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

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Author Topic: Stardock Litigation Discussion  (Read 45807 times)
Death 999
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Re: Stardock Litigation Discussion
« Reply #195 on: August 16, 2018, 01:38:42 pm »

Frankly, from my perspective, the only people in this thread (other than the one who was banned) who seem to be making this discussion toxic and unpleasant are you and Serosis. It strikes me as awfully strange that all three people lean toward Stardock's side rather than P&F's side.

Oh, and I find it ironic that you originally popped into this thread because you spotted someone accusing you of dishonesty without proof (the stealing thing or whatever), yet you don't see the problem with accusing your opponents of dishonesty without proof (paying people to support them while posing as neutral).

THIS IS PURE NAME-CALLING. STOP.
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Re: Stardock Litigation Discussion
« Reply #196 on: August 16, 2018, 03:51:16 pm »

I just want to emphasize this quote of Frogboy's from my previous post:

Quote
"a species called Orz that started saying “We are frumple” would be too risky to try to put into a commercial game (again IMO)."

He clearly knew then that using a name (even a name that he thought was covered under his trademark) in combination with certain elements from Fred and Paul's IP was problematic.

No, better to say I clearly believed that at the time until I was corrected.

"At the time" was two weeks ago.  Roll Eyes

You were berating people then for not understanding the law, as you are doing now. Was your opinion from two weeks ago not already informed by talking with lawyers? What you're saying au présent may be the new spin that your lawyers decided to try to argue, but it being as clear cut as you now claim when they presumably told you differently up until two weeks ago is not very believable.
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Frogboy
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Re: Stardock Litigation Discussion
« Reply #197 on: August 16, 2018, 07:09:59 pm »

I try to take the position of maximum risk mitigation.   

If I ever butt in on a lawsuit you're involved in, I'll try my best to not inject my personal legal opinions to you.
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rosepatel
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Re: Stardock Litigation Discussion
« Reply #198 on: August 16, 2018, 08:14:51 pm »

Making an unlicensed reboot ("different universe same multiverse", "same aliens from the classic series, different expression") strikes me the furthest thing from risk mitigation. I'd be stunned to find anyone who has ever done that without a Copyright license.

So, speaking of reboots. I dug up a reboot that was made under a properly legal Copyright license from the original creators. They already had the Trademark, but they decided to negotiate a new Copyright license specifically for this reboot (and future potential games).

Watch this trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zkfn_vBoajg
Or, if you're really patient, watch several minutes of gameplay footage: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z3NKQKreOMI

Two questions everyone should ask themselves.

First, how much of the game looks recognizable from Star Control 2?
Second, why do you think they negotiated a Copyright license before making this game?
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Re: Stardock Litigation Discussion
« Reply #199 on: August 16, 2018, 08:40:41 pm »

I try to take the position of maximum risk mitigation.   

If I ever butt in on a lawsuit you're involved in, I'll try my best to not inject my personal legal opinions to you.

Please feel free in my case. I already have gamers commenting on, not a lawsuit, but a rights issue involving a game I worked on. One more log on the fire doesn't bother me.
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Frogboy
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Re: Stardock Litigation Discussion
« Reply #200 on: August 16, 2018, 09:56:05 pm »

Making an unlicensed reboot ("different universe same multiverse", "same aliens from the classic series, different expression") strikes me the furthest thing from risk mitigation. I'd be stunned to find anyone who has ever done that without a Copyright license.

So, speaking of reboots. I dug up a reboot that was made under a properly legal Copyright license from the original creators. They already had the Trademark, but they decided to negotiate a new Copyright license specifically for this reboot (and future potential games).

Watch this trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zkfn_vBoajg
Or, if you're really patient, watch several minutes of gameplay footage: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z3NKQKreOMI

Two questions everyone should ask themselves.

First, how much of the game looks recognizable from Star Control 2?
Second, why do you think they negotiated a Copyright license before making this game?

You know nothing about Star Control: Origins so why are you even posting about it?

Paul and Fred have enough sense not to make such a silly argument. Why are you?  You seem to think copyrights now have the power of trademarks AND patents. Good job.

As for making new versions of products based on trademarks, yea, that is very common in the software industry.  I'm not sure what industry you work on but it is very common for companies to contract something out and slap their brand on it even when someone else owns all the patents and copyrights within the product.   Nearly every Stardock product, from Fences to WindowBlinds works on a nearly identical contract as the one Paul signed.  And if a given developer isn't available to do the next version, we get a different developer to make a new one.  You are probably, right now, staring at a monitor made by someone else with someone else's brand slapped on it.  You're just completely out of your depth here. 
« Last Edit: August 16, 2018, 10:04:26 pm by Frogboy » Logged
rosepatel
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Re: Stardock Litigation Discussion
« Reply #201 on: August 16, 2018, 10:46:33 pm »

Intellectual property doesn't give you total immunity to infringe other peoples' intellectual property. That's true of Patents, Trademarks, and Copyright. It's also true when you cross between all three. All Intellectual Property is defined to give you the right to exclude others from using your property. You still have to respect other peoples' intellectual property, and admittedly, the areas where IP rights overlap becomes legally very complex.

Shorter version:

- Your Trademark gives you the right to stop others from infringing your Trademark (and then in very specific situations).

- Your Trademark doesn't give you the right to infringe Copyright.

Accolade had the same rights you allege to have bought. Before Accolade started their StarCon reboot, they still negotiated a Copyright license from Paul and Fred.

Granted, I only know about SC:O what you've posted. Still, I know that you tried very hard to negotiate a license from them. After that, you said it's the same multiverse (different universe). You said they're the same aliens (different expression). You're not far off from Accolade, who still negotiated a license.

The question isn't whether you're the same as the Rocky case. The question is whether you're different enough. Nobody can say for sure whether a reboot is a significant legal difference from a sequel, because almost no one would be silly enough to reboot someone else's fiction without a Copyright license.

Computer monitors and software utilities are a bad comparison because they don't have stories. Or characters. Or anything else in a fictional universe. Which have very specific copyright issues that are distinct from pure software. Let alone hardware. (The fact that patents are almost irrelevant to this conversation strikes me as though you're grasping at straws here.)

I'm not claiming to know for certain how a judge and a jury will decide this. My only point is that you definitely don't either. Maybe you just won't admit it, which is unsurprising, for PR sake. But if you actually believe that you have zero risk of infringing Copyright, you should call your lawyers and tell them to push for summary judgment. My guess is you'll probably get another overpriced legal education. As expensive as it is from a lawyer, imagine it's even more expensive from a judge.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2018, 11:14:31 pm by rosepatel » Logged
Elestan
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Re: Stardock Litigation Discussion
« Reply #202 on: August 17, 2018, 01:49:42 am »

By the way, since the threat of subpoenaing non-parties has been raised, it's worth posting a bit of basic sense:  If you get a subpoena, take it to a competent attorney.  Many things about subpoenas are negotiable, including who has to pay for them, so don't reply until you understand all the implications.
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Re: Stardock Litigation Discussion
« Reply #203 on: August 17, 2018, 04:50:18 am »

That is quite a coincidence that only those who don't share your opinions are the toxic ones.
I'm pretty sure it's not a coincidence, sadly. I started out relatively neutral on this situation. I was even mildly excited about Star Control: Origins. But then all this stuff happened and, well...

Joking aside yes I can be a bit brash and accusative. Sorry if I came off as toxic. I'll try to be better in the future.

While I am sided with Stardock I don't think it should mean that I'm your "enemy" or anything. I love you guys.
All of you helped me become the UQM modder I am today and the MegaMod wouldn't have existed without you.
I may be confused at how you can side with Stardock, but I guess it's the conclusion you've come to at least for the time being, and with incomplete information I can't really fault you for it too much. An apology and promise to try better means a lot, in any case.
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CommanderShepard
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Re: Stardock Litigation Discussion
« Reply #204 on: August 17, 2018, 06:23:46 am »

By the way, since the threat of subpoenaing non-parties

You can't subpoena "non-parties", you don't get a subpoena like you get fast food. F&P or Frogboy can "request" certain information pertaining exclusively to the two parties involved in the case to be entered into discovery until some time in October which may or may not be granted.
« Last Edit: August 17, 2018, 06:26:02 am by CommanderShepard » Logged
Elestan
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Re: Stardock Litigation Discussion
« Reply #205 on: August 17, 2018, 08:35:17 am »

You can't subpoena "non-parties",

Actually you can, though there are more restrictions on how burdensome they can me.

A news tidbit that I'd been intending to share before I got a bit...distracted:  Paul's registration of "Ghosts of the Precursors" has been suspended until the trial is over, and it's caused a bit of a logjam.  The MOO remake called "Remnants of the Precursors" filed right after GotP, was deemed in conflict, and got suspended itself.  Meanwhile, P&F filed for "Precursors", which was deemed too similar to "Remnants of the Precursors", so it's been suspended as well.

I expect that most or all of the new trademark registrations are going to get suspended as they reach the appropriate stage of the proceedings.  From what I read, it's possible for one of the parties to try to fight the suspension, but I think the trademark appeal board probably takes a dim view of duplicating arguments that are already schedule to be heard in court.

I've sorted the FAQ trademark list by next action due date, to make it easier to keep track of them.
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CommanderShepard
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Re: Stardock Litigation Discussion
« Reply #206 on: August 17, 2018, 10:45:46 am »

Actually you can, though there are more restrictions on how burdensome they can me.
They can ask expert witnesses, very specific people such as those who worked contracted under F&P's game development company, which isn't the same. Subpoenas have to be of someone directly involved in evidence that affects the case, it's not for random people off the internet.
« Last Edit: August 17, 2018, 10:52:44 am by CommanderShepard » Logged
Elestan
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Re: Stardock Litigation Discussion
« Reply #207 on: August 17, 2018, 04:09:53 pm »

Actually you can, though there are more restrictions on how burdensome they can me.
They can ask expert witnesses, very specific people such as those who worked contracted under F&P's game development company, which isn't the same. Subpoenas have to be of someone directly involved in evidence that affects the case, it's not for random people off the internet.

Could I ask for your source on this?  The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure do not appear to contain any such restriction, and other articles specifically discuss non-party subpoenas.
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Re: Stardock Litigation Discussion
« Reply #208 on: August 17, 2018, 06:47:26 pm »

There seems to be a 100 mile rule.... (from the court of hearing)
Well, that rules me out then....
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CommanderShepard
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Re: Stardock Litigation Discussion
« Reply #209 on: August 17, 2018, 10:07:55 pm »

Actually you can, though there are more restrictions on how burdensome they can me.
They can ask expert witnesses, very specific people such as those who worked contracted under F&P's game development company, which isn't the same. Subpoenas have to be of someone directly involved in evidence that affects the case, it's not for random people off the internet.

Could I ask for your source on this?  The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure do not appear to contain any such restriction, and other articles specifically discuss non-party subpoenas.

It's within the very document you referenced. Undue burden is the protection, you need a standard of evidence in order to request a subpoena in the first place, referenced in subdivision (d) of the 1946 amendment and paragraph (c)(1) enforced in the 1991 amendment that specifies a lawyer's abuse of a subpoena itself gives rise to a cause of action. This protects citizens from outlandish requests that are made for the sake of abuse, Stardock wouldn't get away with using the burden of a subpoena as a threat against someone's right to freedom of speech.
« Last Edit: August 18, 2018, 12:57:17 am by CommanderShepard » Logged
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