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

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Author Topic: My take on Stardock  (Read 64440 times)
Frogboy
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #330 on: April 05, 2018, 07:06:45 am »

I’ve not joined any new forums in...well, years.

Also, only one party made the dispute public. That is a simple, verifiable fact. Your continued insistence that we both made it public makes no sense.  They made it public and I have answered questions or responded on forums I’m already on. 

Both sides escalated it. Such is the nature of disputes that don’t get resolved. 

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Elestan
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #331 on: April 05, 2018, 07:44:19 am »

Also, only one party made the dispute public. That is a simple, verifiable fact. Your continued insistence that we both made it public makes no sense.  They made it public and I have answered questions or responded on forums I’m already on.

I'll agree with Brad that P&F were the ones to make the dispute public.  At least, I have found no relevant public statements from Stardock prior to P&F's December 1 blog post.  Indeed, some of Stardock's other actions indicate a strong preference to maintain the public perception of harmony with P&F, despite the behind-the-scenes friction. 

According that blog post, the reason P&F went public was that Stardock was demanding that they needed its permission to release GotP.  Stardock hasn't published emails from November, so we can't see behind the scenes, but it seems plausible that P&F went public primarily because Stardock was still attempting to enforce the 1988 agreement on them.  So in the "Stardock was convinced the 1988 agreement had expired" alternate reality, it could be this whole thing never went public.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2018, 07:57:39 am by Elestan » Logged
rosepatel
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #332 on: April 05, 2018, 09:14:24 am »

If two people have a private disagreement, and one side decides to "peacefully" announce their opinion before the private dispute is settled, then the dispute is now public. There's tons of that before December 1st.

Also, taking public actions on issues that are privately in dispute would also be a very public way to handle a dispute. For example, selling someone else's (allegedly) copyrighted game. Or, yes, announcing a product that (allegedly) infringes Trademark.

Or making forum posts. Even forums you are already on. Even your forum. Even if your fans are asking about a very apparent contradiction. It's public.

A lawsuit is also public. People avoid lawsuits often BECAUSE they want to avoid making the dispute public. Once you file a claim against someone, it's public.

Fans and journalists alike are pouring over those public documents. Fans are posting excerpts on this public forum, and Stardock has chosen to publicly respond.

Nobody is making them do that. And nobody is blaming them for exercising that right (there's even people who want P&F to jump into this forum). But for sure, some of the things they've said have turned fans against them, particularly how many of their public responses try to promote blame and dodge responsibility.

If Stardock wants to leave it at "both sides escalate it", I'd be glad they finally came around. That's how most fans see it, or at least I do.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2018, 09:20:23 am by rosepatel » Logged
Krulle
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #333 on: April 05, 2018, 10:59:26 am »

(there's even people who want P&F to jump into this forum)
They're reading this here, and they are also posting. ( http://forum.uqm.stack.nl/index.php?topic=7124.0 )
Just not on this topic on this forum.

Well, this all distracts from what we fans want:
two new games.
One in the image of Star Control II; and one continueing the story and solving some mysteries (and likely opening new ones as well).
(click to show/hide)
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tingkagol
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #334 on: April 05, 2018, 03:05:13 pm »

Quote from: Frogboy
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.
This is the answer I was looking for. I could see your reasoning here and actually sympathize with you. But as others have stated, if there was a potential trademark issue, I would've consulted a lawyer first before mirroring their announcement in your own social media channels and forum posts.

P&F clearly didn't give their best effort to clarify their rights and strive for both parties to arrive at an agreement and we can only make assumptions why. Perhaps they were angered that Stardock doubled down on its claim that the 1988 agreement was still active - in addition to the fact they already dealt with the same issue with Atari and GoG a few years back.

As for P&F making the dispute public, I thought it was premature. Looking at what has already happened, I could see how Stardock's absurd settlement demands might not have existed had they kept the dispute private. But they're just two individuals against an entire company and probably felt they needed the support of the SC community. This might have panned out differently if Ghosts was a Toys for Bob project.

If. So many ifs....
« Last Edit: April 05, 2018, 03:17:17 pm by tingkagol » Logged
Death 999
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #335 on: April 06, 2018, 12:35:04 am »

Split the amusing digression to Starbase Café.
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lostsoul
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #336 on: April 06, 2018, 05:14:42 am »

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.
unless your game is going to reveal the nature of all the mysteries of star control 2 ie androsynth, orz, arilou human tampering, places destroyed on earth by urquan and their significance, mael-um, and last but not least the precursors...your game cannot be a true sequel...and to boot your game lives in a universe outside of whats transpired, and further on top, it suppose to take place before the urquan wars ie "origins". how can you even get mad at them for that?
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Ariloulawleelay
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #337 on: April 06, 2018, 03:43:32 pm »

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.

Elestan, please forgive that I have registered a new account in order to compose this message. I have no desire to needlessly associate any of my prior postings -- none of which are relevant to the instant topic, fwiw -- with my current irl identity.

I am a lawyer. You can only imagine how ... gratifying the last few months have been!

That said, though I do not: (i) completely agree with your analyses, nor (ii) notice your usage of any of the secret cypher words or secretion of the subtle pheromones which would allow me to recognize you as a fellow attorney; I have not found any of "your legal theories" to be too far off of the mark. I know that these matters have been of interest to you for some time -- this attempt to infantilize you was uncalled for. Pay those words no heed.

Be seeing you...
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Elestan
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #338 on: April 06, 2018, 04:32:33 pm »

Elestan, please forgive that I have registered a new account in order to compose this message. I have no desire to needlessly associate any of my prior postings -- none of which are relevant to the instant topic, fwiw -- with my current irl identity.

I am a lawyer. You can only imagine how ... gratifying the last few months have been!

That said, though I do not: (i) completely agree with your analyses, nor (ii) notice your usage of any of the secret cypher words or secretion of the subtle pheromones which would allow me to recognize you as a fellow attorney; I have not found any of "your legal theories" to be too far off of the mark. I know that these matters have been of interest to you for some time -- this attempt to infantilize you was uncalled for. Pay those words no heed.

Be seeing you...

Thank you.  As I try to mention in many of my postings, I am not a lawyer; just a software engineer with a long-running interest in legal issues.  However, the two professions utilize many of the same skills; they both deal with nuances of precisely written language, where concepts like syntax, definitions, logic, execution context, and incorporation by reference are critically important.  So I allow myself the conceit that I am probably at least better than the average reader at understanding legalese.

As I also try to occasionally mention, as a non-lawyer, I'm almost certainly getting things wrong from time to time.  If you (or anyone else, really) ever notes a place where my logic is wrong, or I've misread the evidence, or I don't understand the law properly, please let me know what I've got wrong, as specifically as possible, either privately or publicly, and I will revise my assessments in light of anything new I learn.

Also, let me just say that I love the handle.
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CessnaFighter
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #339 on: April 06, 2018, 07:17:13 pm »

Hi,

This is my second post on this forum and i just cant stay out of this conversation.
I have to apologize already, since i haven't even read this whole thread with its dozens of replies, but after reviewing a lot of items on all sides. I have to say that initially as i started to again follow SC2 items and got back to playing the immediate response on all of this fuzz was to support P&F fully on their case. That was the initial feeling.

Now after looking into things for the last few weeks, i find it ridicilous on their part. Stardock and brad has been as open and supportive with them as someone can be. After seeing how P&F have actually responded and been involved in all of this, i sadly have to say that the immerse respect for them has been vanished. I feel that even if they would eventually get something done on a new SC game, the shine on the game has been brought down by their acts.

After saying this, i really want to give a supportive hand to frogboy and their insanely good looking Star Control game ! I am really looking forward on getting to test your game. You have truly managed to keep the old feeling on it and still update things for a 2018 feeling.

There. Said it.

Peace.

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Death 999
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #340 on: April 06, 2018, 08:16:39 pm »

> Stardock and brad has been as open and supportive with them as someone can be

That's how things stood a few months ago, yes…
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Talonious
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #341 on: April 06, 2018, 08:21:48 pm »

Hello everyone.

It's nice to meet you all. I am a long time lurker and have greatly appreciated the community's work on the Ur Quan Masters project over the years. Let me begin my relationship with this forum by thanking everyone who has had a hand in that project and has continued to improve upon one of my favorite games of all time. I am, no doubt, one of many people who, while not active in the community over the years, have nonetheless been grateful for what the community has done for the broader Star Control fanbase.

I have been following this subject extensively both here and elsewhere. I've posted a few times on Frogboy's forums, mainly on my belief that neither side has been saints in all of this but it would be best for the brand if the situation was de-escalated and an amicable arrangement could be reached else it risks fracturing the fanbase. I have also read every post in this thread to be current on everything.

There was just a few subjects that I wanted to register in order to give my thoughts on.

1. I can completely understand Frogboy's wariness of new accounts, particularly in the situation that he currently finds himself in. I don't necessarily agree with it, because as others have pointed out a lot of people are posting for the first time specifically because of the current situation, but it probably could appear to someone in his position that people are just coming out of the woodwork to criticize him and to wonder how "legit" those individuals are if they have not been a part of the community all along.

2. I also respect his public engagement with the Star Control community, here and elsewhere on the Internet. This, of all times, cannot be the easiest time to have such a public presence. It takes a commendable degree of courage - and not a little bit of patience - to continue to maintain such a high profile at this time.

Personally, I think he'd benefit a great deal by going offline for a couple of weeks and get away from the forum discussions...take some time to relax and take a breather since it seems to me his posts towards the latter part of this thread have gotten more aggressive than they were earlier in the thread....but I respect his decision not to do so.

3. On the other hand, I also respect Paul and Fred's decision not to have quite such a public presence. Yes, we've seen their views here and there - mainly on their blog - but I can understand and even appreciate how they are not in this thread giving their side of things. As much as we, as fans, might appreciate seeing more of their take and reasoning as we have seen Frogboy's, I can't imagine that the current situation would be improved in any way by the two sides of a legal dispute arguing back in forth about it on an internet forum with all of us chiming in our thoughts throughout.

4. I actually hadn't been aware that Frogboy had been a moderator of the Star Control subreddit previously and had resigned to avoid conflict of interest. That's very commendable. Kudos.

5. Yes, Star Control 1 and 2 had been on sale on GoG for years prior to being added to Steam...but with P&F's permission and under a legal agreement worked out between them and GoG.

GoG would not be selling the games otherwise, so arguing that it's no big deal for Stardock to sell them on Steam because they were already on GoG or because they'd only made $2K or to bundle them with Origins is a little misleading IMO because it goes to the heart of the current dispute: who owns what? P&F's contention is that they own those games (among other things). Part of their argument is that GoG and Atari both acknowledged their ownership and GoG is only selling them now with express permission from P&F.

"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?"


Sorry about that. I'm a bit new here and don't have my forum quoting skills fully up to snuff. This is something Frogboy said a couple of pages back. My answer would be...nothing. Nothing at all. IF - and I use the word if because this is part of what is under dispute - but IF those games legally are owned by P&F then they don't owe you anything for doing them the favor of not selling them without their permission.

Now, this is all hypothetical at this point and I'm specifically NOT going to say Stardock does or does not have the right to sell those games.

Your question posed a hypothetical about what P&F should give you if you became convinced that you don't have the right to sell those games, and my answer would be essentially what GoG's answer was when P&F asked them why they were selling the games without permission. P&F owed GoG nothing in return for GoG stopping doing so. GoG even extended an apology for the mistake to P&F. So IF legally those games are fully owned by P&F then I would argue your mindset should not be "what can I get in return for not selling them illegally" it should be "oh, whoops. This was a misunderstanding. I thought I had legal rights to sell them and now I have found out otherwise. I'll take them down right away or work out some way I can continue to sell them with P&F's permission."

And the opposite is also valid. If it turns out that P&F have been illegally using something that belongs to Stardock, they should not expect to get anything in return for discontinuing doing so.

I'd suggest both sides take that approach going forward irregardless of what has happened in the past. As others have suggested, sit down with everyone's lawyers and go through the contracts jointly and figure out who owns what.

At the very core of the sense of personal betrayal is that single concept: both sides feel the other has acted in bad faith and that it's JUST SO OBVIOUS who owns what that if the other side isn't acknowledging it then clearly they really know the truth but are hiding it to act maliciously. So long as the mindset is that the opposite side is acting in bad faith, there can be no attempt to understand where the other side is coming from.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2018, 08:42:33 pm by Talonious » Logged
Talonious
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #342 on: April 06, 2018, 08:22:35 pm »

Wow. Sorry. That ended up being a little longer than I initially planned.
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Elestan
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Trademark classes
« Reply #343 on: April 06, 2018, 10:10:42 pm »

Just as a total long-shot....I don't suppose there is a trademark attorney watching who could opine on whether it matters that the original Star Control trademark is in international classification 28 (Toys and Sporting Goods) instead of international classification 9 (which seems to include all computer software)?
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Talonious
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #344 on: April 06, 2018, 10:19:03 pm »

What, in your not-a-lawyer opinion, would be the ramifications for the difference?

Or put another way, why does it matter? (And yes, I will take anything you say with the important caveat that you're not a legal expert but just suggesting you know a bit more about these things than the average person.)
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