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

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Author Topic: My take on Stardock  (Read 123723 times)
Lakstoties
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #870 on: June 19, 2018, 03:35:11 pm »

This is in README.TXT, MANUAL.TXT, and manual.pdf for Star Control 2, and also identically worded but (c) 1990 in the manual.pdf for Star Control 1. It's obviously not the original release of SC2 as it also has references such as "This CD includes one of the most critically acclaimed sci-fi games of all time."  and to Windows 95 which wasn't out at the time, but it seems unlikely that the manuals would have been rewritten. Does anyone have a GoG or even original version to compare? Accolade appear to have been rather inconsistent.

I can confirm that's how the GOG.com version reads with the manual PDF.  GOG.com probably used the CD Collection version that had both Star Control 1 and 2 on it.  But, even that version listed the different copyrights on the CD:

Designed by Fred Ford & Paul Reiche III
Star Control Game:  (C) 1991 Fred Ford & Paul Reiche III, Star Control is a trademark of Accolade, Inc.  (C) Accolade, Inc.
Star Control II Game: (C)  1992 Fred Ford & Paul Reiche III, Star Control II is a trademark of Accolade, Inc. (C) Accolade Inc.

Or... Actually Star Control 3, I think, included both Star Control 1 and 2 on the same disc.  So, this might just be an old typo.  I'll see if I can hunt down my old Star Control 3 CD... or at least a digital image of it to check the exact contents.

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Serosis
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #871 on: June 19, 2018, 03:49:38 pm »

I'm sure there is more behind the copyright than what was stamped on the box and installation media.
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Lakstoties
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #872 on: June 19, 2018, 05:17:09 pm »

I'm sure there is more behind the copyright than what was stamped on the box and installation media.

Of course.  But, the notice upon a work usually is the first indicator to the public of the copyright owner.  Though reading up about it, the notice part seems to be optional now for works based copyright law since March 1, 1989:  https://www.copyright.gov/help/faq/faq-definitions.html#notice

Probably a moot point.
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Serosis
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #873 on: June 19, 2018, 06:12:49 pm »

We'll know for sure once the suit comes to an end.

Out of all of this I want to find out who really owns the 3DO assets and who has the original models for the 3DO videos.
I also wonder if the raw voice-overs are still around as well.

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Lakstoties
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #874 on: June 19, 2018, 06:49:18 pm »

We'll know for sure once the suit comes to an end.

Out of all of this I want to find out who really owns the 3DO assets and who has the original models for the 3DO videos.
I also wonder if the raw voice-overs are still around as well.

I think Crystal Dynamics holds the rights to that specific material as they were the ones in charge of that port and created the videos under license.  They are now under the Square Enix Europe umbrella.
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Serosis
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #875 on: June 19, 2018, 08:11:07 pm »

People say that, but I haven't seen a verifiable source.

Especially since PCAGraphics are the ones who did the actual work.
If SC2 was parceled out in terms of copyright then whoever did the models would have control over the rights to them as well.
If not then it's possible Paul owns the copyright on them, but I believe he said he did not at one point or he didn't know who controls those assets.

I wonder how hard it would be to contact Square-Enix?
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Lakstoties
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #876 on: June 19, 2018, 08:41:50 pm »

Actually Crystal Dynamics is still a live and active studio:  https://crystald.com/

So, you might have some luck hitting them up directly.  Somewhere, someone might know where those assets are stored or at least maybe someone higher up can see about authorizing the old content.
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #877 on: June 19, 2018, 11:52:22 pm »

I think I accidentally sent them three messages at once. But we'll see.
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Elestan
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On-point reference
« Reply #878 on: June 22, 2018, 04:19:45 pm »

A side conversation with Lakstoties, who's done some great case-law research, led me to Mil-Spec Monkey v. Activision (Ruling), a decision from the very same district the Stardock case is being tried in, holding that the use of trademarks within a video game is protected by the 1st Amendment.

That seems like an extremely on-point case; it's in the very same court district that the Stardock case is being tried in, and it directly contradicts Brad's claims that the court would apply a "likelihood of confusion" test.

...and in other news, some kind of letter got posted to the docket yesterday, but it's not on CourtListener yet.  I suspect that it's the joint letter telling the judge that the parties couldn't agree on the rules for subpoenaing P&F's PR firm.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2018, 02:15:58 am by Elestan » Logged
Serosis
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #879 on: June 22, 2018, 06:32:35 pm »

Honest question: What do you expect to come of all this "digging up" and discussion about the case?

What do you hope to accomplish?

Turn more people against Stardock?

You think Brad's gonna see all this and go, "My bad, I'll call off the lawyers."?

What if it turns out that P&F were actually the "bad guys"?
And don't just say "That's not possible" I want an honest answer of how you would react if you found out
that P&F were way overreaching their assumed copyright and were out to make Stardock look
like the bad guy.
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Krulle
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #880 on: June 22, 2018, 11:02:57 pm »

I'm somewhat like Elestan.
I hear the cass and arguments brought forward, and make my mind by trying to follow the arguments, and trying to find hiles in the argumentation. It's sometims a waste to put effort into that and not write it down somewhere.

And since Stardock was very vocal about their line of argumentation, we set out pointing out the holes in it.
FF and PR were also rather vocal in who is the bad guy, and Elestan balanced that by pointing out that certain facts are not matching the allegations, and that their announcement did step on the trademark, and that the contract language of the original contract is clear in that too.


He revised his conclusion several times already, when new documents turned up.

And as longtime fans, we cntinue discussing and everynow and then dig into the legal databses to try to find something.


That said, once a court decides, I am sure Elestan will also acknowledge that the judge in all likelyhood,decided correctly, and that we interpreted the available data with a bias.

And then we'll start finding possible errors in the conclusions of the decision, and discuss how an appeal court might reconsider...

And another point: I don't find Milspec vs. Activision that relevant. It is case law, yes, but the Star Control (tm) used by FF and PR was not used inside the game, but in an announcement about a game. The angry monkey OTOH is shown together with other recognisable models in a video trailer showing actual images taken from the game (page 5 of 13, lines 10-16), but never named in the advertisement video. IMHO, it would actually support Stardock's allowable use of the tiny space ship models as hommage to the original series in the commissoned birthday artworks..


Note: I am not a lawyer, and any definite statement in this post, like "did infringe" should be read as "in my humble opinion, with some likelyhood a judge will decide that...". And never forget, that during the court hearing the judge will be presented ith further arguments we have not considered so far.
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PRH
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #881 on: June 23, 2018, 01:43:14 am »

And now Fred and Paul are raising money for their lawsuit.
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Shiver
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #882 on: June 23, 2018, 01:53:56 am »

And now Fred and Paul are raising money for their lawsuit.

Cool. I'm going to give them some.
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Elestan
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #883 on: June 23, 2018, 02:05:37 am »

Honest question: What do you expect to come of all this "digging up" and discussion about the case?  What do you hope to accomplish?

Gaining knowledge, mostly.  IP law has always been interesting to me, and I enjoy doing research, but I've got a good career going right now and I'm not going to interrupt it to go back for a law degree.

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Turn more people against Stardock?

That's really a side effect, not a goal:  Part of gaining knowledge is highlighting inconsistencies and trying to align understanding with the evidence, and Stardock has, I'm sorry to say, made a fair number of statements that were inaccurate at best, and arguably misleading.

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You think Brad's gonna see all this and go, "My bad, I'll call off the lawyers."?

I have no illusions of actually affecting the outcome of the case.  At most, the parties might be a little more careful to fact-check their public statements, since they know they will be scrutinized.

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What if it turns out that P&F were actually the "bad guys"?  And don't just say "That's not possible" I want an honest answer of how you would react if you found out that P&F were way overreaching their assumed copyright and were out to make Stardock look
like the bad guy.

That would depend on what sort of evidence came up.  If it just turned out that Paul has had an honest misunderstanding of what he owned for the last 25 years, then the court will correct the matter, Paul will have to live with whatever Stardock does, and I'll feel a bit sorry for him.  On the other hand, if there were an email between Paul and Fred from 2013, where they talk about how they plan to deliberately mislead Brad about their IP rights, step on his release announcement, and then try to block the release of his game, then obviously I'd feel pretty disappointed in them, and would probably buy an extra copy of SC:O by way of apology to Brad.  But right now, the evidence we have suggests that P&F were quite civil (if perhaps a bit standoffish) until Brad claimed exclusive control over their copyright last October.  As always, I will revise my opinion as new information becomes available.
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Elestan
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #884 on: June 23, 2018, 02:10:02 am »

And another point: I don't find Milspec vs. Activision that relevant. It is case law, yes, but the Star Control (tm) used by FF and PR was not used inside the game, but in an announcement about a game. The angry monkey OTOH is shown together with other recognisable models in a video trailer showing actual images taken from the game (page 5 of 13, lines 10-16), but never named in the advertisement video. IMHO, it would actually support Stardock's allowable use of the tiny space ship models as hommage to the original series in the commissoned birthday artworks..

I wasn't considering the case as relates to "Star Control", but rather to Brad's claims of having trademark rights in the alien names.  That ruling pretty clearly says that trademarks can't interfere with the content of a video game except under extremely narrow circumstances.  And it's from the very same court district as the Stardock case; the judges probably have lunch together.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2018, 02:28:51 am by Elestan » Logged
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