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

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Author Topic: My take on Stardock  (Read 64714 times)
Elestan
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #315 on: April 04, 2018, 10:56:06 pm »

LOL But what do I know im not Elestan ha ha ha
Err...thanks, I think?   Smiley
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rosepatel
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #316 on: April 04, 2018, 11:28:18 pm »

    But according to you, I should just stay quiet in the communities I had been active in for years while people abuse me and my colleagues when we'd done nothing to justify the vitriol at us.

    That's not what I think at all.

    Yes, there are lots of legal disputes where people say "my lawyers have advised me not to comment" or "I'm not a lawyer so I shouldn't comment."

    Responding in public is another valid way to handle it. Done honestly, it can be absolutely accomplish more than staying silent.

    My issue is 100% about you shirking responsibility for that choice. You have tried to blame everyone else for making this public.

    The communtiy started asking questions because the facts are already public. Legal proceedings are a matter of public record. Suing someone is public. Stardock responding to the community is public. Stardock publishing someone else's copyrighted games is public. Announcing you support their "true sequel" is public. Withdrawing that support is public. If you're gonna be out here fighting every keyboard warrior, that's public.

    Quote
    You keep pretending that Stardock was somehow the aggressor here.

    That's not at all what I'm saying or doing.

    The issue is that you care very much about pushing a narrative about "who was the aggressor". The same as "who made this public". It's a silly effort to cast blame and shirk responsibilty.

    It takes two people to have a dispute. If you blame everyone else, I'm going to correct that description of events. When fans try to correct the timeline of how this escalated, they aren't automatically blaming you as an aggressor. It simply means they are recognizing a two-way disagreement. The last recourse for people who can't agree -- which is evident you guys can't -- is the legal system. It's fine. Just stop trying to blame everyone else.

    "It's not my fault for disagreeing with them, it's their fault for disagreeing with me!" It's ridiculous.

    Quote
    For example, you keep harping on the fact that when Ghosts was first announced that I repeated their announcement as if this has some sort of meaning or the fact that we edited the language at roughly the same time Paul and Fred edited the language on their own site as somehow being bad on our part.

    Again, not what I said.

    Stardock calling it a "true sequel" doesn't meant that Stardock is bad. It shows that at one time, calling GOTP a true sequel was fine in everyone's eyes, including Stardock's. So was referring to P&F as "the creators of Star Control 2". They'd been doing it on this community for years. Atari didn't care. Stardock didn't care, and even encouraged it. Journalists repeated it because it was obviously true. None of this has ever been disputed until a few months ago. It had been accepted as true for decades.

    There was a moment when you began to care. To be clear, it wasn't when P&F said it was a "true sequel", let alone when Stardock repeated P&F's phrasing. In that window of time, Stardock began selling the DOS games on Steam, had a private disagreement with P&F about selling those games, and received a Copyright takedown notice. Your lawsuit about the Trademark happened in December, at the same time Stardock filed a Copyright counter notice to make sure the games kept being sold on Steam. Then Stardock doubled down by selling the Copyrighted games on GOG.

    Their alleged Trademark infringement overlaps heavily with Stardock's alleged Copyright infringement. The lawsuit (and change in stance towards their sequel) comes nearly two months later.

    That's the timeline, in fact.

    Quote
    You'd be the first to argue that we had it coming.  

    I am not taking the position that "Stardock deserves all the bad things". I've made this distinction very clear.

    • Starting a lawsuit in the public court, and making public announcements is reasonable. Blaming everyone else for making this public is damaging your reputation.
    • Suing for Trademark infringement is reasonable. Selling someone else's Copyrighted games is damaging your reputation.
    • Saying you want a peaceful agreement with both SC:O and GOTP is reasonable. Doing that while registering 20+ Trademarks in the classic games is damaging your reputation.
    • Saying you are willing to be quite cooperative is reasonable. Doing that while asking that they assign all IP to you is damaging your reputation.

    For those four bullet points, it's fine to do the first part OR the second part. Doing both at the same time is damaging your reputation.

    Quote
    So tell me, Rose, what would be your next move?

    I also find a lot of the coulda shoulda woulda stuff to be pointless. I'll indulge because you asked, keeping in mind that I don't know your primary goal (protecting your Trademark? getting P&F's seal of approval on your game? seeing a continuation of the Ur Quan timeline? making the continuation of the Ur Quan timeline myself?)

    For starters, Paul and Fred absolutely should have done a lot of things diffeent. They should have been watching that Trademark like a hawk to challenge it and register it (I've done the same thing when buying domain names). They should have bought it from Atari at bankruptcy, or from you when you offered, considering the expense of a lawsuit (even potentially). I think their announcements that mix in a lot of feelings and jokes is probably not helpful to their cause, even though that's how those two ordinarily talk as authors. I think their PR team has been sloppy, and less effective than publishing the evidence and allowing fans to draw their own conclusions. Yes, I would have picked up the phone, if not tried to schedule a confidential settlement negotiation.

    As for you. If your stand-alone game doesn't need the reputation of a 25 year old franchise, you should have just made a stand-alone game by another name. Or if you wanted the name without the universe, you should have called it "Star Control" and avoided any kind of multiverse conceit. If people asked you about Paul and Fred, you should have just said they're not involved, period. If the old games didn't matter, you shouldn't have bothered selling them, let alone bundling them with your new game. You especially shouldn't done that sale if things were escalating legally, let alone that you were thinking about suing them for Trademark infringement. And if you had that inkling of a Trademark issue, you might have consulted a lawyer instead of jumping in with an announcement promoting their "true sequel" on the same day. You probably should have discussed the ship creator and modding well in advance -- that's a really tricky one, but you can only try. And if it was clear that lawyers had to get involved, you should have talked to your lawyers and community moderator to make sure there's 100% consistency between your position in the lawsuit, on public forums, and in private discussions. Also, if I wanted to still settle, I would have sent something different from Stardock's latest offer (P&F assign all IP to Stardock, don't make a game in the genre for 5 years). I would have hired different lawyers, or at least given them different instructions other than going straight to litigation. And if my attitude really had become scorched earth, I wouldn't be out there in public playing the "oh, I really wish we could peacefully settle this" card, let alone the victim card.

    Shoulda woulda coulda. Hindsight is 20/20 and I think it's a futile discussion. But hey, you asked.[/list]
    « Last Edit: April 04, 2018, 11:43:45 pm by rosepatel » Logged
    Frogboy
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    Re: My take on Stardock
    « Reply #317 on: April 04, 2018, 11:37:04 pm »

    IMHO, your extensive post which downplays the creation of SC2 by FF and PR3, with some contributions by others, down to project coordinators seems very much like a first step to reason the use of other's creation in an update to your new Star Control engine....
    If your reasoning is found to be true, it would make using that content even harder, as any contributor could block your new content then, on basis of copyright theft.
    Right now, you have only PR and FF, and the music/art creators. The art creators worked within the confines given by FF and PR3. The text creators worked even in stronger limitations than the art creators. From what I understood, only the music creators were really free to create, and thus have a copyright. (A judge/jury may find differently, because "who am I?".)
    But if you desire to use the Orz, and their whackyness is recognisable, then you'd need a license from FF&PR as well as from the writer of the lines of text...
    It would make your wish to use those creations even harder and more perilious....


    Regarding the community I want: one who is able to discuss, and if necessary
    And come to the agreement that opinions differ.
    Which is the case here.

    And I thank You once again. It is refreshing for someone to stay in a possible hostile environment, and to be able to discuss things with someone who is of a different opinion.
    And I won't hold in against you, that you do not reply to all arguments, seeing that the current situation simply is in front of a court, where you will have to answer these arguments as well. And you need to avoid the impression, that your opinion is different than the one that will be stated by your attorney in front of the jury and the judge.
    So, we'll be at a bit of a block here.
    You cannot/should not discuss the content of the case here, and  some of us will insist, that your continued non-reply to some arguments could be considered as implicit agreement with the case...Which is not the case.

    In terms of copyright, this is something I think I've talked about a lot before even before things got messy. 

    For example, take the Orz as expressed in Star Control II.  You couldn't create a derivative work of them without permission of the copyright holder (whomever that is).   

    It is my opinion that Fred wrote all (or nearly all) of the DOS based code in SC2.  I don't know that as a fact but I seem to recall Fred saying that.
    And Greg Johnson has talked about the tremendous amount of work Paul did on story writing and game design.
    But much of the writing, nearly all of the art, music, etc. was done by others.

    SCO doesn't use anything from SC2 other than musical scores which were created (note the use of the word created here) by Riku.  Riku is the lead composer on Star Control: Origins.
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    Soul Reaver
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    Re: My take on Stardock
    « Reply #318 on: April 04, 2018, 11:52:26 pm »

    ...what would be your next move?

    If I were in this situation, I would have recognized that there was a major difference in understanding by one or both parties about what, legally, they were allowed and not allowed to do.

    I would have cordially (perferably by phone, if that was possible) called up P&F directly, and I would have said this:
    "Guys, I'm starting to think we both have different ideas, legally, about what we are and aren't allowed to do with our games - which parts of the IP we own and which ones we need each other's agreement to utilize.  I'd really like both of us to be able to make our games in peace.  Can we please work together and get in an impartial IP/contract lawyer in to give us both a 100% crystal clear idea of who owns what so that nobody oversteps their bounds?"

    The constant assigning of blame is all irrelevant.  It doesn't matter "who started it".  Only the facts matter.  And you can't go anywhere until you know who owns what and who needs whose permission to publish what (including announcements about "true sequels" etc, as self-evident as that may seem to you).  That way you'll also know if you'll be able to just rebut any criticisms from F&P on calling Fleet Battles "Super Melee" or them complaining about the UI by saying "sorry guys, we both established you don't own this part of it".

    The court cases that are currently in progress may well answer the above questions, but they do so in an agressive, oppositional way rather than in a cooperative, amicable one.
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    Re: My take on Stardock
    « Reply #319 on: April 05, 2018, 12:34:56 am »

    ...what would be your next move?

    If I were in this situation, I would have recognized that there was a major difference in understanding by one or both parties about what, legally, they were allowed and not allowed to do.

    I would have cordially (perferably by phone, if that was possible) called up P&F directly, and I would have said this:
    "Guys, I'm starting to think we both have different ideas, legally, about what we are and aren't allowed to do with our games - which parts of the IP we own and which ones we need each other's agreement to utilize.  I'd really like both of us to be able to make our games in peace.  Can we please work together and get in an impartial IP/contract lawyer in to give us both a 100% crystal clear idea of who owns what so that nobody oversteps their bounds?"


    So something like this maybe?



    Sort of, hey, we have the trademark, you have the copyright, let's be very careful to understand what we can and can't do?

    As for Rose:
    Quote
    It takes two people to have a dispute.

    Yes, sort of like it takes two to have a mugging.

    Quote
    "It's not my fault for disagreeing with them, it's their fault for disagreeing with me!" It's ridiculous.

    No one is saying that.  It is their fault for taking their disagreement to the public rather than talking to us.

    Quote
    There was a moment when you began to care. To be clear, it wasn't when P&F said it was a "true sequel", let alone when Stardock repeated P&F's phrasing.

    No. We really cared immediately.  We thought they made a big mistake and that we'd be able to paper it over in some reasonable way.

    The games had already been for sale on GOG for years.  You do understand that right? They were on GOG before us.  Adding them to Steam was not considered to be a big deal and had been planned years in advance.  Paul and Fred have already sent a subpoena to Valve so they will soon discover that yes, the games had been uploaded to Steam literally years before and waited until the big 25th anniversary announcement to go live.

    If Stardock were looking to do a tit-for-tat, it wouldn't have updated the Super-Melee beta to be Fleet Battles and it would have added classic ships to it.   As Paul and Fred are learning via discovery, I wasn't even involved in the putting the games on Steam, it had been planned long in advance on the understanding that Stardock had the right to distribute the games. They were already on GOG.

    Quote
    As for you. If your stand-alone game doesn't need the reputation of a 25 year old franchise, you should have just made a stand-alone game by another name. Or if you wanted the name without the universe, you should have called it "Star Control" and avoided any kind of multiverse conceit. If people asked you about Paul and Fred, you should have just said they're not involved, period. If the old games didn't matter, you shouldn't have bothered selling them, let alone bundling them with your new game. You especially shouldn't done that sale if things were escalating legally, let alone that you were thinking about suing them for Trademark infringement. And if you had that inkling of a Trademark issue, you might have consulted a lawyer instead of jumping in with an announcement promoting their "true sequel" on the same day. You probably should have discussed the ship creator and modding well in advance -- that's a really tricky one, but you can only try. And if it was clear that lawyers had to get involved, you should have talked to your lawyers and community moderator to make sure there's 100% consistency between your position in the lawsuit, on public forums, and in private discussions. Also, if I wanted to still settle, I would have sent something different from Stardock's latest offer (P&F assign all IP to Stardock, don't make a game in the genre for 5 years). I would have hired different lawyers, or at least given them different instructions other than going straight to litigation. And if my attitude really had become scorched earth, I wouldn't be out there in public playing the "oh, I really wish we could peacefully settle this" card, let alone the victim card.

    So...it's our fault for buying the Star Control trademark and really, we had it coming when Paul and Fred decided to launch their attacks because the DOS games were on Steam even though they'd been on GOG.  Oh and you think we really should have gotten their blessing before having a ship designer in our game because..reasons.

    My question was what would you have done in October/November 2017.  In October 2017, I assumed they weren't nuts.  We never would have thought that this would become a lawsuit.  They had flagrantly violated our trademark by announcing their game as the true sequel.  The smart thing would have been to work out something with us and move forward.  Instead, they doubled down. 

    You obviously haven't read the Q&A. Otherwise you wouldn't be complaining about post-suit escalation that both sides are guilty of.

    https://www.starcontrol.com/article/487690/qa-regarding-star-control-and-paul-and-fred

    There are unmodified emails in there.

    Hopefully their lawyer has explained to them that if they are found to have willfully violated our trademark, they have to pay our legal expenses in addition to theirs.  Their announcement and post-announcement activities are almost unbelievable. They're the stuff of an IP 101 textbook.  This is why we assumed they would simply work something simple out with us rather than escalating it.  The reason I'm more free to discuss this than they are is because, assuming Steinberg has educated them, they must know at this point that this is potentially ruinous.  And I really don't want to see that happen.  These guys were my heroes.   I have been baffled from day 1 at their actions.



    « Last Edit: April 05, 2018, 12:59:55 am by Frogboy » Logged
    Elestan
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    Re: My take on Stardock
    « Reply #320 on: April 05, 2018, 02:32:59 am »

    If I were in this situation, I would have recognized that there was a major difference in understanding by one or both parties about what, legally, they were allowed and not allowed to do.

    I would have cordially (perferably by phone, if that was possible) called up P&F directly, and I would have said this:
    "Guys, I'm starting to think we both have different ideas, legally, about what we are and aren't allowed to do with our games - which parts of the IP we own and which ones we need each other's agreement to utilize.  I'd really like both of us to be able to make our games in peace.  Can we please work together and get in an impartial IP/contract lawyer in to give us both a 100% crystal clear idea of who owns what so that nobody oversteps their bounds?"

    So something like this maybe?



    Sort of, hey, we have the trademark, you have the copyright, let's be very careful to understand what we can and can't do?

    Sure...but there is a bit of context missing from that email snippit.  Earlier in that email, you had insisted that you owned the exclusive publishing rights, and the questions you said you were interested in discussing related to release timing and announcement, not rights ownership.  So the tone and content of your email does not suggest (to me) that you were open to discussing the possibility that you might not have owned what you claimed to own.

    Paul did respond, albeit via email, and specifically cited section 2.2 of the contract as having terminated it.  Your next email stated that the contract was still valid and enforceable as long as you were paying royalties, then Fred's next reply said that those royalties had stopped long ago, terminating the contract.

    So, I do see a two-way communications failure here; both sides are stating their positions, but neither side is doing a very good job explaining their position to the other.  I do think Fred should have come back one more time, specifically quoting the contract language to explain his position (and if that failed to convince, I would have come back with the bankruptcy language in 7.1, and asked you to explain why that didn't apply).  But Fred explains himself a bit better than you here IMHO, because in his final email, he points to the relevant area of the contract, and says why it ended, and I can look at the contract and understand where he is coming from.  Your responses to him make it seem like you're not looking at the contract clause at all, because you don't seem to even recognize the possibility that the termination condition might have been met before you bought Atari's IP, even after he directly stated it.  I suspect that that is why he felt there was "little further to discuss".  Again, I disagree with him on that point, but I do recognize why he might have said it.

    Quote
    My question was what would you have done in October/November 2017.  In October 2017, I assumed they weren't nuts.  We never would have thought that this would become a lawsuit.  They had flagrantly violated our trademark by announcing their game as the true sequel.  The smart thing would have been to work out something with us and move forward.  Instead, they doubled down.

    So, at the time of those emails, they hadn't made their announcement yet.  Were there any more emails after that point?  

    In any case, I think my next move in their shoes would have been to get a lawyer, and have the lawyer send you a very clearly worded email with a physical registered mail copy, explaining all the reasons why the 1988 agreement had terminated, and requesting a formal reply with your justification for thinking the agreement was still valid.  I would not have tried to stop you from using 'Super-Melee', though, as I've stated previously.

    Quote
    You obviously haven't read the Q&A. Otherwise you wouldn't be complaining about post-suit escalation that both sides are guilty of.

    I think that hiring the PR firm was a mistake, that probably only hurt them.  But Stardock's trademark filings were certainly an escalation as well, so it wasn't one-sided.  To me, the trademark filings are a much bigger escalation, because they're a permanent thing.  A PR firm's rantings seem ephemeral by comparison.

    Quote
    Hopefully their lawyer has explained to them that if they are found to have willfully violated our trademark, they have to pay our legal expenses in addition to theirs.

    Maybe. The law states:
    Quote from: 15 U.S.C. § 1117(a) (emphasis added)
    The court in exceptional cases may award reasonable attorney fees to the prevailing party.

    Willful infringement is a necessary but not by itself sufficient condition.  The case law on what constitutes 'exceptional' does not seem to be entirely settled, thanks to a Supreme Court case a couple years ago that changed the rules.
    « Last Edit: April 05, 2018, 02:36:21 am by Elestan » Logged
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    Re: My take on Stardock
    « Reply #321 on: April 05, 2018, 03:19:08 am »

    If I were in this situation, I would have recognized that there was a major difference in understanding by In any case, I think my next move in their shoes would have been to get a lawyer, and have the lawyer send you a very clearly worded email with a physical registered mail copy, explaining all the reasons why the 1988 agreement had terminated, and requesting a formal reply with your justification for thinking the agreement was still valid.  I would not have tried to stop you from using 'Super-Melee', though, as I've stated previously.

    Let's presume, for the sake of argument their lawyer convinced us that the 1988 agreement was no longer valid and Stardock took the games down from Steam.

    Now what?  Stardock, in addition to changing the name Super-Melee to Fleet Battles has abided by their wishes and removed the game from Steam at which point it had probably made maybe $2k. What would have been reasonable to expect in return from Paul and Fred?  Our big beta announcement has been disrupted.  We are having to compete against our own brand.  And remember: They think they have the right to call their game the "true" sequel as well as a direct sequel to Star Control II. That is, as far as I know, their current position.  They don't even want Star Control: Origins to be associated with...Star Control even though we have the trademark.

    So you've spent millions on a new game to relaunch the franchise and a third-party has used your mark to announce their new game, claiming it's the true sequel, taking all the oxygen out of the room. And, as you know, some people have begun to demand refunds because they thought Star Control: Origins was the only sequel being made.  So what's your next move?  It's still October 2017.

    Also, Elestan, seriously, enough with your legal theories. You aren't a lawyer. You have no idea what you're talking about. Have you ever even been in litigation in your entire life? Jesus.  It's like reading a kid who has no idea how to program suggesting how to get graphics on the screen.  


    « Last Edit: April 05, 2018, 03:22:53 am by Frogboy » Logged
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    Re: My take on Stardock
    « Reply #322 on: April 05, 2018, 04:17:16 am »

    (Note:  You had some of Soul Reaver's text in your quote of me)

    I think my next move in their shoes would have been to get a lawyer, and have the lawyer send you a very clearly worded email with a physical registered mail copy, explaining all the reasons why the 1988 agreement had terminated, and requesting a formal reply with your justification for thinking the agreement was still valid.  I would not have tried to stop you from using 'Super-Melee', though, as I've stated previously.

    Let's presume, for the sake of argument their lawyer convinced us that the 1988 agreement was no longer valid and Stardock took the games down from Steam.

    Now what?

    If I were in Paul's position, I would have tried very hard to reach that conclusion about the 1988 rights before either of us announced anything.  Then, assuming that we were successful, I would have:

    • Agreed to do our respective announcements simultaneously on the 25th anniversary.
    • Had our respective lawyers work out the bounds of nominative fair use for the use of "Star Control" in the GotP announcement, to make sure that I didn't step over that line.
    • Made it clear that we would respect those limits on the use of the "Star Control" trademark, and would seek a license from Stardock if we wanted to use it any other way.
    • Clearly stated my expectations about what my copyright covered (Ships, alien races, unique names/characters, history, map/setting, plotlines).
    • Suggested (not demanded) that it might be a good idea to let us review SC:O before its release to see if there are any copyright concerns, so that they could be worked out ahead of time.

    (BTW, does anyone know the exact release date for SC2?)

    So, my preferred course of events is to get things cleared up before the announcements.

    Quote
    Also, Elestan, seriously, enough with your legal theories. You aren't a lawyer. You have no idea what you're talking about. Have you ever even been in litigation in your entire life? Jesus.  It's like reading a kid who has no idea how to program suggesting how to get graphics on the screen.
    Sorry; as I've said before, I'm very open to being corrected, and would love to learn from your vast experience.  However, until you're willing to provide constructive criticism that helps me understand what I've gotten wrong, I just can't give your critiques any weight.  Wouldn't it be better to educate me than to keep reading through my incompetent legal ravings?  If you could make me see the legal issues the way you do, I'm sure I'd be a great advocate for your position.
    « Last Edit: April 05, 2018, 07:30:11 am by Elestan » Logged
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    Re: My take on Stardock
    « Reply #323 on: April 05, 2018, 04:38:56 am »

    If I were in this situation, I would have recognized that there was a major difference in understanding by In any case, I think my next move in their shoes would have been to get a lawyer, and have the lawyer send you a very clearly worded email with a physical registered mail copy, explaining all the reasons why the 1988 agreement had terminated, and requesting a formal reply with your justification for thinking the agreement was still valid.  I would not have tried to stop you from using 'Super-Melee', though, as I've stated previously.

    Let's presume, for the sake of argument their lawyer convinced us that the 1988 agreement was no longer valid and Stardock took the games down from Steam.

    Now what?  Stardock, in addition to changing the name Super-Melee to Fleet Battles has abided by their wishes and removed the game from Steam at which point it had probably made maybe $2k. What would have been reasonable to expect in return from Paul and Fred?  Our big beta announcement has been disrupted.  We are having to compete against our own brand.  And remember: They think they have the right to call their game the "true" sequel as well as a direct sequel to Star Control II. That is, as far as I know, their current position.  They don't even want Star Control: Origins to be associated with...Star Control even though we have the trademark.

    So you've spent millions on a new game to relaunch the franchise and a third-party has used your mark to announce their new game, claiming it's the true sequel, taking all the oxygen out of the room. And, as you know, some people have begun to demand refunds because they thought Star Control: Origins was the only sequel being made.  So what's your next move?  It's still October 2017.

    Also, Elestan, seriously, enough with your legal theories. You aren't a lawyer. You have no idea what you're talking about. Have you ever even been in litigation in your entire life? Jesus.  It's like reading a kid who has no idea how to program suggesting how to get graphics on the screen.  

    What Elestan has said is very similar to a lot of the things I was about to say about the same topic.

    Reading the email trail carefully I think I have a stronger position than Elestan against F&Ps relative lack of communication/cooperation when it became clear your legal position on the 1988 agreement was very different from theirs.  Their statement of "there is little sense to debate legalities" was counterproductive since that was in fact at the heart of the issue for them (and also you in a way).

    I still believe that F&Ps position regarding much of the IP is correct (specifically, storyline, ship designs and alien-race related stuff), but their lack of information sharing on it mean that you never had the evidence that would have been needed to see that.  Similarly, that lack of information sharing is also to blame for them potentially overstepping their own bounds as well (ie, using the Star Control name in the marketing).

    The request to change things in your game is where I (if I was you) would have employed a lawyer to clarify the agreement (probably one different from the one that seemed to think the 1988 agreement was still valid, because I seriously believe that is a very mistaken interpretation and needs a second opinion).  Then shared those findings with F&P and told them that this was going to be your going interpetation of each team's rights unless their lawyers can find a counter argument (and silence on the matter would be taken as agreement).

    Clarifying that agreement in understandable terms is at the heart of the matter, and is something that should have happened before F&P asked for any IP-related changes or you fired return shots for lost sales/trademark infrigement.

    Everyone would know what they own, what they can do and what they can't, and there won't be any ambiguity or excuses of "but I thought that..." from anyone.

    As it stands, you're making moves on things that most likely (but possibly not) are the legal intellectual property of F&P.  And F&P are making moves on things that are most likely (but possibly not) things that they have no legal right to take action on/with.  And everyone still doesn't know for sure.

    Asking for something 'in return' from F&P may not have been necessary (or wise).  You could instead say "Hold! What you are doing to us is wrong! Why do you do this thing?" while pointing to the (now mutually agreed) position that they can't use the name Star Control in their marketing.

    I do agree that if after all that they continued using the Star Control name, even after both sides have agreed that they aren't allowed to, then the lawyers need to come out.
    « Last Edit: April 05, 2018, 05:06:49 am by Soul Reaver » Logged

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    Re: My take on Stardock
    « Reply #324 on: April 05, 2018, 04:42:58 am »

    Quote
    It takes two people to have a dispute.

    Yes, sort of like it takes two to have a mugging.

    A more fair analogy would be two neighbors arguing about where a fence should go.

    One side allegedly thinks the fence has encroached on their Trademark property. The other side allegedly thinks the fence has encroached on their Copyright property.

    And to make things more confusing, the court could easily say the fence is poorly set on both sides, at the same time in different locations.

    Quote
    t is their fault for taking their disagreement to the public rather than talking to us.

    This shit again.  Roll Eyes

    Again, filing a lawsuit is a public proceeding. Going on multiple internet forums with three different aliases is public. Making announcements on your blog is public, let alone announcements that anyone with an internet connection will ultimately dispute, let alone with evidence. At best, both sides were complicit in making it public, and both sides failed to ratchet that down.

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    Adding them to Steam was not considered to be a big deal and had been planned years in advance.  Paul and Fred have already sent a subpoena to Valve so they will soon discover that yes, the games had been uploaded to Steam literally years before and waited until the big 25th anniversary announcement to go live.

    The games went live on October 19, 2017. The 25th anniversary announcement was November 16, 2017. That's a month long gap. I'm sure the game data had been on Steam for a long time, and you had planned on selling them eventually. But the timing doesn't reflect what you said.

    Quote
    So...it's our fault for buying the Star Control trademark and really, we had it coming when Paul and Fred decided to launch their attacks because the DOS games were on Steam even though they'd been on GOG.  Oh and you think we really should have gotten their blessing before having a ship designer in our game because..reasons.

    My question was what would you have done in October/November 2017.  In October 2017, I assumed they weren't nuts.  We never would have thought that this would become a lawsuit.  They had flagrantly violated our trademark by announcing their game as the true sequel.  The smart thing would have been to work out something with us and move forward.  Instead, they doubled down.  

    If you read my whole explanation, you'd see there were plenty of opportunities for both sides to avoid a trainwreck. You and Paul and Fred. Yes, some of them would have involved sacrifices. And as I said, I don't know what you're williing to sacrifice, because at this point you tried to get everything -- the Star Control trademark, a new Star Control game that you produce with Paul and Fred's blessing, a true sequel to Star Control you could associate with, a quiet public front where you respond to every drip of information and every commenter, and an aggressive scorched earth legal tactic -- and you can't have all of those things.

    So no, it's not your fault for buying the Star Control Trademark. But it's odd for you to say that you were doing Paul and Fred some kind of favor, and that most fans haven't even heard of it. If that's actually how you feel, then yeah, maybe it wasn't worth buying, and you should have disposed of it.

    Nor is it your fault for not talking through the ship designer issue. But if you have two guys who are literally saying "make sure your game doesn't include our ships", and you have fans saying "first thing I'm gonna do with the ship creator is import the assets to make the old ships", you have a really obvious conundrum on your hands. It takes two people to disagree, which means it takes two people to resolve the dispute. And you can really resolve it in one of two ways. Tell Paul and Fred that you still really care, or tell them to go fly a kite. If I were talking to them, I'd say the same thing -- "hey guys, you realize they're gonna include your ships? You should probably talk about that." Except that nobody outside of Stardock was paying that close attention.

    Quote
    you wouldn't be complaining about post-suit escalation that both sides are guilty of.

    My position in this has always been that two sides made this public, both sides escalated this, and it would have taken both sides to ratchet it back down.

    And no, I'm not complaining about Stardock for escalating it. I'm criticizing Stardock for constantly denying they escalated it.

    Saying "both sides are guilty" is the closest I've seen you come to stop blaming everyone else, and accepting at least partial responsibility.
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    Re: My take on Stardock
    « Reply #325 on: April 05, 2018, 05:03:41 am »

    Reading the email trial carefully I think I have a stronger position than Elestan against F&Ps relative lack of communication/cooperation when it became clear your legal position on the 1988 agreement was very different from theirs.  Their statement of "there is little sense to debate legalities" was counterproductive since that was in fact at the heart of the issue for them (and also you in a way).

    Just to note, I agree with this part too, but I'd said it in my earlier post, so I didn't repeat it.
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    Re: My take on Stardock
    « Reply #326 on: April 05, 2018, 05:07:52 am »

    Reading the email trial carefully I think I have a stronger position than Elestan against F&Ps relative lack of communication/cooperation when it became clear your legal position on the 1988 agreement was very different from theirs.  Their statement of "there is little sense to debate legalities" was counterproductive since that was in fact at the heart of the issue for them (and also you in a way).

    Just to note, I agree with this part too, but I'd said it in my earlier post, so I didn't repeat it.

    I was just saying that personally I think my view on this is more dim than yours.  I see it as a pretty huge mistake on F&Ps part.
    « Last Edit: April 05, 2018, 05:45:45 am by Soul Reaver » Logged

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    Re: My take on Stardock
    « Reply #327 on: April 05, 2018, 06:36:49 am »

    Did Rose just accuse me of having 3 aliases? Who are these alias’s I have? I have enough trouble just having time to post as myself.
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    Re: My take on Stardock
    « Reply #328 on: April 05, 2018, 06:48:26 am »

    Did Rose just accuse me of having 3 aliases? Who are these alias’s I have? I have enough trouble just having time to post as myself.

    I think he thinks you use 3 different names on (at least) 3 different forums.  Which I don't see a problem with since I can't always get/use the username I want on a forum either.

    His statement does seem to be more around the fact that you discuss the whole thing in public (in multiple places) yourself as well, with your own spin on it, so the publicity isn't just an F&P thing.  I personally don't have a problem with people discussing stuff in public, I feel the more people are able to get their side of the story out in a dialogue the more likely it is others will understand them (if not necessarily agree with them).

    EDIT: I kind of wish F&P would show up here and join the discussion as well.  There'd be plenty of things I'd like to ask them too.
    « Last Edit: April 05, 2018, 06:52:40 am by Soul Reaver » Logged

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    Re: My take on Stardock
    « Reply #329 on: April 05, 2018, 06:49:43 am »

    No need to get defensive. Again, it's your right to join as many forums as you want on the internet. It's just silly to blame everyone else for making this public.
    « Last Edit: April 05, 2018, 06:51:15 am by rosepatel » Logged
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