@palmpet: yes, this has been the continuous take of Stardock.
The goodwill is often associated with the name, and that is established practice with courts.
But then, this case is unusual in that most people refer to "Star Control" and thinking of the storyline, which is the IP and in different hands than the trademark.
A judge _may_ find, that this case will not fit the established practice.
But don't count on it, I would consider that a landslide decision.
I'm not on a device with full capabilities, using a tablet, so quoting everything correctly is hard to do, so please excuse any errors and incompleteness when citing, please.
Attaching to this e-mail that PR did agree that Stardock has unlimited distribution rights is problematic. There is no word from Paul Reiche about agreeing or disagreeing what you think you have. He's only asking for the costs you made....Frogboy wrote:Except it's not dishonest.Right here you verge back into full dishonesty again. Answer my earlier question: if I take a dollar out of your wallet without permission, do you shrug and say "it's just a dollar"?
In October we had two things in our possession: A signed contract with GOG that Atari transferred to us AND Paul and Fred's confirmation that we had these rights:
And all of this had been legally reviewed.
If you want to measure things in dollars, the damage they did by pawning off on the Star Control mark is vastly vastly greater. By contrast, the DOS games available causes no damage whatsoever. They get the royalty they've been getting for years.
Can you prove that FF and PR did get at least 1000$ per annum? If not, then the sales licensing contract has ended...
Because the Atari/Reiche agreement seems to indicate just that...
( http://star-control.com/community/viewt ... 946#p26946, Exhibit 1 (page 30 following, specifically point 2.2, "sales term") )
As Star Control Episode IV (Star Control 1), and Star Control II, as well as Star Control 3 were not for sale for several years, I find it hard to believe Accolade/Atari would've sprung that money out of its own pockets to keep the sales license for the games alive.
The GoG deal came much later (exhibit 7, pages 105 following, signed 1 April 2011), thus the only valid sales/distribution agreement I can find is the GoG deal, where FF and PR have the right to end the sales licensing.
And maybe FF and PR only became aware of the Steam sales once you advertised it...?
I don't check yearly all of my previous works, whether the current "owner" still keeps his side of the deal. And with all the online platforms I have no chance of checking everywhere, and thus being complete in my checks.
Also, Exhibit 3 (https://www.documentcloud.org/documents ... claim.html, page 55 following), the agreement for Star Control 3, just adds Star Control 3 into the list of games for which the original agreement is valid.
The other terms remain (point 5), thus the licensing agreement for sales of Star control 3 has ended, about one year after Accolade stopped the sales, and thus did not reach the 1000$ per year...
And exhibit 4 (page 58 following) regulates the development of a further new game, which never got published. The term to finalize the new product was limited to three years after signing (point 4.1). So, the licensing agreement you multiple times insisted was unendable and granted Stardock all rights to do anything in that universe/lore ENDED 1 April 2001.
So Stardock NEVER HAD A RIGHT TO INCLUDE original Star Control II IP, because there are clear ending terms defined in the Accolade agreements.
Very interesting side note: point 1.5:the Reiche IP includes names, terminology, plot lines, and music.
There seems to be no limit to only parts of SC2, like Stardock claims.
Accolade seemed to have known/assume that everything had been transferred to PR by all other participants, why else accept this broad paragraph, without a need to prove what is PR's property?
Yet you were willing to pay 300k$ dollars to headstart your new game with this base. I love the specific story line.Frogboy wrote: The fan base for the specific story told in Star Control II is miniscule.
I found the name Star Control well chosen, but never liked the name "Super-Melee"....
Well, IMHO, now you do have sufficient indication, even without the e-mail exchange. Still, the games are on sale and advertised by Stardock.Frogboy wrote:I already posted examples of reasons Stardock has every reason to believe it has the right to distribute the DOS games.And once again you try to breeze past the fact that Stardock is, according to publicly available evidence, arrogating rights to itself which it does not actually have. You yourself stated repeatedly that if any evidence was provided that they had control over distribution, you'd immediately comply with their requests. Evidence was provided yet Stardock hasn't changed its behavior.
They have posted on their blog, in March or whatever, what they claim is an email between Atari and GOG. They have not provided any of this to us, mind you. We read it at the same time you have. There is no affidavit attached to it. It has not been submitted to the court. I will say if they had provided that to us back before the lawyers were involved, we would have taken the games down.
True, but they may still refer to having been the developers, and continueing their own storyline started in Star Control II, and dismissing the lore of Star Control III.Frogboy wrote:They are not entitled to market or promote their game as being associated with Star Control. Calling it a sequel is absolutely most definitely doing that.
Those are facts, and will still give the impression of being the sequel of Star Control.
Without actually using the words sequel, or true sequel, or official sequel.
Their wording was extremely unlucky in that regard.
I fear they are not well versed in actual court lawyering of IP/trademarks, and thus made an error that can quickly happen to everyone. But they should never insist to continue to do so.
They should stop marketing as "true sequel", but referencing facts can still be done.
A judge panel may not find the whole thing as clearcut as you believe, especially in view of your interpretation of the Accolade/FF+PR agreement, and consequent announcement that you do have all the rights in that regard to use the lore, characters, settings, and to market/sale the classic series. That may become a mitigating factor. But I cannot foresee how judges and juries will consider and balance the different apparent transgressions....
So, I'll be awaiting the courtdecision, and hope that both paties will find the first instance decision to be fair and balanced, and not appeal to a second instance...
I need to find out if there are calory-free popcorn variants....
edit:inserted palmpet's quote at top, since this post is first on a new page.