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First post, by VileR

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https://www.gofundme.com/help-fred-amp-paul-s … ve-the-universe

Apparently Stardock is now seeking to prevent the authors of Star Control I and II from doing anything even remotely related to the SC games ever again (including the planned official sequel 'Ghosts of the Precursors'), and from even presenting themselves as the creators of the first two games.

Some background info is at https://dogarandkazon.squarespace.com/, including the proposed 'settlement' agreement drafted by Stardock, just in case you don't want to take Paul and Fred's words for it.

Since I don't do the whole social media thing, this is the only applicable place I have to spread the word, but please do likewise whether or not you can donate.

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Reply 1 of 11, by ripa

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I don't know who's side to take on this. Anyway, here's Stardock's point of view: https://www.stardock.com/games/starcontrol/ar … d-paul-and-fred

edit: I'm hesitant to condemn Stardock because they picked up a dead franchise and have done something with it - hopefully Origins lives up to the expectations.

Reply 2 of 11, by VileR

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Certainly a slick and somewhat convincingly-worded presentation, *if* the only issue at stake was the technical ownership of the rights to slap a name on a product. But for those who have followed the franchise and know whose work made the original games great, and would like to see more from those people, the choice should be clear enough.

(Note that even there, Stardock is basically admitting that they were trademark-trolling when they filed for ownership of "The Ur-Quan Masters", "Super Melee" and all those alien species names; all terms that currently appear in the freely-available open source UQM project. It isn't difficult to imagine what would happen to the latter if Stardock gets to own those trademarks.)

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Reply 3 of 11, by dionb

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To me reading the two threads, it sounds like Brad & Stardock were almost fanboy-ish in their adoration of Dogar & Kazon, but in return got rather less than honest replies about no plans/interest/time/contractual opportunity to develop Star Control stuff. Then after Stardock - figuring the field was amicably open so long as they respected the request not to include copyrighted material - sunk a lot of investment into this and kept the pair they didn't see as competitors updated along the way, they suddenly got upstaged. At that point the lawyers take over...

Not deeply enough versed in copyright/trademark law to comment on claim/counterclaim, but saying you're not able to do anything, then turn out to have been doing exactly what you said you weren't sounds like pretty major douchebaggery.

In any event, now it's in the lawyers' hands, the only winners will be the lawyers themselves 😢

Reply 4 of 11, by VileR

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Some more analysis at http://wiki.uqm.stack.nl/Stardock_Systems_Inc … _Frederick_Ford
Haven't read much of it yet, so I'm not sure how impartial it is, but it seems well-sourced at least.

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Reply 6 of 11, by dionb

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Their Master of Magic reboot was authentic enough: so buggy at release it was virtually unplayable 😦

But playability doens't decide legality. It looks like everything hinges on exactly what was still valid in the stuff Stardock bought out of the ashes of Atari.

Reply 7 of 11, by MrFlibble

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VileRancour wrote:

Some more analysis at http://wiki.uqm.stack.nl/Stardock_Systems_Inc … _Frederick_Ford
Haven't read much of it yet, so I'm not sure how impartial it is, but it seems well-sourced at least.

I've been kinda following this story, thanks for the link, this article is indeed well researched.

Personally what I find most alarming in the entire affair is this part of the lawsuit that apparently attempts to retroactively strip the original games' authors of their creative role in some bizarrely Orwellian manner, this has some pretty terrible implications. And unlike the flawed execution of YouTube's and Facebook's copyright filters that lay claims on classical music, this is intentional, and very worrying.

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Reply 9 of 11, by VileR

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DracoNihil wrote:

I lose more faith in the "justice system" every year...

Eh, let's see... most things here are still to be decided. Having read around some more, it seems extremely unlikely that either of the sides here is going to get everything it wants.

There's a good amount of PR around this whole thing from both sides, and FWIW I'm not really looking at Stardock as the Ultimate Evil (or Crimson Corporation if you prefer) 😉 but on the bottom line, the game I'd want to see is the one Paul and Fred have announced, with as little outside intervention as possible. So now that this is also at stake, I know who I support.

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Reply 10 of 11, by dr_st

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dionb wrote:

It looks like everything hinges on exactly what was still valid in the stuff Stardock bought out of the ashes of Atari.

This seems to me a very succinct and accurate summary.

I am very sensitive to mega-corporations bullying "the little guy" trying to sue them into submission with the ridiculous litigation costs (especially in the U.S.), and especially when it is over copyright and other "intellectual property" stuff, a lot of which I personally see as either bogus or detrimental to society. So I was all ready to jump on the bandwagon, when I read the link in VileRancour's first post; however, the counter-claims by Stardock linked to by ripa show that this is not such a case.

I think that here both parties started with good faith, but with different beliefs regarding the legal rights of each; when these different beliefs put them on a collision course, each party seemingly lost the faith in the other and started suspecting ulterior motives, and that's when it got ugly.

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