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

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Author Topic: Stardock Litigation Discussion  (Read 49853 times)
Elestan
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Re: Stardock Litigation Discussion
« Reply #210 on: August 18, 2018, 04:25:09 am »

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?
Undue burden is the protection,

...which is why what I said was:
Actually you can, though there are more restrictions on how burdensome they can me.

Quote from: CommanderShepard
you need a standard of evidence in order to request a subpoena in the first place,

Yes, but the standard is that it is "relevant to any party's claim or defense and proportional to the needs of the case", which is a low bar.  And subpoenas are issued automatically by the court clerk at the request of any of the party lawyers involved in the case, to whomever they please; the the judge does not review them before they are issued.  The recipient can object to them after receiving them, and possibly get the judge to quash them, but you'll have to argue with the opposing attorney about how the burden on you is "undue", relative to the value of the evidence that the lawyer claims you might be able to provide. 

The point of my post was to caution that a hasty person might respond to the subpoena without checking with an attorney first, and thereby forfeit their opportunity to object to it.  A wise person would have their own lawyer who knows the rules of that game on their side when playing it.
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CommanderShepard
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Re: Stardock Litigation Discussion
« Reply #211 on: August 18, 2018, 07:25:24 am »

The point of my post was to caution that a hasty person might respond to the subpoena without checking with an attorney first, and thereby forfeit their opportunity to object to it.  
But that's the whole point is you can object to it easily, and even if one is issued arbitrarily, then it's not only grounds to reject it, but grounds to hold the party responsible for filing it in the first place. Stardock is having enough trouble getting a subpoena through when they claim F&P issued a giant negative PR campaign, do you really there's grounds for some random internet user?
« Last Edit: August 18, 2018, 07:27:25 am by CommanderShepard » Logged
Elestan
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Re: Stardock Litigation Discussion
« Reply #212 on: August 18, 2018, 09:22:49 am »

The point of my post was to caution that a hasty person might respond to the subpoena without checking with an attorney first, and thereby forfeit their opportunity to object to it.
But that's the whole point is you can object to it easily, and even if one is issued arbitrarily, then it's not only grounds to reject it, but grounds to hold the party responsible for filing it in the first place. Stardock is having enough trouble getting a subpoena through when they claim F&P issued a giant negative PR campaign, do you really there's grounds for some random internet user?

I don't know if I would say "easily".  I think a lot of people would just assume they had to comply, and waive their right to challenge.  And many more would not want to hire a lawyer to do it, so they'd try do it pro se, miss some obscure rule in the preparation of the proper motion, and legally kneecap themselves.
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Talonious
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Re: Stardock Litigation Discussion
« Reply #213 on: August 21, 2018, 08:40:49 pm »

I don't know about you guys, but both the SC2 and SCO Arilou versions seem similar to me. It's at least enough to confuse fans of the original Arilou to rejoice that the "same" race is in SCO - at least Stardock's intent on that aspect is clear.

I will have to play SCO to find out who these "non-infringing" Arilou are exactly. Roll Eyes

As the risk of not being considered reasonable, I also think they look pretty similar when you account for graphical advances in computing technology over the years.

OF COURSE a modern version of the Arilou is not going to look like the ones from a game made in 1992 exactly. Graphics have improved a lot since then.

But the same basic design is there IMHO when you take into account how graphics have improved. To me, they look like an attempt to create an association.
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Talonious
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Re: Stardock Litigation Discussion
« Reply #214 on: August 21, 2018, 08:50:37 pm »

Frogboy - If you put one next to the other, you'd say they're different, but they're about as similar to each other as the SC2 Syreen were to the SC3 Syreen. There is a definite relationship, and you are intentionally playing off of it.

This is what I meant with my previous post, but better stated with a good comparison from past games. Thank you for phrasing this better than I did.
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Talonious
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Re: Stardock Litigation Discussion
« Reply #215 on: August 21, 2018, 08:57:22 pm »


Do you think the Enterprise in the Kelvin timeline is the same Enterprise as the one in TOS?  They're completely different ships.  They weren't even built the same year or are even the same size.


This is a good question that I think goes to the heart of the area of disagreement. You're citing a number of ways that the reboot "Enterprise" is different from the original. And they're good examples!

But, well, there IS a valid argument in the opposite direction when all of the bridge crew is the same people, they end up in pretty much the same roles, and meet up with all of the same races. The Vulcans are still aligned with the Federation in this timeline, the Romulans are still enemies, the Klingons are still independent so far because Praxis hasn't been destroyed yet and so they're also staring across the border at the Federation, etc. (I assume. I haven't seen the latest movie Star Trek: Beyond.)

I wouldn't say that the reboot is the same as the original, but I would say it is directly "derived" from the original.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2018, 10:43:28 pm by Talonious » Logged
rosepatel
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Re: Stardock Litigation Discussion
« Reply #216 on: August 21, 2018, 11:55:06 pm »

I wouldn't say that the reboot is the same as the original, but I would say it is directly "derived" from the original.

And that's really one of the central legal questions that help to determine infringement. For comparison's sake, the Star Trek reboots still needed a Copyright license. They couldn't do it with just Trademarks, which is what Stardock is trying to do.

Stardock has been trying to have their cake and eat it too. Say that this is a different timeline, but the same multiverse. Different expression, but same aliens. It all but concedes the copying issue. Then it just becomes a question of how substantial.

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tingkagol
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Re: Stardock Litigation Discussion
« Reply #217 on: August 23, 2018, 06:17:19 am »

So apparently Stardock pulled the Chenjesu and Arilou DLCs from Steam, at least for the time being.

(Screen credit to u/Psycho84)
https://m.imgur.com/qhGXryE?r

Wardell also says there's "progress behind the scenes". I hope that means for both parties, not just Stardock.
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rosepatel
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Re: Stardock Litigation Discussion
« Reply #218 on: August 23, 2018, 03:38:57 pm »

So apparently Stardock pulled the Chenjesu and Arilou DLCs from Steam, at least for the time being.

(Screen credit to u/Psycho84)
https://m.imgur.com/qhGXryE?r

Wardell also says there's "progress behind the scenes". I hope that means for both parties, not just Stardock.

Nobody can really be sure what's going on behind the scenes. But if Stardock has pulled the aliens, it seems like that would include some progress for Paul and Fred.

Maybe Stardock realized that they were dancing on the line of infringement, and got cold feet about the aliens. Maybe P&F made an offer that satisfied Stardock enough to pull back on the aliens. Maybe Stardock talked to the lawyers, looked at the online backlash, and decided the aliens weren't worth the risk.

Either way, Stardock has pulled out of disputed territory. That's something that P&F would really want.

There's no more public announcements calling GOTP a sequel to Star Control. There's no more potentially unauthorized sales. And now there's no more potentially unlicensed aliens.

Not only does that mean there's no more active infringement. It also creates a pretty sustainable status quo. If everything continued on, as is, there would really be nothing to dispute.

Formalizing that into a settlement is still pretty tricky and would need a lot of legal wrangling. But the broad strokes are there.
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PRH
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Re: Stardock Litigation Discussion
« Reply #219 on: August 23, 2018, 04:19:31 pm »

Note, however, that Brad is talking about delaying the release of the DLCs, not canceling them or renaming the aliens.

I do hope, however, that Stardock realizes that using the names of the classic aliens is a no-win situation. Make the "substitute" classic aliens similar enough to their SC2 counterparts, and you're infringing on F&P's copyright. Make them different enough, and you get a completely new alien race that somehow ended up having a classic name attached to it - and that would render the name itself worthless and defeat the purpose of using it in the first place.
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Elestan
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Re: Stardock Litigation Discussion
« Reply #220 on: August 23, 2018, 04:21:13 pm »

There's no more public announcements calling GOTP a sequel to Star Control. There's no more potentially unauthorized sales. And now there's no more potentially unlicensed aliens.
Not only does that mean there's no more active infringement. It also creates a pretty sustainable status quo. If everything continued on, as is, there would really be nothing to dispute.

Have they removed Arilou and Melnorme from the game itself?  That would seem to be another necessary step.  Not using the surnames "Hayes" or "Zelnick" would be a good gesture as well.  I've heard rumors that they're redesigning the Earthling Cruiser to be less similar to the SC2 one.

I think the remaining unresolved piece is fan mods.  I suspect that P&F probably want a commitment from Stardock that would prevent SC:O from being used to recreate substantial parts of SC2.  That might not mean pre-inspection or active policing, but I could see some other steps that wouldn't seem too onerous:

* Blacklisting the SC2 race and ship names (except for 'Cruiser' - too generic)
* Not putting in weapon and secondary primitives that just happen to exactly mimic the SC2 weapons and secondaries.
* Not creating, hosting, or distributing ports of SC2 elements like aliens, ships, or maps.
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PRH
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Re: Stardock Litigation Discussion
« Reply #221 on: August 23, 2018, 04:28:40 pm »

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Not using the surnames "Hayes" or "Zelnick" would be a good gesture as well.

I don't think that "Zelnick" is used anywhere in SCO. "Vindicator" is, however, as it's the default name for your flagship, and even if you rename it, it's still referred to as "Vindicator-class".
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Talonious
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Re: Stardock Litigation Discussion
« Reply #222 on: August 23, 2018, 04:59:17 pm »

I'll be honest here.

I think insisting on the ship not being named Vindicator or the captain's name not defaulting to Zelnick would be a bit much.

I can't remember a single time that I played through SC2 with the default captain name Zelnick and with a gun to my head I doubt I'd have remembered the significance of Vindicator either as I almost always renamed my ship. I think the name I used on most of my ships was something like "Independence".

I see no real harm having those as the default names with players having the ability to change them. More an homage to the source material than an attack and not a hill that I'd particularly want to die on if I was P&F.
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Elestan
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Re: Stardock Litigation Discussion
« Reply #223 on: August 23, 2018, 05:06:43 pm »

Have they removed Arilou and Melnorme from the game itself?  That would seem to be another necessary step.  Not using the surnames "Hayes" or "Zelnick" would be a good gesture as well.
More an homage to the source material than an attack and not a hill that I'd particularly want to die on if I was P&F.

That's why I called it a "good gesture", and not a "necessary step".  I suspect P&F aren't really looking for homages in SC:O, given what's happened, but I agree that it's not worth being a red line either.
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Talonious
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Re: Stardock Litigation Discussion
« Reply #224 on: August 23, 2018, 05:37:58 pm »

Agreed Elestan.

It was more a general observation/opinion on my part than directly addressing your own post. Sorry if that wasn't clear.

I agree with you that I doubt P&F are looking for homages, but as a person who is still planning on playing SC:O, I wouldn't mind a few little things like this in there to make me go "ooooh yeah! Now I remember that!"

While again I doubt P&F are looking to do Stardock any favors, I'm hopeful they hold enough fond feelings towards the fanbase of their own Star Control games that they won't be petty with little things like that which would be fun little in-game "tickles", for a lack of a better wording to describe it, for people planning on playing SC:O.
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