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

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Author Topic: Stardock Litigation Discussion  (Read 50879 times)
PRH
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Re: Stardock Litigation Discussion
« Reply #285 on: September 08, 2018, 09:28:39 pm »

Hmm. I believe that such a restraining order would indeed be a good thing, as F&P would still have plenty of opportunity to argue their case in court. Trying to block SCO itself with DMCA notices would only serve to antagonize Stardock and prove that F&P are indeed "lying in wait for the opportunity to inflict the greatest possible harm to Stardock". That's one hell of an inflammatory claim, by the way, but from Stardock's point of view, I suppose it's not entirely uncalled for.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2018, 09:32:10 pm by PRH » Logged
CelticMinstrel
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Re: Stardock Litigation Discussion
« Reply #286 on: September 09, 2018, 01:08:08 am »

I guess I can agree that filing a DMCA for SCO itself was maybe going to far, but the case is not so clear with the content packs, which are very close to infringing on their copyrights (whether or not they are infringing is for a lawyer or judge or whatever to decide).
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Elestan
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Re: Stardock Litigation Discussion
« Reply #287 on: September 09, 2018, 01:16:39 am »

I guess I can agree that filing a DMCA for SCO itself was maybe going to far, but the case is not so clear with the content packs, which are very close to infringing on their copyrights (whether or not they are infringing is for a lawyer or judge or whatever to decide).

I've heard that they just renamed their Melnorme to Maelnum, which doesn't really help.  An orange, bulbous race of information brokers in SC:O with the same name as the ancestors as an orange, bulbous race of information brokers from SC2?  That sounds substantially similar to me.
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Frogboy
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Re: Stardock Litigation Discussion
« Reply #288 on: September 09, 2018, 02:15:47 am »

That's quite a stretch, Elestan.



I would really like to see Paul and Fred argue in open court that that appears even similar to the Melnorme expressed in SC2.  Also, you linked to the Mael-Num.  It's one thing to quibble over copyright but now you're trying to argue that similar *spelling* of a word of a spy race is somehow in violation of someone's copyright?

The DLC, btw, were tracks of *music* created by Riku.  That was the content that got DMCA'd.

They also DMCA'd fleet battles.   There are two ways of interpreting that:

Either:

a. They believed that the Fleet Battles containing the Earthling Cruiser that looked remotely similar to the one in SC1/2/3 along with a ship with the word Arilou in its name somehow violated their copyrights.

or

b. They think they own the idea of Space Wars!

If it's the former, then we can litigate that in court and in the meantime have made changes previously discussed.  If it's the latter, then it will be interesting to see who, if anyone, still supports Paul and Fred if they DMCA based on *gameplay*.  You can't copyright gameplay.  If it could, then Paul and Fred would be in big trouble themselves.

The Fleet Battles part of Star Control: Origins plays substantially differently than SC2 anyway (and quite a few founders were unhappy with the changed gameplay but it was necessary for the pacing and ship variation we were looking for along to deal with some of the griefing that the Space Wars! / SC2 style Super-Melee resulted in).

Paul and Fred do have the opportunity of becoming very famous if the keep on the course they seem to be taking.

« Last Edit: September 09, 2018, 02:30:38 am by Frogboy » Logged
Elestan
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Re: Stardock Litigation Discussion
« Reply #289 on: September 09, 2018, 02:47:11 am »

I would really like to see Paul and Fred argue in open court that that appears even similar to the Melnorme.  Also, you linked to the Mael-Num.  It's one thing to quibble over copyright but now you're trying to argue that similar *spelling* of a word of a spy race is somehow in violation of someone's copyright?

Come now, do you really think that the presence or absence of a hyphen makes a difference?  And are you really suggesting that in the absence of the creative influences of SCII, that your spy race for SC:O would be remotely the way they are?  They sure seem derivative to me.  I believe I recall you saying that they were drawn by an artist who was given certain instructions, including to make them orange.  Would you care to say who selected the color orange for your spy race?

As for the reasoning for their DMCA, it would surprise me if it was about "gameplay", but perhaps we'll get to read for ourselves when P&F reply to you.
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Frogboy
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Re: Stardock Litigation Discussion
« Reply #290 on: September 09, 2018, 03:10:10 am »

Like I said Elestan, I would very much like to see them argue in open court that that alien is a “derivative” of a one-eyed big mouthed orange Alien with a toothy grin most famous for what color it’s background is.

The Maelnum have nothing in common with the Melnorme from SC2. Their histories are different. Their motivations are different. They don’t even have starships. You’re just grasping at straws here.  And arguing about words falls into trademarks anyway.

For a guy who vigorously argued about “fair use” on the trademark side you certainly seem to have adopted a much more liberal concept of what copyright protects.  Maybe you should replay UQM to look at its inspirations.

In any case, it’s a matter for the courts to decide.  Stardock has already taken steps to make sure the situation has reached a status quo while the courts sort things out. But that’s a two way street. The more we have to modify our game to appease Paul and Fred, the more concessions we will demand from them on their game.
 

« Last Edit: September 09, 2018, 03:39:01 am by Frogboy » Logged
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Re: Stardock Litigation Discussion
« Reply #291 on: September 09, 2018, 04:37:06 am »


The Maelnum have nothing in common with the Melnorme from SC2. Their histories are different. Their motivations are different. They don’t even have starships.


So no reason to be called Maelnum other than "I can".
 
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CommanderShepard
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Re: Stardock Litigation Discussion
« Reply #292 on: September 09, 2018, 04:43:51 am »

What doesn't make sense after all this time is why there is an intentional effort to make SCO races similar at all when there are literally infinite possibilities after declaring the game a separate universe.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2018, 04:45:46 am by CommanderShepard » Logged
CelticMinstrel
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Re: Stardock Litigation Discussion
« Reply #293 on: September 10, 2018, 01:56:45 am »

The similarity to the Melnorme is obvious to anyone who's played the game. Whether it's similar enough to be an infringement is not clear, sure. But there are very clear similarities that I'm sure would be taken into account when trying to determine whether it is, in fact, an infringment:

  • They are orange and bulbous.
  • They have the same name (while it's not outright stated, it's very strongly implied that the Mael-Num and the Melnorme are the same race). And no, I'm sure a missing hyphen won't make a difference.
  • They are information brokers.

You're drawing attention to all the differences, but as far as I can tell that's really just a diversion. The differences aren't what matter here, are they? What matters is the similarities. Are there enough similarities to constitute a copyright infringement? Who knows. But there are definitely some pretty substantial similarities.
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Frogboy
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Re: Stardock Litigation Discussion
« Reply #294 on: September 10, 2018, 02:22:41 am »

The similarity to the Melnorme is obvious to anyone who's played the game. Whether it's similar enough to be an infringement is not clear, sure. But there are very clear similarities that I'm sure would be taken into account when trying to determine whether it is, in fact, an infringment:

  • They are orange and bulbous.
  • They have the same name (while it's not outright stated, it's very strongly implied that the Mael-Num and the Melnorme are the same race). And no, I'm sure a missing hyphen won't make a difference.
  • They are information brokers.

You're drawing attention to all the differences, but as far as I can tell that's really just a diversion. The differences aren't what matter here, are they? What matters is the similarities. Are there enough similarities to constitute a copyright infringement? Who knows. But there are definitely some pretty substantial similarities.

“Information brokers”? I’m sorry but have you played the game? If you had you’d know that is not their role. They’re spies. They don’t sell information.  

In any event, sounds like a question for a jury.

Just remember these arguments, however, when the time comes for discussing the matter of whether having Melnorme in a game might cause a liklelynood or confusion in a consumer to think that game is connected with Star Control.  I know I will.

Edit: I've requested the name to be changed from Maelnum to Maelnir despite the fact that you can't copyright a word.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2018, 03:28:42 am by Frogboy » Logged
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Re: Stardock Litigation Discussion
« Reply #295 on: September 10, 2018, 05:48:20 am »


Just remember these arguments, however, when the time comes for discussing the matter of whether having Melnorme in a game might cause a liklelynood or confusion in a consumer to think that game is connected with Star Control.  I know I will.

We can look at the Likelihood of confusion factors right now:

1) Strength of the mark. "STAR CONTROL" is at least suggestive, possibly arbitrary. Fairly strong.
2) Defendant's use of the mark. None. "MELNORME" does not appear on the goods or indicate source*.
3) Similarity of the marks. None. "MELNORME" and "STAR CONTROL" are in no way similar.
4) Actual confusion. N/A due to 2)
5) Defendant's intent: Non-trademark use.
6) Marketing: N/A due to 2)
7) Purchaser's degree of care: N/A due to 2)
8.) Likelihood of product line expansion: N/A due to 2)

*Star Control is not a source, it does not produce goods or services. Trademark law does not care whether the contents are connected to the trademark, only what the type of goods are.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2018, 06:48:58 am by WibbleNZ » Logged
Elestan
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Re: Stardock Litigation Discussion
« Reply #296 on: September 10, 2018, 06:07:22 am »

We can look at the Likelihood of confusion factors right now:

1) Strength of the mark. "STAR CONTROL" is at least suggestive, possibly arbitrary. Fairly strong.

Note that the "Star Control" mark has a Section 15 Incontestability declaration filed.  I don't think that affects the other factors, nor does it make it immune to challenges based on abandonment or fraudulent renewal, but I think it overrides any ability to challenge it on strength.

EDIT:
Quote
Trademark law does not care whether the contents are connected to the trademark, only what the type of goods are.

Actually, it does care, and inversely so:  The more connected the trademark is to the goods themselves (as opposed to their source), the weaker the trademark is.  This is part of why "Arilou", despite being a fanciful word, is probably not a fanciful (i.e. very strong) trademark:  Its primary use is as a race name within the game, and not as an identification of where the game is coming from.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2018, 03:56:10 pm by Elestan » Logged
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Re: Stardock Litigation Discussion
« Reply #297 on: September 10, 2018, 07:49:38 am »

Just remember these arguments, however, when the time comes for discussing the matter of whether having Melnorme in a game might cause a liklelynood or confusion in a consumer to think that game is connected with Star Control.  I know I will.

For someone that continues to insist you're not trying to block production of Ghosts Of The Precursors, you spend an awful lot of time sinisterly hinting about how you're going to twist our words and use them to block production of Ghosts Of The Precursors
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Frogboy
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Re: Stardock Litigation Discussion
« Reply #298 on: September 10, 2018, 02:21:25 pm »

Just remember these arguments, however, when the time comes for discussing the matter of whether having Melnorme in a game might cause a liklelynood or confusion in a consumer to think that game is connected with Star Control.  I know I will.

For someone that continues to insist you're not trying to block production of Ghosts Of The Precursors, you spend an awful lot of time sinisterly hinting about how you're going to twist our words and use them to block production of Ghosts Of The Precursors

No. I’ve said we aren’t trying to prevent them from making their game.   Obviously, the more effort they put into blocking our game is going to have an effect in our willingness to allow their game to be connected to Star Control. 
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CelticMinstrel
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Re: Stardock Litigation Discussion
« Reply #299 on: September 10, 2018, 03:00:12 pm »

“Information brokers”? I’m sorry but have you played the game? If you had you’d know that is not their role. They’re spies. They don’t sell information. 
That's really splitting hairs, to be honest. The difference between spies and information brokers is fairly slim.

But yeah, sure. A question for a jury or whatever.
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