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News: Paul Reiche and Fred Ford want to continue the story they started when they created Star Control II — The Ur-Quan Masters. «Happy days and jubilation!» «But wait!» «There is something wrong here... something which makes my sheath retract and my talons ooze.» «Please, Captain, we need your help!»

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Author Topic: My take on Stardock  (Read 53046 times)
Death 999
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #180 on: March 25, 2018, 11:18:14 pm »

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I'm not a mind reader.
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Serosis
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #181 on: March 26, 2018, 01:27:32 am »


I'll take that as a compliment, but I just happen to have some spare time at the moment - enough to read some briefs and post about them, but not enough to go to law school.

I meant it as a compliment.

Quote
 Besides, I prefer reading computer code; it's a lot like legal code, but even more rigorously defined.

Maybe you can help me figure out why, in UQM-HD/MegaMod, the orbit lines skew in solar system view on OS X if built on anything newer than Xcode 3.2.6.
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Elestan
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #182 on: March 26, 2018, 01:38:39 am »

I meant it as a compliment.

Great...then, thanks!

Quote

Sorry; I do Windows and Linux, but I don't have a Mac.  Maybe try screwing around with some of the floating-point compiler options?

Does it build with Clang on Windows?  If so, you could see whether it has the same problem, which would be another data point.
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #183 on: March 26, 2018, 04:11:58 am »


Does it build with Clang on Windows?  If so, you could see whether it has the same problem, which would be another data point.

Me and darklord 42 tried it with Clang/LLVM on Linux and it didn't have the issue. So far it seems to be a very specific macOS related bug.
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #184 on: March 26, 2018, 06:00:21 am »

See... Frogboy, you have lied an awful lot. Why would be believe you when Fred and Paul haven't lied to us?

Seriously, why even come here? Are you trying to win us over? Your company is -suing- the creators of this game.

At BEST you will have some people disinterested, but in general, we will not accept your words and trust you on, essentially, anything. You could tell me the color of an orange and I would suspect you painted a lemon.

Ultimately, you have shot yourself in the foot because you are trying to block their right to create their next game. No one will support you after doing that.

Fred and Paul haven't lied or mislead, how do you know this, did you recently speak to god almighty?   (rhetorical don't answer please)
They couldn't of cherry pick statements, then post them, and leave no avenue of inquire to their statements, would they? No no, they are above that, I'm sure.
"We" , I think you mean you. I think you like lemons.
Who's blocking who is the question,
Speak for yourself.
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Elestan
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A couple of new insights
« Reply #185 on: March 26, 2018, 08:19:34 am »

So, I spent some time today trying to figure out why Stardock and Brad have been claiming that they have non-trademark-related rights to exclusively make new Star Control games.  I think I managed to trace their argument, and I've updated my earlier post.  If anyone wants to check my work, I would welcome it - this is now the 'first major point' there.

Additionally, I am revising my previously stated opinion that Stardock had not seen the 1988 agreement prior to the countercomplaint, based on two pieces of evidence:
  • The language in Stardock's complaint paragraph 16 matches specific language in the 1988 agreement, such that I do not believe it could have been written without that agreement.
  • Brad admitted that Stardock had a copy on Qt3; in fact, he suggests that Paul got his copy from Stardock,

I now believe that Stardock did have that agreement, but has been interpreting its rights under it more expansively than most people who read it (including Paul).
« Last Edit: March 26, 2018, 09:29:37 am by Elestan » Logged
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #186 on: March 26, 2018, 09:15:37 am »

For all the talk about how this "could have been avoided", it could still be avoided.

Starting a lawsuit doesn't make a settlement less possible. If anything it should make one more possible. It should force the parties to come to an agreement.

I read Paul and Fred's terms of settlement. They agree to stop contesting the Trademark issue. They effectively draw a clean line between them and Stardock that stops them from trying to free ride on each other's names (or acquired name, in the case of Star Control). Stardock would withdraw their new trademark application for the classic aliens and UQM, and Stardock would agree not to use the original aliens -- the ones they allegedly promised they wouldn't use in the first place.

Signing that agreement would literally avoid all of this.

The "could have been avoided" implies that there is some roadblock to resolution. Right now, the most obvious roadblock is Stardock's unwillingness to sign the agreement. And given Stardock's absurdity of a settlement offer, it's not because of some small defect in Paul and Fred's offer. There's no desire to actually avoid this.
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #187 on: March 26, 2018, 10:15:39 am »

Well, the FF/PR offer also includes the requirement for Stardock to hand over the SC3 sourcecode, and the SC1/SC2/SC3 distribution rights, to the UQM project, so that these games would only be available via the UQM project.

That's a pretty one-sided requriement, and especially the SC3 has very little to do with the trademark and copyright infringement discussions before court right now.
(Yes, I know, some of the SC3 stuff comes from the SC2 copyrights, and therefore SC3 requires a license from FF/PR to be distributed.)

I was still wondering why this was included in the settlement offer.

I know Stardock claimed that this is their intention anyway, yet.....

It made me somewhat go "What? Why?" in the settlement counteroffer.

Both "settlement offers" read a lot like "settlement demands" to me.
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #188 on: March 26, 2018, 11:22:44 am »

Both "settlement offers" read a lot like "settlement demands" to me.

Heh. Captain Obvious comes to the rescue. Tongue

On the serious side, I do agree that "Reiche's Retained Rights" need to be defined much more rigorously, because given the most pessimistic definition, it would mean that Stardock would have to basically rewrite Origins from scratch in order to purge the game of any UI or gameplay elements that resemble the classic SC games. That won't do.

But neither will Stardock's "settlement offer". If Stardock succeeds in enforcing it, they would basically shut down GotP's development and strip F&P of any rights to anything related to the Star Control franchise, including their own past work. As far as I can see, this is the worst-case scenario for all SC fans. And I'm not going to rule out the possibility of Stardock pulling it off - the way Brad words his posts, he sounds as though he has already won the lawsuit. The situation is extremely dangerous here.
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Death 999
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #189 on: March 26, 2018, 03:09:29 pm »

What UI or gameplay elements could be considered so similar as to be part of Reiche's Retained Rights (proposed abbreviation: RRR)? Is it really so similar to SC2 that it isn't more similar to other games of independent provenance? Or is the pessimist here being intentionally obtuse and pretending that RRR includes the space adventure game genre?
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Elestan
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #190 on: March 26, 2018, 03:51:49 pm »

What UI or gameplay elements could be considered so similar as to be part of Reiche's Retained Rights (proposed abbreviation: RRR)? Is it really so similar to SC2 that it isn't more similar to other games of independent provenance? Or is the pessimist here being intentionally obtuse and pretending that RRR includes the space adventure game genre?

The one that Brad has been most vocal about has been Super-Melee, and I'm actually sympathetic to Stardock on that point.  In my opinion, "Super-Melee" is too generic a term to warrant exclusivity, as is the concept of a spaceship dueling arena.  I think that the language in Paul's Proposed Settlement should be tightened up to make it clear that this is permissible, including removing from the rights definition "contest", "characteristics", "settings" (in the technical, not literary sense), and "User Interface/User Experience".

In my opinion, the heart and soul of SC2 was the universe, the storyline, and the distinctive races, and those are the parts that Paul should retain exclusivity on.  As long as Stardock doesn't use ship names or likenesses from SC2, it should be able to have its own "Super-Melee".

The other big issue I see is what is reasonable to expect of Stardock with regard to user-generated content. Paul's Proposed Settlement says that Stardock will not 'allow' or 'permit', and will 'prevent' the use of Reiche's work.  My opinion is that expecting them to pro-actively police it all is not a reasonable burden to impose.

Here is what I proposed on Reddit:
  • Stardock won't make any infringing content itself, nor will it distribute such content in any sort of curated package.
  • User-generated content not hosted by Stardock is not Stardock's responsibility. If some 3rd-party modder puts an Ur-Quan skin up on another website, P&F can go after that 3rd-party directly if they want.
  • For user-generated content on Stardock's website or cloud, Stardock basically does it the way the DMCA says to: They don't have to police it themselves, but if they get a notice from Paul/Fred of an infringing creation, they'll take it down within a reasonable response time. If the creator objects (counter-notices), then Stardock can put it back up, and it's up to P&F to decide if they want to sue the infringer. That's how YouTube and other sites handle this sort of stuff, so it makes sense to use that model here. They can also ban the literal use of ship/race names from the classic games; that's a very finite set of words to look for.

As a practical matter, I would expect Paul and Fred to have better things to do than police Stardock's website, unless someone's infringement gets pretty egregious.  

It's also worth noting that lots of companies are likely to want similar arrangements.  I'm certain that people are going to make Star Trek and Star Wars ships, for example, and Stardock will need to have a process for what to do if Disney or Paramount decide to take issue with that.  Paul should receive the same treatment for ships he has the rights to.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2018, 04:06:34 pm by Elestan » Logged
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #191 on: March 26, 2018, 05:36:18 pm »

The one that Brad has been most vocal about has been Super-Melee, and I'm actually sympathetic to Stardock on that point.  In my opinion, "Super-Melee" is too generic a term to warrant exclusivity, as is the concept of a spaceship dueling arena.  
I fully agree here.
Melee is the definition of close-up battle.
Why would the addition of "Super" make that a special thing?
Furthermore, StarControl has not been the first game with such a fighting arena, and a point of gravity within that arena.
Spacewar! had all of that already.

I don't see much of an enforceable IP there.


And furthermore I do agree with Elestan. Once again.
Stardock will need rather sooner than later after publication a system to implement DMCA takedown notices.
StarTrek and StarWars indeed seem the most likely IPs being leaned on by the users, but also Futurama and other SciFi series.
StarControl (original series, especially episodes II and IV) may also crop up. (Although now with UQM, it might also be difficult to enforce, as UQM is publicly available for free and open source. I may be that just the commercial usage may be blocked, thus as Elestan proposed, no hosting on Stardocks servers, no advertising/packaging/programming of that content into "preferred packages" by Stardock either. This depends on the exact language used for the UQM licenses (user, and within the gifting of FF/PR3)).

But then, Stardock with their previous attempts at allowing user content for some of their games pretty likely has a good idea of how to handle 3rd party IP submissions anyway.
That's not something I am really worried about.
As a "user" I find software allowing user content to be generated and played preferential to fixed game-play software.
It simply allows for more re-playability. Thus usually giving more worth for the money spent.


BTW:
Paul and Fred's PR firm targets Stardock CEO, Brad Wardell personally on Twitter for abuse with an inflammatory and completely inaccurate social media post. (March)
(click to show/hide)
That tweet is (legally) not by FF and PR, but by someone else. Someone that has (likely) close ties to PR and FF, and as PR company someone who should know better and would not need to have to hide behind the first amendment.
It is inflammatory, yes. But whether it is "completely inaccurate" will be the decision of a judge.
So far, my personal opinion is that Stardock seems to have bullied FF and PR, and pushed the boundary of the IP limits pretty hard.
Also referring to this in Stardocks Q+A is also inflammatory.
But at this point in the discussion, everything has become inflammatory.


I cry inside, because my beloved memories and stories I associate with "Star Control" do not deserve this.
Neither side looks good, and I fear the judge will only decide who is the lesser and who is the bigger loser.



edit: just thought about renaming UQM in Europe to Star Control, but Stardock was faster:
They applied for "STAR CONTROL" at the OHIM/EU-IPO on 5 December 2017. (https://euipo.europa.eu/eSearch/#details/trademarks/017560715, classes 9, 41, 42)
opposition period for that is running (until 10 May 2018), and there are others who requested "Star Control" for some of the same "Nice-classification" classes: (https://euipo.europa.eu/eSearch/#basic/1+1+1+1/100+100+100+100/star%20control, notably
- "perma STAR CONTROL", by perma-tec also for class 9;
- "STAR control" by Krüger offshort for classes 9, 42;
- "STAR[image of a star between the words]CONTROL" by Hubert Burda Media Holding also for class 41

So, all three classes have prior entries.
So far no opposition has been filed.


Nice classification (http://www.wipo.int/classifications/nice/nclpub/en/fr/20180101/hierarchy/class-42/?basic_numbers=show&explanatory_notes=show&lang=en&menulang=en&mode=flat&pagination=no), and the most notable sub-classes this will likely all be about:
class 9: Scientific, nautical, surveying, photographic, cinematographic, optical, weighing, measuring, signalling, checking (supervision), life-saving and teaching apparatus and instruments; apparatus and instruments for conducting, switching, transforming, accumulating, regulating or controlling electricity; apparatus for recording, transmission or reproduction of sound or images; magnetic data carriers, recording discs; compact discs, DVDs and other digital recording media; mechanisms for coin-operated apparatus; cash registers, calculating machines, data processing equipment, computers; computer software; fire-extinguishing apparatus.
*090658 computer programs [downloadable software]
*090670 computer game software
*090717 computer software applications, downloadable
class 41: Education; providing of training; entertainment; sporting and cultural activities.
*410094: game services provided on-line from a computer network
class 42: Scientific and technological services and research and design relating thereto; industrial analysis and research services; design and development of computer hardware and software.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2018, 06:04:42 pm by Krulle » Logged
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #192 on: March 26, 2018, 06:13:42 pm »

Excuse me if I meddle, but ... hey guys, a couple of years ago we would have killed
for having the sequel to the game that fascinated us so much, and now that it is in front of us,
it vanishes.

I remember when you made the petition, I also signed it, and I'm sure many of you too.
Because we wanted to see the continuation of the story. We wanted to know where the Orzs came from,
what happened to the Androsynth, and what happened to all the other races after the fall of the Hierarchy, etc.
Who would tell us what happened better than the true creators of the game?

Brad, if you're a fan too, I'm sure you'll think the same, you want to know how the story will continue.
So please, try to reach a good term for both. Do not look for a kind of "revenge".
The proposal of Paul and Fred's blog seems fair to me.
I am sure that if the two games come out tomorrow, many of us would buy both.

(Sorry for my english)
« Last Edit: March 26, 2018, 06:15:20 pm by llamaparlante » Logged
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #193 on: March 26, 2018, 07:05:55 pm »

I have been super critical about Origins not being a true sequel. Recently I have been reading more about their ideas about the multiverse. I have to say it peaked  my curiosity. Previously I stated I just wanted to see the true sequel we have been waiting for. BUT I will admit I find myself more and more interested in what Stardock is producing. That just makes me more upset by all this, because now I want BOTH games. Anything less will be a disappointment. Furthermore if only 1 game gets made, ill have to be pissed at the producers of that game for ruining the other game..... Id rather re-live my parents divorce than keep reading about this. My parents were more cordial to each other.
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #194 on: March 26, 2018, 07:34:47 pm »

As Death has mentioned, I am often too close to the situation to be objective.  But I am genuinely trying to understand how people who say they're outraged about trademarking the aliens names are okay with Paul and Fred's demand to own things they obviously didn't create:



That's right from their proposal.

Riku is the primary composer for Star Control: Origins.  Since when do Paul and Fred own his music? The Hyperspace theme is part of Star Control: Origins for instance.  It doesn't belong to Paul and Fred.   The "and any other similar materials or other such work present in the classic Star Control games" makes it pretty obvious what their intentions are.  There's no hand-waving that away.

Paul and Fred have complained about the UI in Star Control: Origins.  For instance, the layout of Fleet Battles.  But that's only the beginning of t.

Stardock has been very clear from the start that Star Control: Origins is very much a Star Control game of the same vein as Star Control II (and Starflight for that matter).  Their settlement would, in effect, give them the power to kill our project and begin laying claim to our other games as well (Galactic Civilizations, Sins of a Solar Empire, etc.).

And that doesn't even touch on the other problems with it.  That's just a sample from a single paragraph.

Since Paul and Fred like to release private documents, perhaps they should start posting all the emails and documents in which they complained about fan art posted on the Star Control forum and Steam and demands to change ships, features, UI, themes, etc.  And these were things they were demanding before the lawsuit.

This is what they consider to be a "win-win".  Kill our game and eliminate most of the value of the IP we acquired (that their fans say isn't valuable yet they seem to want to use it and keep us from making the full use of it).

« Last Edit: March 26, 2018, 07:38:51 pm by Frogboy » Logged
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