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

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Author Topic: My take on Stardock  (Read 61420 times)
Serosis
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #885 on: June 23, 2018, 02:18:36 am »

Well put. I'm glad you answered it thoughtfully because you could have taken it as a big insult, which I wasn't trying to do.
I can be very brash at times.

Also I want to point out that I'm happy to see people willing to help out P&F through the GoFundMe campaign, I'll be throwing in some cash out of respect simply for the fact that they released the code and gave me a hobby, but I have a bad feeling about it.
They pulled out the Star Control trademark again and that's what got the lawyers at Stardock going the first time around.

I was also under the impression that neither party were allowed to talk openly about the case in any facet. Let alone setting up a fundraiser to help pay legal fees.

I'm worried that this might bite them both in the ass.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2018, 02:20:11 am by Serosis » Logged

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Elestan
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #886 on: June 23, 2018, 02:26:51 am »

Well put. I'm glad you answered it thoughtfully because you could have taken it as a big insult, which I wasn't trying to do.  I can be very brash at times.

No worries...I've been handling flamewars since the '80s.  This is nothing.

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They pulled out the Star Control trademark again and that's what got the lawyers at Stardock going the first time around.

I have no doubt that their lawyer put the whole announcement under a microscope before they posted it.

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I was also under the impression that neither party were allowed to talk openly about the case in any facet. Let alone setting up a fundraiser to help pay legal fees.

The only thing they were ordered not to talk about was the settlement negotiations.  Note that if the order was as broad as you suggest, Brad would be in very serious trouble.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2018, 02:30:32 am by Elestan » Logged
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #887 on: June 23, 2018, 02:46:58 am »

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.

If P&F timed their post just to take the wind out of SC:O's sales, and aren't actually planning to produce GOTP, I'd be upset with them, but I'd also be really curious what the heck Stardock did to piss them off that badly, because that's a lot of risk to take just to spite someone else. I'd still have trouble seeing them as the bad guys, because that seems like a level of spite you only reach when someone has legitimately wronged you, and I don't see anything in Stardock's behavior that would warrant that.

If we take the above as given, and add that P&F try to use the DMCA to sabotage SC:O's release (or something similar), I would... probably finally concede that they've gone "bad apple" but I would still be bewildered that such cool froods, who I've occasionally exchanged words with, would do this.

I tend to assume they're not the bad guys, because eating a cool two million in legal fees is... well, taking it REALLY far, y'know? And if they know they don't have a case, they'd probably rather eat a private settlement instead. If they just wanted to be disruptive, there's substantially less risky ways to do it, and I would've expected them to back down before they were legally on the line for a large payout to Stardock.
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tingkagol
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #888 on: June 23, 2018, 04:37:20 pm »

And now Fred and Paul are raising money for their lawsuit.
This is a sign that the end is near. A whopping 2M USD target??  W T F. That's like 20% of SCO's budget.

IMO, that kind of money should be spent making the game - NOT paying lawyers.
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PRH
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #889 on: June 23, 2018, 04:53:49 pm »

Also I want to point out that I'm happy to see people willing to help out P&F through the GoFundMe campaign, I'll be throwing in some cash out of respect simply for the fact that they released the code and gave me a hobby, but I have a bad feeling about it.
They pulled out the Star Control trademark again and that's what got the lawyers at Stardock going the first time around.

What has me worried personally is that Fred and Paul are doing nothing to refute Stardock's arguments that explain why it's F&P who are the guilty party. They simply repeat the arguments they've previously used in their blog, that Stardock are a huge evil corporation (with a Druuge picture accompanying the text) that threatens to take F&P's most treasured work from them (in other words, an appeal to emotion). Brad spent a lot of effort explaining why (if we believe him) this isn't the case, and F&P just act as though none of Stardock's posts have ever existed. If F&P are really running a PR campaign against Stardock, they should put more thought into their PR efforts.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2018, 05:05:53 pm by PRH » Logged
tingkagol
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #890 on: June 23, 2018, 05:09:11 pm »

I also think now that they've reached out to fans for funds, they should be communicating more frequently with them. Potential donors deserve to know that the money will be well-spent. What's their legal strategy? How sure are they of winning this if this reaches jury trial? People will need all the info for an informed donation, not a blind one.

EDIT:
I also think this is a perfect time for P&F to reflect on what the SC fandom really wants at this point. Does the fandom want to protect F&P's copyrights out of their own pockets for a 2M price tag? Or do they only want to play GotP? To me, these are easy questions to answer - because P&F can certainly give fans GotP without the 2M price tag. And that's why I think P&F will lose this battle. Yes, litigation sucks, Stardock's legal strategy is sly and disheartening, but it's the sad reality.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2018, 05:35:07 pm by tingkagol » Logged
rosepatel
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #891 on: June 23, 2018, 05:48:53 pm »

Yeah, I'm honestly not that into P&F's PR strategy. Which has been a weird mix of silence and popping up to wave the bloody shirt.

I'm not into Stardock's PR strategy either, which is to find every forum where it comes up, post spurious legal theories, and backpedal / obstruct / attack when confronted.

Somewhere in the middle would be an FAQ from each party. I wouldn't even expect P&F's FAQ to be less biased than Stardock's Q&A (though hopefully it's not more biased). That being said, I think the parties would do themselves more service by staying silent on the legal ambiguities. Stardock has done a fair bit of eyebrow raising stuff, with their description of the DMCA process, their description of the settlement and now their description of how Trademark works.

Many fans are genuinely interested to understand how the legal arguments will play out. But at this point, I worry it will come down to financial, not legal position. Which is unfortunately a property of the US Legal System.
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tingkagol
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #892 on: June 23, 2018, 06:02:01 pm »

That being said, I think the parties would do themselves more service by staying silent on the legal ambiguities.
That's also what I would've wanted, but after requesting funds, they've no choice but to talk about it more.

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Many fans are genuinely interested to understand how the legal arguments will play out. But at this point, I worry it will come down to financial, not legal position. Which is unfortunately a property of the US Legal System.
That has been my worry from the start of this dispute, especially when Stardock started doubling-down and becoming more aggressive. I remember reading into Brad's statements at that point to say "we have the money to spend on lawyers. Let's see if you do too."
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Lakstoties
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #893 on: June 23, 2018, 06:22:05 pm »

This is a sign that the end is near. A whopping 2M USD target??  W T F. That's like 20% of SCO's budget.

No.  It's a sign that things are just starting.  The case has just begun.

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IMO, that kind of money should be spent making the game - NOT paying lawyers.

I agree.  So... maybe if Stardock would drop their case and allow Fred and Paul the chance to do that same... We could all move on.  But, the claimant, Stardock, hasn't yet.

What has me worried personally is that Fred and Paul are doing nothing to refute Stardock's arguments that explain why it's F&P who are the guilty party. They simply repeat the arguments they've previously used in their blog, that Stardock are a huge evil corporation (with a Druuge picture accompanying the text) that threatens to take F&P's most treasured work from them (in other words, an appeal to emotion). Brad spent a lot of effort explaining why (if we believe him) this isn't the case, and F&P just act as though none of Stardock's posts have ever existed. If F&P are really running a PR campaign against Stardock, they should put more thought into their PR efforts.

It is their right to not discuss the details of the court case.  As much as Stardock is silent on certain issues of their case, so are Fred and Paul.  Brad's explanations are mostly an appeal to emotion, the tone and framing dictates that.  And this is a court case at the end of the day...   PR isn't what they should be focusing on, it's lawyers deciphering law and finding court cases to support their rights.

I also think now that they've reached out to fans for funds, they should be communicating more frequently with them. Potential donors deserve to know that the money will be well-spent. What's their legal strategy? How sure are they of winning this if this reaches jury trial? People will need all the info for an informed donation, not a blind one.

Why?  People are pre-ordering Star Control: Origins and they aren't privy to the source code of the game.  Stardock doesn't reveal all with their court strategy.  Neither does Fred and Paul.  What else is new?

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EDIT:
I also think this is a perfect time for P&F to reflect on what the SC fandom really wants at this point. Does the fandom want to protect F&P's copyrights out of their own pockets for a 2M price tag? Or do they only want to play GotP? To me, these are easy questions to answer - because P&F can certainly give fans GotP without the 2M price tag.

Disingenuous statement.  In order to get Ghost of the Precursors, the copyrights must be protected.  And the 2M price tag is there because of Stardock as that's the price that must be paid in order to get to court to refute Stardock's claims officially.  So they can work on the game in peace.

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And that's why I think P&F will lose this battle. Yes, litigation sucks, Stardock's legal strategy is sly and disheartening, but it's the sad reality.

And that sentiment is why so many troll companies launch frivolous court claims to "win" despite being wrong...  and keep doing so.  One should not support a company that engages in this practice.  And as much as you are questioning fans of Fred and Paul...  you should question yourself about whether you really want to support Stardock in doing these things.  Do you really want to support a company that would aggressively twist the legal system's worst aspects to stomp out the very creators that created the very goodwill they are cashing in on with Star Control: Origins?  (Stardock would not have had a Star Control trademark to buy... if it wasn't for Fred and Paul!)  A company that pushes a narrative with provably wrong statements and continues to misrepresent the laws of the United States to fit their own agenda when it is convenient?  (For the treatment they are giving the alien race names... they oddly have NEVER DONE THE SAME for anything from the Galactic Civilizations series.)  Is that what you want?  An organization that "wins" by bullying people around and then takes what they want to slap out a new product with fresh blood stains (sorry, little too dramatic) questionably acquired property from another unwilling party that they tell you to ignore?  Is all you want a new game from Stardock regardless of what is done to create it?  You have your right to like the company that provides the game you enjoy, as much as we have a right to question everything about a company about what it does in the creation of that game.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2018, 07:19:23 pm by Lakstoties » Logged
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #894 on: June 23, 2018, 06:53:42 pm »

A company that pushes a narrative with provably wrong statements and continues to misrepresent the laws of the United States to fit their own agenda when it is convenient?

What "provably wrong statements" is Stardock currently pushing? I am asking this sincerely, since I am still very sympathetic to Fred and Paul's desire to make GotP, and I do want to play GotP more than I want to play Origins (I just don't want F&P to be reckless in their fight against Stardock). And speaking of appeals to emotion, what is your talk about "blood stains" if not that?
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Lakstoties
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #895 on: June 23, 2018, 07:16:13 pm »

What "provably wrong statements" is Stardock currently pushing? I am asking this sincerely, since I am still very sympathetic to Fred and Paul's desire to make GotP, and I do want to play GotP more than I want to play Origins (I just don't want F&P to be reckless in their fight against Stardock).

Most of it deals with how the Stardock portrays trademark and copyright law.  Some how trademark covers this huge, wide, fuzzy range of things... when the USPTO office, multiple court cases, and the Lanham Act itself states otherwise.  And the idea that people would have to "license" the alien names (if they have the trademarks to them) to use them is ridiculous as it would be a First Amendment violation to do so, as evidenced by the Rogers Test:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rogers_v._Grimaldi

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And speaking of appeals to emotion, what is your talk about "blood stains" if not that?
Yah, that's a misstep on my part.  Admittedly, I'm bit tired of all this.  It was the term I went for in my mind when trying to relate "questionably acquired property from another unwilling party".  I'll go correct it.
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #896 on: June 23, 2018, 07:26:07 pm »

I too am skeptical of how SD portrays IP law, but I think it is best to use a little more caution in how definitively we talk about it. At the end of the day, most of us arenít lawyers and we only have limited tools and training to educate ourselves. We can certainly form an opinion (and for various reasons mine leans for Reiche and Ford), but making absolute statements about how the law works in a complex case is another matter. Even if you find a court precedent itís tricky - Iím sure both sides have a stack of precedents piled up by now that they will say do or donít apply to this case.

I agree with Patelist that neither side has handed this publicly in a good way. Far as I know, staying quiet is often a better long term legal strategy (Wardell's posts are going to be used as evidence - they already have  been in the motion to quash, actually), but it can be frustrating at times.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2018, 08:37:05 pm by Mormont » Logged
Krulle
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #897 on: June 23, 2018, 11:39:40 pm »

Something less related to the current discussion, but something I did not know earlier:
"I actually pitched Atari on a whole idea for a true successor to Star Control," CEO Brad Wardell tells Gamasutra, noting that the game would follow original series developer Toys for Bob's Star Control II rather than the Legend Entertainment-developed Star Control 3 ("We just pretend that never happened," the CEO says of that release).

The exploration-driven space strategy game is said to have influenced Stardock's Galactic Civilizations series as well as Ironclad Games' Sins of a Solar Empire, also published by Stardock.

Novato, California-based Toys for Bob has actually floated the idea of making its own Star Control II sequel, with co-creator Paul Reiche III indicating he has tossed potential design ideas around, but with the company now owned by publisher Activision the proposal seems to be stuck in limbo.

[...]

He [Wardell, CEO of Stardock] took the opportunity to deliver some stern words to those entrusted with a series they did not create: "If you're making a game that ends with '3,' or Something: The Sequel, it should be similar to the original game," he claimed.

Wardell noted: "Don't go off and say, 'I have my own artistic vision.' Okay, good -- so call it something else. Don't ride the coattails of the people who came before you to launch your own artistic vision."

Somehow I missed that 10 years ago... But then, the results were always negative anyway...
But I also found the last paragraph interesting. "So call it something else"...

Brad Wardell always stated he wanted to do a sequel since a long time. At least I havennow public confirmation for that.

Interestingly also, that the article starts being about the reslese of Elemental: War of Magic, but is titled about Stardock eyeing Star Control, Orion, and others....
Ten years ago the name Star Control still had 15 years after its release such an appeal to it that it got chosen for as part of a title to lire readers into reading it.
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #898 on: June 24, 2018, 04:50:32 am »

anyone else see this guy Leonard French break down the lawsuit? interesting stuff.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=it50gS5yYB4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yochP8F69LY
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rosepatel
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #899 on: June 25, 2018, 06:00:19 pm »

When the court gives its verdict, Origins will already be on the market. So yes, there isn't much that would prevent it from being released. But I assume that if Stardock loses the Star Control trademark, it would mean a lot of trouble for Origins (and Stardock, since they developed the game). Will the game get pulled from the market? Or will it stay, with the Stardock employees getting royalties from the sales? I just don't know the relevant laws.

If (and this is a big if) the Trademark is cancelled, there's not much disruption to either game. Stardock can put out SC:O, but now everyone else can use the Trademark too. It's open season. Maybe Stardock would rather change the name of their new game, so it becomes an IP they can actually control going forward.

If (and it's somewhat more likely "if") they find Stardock's new game is copying enough of P&F's copyrighted games, there's a ton of remedies available. Damages are usually the least disruptive, and Stardock would pay them royalties on the games, plus potential punitive damages for starting with the copyright infringement as a response to the lawsuit. An injunction ordering the infringing material taken down might be futile by then, but still possible. I don't think we'll really know until we see the verdict.

If Stardock's registration of the new aliens works out, that could for sure lead to a dozen ways to stop P&F from using them in their new game. That's even further out, and depends on P&F's timeline for GOTP.
« Last Edit: June 25, 2018, 06:01:51 pm by rosepatel » Logged
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