "fair use".

It also depends on which style the game is/was intented to be. (Simple game building on existing engine and intended to go out for basic costs/token price/for free, or actually a full blown modern game with intention to go fully commercial.)
But of this we know nothing of FF and PR's intentions. They may not even know themselves yet.


Quote from: Frogboy
I realize there is going to be an inherent bias for Paul and Fred here.
Yes, I am biased towards FF and PR. Because of the storyline of SC2, and how it affected me back when I was in school.
And I can feel your pain about this whole thing having turned sour.
But honestly? These two games will likely be the first PC-games I will have bought in a very long time. Master of Orion III was the last one I spent money on (as a new game).
One because of what I heard about it so far. And one because it comes from the creators of SC2, who are returning to that story and want to continue telling it.
From the first one I expect a gameplay similar to Star Control. And a story to discover.
From the other I expect a continuation of the story line of SC2, and I fear that nobody will be able to live up to my expectations, not even the original creators. SC3 was a disappointment in that, even if they had some elements I liked very much. (the most annoying element about the space cows I found to be the CUD. Even technology can't make sentience appear from one moment to the next like that. Otherwise I liked the idea of undevolving, to force evolution to expand the abilities of the race. Unlikely though,t hat through their re-births and falls of their empire their race has not split into several subspecies.)

You realize the DMCA happened because they saw their copyrighted games being sold without their authorization? That they approached Atari under the same issue, and Atari quickly conceded the issue?
Atari even told GoG to send all the royalities to FF and PR (of the unlicensed sales so far). (Mail of 25 April 2011; 3:42 PM)
There never was a haggling by either side of how valuable one part or the other is. They simply split the revenues 50-50. (Meaning 50% of the "50% of net revenue" for each party, 25% for FF/PR and 25% for Atari.) Atari was happy it did not end in front of court, and FF and PR were happy the good old game got sold again. (https://dogarandkazon.squarespace.com/blog/2018/2/27/report-from-planet-surface)
Money was not the main driver for either side, otherwise I'd have expected quite some haggling over the money split, especially in the case of SC3, where even the IP was mainly with Atari, and yet they still agreed to send 25% towards FF and PR (page 113 of the counterclaim). For the SC3 game itself in the original distribution, it was only 3,5% (for the game) and 10% (for derivative products, e.g. hintbooks or the like) (page 57 of the counterclaim). Honestly, I found that so astonishing that I stumbled over it when I read it.
Money may have been a driver in getting the stuff to GoG on Atari's side, but on FF and PR's side, it was defending their own rights. And once Atari saw what they accidentally did, they did nothing which could've caused higher waves. But I think the protection of the trademark b using it may have been a more important issue for Atari at that point than a few dollars each year from GoG.



We're turning circles here.
Let's meet again when the jury has spoken.
(And yes, I will continue discussing here, but I know it'll all not matter. What'll matter is the jury and the judge. Once that is out, new opinions will have to be formed, old opinions reassessed. - I wish all sides good luck, and may the professionalism win against emotion.)
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rosepatel
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Re: NEWS: Ghosts of the Precursors is coming!
« Reply #96 on: February 28, 2018, 05:15:08 pm »

Thanks, Krulle, for the recap of the Atari/P&F/GoG issue. Atari dealt with that in a way that was respectful. And it seems to make it clear that P&F do have some rights in SC3, even if they largely don't care. Probably because SC3 includes so much copyrighted content from SC1 and SC2.

And this is the thing that gets me. Stardock keeps saying they had no choice but to sue Paul and Fred. But Atari seemed to have a choice. When Paul reached out to say "hey, you're distributing our copyrighted games", Atari had their attorneys read over the old agreements and said "woops, our bad". Easy. Stardock chose a very different approach. It's absolutely their right to sue someone, but it's a choice.
« Last Edit: February 28, 2018, 05:16:56 pm by rosepatel » Logged
Gildon
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Re: NEWS: Ghosts of the Precursors is coming!
« Reply #97 on: February 28, 2018, 07:22:58 pm »

Stardock chose a very different approach

Stardock's claim has nothing to do with licensing or distribution, but the trademark; the association of Ghosts of the Precursors as a Star Control game.

I personally think some of the allegations are ridiculous - especially the terminology circus loop going after the title creators - while others make a lot of sense - like saying Ghosts of the Precursors cannot be called a "true sequel to Star Control".

Just to make the point of the title creator, I have never seen a publisher contest that title with any other creator/designer of similar status. Kojima is free to call himself the creator of Metal Gear. Julian Gollop is free to do the same w/r/t X-COM, and in fact does so with Pheonix Point.

So demonstrably it should be perfectly fine for Fred & Paul to advertise their new game as being from the creators of Star Control, but (assuming Stardock indeed owns the Star Control trademark) they can't market it as a Star Control game.
« Last Edit: February 28, 2018, 07:25:26 pm by Gildon » Logged
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Re: NEWS: Ghosts of the Precursors is coming!
« Reply #98 on: February 28, 2018, 11:19:26 pm »

Quote
Honest question, no sarcasm. Why do you even want to call it a Star Control game?



There are so many ways all of this could have been avoided.  Frankly, and I know their IP attorney will read this, if they had had the attorney they now have, none of this would probably have happened.  Now they have a top-notch IP attorney (this is a good thing).  They got bad legal advice and here we are.  People who should be friends now acting as opponents.



Frogboy id be surprised if you remembered me. I was one of the first pains in your ass years ago on your forum. (same name im using here) I was one of the people who HATED the idea of an alternate reality, or a  prequel. I desperately wanted a sequel. ( I was the one who thought if you went far enough into the FUTURE you could make a story that referenced the lore without actually effecting it, and  you wouldn't need an alternate universe. Similar to the old Fantasy Star sequels )

In any rate I want to keep my comment simple..... I WANT MY SEQUEL.  In all honesty I dont care if its from you or them. If this lawsuit concludes with Fred and Paul unwilling or unable to make a true sequel YOU BETTER MAKE ONE!!!!!!
« Last Edit: February 28, 2018, 11:21:06 pm by bum783 » Logged
Frogboy
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Re: NEWS: Ghosts of the Precursors is coming!
« Reply #99 on: March 01, 2018, 12:11:31 am »

I was under the impression that project 6014 was an attempt at a sequel?
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Elestan
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Re: NEWS: Ghosts of the Precursors is coming!
« Reply #100 on: March 01, 2018, 12:28:25 am »

I was under the impression that project 6014 was an attempt at a sequel?

True, but that was a purely fan-created project, so it couldn't really be counted as a canonical sequel.
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rosepatel
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Re: NEWS: Ghosts of the Precursors is coming!
« Reply #101 on: March 01, 2018, 01:01:49 am »

Stardock's claim has nothing to do with licensing or distribution, but the trademark; the association of Ghosts of the Precursors as a Star Control game.

I personally think some of the allegations are ridiculous

Correct. Stardock sued P&F for Trademark violation, for announcing that the original creators of Star Control (TM) were creating a sequel to Star Control (TM).

As for the licenses and distribution, they had an exchange with Atari over the exact same issue, with the exact same contracts. And it worked out on much more friendly terms. But Stardock not only approached it differently. They also bring up the takedown request in their Q+A for no apparent reason except to  say "... but they started it!"

BTW, those other ridiculous allegations in their claim that have nothing to do with the Trademark? Those are about the licensing and distribution of the original games.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2018, 01:03:34 am by rosepatel » Logged
Frogboy
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Re: NEWS: Ghosts of the Precursors is coming!
« Reply #102 on: March 01, 2018, 01:24:56 am »

Stardock's claim has nothing to do with licensing or distribution, but the trademark; the association of Ghosts of the Precursors as a Star Control game.

I personally think some of the allegations are ridiculous

Correct. Stardock sued P&F for Trademark violation, for announcing that the original creators of Star Control (TM) were creating a sequel to Star Control (TM).

As for the licenses and distribution, they had an exchange with Atari over the exact same issue, with the exact same contracts. And it worked out on much more friendly terms. But Stardock not only approached it differently. They also bring up the takedown request in their Q+A for no apparent reason except to  say "... but they started it!"

BTW, those other ridiculous allegations in their claim that have nothing to do with the Trademark? Those are about the licensing and distribution of the original games.

That is not a very accurate representation.  I invite Paul or Fred to explain their side here as I am.

They announced Ghosts of the Precursors as a direct sequel to Star Control. They also said at times it was the "true" sequel to Star Control.  Simultaneously, they began demanding that the DOS games be pulled from distribution.   If they had agreed to stop representing their game as the sequel to Star Control we would have agreed to pull down the DOS games.  They refused and instead began to make blog posts attacking Stardock.

When they filed a DMCA take-downs against Star Control 3, a title that Stardock literally holds the copyright for we realized that this had to be resolved via litigation.

If you read their countersuit, they make various claims about Star Control: Origins.  Thus, I have no doubt that there would be people here justifying a DMCA take down notice of Star Control: Origins based on whatever claim, regardless of the merits, even if that resulted in the game's failure and loss of jobs at Stardock.   It makes more sense for this issue to be litigated before Star Control: Origins ships than to leave it in the air.
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bum783
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Re: NEWS: Ghosts of the Precursors is coming!
« Reply #103 on: March 01, 2018, 02:29:44 am »

I was under the impression that project 6014 was an attempt at a sequel?

Ok Frogboy. I am going to try keep this civil, BUT thats the same passive aggressive crap you used to do that got me upset before.  You know damn well that project6014 was a very limited fan fiction mod that was never going to truly be the seqeul fans want. Kudos to them for putting in the hard work to try to pull that off with very limited resources. Bringing that up now and using the word "ATTEMPT" is demeaning and insulting to them, not to mention the good people here in this forum.

I made my comment about YOU making a sequel if Paul and Fred were unwilling or unable, somewhat in jest. I didn't expect you would or could comment considering the circumstances. Its not like you can say "SURE We will make a sequel if they cant" SO don't comment at all.

Bottom line is fans have always wanted a sequel. Even if there was interest in your alternate universe, fans were never going to stop wanting a true sequel. NOW (regardless of who is right or wrong) this legal squabble might rob them of what they have wanted for decades. The responsibility is on YOUR shoulders to make sure one way or the other fans get their sequel. That responsibilty became  yours the day Stardock bought the trademark. Seeing as  you claim to be a fan, I hope you keep what the fans want in mind as this thing drags on
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Serosis
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Re: NEWS: Ghosts of the Precursors is coming!
« Reply #104 on: March 01, 2018, 02:57:45 am »

Bringing that up now and using the word "ATTEMPT" is demeaning and insulting to them, not to mention the good people here in this forum.

Eh... But it was an attempt. A very decent attempt. A lot of good things came out of their attempt to create a sequel to UQM.
It was only like 3 or 4 people behind it so it was a massively impressive attempt.

Specifically it can be defined as an attempt because they abandoned it mid-development.
Technically the same can be said of the HD-mod, a lot of it was left unfinished with ridiculous placeholder art and unfinished code.

The word, "attempt" only holds a negative connotation if you think it does.
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