Stardock CEO threatens to "eliminate" this community

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Alvarin
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Re: Stardock CEO threatens to "eliminate" this community

Post by Alvarin » Thu Dec 06, 2018 6:28 pm

Well, this site could start using different images... For some time ago it used to be/redirect to content not befitting "respectable" company.
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Re: Stardock CEO threatens to "eliminate" this community

Post by Stickman_king_28 » Thu Dec 06, 2018 6:31 pm

Alvarin wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 6:28 pm
Well, this site could start using different images...
I see no way to further use un-trademarked images. Didn't we change the forum icons etc from the SCII devices a while ago?
Soo... What were primitive ur-quan like? I just love to speculate about my favorite slave-master caterpillars. That wheezy voice acting tho
I have legal bulls**t phobia

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Alvarin
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Re: Stardock CEO threatens to "eliminate" this community

Post by Alvarin » Thu Dec 06, 2018 8:32 pm

Stickman_king_28 wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 6:31 pm
Alvarin wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 6:28 pm
Well, this site could start using different images...
I see no way to further use un-trademarked images. Didn't we change the forum icons etc from the SCII devices a while ago?
Not quite what I meant. It was blocked by ISPs as a porn site. Don't remember when, though...
EDIT: Wayback Machine says before 2004
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Re: Stardock CEO threatens to "eliminate" this community

Post by Elestan » Fri Dec 07, 2018 4:19 pm

Draxas wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 5:28 pm
Like it or not, we are using trademarked terms and copyrighted imagery, and who owns those rights is exactly what is in dispute here.
The images are completely safe, IMHO, as they are governed by copyright, not trademark, and Stardock is not claiming the copyright for itself, but rather on behalf of other, unnamed people (who only matter in that they are not P&F). Even if the judge gave Stardock everything it's asking for, that would only invalidate the SC2 copyrights, not grant them to Stardock. And if Stardock doesn't win that point, P&F licensed them for non-commercial use along with the rest of the SC2 art.
I doubt any of us here in this community would have the money, ability, and time necessary to stand and fight against a team of corporate lawyers trying to close us down. Hell, this appears to be the main thrust of Stardock's strategy against Paul and Fred, so what chance would we have? Fair use or not, it would cost a lot of money to get to judgment either way, and that's not something a tiny nonprofit forum generates in spades, if you see what I'm getting at.
...and that's a more real risk. Even if the site is not using "Star Control" in a way that would ultimately be upheld in court as commercial, Stardock's claim to own that trademark is fairly strong, and if confirmed by the court in the current case, could be enough to win a default judgement if the site admins did not actually cough up the money to have a competent lawyer argue against it, which would probably cost several thousand dollars at a minimum.

But an even larger danger, IMHO, is if the site owner signed a contract with Stardock like the one they tried to get UQM to sign; that contract basically would have conceded that Stardock's trademark was impacted by the content of the site, and would have committed to doing as Stardock says.

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Re: Stardock CEO threatens to "eliminate" this community

Post by PRH » Fri Dec 14, 2018 6:15 pm

Elestan wrote:
Fri Dec 07, 2018 4:19 pm
..., and Stardock is not claiming the copyright for itself, but rather on behalf of other, unnamed people (who only matter in that they are not P&F). Even if the judge gave Stardock everything it's asking for, that would only invalidate the SC2 copyrights, not grant them to Stardock.
There is one thing I thought of – what kind of ground would Stardock gain if they somehow proved that neither F&P nor Accolade owned the copyright to SC1 or SC2 when they were created? If the 1988 agreement was invalid (as Stardock claims in their current amended complaint), then doesn't it mean that Accolade never had a license to distribute and market the classic games? And what about the trademarks? Stardock is relying on the 1988 agreement to prove that they own all trademarks related to Star Control, but if it was never valid to begin with, what exactly would Stardock own now? Again, this is just speculation, since I'm not a lawyer, but it seems to me that Stardock would lose much more than it would gain with this argument.

What seems to have been Stardock's real position ever since this lawsuit started is that Accolade has been the rightful copyright claimant to all classic SC games all along, and that F&P are only entitled to recognition as authors of whatever material they had personally contributed. It's a ridiculous claim (we've already discussed why on the UQM forums), but that's what Stardock seems to be implying.

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Re: Stardock CEO threatens to "eliminate" this community

Post by Draxas » Fri Dec 14, 2018 6:55 pm

Exactly correct. Stardock is trying to effectively transfer the copyrights from Fred and Paul to Accolade, which by extension would seemingly make Stardock the copyright holders... But they only purchased the trademarks, so...? Not sure what the endgame is supposed to be for that argument, maybe that the SC copyrights are invalid so now it is all public domain? Doesn't make much business sense to me.

...But what does make business sense, is that introducing these arguments extends the proceedings more and more, draining the resources needed to continue fighting in court. It's a strongarm tactic designed to punish Fred and Paul for not being cooperative with what Stardock wanted. It is also, potentially, more and more effective the longer things go on. Corporations have deep pockets that private individuals can rarely hope to match, and in a legal context just like most others, that is a highly abusable position given the right mindset and opportunity.

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Re: Stardock CEO threatens to "eliminate" this community

Post by PRH » Fri Dec 14, 2018 8:41 pm

Stardock has purchased the entire Accolade's share of the Star Control IP. That includes the trademark, the copyright to SC3, and apparently the copyright to things like the box art to the games and the printed starmap for SC2.

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Re: Stardock CEO threatens to "eliminate" this community

Post by Elestan » Sat Dec 15, 2018 3:35 am

PRH wrote:
Fri Dec 14, 2018 6:15 pm
There is one thing I thought of – what kind of ground would Stardock gain if they somehow proved that neither F&P nor Accolade owned the copyright to SC1 or SC2 when they were created?
Well, if P&F don't have the copyright, Stardock can't be forced to pay them any money for violating it.
If the 1988 agreement was invalid (as Stardock claims in their current amended complaint), then doesn't it mean that Accolade never had a license to distribute and market the classic games? And what about the trademarks?

Stardock is relying on the 1988 agreement to prove that they own all trademarks related to Star Control, but if it was never valid to begin with, what exactly would Stardock own now?
Draxas wrote:
Fri Dec 14, 2018 6:55 pm
Stardock is trying to effectively transfer the copyrights from Fred and Paul to Accolade, which by extension would seemingly make Stardock the copyright holders...
Stardock isn't asking for the 1988 agreement to be invalidated, nor for Stardock to be given ownership of the copyrights. They're asking for P&F's copyright registrations and ownership to be voided, so that P&F no longer have standing to argue that anything Stardock has done violates those copyrights. And if P&F don't have the copyrights, even after the rest of the team gave them the registered copyright assignments, then there really isn't anyone left who could press a plausible claim; copyrights have to be registered before enforcement action can be taken.

I think one way to view this is that Stardock is trying to muddy the ownership of the SC2 copyright so thoroughly that it becomes unenforceable in practice.

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Re: Stardock CEO threatens to "eliminate" this community

Post by Now and Forever » Mon Dec 31, 2018 2:54 am

PRH wrote:
Fri Dec 14, 2018 8:41 pm
Stardock has purchased the entire Accolade's share of the Star Control IP. That includes the trademark, the copyright to SC3, and apparently the copyright to things like the box art to the games and the printed starmap for SC2.
Great, I'll call them should I want a printed starmap. 8-)
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