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

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Author Topic: My take on Stardock  (Read 64742 times)
rosepatel
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #300 on: April 04, 2018, 03:18:42 am »

Frogboy, I know that being under constant criticism can't be easy. But you'd be well advised to learn from some of the more level-headed critics, and not just by editing posts and announcements. You can't go around calling the entire Star Control open reddit lunatics. You can't look at every lurker-turned-poster as having an axe to grind. You can't go around fighting every commenter on the internet and then get mad that Paul and Fred have countered by publishing evidence.

I mean, you can. But don't be surprised if it seems like you're just trying to evade responsibility for things you've said and done over the past few months.
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Elestan
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« Reply #301 on: April 04, 2018, 07:53:49 am »

So, I was just re-reading the much-disputed 1988 Agreement section 2.2. and I do notice one thing:  It does not say that the Royalties used for the termination calculation are limited to those generated under this agreement.  So I'd say there is a reasonable argument that Royalties under the GoG agreement could count toward keeping the 1988 agreement live.  However, that still doesn't explain how the agreement would live through the long gap where no Royalties were paid, or the other termination conditions.
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Krulle
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #302 on: April 04, 2018, 09:18:58 am »

I also read that the GoG agreement could be used to count towards the required limit. If the original licensing contract was still valid.
But as the license has terminated, it does not matter.
The GoG agreement is, IMHO, therefore an independent contract, as there is no other license agreement in force.
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Soul Reaver
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #303 on: April 04, 2018, 02:52:59 pm »

For someone who has been apart of the community ifor a month you seem pretty invested in this controversy, Rose.

I've seen this argument from you a few times.  Just because someone's account is new doesn't mean that person's opinions are automatically invalidated or wrong.  You can pick on the fact that he sounds like he's speaking objectively about the community when he's actually just expressing an opinion on what he THINKS the community feels, but his regdate doesn't come into it (and I'd think in the medium that this was written it should be quite clear to most readers that it's an opinion).

With that said: at present I personally also feel that the lawsuit you are pursuing and the details I can see of it in its legalese (yes, I read the court documents I've seen linked in this thread) are doing more harm to Stardocks reputation in my eyes than any of F&Ps announcement about Ghosts of the Precursors.  In case it helps make it more authoritative, I've been a forum member since 2005,  have been actively contributing significant time and effort to modding The Ur-Quan Masters and used to play Star Control 1 as a wee lad  with my older brother on a DOS computer.

I've said before that a mutually agreeable solution would be best.  I'd like to see a world where both games can coexist and succeed on their own respective merits.  The feelings of betrayal and/or anger on anyone's side - regardless if justified or not - aren't helping that one bit.  Please put yourself in each other's shoes, try to understand where both sides are coming from, and find something that works (F&P, this goes for you too if you're reading this).
« Last Edit: April 04, 2018, 02:55:51 pm by Soul Reaver » Logged

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Frogboy
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #304 on: April 04, 2018, 04:25:00 pm »

Someone who recently joins a community, any community and only focuses on one topic and every post is designed to twist the facts as much as possible in order to create a misleading narrative, then I think it's fair to suggest their motives are suspect.

By contrast, even-handed criticism by someone like Soul Reaver, who has been here for many years and contributed in many different ways is going to be taken more seriously.

I post on these topics because I was already part of these communities, including Reddit where I was a moderator for a long time on the Star Control sub until I could not in good conscience be a moderator with an obvious conflict of interest.

The only reason this dispute is public at all is because Paul and Fred chose to make it public.  That was their choice.  You can rationalize all you want to justify why they did what they did but it doesn't change the fact that their strategy from day 1 has been to try to get what they want via public pressure.  And there are consequences for pursuing that strategy for both sides.   
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Krulle
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #305 on: April 04, 2018, 04:57:34 pm »

Someone who recently joins a community, any community and only focuses on one topic and every post is designed to twist the facts as much as possible in order to create a misleading narrative, then I think it's fair to suggest their motives are suspect.
Nope, especially in a community as split as the SC2-fan community, which is split over two boards (PoNaF, and UQM).
And neither board has been very active for several years.
(The last time I was active before the current situation on PoNaF was before they moved to star-control.com in Dec. 2009. Then I re-registered in Jan. 2017 again.)

Plenty of users here, myself included, had to recreate accounts, partly even multiple times, after years of non-activity in either community.
And some users have only been active in ony community, yet I consider them both equally important elements of the community.

You may question this timing, but as said before, this is not a valid argument against that users argumentation.
The timins also happens due the whole thing blowing up now.
This creates noise, which attracts people, also old-times, to come back and start participating again.

edit:
note, tehre are several "rose" users registered:
http://forum.uqm.stack.nl/index.php?action=mlist;sort=realName;start=2010
rose Maxson, rose366, rosepatel.

Would you remember your username after 5 years, especially if you've changed your standard username in the meantime?

(BTW, Frogboy is a well chosen one. Rare enough to be able to have the same nick on most boards, and yet recognisable and memorisable)
« Last Edit: April 04, 2018, 05:08:21 pm by Krulle » Logged
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #306 on: April 04, 2018, 05:19:45 pm »

@tingkagol: wanna add something to our discussion on the previous page:
I just stumbled over a quote of the "original" Starcontrol.com post I did a while ago:
[...]

Also, the StarDock (brand owner of "Star Control") reply:
Ghosts of the Precursors
October 9, 2017 7:15:47 PMfrom Star Control ForumsStar Control Forums

Four years ago Stardock acquired Atari's rights to Star Control.  I soon got to meet my hero, Paul Reiche.  He was, more than anyone else, the person who inspired me to become a game developer over 20 years ago.

Over the past 4 years, we have communicated regarding the progress of Star Control: Origins.  He asked us not to try to make a sequel to Star Control 2 and said that he hoped one day to be able to return to the universe he and Fred Ford created.

Recently, Paul told me the good news: Activision was going to let him do a true sequel to Star Control II: The Ur-Quan Masters (i.e. Star Control III is not canon for that universe).  

Today, they posted the news publicly:  https://dogarandkazon.squarespace.com/

It's still very early but they will have all the characters from Star Control 2 plus new ones.  It's going to be called Ghosts of the Precursors.

For 4 years, people asked me why we weren't going to touch the Star Control 2 story.  Now you know.

As soon as they have an official site for it, we'll let you know.
(bolding by me)

As you can see, he's paraphrasing Paul Reiche here, so it may not have been his own formulation.
Yes, his post uses those words, but in a weakened way to use the attack line you want to use.....

I, personally, wouldn't find that sufficiently strong enough to weaken Stardocks' position considerably.
That'll be up to the judge and jury to balance.

edit: cleaned up the post a bit.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2018, 05:21:42 pm by Krulle » Logged
Frogboy
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #307 on: April 04, 2018, 05:36:08 pm »

Someone who recently joins a community, any community and only focuses on one topic and every post is designed to twist the facts as much as possible in order to create a misleading narrative, then I think it's fair to suggest their motives are suspect.
Nope, especially in a community as split as the SC2-fan community, which is split over two boards (PoNaF, and UQM).
And neither board has been very active for several years.
(The last time I was active before the current situation on PoNaF was before they moved to star-control.com in Dec. 2009. Then I re-registered in Jan. 2017 again.)

Plenty of users here, myself included, had to recreate accounts, partly even multiple times, after years of non-activity in either community.
And some users have only been active in ony community, yet I consider them both equally important elements of the community.

You may question this timing, but as said before, this is not a valid argument against that users argumentation.
The timins also happens due the whole thing blowing up now.
This creates noise, which attracts people, also old-times, to come back and start participating again.

edit:
note, tehre are several "rose" users registered:
http://forum.uqm.stack.nl/index.php?action=mlist;sort=realName;start=2010
rose Maxson, rose366, rosepatel.

Would you remember your username after 5 years, especially if you've changed your standard username in the meantime?

(BTW, Frogboy is a well chosen one. Rare enough to be able to have the same nick on most boards, and yet recognisable and memorisable)

Yea I usually use "Draginol". 

Having come from the BBS worlds and then to Usenet, we used to call suspicious people "fake users".  That isn't to say that RosePatel is a fake user.  There's no way to know.  I tend to be suspicious of anyone who enters a community and every comment is essentially poison.  Let us recall the very first post in this thread after all.

I'd rather no one feel like they have to take any side.  As you quoted earlier, I was pretty excited about Ghosts. 

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rosepatel
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #308 on: April 04, 2018, 05:43:06 pm »

As much as possible, I'm referring to peoples' own words and conduct, linking to sources for anything that might be in dispute. Moreover, I haven't said anything that other fans haven't already said, and where others have made personal attacks, I have not. I will even qualify things that I've said, particularly around how much of the community has sided against Stardock. I'm not saying you've lost the entire community. But in real time, I've seen open forums go from "both sides are being messy and petty" to "Stardock has been disproportionately stubborn and misleading". And I try to keep it to descriptors like "misleading" or "suspicious" or "confusing", only because I'm trying to assume good faith that eventually an explanation for Stardock's factual consistencies will come.

Speaking of twisting facts, it's absurd to say that the other side made this public as if you weren't at a bare minimum complicit. You're literally posting on every forum -- this forum, your forum, reddit, a new reddit you created, twitter, YouTube, news articles, interviews, random game forums.

Moreover, lawsuits are public, and many fans dug up and highlighted sections in the claims. You do have the proverbial right to remain silent. You chose to exercise your right to respond, which is a reasonable choice to make, but again, the absurd part is denying that it was your choice.

You made longform posts to downplay P&F's contributions at the same time that your lawyers were drafting up arguments that "any authorship that Reiche and Ford may have contributed to the Classic Star Control Games was limited". You had requests from them through November to stop selling their copyrighted games, and in December your public response was that you're not going to use their IP.

If you honestly didn't want it to be public, you shouldn't have said anything at all, let alone something that the community could easily fact-check.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2018, 05:59:46 pm by rosepatel » Logged
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #309 on: April 04, 2018, 06:33:00 pm »

I tend to be suspicious of anyone who enters a community and every comment is essentially poison.

When that happens, I'll do something about it.
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Frogboy
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #310 on: April 04, 2018, 07:52:43 pm »

As much as possible, I'm referring to peoples' own words and conduct, linking to sources for anything that might be in dispute. Moreover, I haven't said anything that other fans haven't already said, and where others have made personal attacks, I have not. I will even qualify things that I've said, particularly around how much of the community has sided against Stardock. I'm not saying you've lost the entire community. But in real time, I've seen open forums go from "both sides are being messy and petty" to "Stardock has been disproportionately stubborn and misleading". And I try to keep it to descriptors like "misleading" or "suspicious" or "confusing", only because I'm trying to assume good faith that eventually an explanation for Stardock's factual consistencies will come.

Speaking of twisting facts, it's absurd to say that the other side made this public as if you weren't at a bare minimum complicit. You're literally posting on every forum -- this forum, your forum, reddit, a new reddit you created, twitter, YouTube, news articles, interviews, random game forums.

Moreover, lawsuits are public, and many fans dug up and highlighted sections in the claims. You do have the proverbial right to remain silent. You chose to exercise your right to respond, which is a reasonable choice to make, but again, the absurd part is denying that it was your choice.

You made longform posts to downplay P&F's contributions at the same time that your lawyers were drafting up arguments that "any authorship that Reiche and Ford may have contributed to the Classic Star Control Games was limited". You had requests from them through November to stop selling their copyrighted games, and in December your public response was that you're not going to use their IP.

If you honestly didn't want it to be public, you shouldn't have said anything at all, let alone something that the community could easily fact-check.

In essence your argument is "both the mugger and the muggee" are at fault then.   Or worse, the muggee had it coming, especially since they aggressively fought back and said things that hurt the ego of Paul and Fred.

Let's not forget, Paul and Fred hired a Crisis PR firm and made a press releases (https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/creators-of-popular-star-control-computer-games-fight-back-against-copyright-theft-by-stardock-systems-and-ceo-brad-wardell-300603075.html) calling us thieves.

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.

Remember, Paul and Fred were publicly attacking us well before the lawsuit.  

Quote
If you honestly didn't want it to be public, you shouldn't have said anything at all, let alone something that the community could easily fact-check.

There are two problems here: First, it was public because Paul and Fred made it public.   Second, you keep trying to argue, without any evidence, that somehow I've been dishonest or misleading.  I'm the one who was part of these communities already.  The abusive people came to me. Not vice versa.  

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.    

The minute they announced their game as a sequel to Star Control that was a big problem.  It was a problem that we thought was manageable.  Rather than have some sort of public dispute we tried to mitigate the damage by publicly supporting their announcement and see if we could work out something.  Clearly that failed.  Once they made their announcement the proverbial cat was out of the bag.

There are so many ways this whole thing could have been handled that would have resulted in not just a win-win but everyone having a blast working together.

You keep pretending that Stardock was somehow the aggressor here.  How many months of public attacks and DMCA nonsense would Stardock need to absorb before you'd acknowledge that Paul and Fred instigated this?  Should we have waited until they filed a DMCA against Star Control: Origins because they think the ship designer violates their rights? Of course not.  You'd be the first to argue that we had it coming.  

Let's say for the sake of argument that the 1988 agreement has expired.  Now, obviously, that isn't Stardock's position but given that we weren't using the characters or any other IP related to the 1988 agreement and that Stardock had no plans on using those characters in the future then what would have been a reasonable way for Paul and Fred to make up for flagrantly violating our trademark and calling their game an actual "true" sequel to Star Control?

*I* can't discuss what a reasonable settlement in November 2017 would have been now.  But you tell me. What would have been fair.  What would be a reasonable way for compensating us for the wreck they made of our long-awaited Fleet Battles beta roll-out that, as others have pointed out, got hijacked by "true Star Control sequel" talk in the media.

I can tell you what isn't a good way of handling it: Publicly attacking us because the DOS games were on Steam selling some minuscule number of units that Paul and Fred receive a royalty on and then following up with very public DMCA take-down notices on Steam and GOG even of the game they didn't work on.

But seriously, are you even capable of recognizing that they've done harm? How would you have handled this in October/November 2017?  

Let's set the stage:

  • You and your friends and colleagues have spent the last 4 years working on a new Star Control game.
  • You have been building towards the 25th anniversary, including emails to Paul and Fred letting them know your plans a year in advance.
  • You've spent, at that point, around $7 million on the game.
  • You have, in your possession, a distribution agreement with GOG for the sale of the game.
  • You have, in your possession, an email with Paul and Fred in which they appear to confirm that the 1988 agreement is still live and only in the past few weeks have they started to insist it has expired on the argument that they haven't received royalty payments (which is meaningless, there are tons of things we've been paid royalties on only to have payments stop because the retail returns exceeded the new sales. I'm still being paid, I just am not getting checks.)
  • And now, 5 days before your big day, after 25 years of inactivity on Star Control related development, Paul and Fred announce a game as the "true" sequel to Star Control with no evidence they've even started to work on it but rather it seems with the intent of stepping on your announcement.
  • And now, your big media push for your long-awaited announcement gets snuffed by confusion that there are now two Star Control games.

It's October 2017 still. So tell me, Rose, what would be your next move?








« Last Edit: April 04, 2018, 07:57:26 pm by Frogboy » Logged
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #311 on: April 04, 2018, 08:20:26 pm »

Someone who recently joins a community, any community and only focuses on one topic and every post is designed to twist the facts as much as possible in order to create a misleading narrative, then I think it's fair to suggest their motives are suspect.

You need to be better than this if you want to engage with people on a forum.
There hasn't been much to talk about until recently, so many people like myself who haven't had anything to say are coming out of the woodwork to chime in on the topic that we are interested in. If I were you I would be very careful about accusations like that one. They dont really add to the discussion , BUT they can be very insulting to members, admins, and more importantly for you potential customers. One could argue that your causing damage to your own product with comments like this. Damage that you intend to hold Fred and Paul accountable for.

Honestly I respect your willingness to engage here, BUT I also think continued engagement might end up causing more trouble for you than its worth.  

LOL But what do I know im not Elestan ha ha ha
« Last Edit: April 04, 2018, 08:22:19 pm by bum783 » Logged
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #312 on: April 04, 2018, 08:38:30 pm »

Someone who recently joins a community, any community and only focuses on one topic and every post is designed to twist the facts as much as possible in order to create a misleading narrative, then I think it's fair to suggest their motives are suspect.

You need to be better than this if you want to engage with people on a forum.
There hasn't been much to talk about until recently, so many people like myself who haven't had anything to say are coming out of the woodwork to chime in on the topic that we are interested in. If I were you I would be very careful about accusations like that one. They dont really add to the discussion , BUT they can be very insulting to members, admins, and more importantly for you potential customers. One could argue that your causing damage to your own product with comments like this. Damage that you intend to hold Fred and Paul accountable for.

Honestly I respect your willingness to engage here, BUT I also think continued engagement might end up causing more trouble for you than its worth.  

LOL But what do I know im not Elestan ha ha ha

Heh.  Fair enough.   Just keep in mind, you're talking to someone who voluntarily gave up their reddit moderating powers (insisted on it) because I feel strongly in people not having a conflict of interest.  

I post as myself, even when it's hard.  30 years of being on BBSes/Usenet/Forums have given me a healthy level of skepticism when I see someone show up out of nowhere who seem to focus on a single topic from a single point of view that is, shall we say, beyond casual bias.  Add to that fact that Paul and Fred hired a Crisis PR firm (crisis PR often involves having alt's "shape" social media opinion) and that many of these people showed up after that point and it can be a challenge to find the line between skepticism and paranoia.  

But beyond that, I tend to look dimly on new people who only seem to inject negativity into a community.  In other words, it's not their newness I object to, it's their conduct and affect on the community's culture.

Eventually, this dispute will end one way or the other.  I haven't decided if I will want to stay here or not.  It really depends on what kind of community UQM wants to have I guess.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2018, 08:40:03 pm by Frogboy » Logged
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #313 on: April 04, 2018, 09:07:40 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.
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #314 on: April 04, 2018, 09:14:13 pm »

But beyond that, I tend to look dimly on new people who only seem to inject negativity into a community.  In other words, it's not their newness I object to, it's their conduct and affect on the community's culture.

Eventually, this dispute will end one way or the other.  I haven't decided if I will want to stay here or not.  It really depends on what kind of community UQM wants to have I guess.

If it makes a difference I used to be unfairly critical of you and Origins years ago when it was first announced. As worried as I am about not getting a direct SC2 sequel, Ive also come around on Stardock and Origins. I am excited for your new game. Your just the type of person it takes 4 years to get used to ha ha ha
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