• Star Control: Origins removed from Steam (and GOG) after DMCA takedown notice
    21 replies, posted
https://www.pcgamer.com/star-control-origins-removed-from-steam-after-dmca-takedown-notice/ https://kotaku.com/star-control-origins-pulled-from-steam-and-gog-due-to-1831431409 https://www.ibtimes.com/why-steam-gog-dropped-sci-fi-strategy-game-star-control-origins-2748213
They started selling it on their own website and currently its 50% off there.
I remember reading about this and it makes me sad that such a fun IP like Star Control is going through this sort of bullshit. For anyone interested in the shenanigans going on with this matter, this link explains most of it, and with sources too. Stardock Systems Inc. v. Paul Reiche III and Robert Frederick Fo..
Relevent: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ieb1ajwwUFo
If Wardell had just published his prequel and didn't try to start making SC2 races SCO DLC, none of this would be an issue. He did it to himself.
What's kinda funny is the irony of what remains of Gamergate tripping over themselves to take Wardell's side in this, even though it's the same type of fuckery they'd be against any other day, because he was one of the like dozen people that ever spoke out in their defense.
Since then though the dlcs have been cancelled and any mentions of the SC2 races completely reworded and reworked to the point I'm sure anyone would find satisfactory. This is entirely ridiculous as well as aside from fucking mineral names and colors, as well as a couple of races kinda similar to SC2's, Paul and Fred have no legs to stand on with a DMCA especially since Stardock has holding of the trademark. It's really sad this is happening to Star Control. Truthfully I think Stardock just really wanted to make a good Star Control game based on the originals as they asked Paul and Fred multiple times if they could use the IP, but Paul and Fred denied them because they wanted to make their own sequel. So Stardock instead decided to purchase the rights to the Star Control trademark after Atari died, and set out to make the game they wanted to, but Paul and Fred had to be asshats and intentionally announce their own game right before Stardock was going to do so with theirs. At this point Stardock was fed up with them and filed a claim against the two since they held the rights to the trademark of Star Control, but PnF countersued with a copyright claim on the original two games that were being sold on steam by the time by Stardock since Stardock held the license to the series. At one point Star Control offered a settlement as is usually done, but PnF rejected claiming the terms were too harsh and supposedly revealing the terms when they had specifically agreed with Stardock not to disclose any such offers. After that Stardock tried to get an injunction to stop PnF from DMCAing the release of Star Control: Origins to all hell, which the judge denied, and now we've ended up with this mess. Both sides are to blame here, PnF for being asshats about Stardock trying to make their own game based on Star Control, and Stardock being asshats back, which really just sucks because both of them have the capacity to make some really great games in the series. Origins was a very faithful remake and improvement on the gameplay of SC2, and PnF definitely still have it in them to make another game, but because of them being assholes about not letting Stardock do their own thing, they're having to spend time and money to fight Stardock on it. I was looking forward to Origins and hadn't heard anything since its release until now, and now that I have and the fact I'm not able to purchase it, it just fucking sucks.
or maybe no means no. When Tommy Wiseau and Kathleen Kennedy show up to your door and want to make Dune but set it in Modern Day Death Valley and the assault on the fortress is now a rap battle and dance off, the answer is 'fuck you', make your own IP. There was nothing stopping wardell from making a colony battle socialize rpg game. Nothing. His need to reboot and revamp one of the greatest works of scifi art and biggest love letter to 60-90s novelized scifi is ego borne, and he left the messages on Stardock to prove it. Right now he could be basking in the rays of 'hey man this is the best ______ since Star Control II, have some money make some more' and not be giving a shit about what other people are doing opr how much he's going to owe, cause he very much is going to owe.
Yeah, this is what baffles me the most, why exactly is he so hell bent on naming it Star Control? So he can rake in all that money from riding on an obscure 26-year old game, where to the vast majority of the people who played it it's little more than a distant memory? Stardock already has a fairly solid recognition with good titles like SoaSE, they have no need to ride on the coattails of a series that's been buried under 26 years of gaming history. Considering he seems to be a big fan, and tried to involve Reiche and Ford at numerous points, I think he's a fanboy-turned-yandere at this point, because I have no other fucking clue as to why he's been so fucking adamant about this.
How the fuck do you know that wasn't his original plan until the Star Control trademark became available and he got a chance to jump at his dreams of making a Star Control game? Picture this: You're a huge fan of a game and absolutely love the ideas, writing, and gameplay of a game. You become a game developer in part because of this game, and know you're going to want to make something like it in the future. You go to the original creators of the game, people you've looked up to in your career and life, and they tell you "go fuck yourself, it's ours", so you resign yourself to develop your own game and gain a much worse opinion of the original developers. Suddenly some of the rights come up for really cheap due to the death of a company associated with the original game. Why would you not jump on that deal and buy them and incorporate them into your own game? To take this further: Suddenly the original creators intentionally announce a new game right before you open up and reveal all the cool features you have for your game, stealing the spotlight and completely screwing you intentionally(which is especially relevant seeing as there's credible evidence there would never have been a Ghosts of the Precursors if it weren't for Star Control: Origins). So you do the thing available to you with the acquisition of the rights and try to stop them, and this all further erupts and snowballs, your dislike for the original creators growing which just causes worse and worse actions toward them on your part, until you have a situation much like this one. There's nothing irrational that Wardell did. He wanted to create a game and got a chance at developing something new from one of the most influential games on his career. Perhaps part of it was his own ego, of course you want to make things better if you think you have the abilities to do so, but that doesn't invalidate him trying to make a new game with the properties he rightfully acquired. Knowing you from the forums, I guarantee you'd be doing the same things as him if you were in his shoes. Side rant: All of this just further makes me hate the copyright and intellectual property systems we have. All they do in their current state is provide near permanent monopolies on ideas that everyone should be able to develop and create upon. Don't get me wrong, there's some merit to them, original creators should get some time to be able to profit on their ideas, but a game like Star Control II is 25 years old at this point and at no time is making any profit for Paul and Fred. For them to be able to just sit on that property and do fuck all with it is absolutely stupid. Humanity has always been about taking old ideas and improving and creating upon them. We didn't have Copyright before 1710, and was humanity any worse off because of it? Did Shakespeare not write his plays despite knowing others could take and put their own spin on what he penned out? Did Homer not write the Illiad and Odyssey caring whether someone would create something based off his work, much like Virgil later did with the Aeneid? There's just no logical reason someone should be able to selfishly hog sole creation to an idea all to themselves for their entire life. What's yours will always be yours no matter if someone can legally make a copy of it or not, and you will always be remembered for what you did. If someone else makes a copy of it and does a poor job, they'll quickly be forgotten, but if someone take your idea and makes it better, they'll be remembered as well as you for what you've both been able to accomplish. The founding fathers never intended for copyright to be used to hold onto an idea for the rest of their life, only "to encourage, by proper premiums & Provisions, the advancement of useful knowledge and discoveries". Where does selfishly grasping a property for such a long time help do that? The only reason we even have copyright the way it is right now is because of corporations like Disney lobbying for increases in the term of copyright given so they can have sole ownership to their properties when the original creators aren't even give a shit about. In the original terms the Founding Fathers had for copyright would have expired. Would it really make Paul and Fred's entry to the Star Control series that much worse to let Star Control: Origins be its own thing? Star Control: Origins did pretty well and will be remembered as a decent entry for years to come, but if it had been shit would anyone have cared? The original creators are still going to be making their own, and it's still theirs. And yes, if I ever make an IP anyone cares about enough that they'd want to properly make something based off of it, and came to me to ask about it, I'd absolutely let them. If it's shit, then I'd ridicule it as such and tell everyone not to buy it, and if not, then I'd give them a pat on the back and a wad of cash for a copy of whatever it is they made.
First, No means No. The first issue he had was being incapable of respecting that the original creators wanted the game to be theirs and theirs alone. Keep in mind they learned a grim lesson from Star Control 3. What lesson would that be? I summarize it thusly: https://files.facepunch.com/forum/upload/284074/f6dc0716-a104-4c6c-8467-9e1b55b9b407/SC3syreen.png Second, He hardly inherited jack shit. Virtually all rights he would have inherited were conditional to Accolade or otherwise had lapsed long ago. The big article detailing all of this is down at the moment, but to my recollection, they signed a deal with Accolade that named them as the rights holders, and a license for the rights to accolade for as long as they continued paying royalties. Considering SC4 never saw release, and SC3 is itself over two decades old now, The license is double defunct, both at the point where they stopped paying up, and again when Accolade ceased to be. Wardell himself seemed to be aware of this at some point, considering this fact is clearly reflected in SC:O having little to do with the series. Third, you can say all you want about GotP being a ploy or whatever, but it's their property, their ball, their rights. They wanted the next Star Control to be under their direction, not merely be a party to it, and Wardell isn't entitled to their time. like 27X said here, they could have easily named it anything else, and there would be no issue with it. I'm not particularly loyal to Rieche and Ford considering they've spent the past two decades dangling the possibility of a proper sequel in front of their fans instead of doing anything with it, but that doesn't mean it's cool for Wardell to act in any way that he has. Nothing about how he's acted seems rational to me. A rational person would have respected their wishes and let Star Control die with them if they so choose, and created their own fucking game, which they 99% did, then spazzed the fuck out and started getting into a litigious pissing match.
https://www.stardock.com/starcontrol/screenshots/earthrising_aftermath/sco_earthrising_aftermath_ss04.png I, uh gm_spacebuild?
over the course of the case it was established that wardell knew very early in the project that this copyright dispute would be an issue. He had the choice to not do this and seemingly tried to just go ahead with it anyway and cross his fingers that it'd turn out fine, obviously it didnt. Are you still upset about it actually being about ethics in games journalism
It sounds like you've not really been paying attention to this whole thing, either that or considering you've said several things that go along with Stardocks inconsistent, biased narrative you might have only focused on their side of things. Re-read the email exchange between the two of them before this all happened - not Stardocks posting of some of the emails, read the actual email chain that's included in the court documents without any narrative applied to it. It's utterly absurd how someone could read that along with the other stuff surrounding this situation and still think Stardock are in the right here. There's a lot to cover really but basically to address some of your points briefly: GoG sold the game a few years ago, before Stardock got anything, and the sides involved in that agreed F&P had the rights the series and that contract was expired. Stardock only bought the trademark and some copyright to SC3, the publishing rights were also expired as they were part of that contract too - and even in that case, the auction put the burden of checking things were intact on the buyer, not Atari. F&P had said to Brad that they had plans to announce their new game and politely declined many times throughout the years of Brad asking to either get them involved or sell them the trademark, which they had no interest in. The proposed settlement WAS too harsh as it involved things like giving up all rights to the series and not making any games in the same genre even. They had not agreed to not disclose that and there was no legal aspects that were stopping them from doing so at that time. The injunction was declided because it was baseless and trying to stop F&P exerting their legal rights. Lastly, trademarks have no bearing on copyright and as there is such a thing as trademark fair use that likely means F&P have can still mention "Star Control" in a descriptive sense. All that's even without going into behavior like trying to claim F&P aren't the creators, that Stardock owns the series outright and new games need their permission, that they're going to use the aliens they originally agreed not to use anyway even though they don't have the rights to them etc. Your view of "how dare F&P do something as terrible as not let Stardock take their series from them!" is just terrible.
Good. I remember someone pointed out in a review that it was basicallt ur-quan masters but with worse writing and updated graphics. Then a dev personally attacked the review saying they didnt play enough of the game so their opinion belonged in the trash basically. The man had 10ish hours on it.
Oof. Incidentally poor Smart isn't doing that great. Line of Defense, which had a trailer on Steam saying "coming summer 2012", is no longer for sale anywhere and its servers have been dead for over a year, after being pulled abruptly for "maintenance and host migration". Alganon, the WoW-clone MMO he took over via deception and backstabbery, is also dead. He also suffered foreclosure and eviction in late 2018. He's still obsessed with hating Star Citizen 24/7. On the topic of this thread, fucking lmao Wardell what the fuck are you doing. I like Stardock but this is just.. like, what. What did he expect was going to happen? That he's a big company and they're two little guys so what can they do? I hope you like the taste of DMCA, Wardell
I'm actually pro-GG, at least from the start, but it's pretty undeniable at this point that it's shrunk and the cooler more moderate heads have left. Back in the day, they'd tell people with conspiracy theories to shill or who spitefully misgendered/deadnamed people like Wu to get bent, but go to KiA now and there's plenty of news on how ol' George Soros is taking away your games, unrelated right-wing politics crammed everywhere, and plenty of backing for the right kind of censorship. It's a far cry from where it was back in '14/'15
Fair enough, was wrong for assuming. I don't think KiA is as bad as you describe but there's definetly a lot more garbage there now, it's not exactly surprising for reddit. After the last presidential elections almost every gaming subreddit's censorship campaign escalated massively, and it's increasingly pushed both moderates and extremes into the same space which is going to have people who arent allowed to say things elsewhere saying irrelevant things where they're allowed to.
Small update on the copyright side of things here. F&P have shown a very brief table of examples of their reasons for the copyright claim: https://www.dogarandkazon.com/ Now, i'm sure people will think "They can't copyright red backgrounds! Or Hyperspace! Or having a radar map!" etc, but what's important to consider is that while those individual elements cannot be copyrighted, the overall visual identity and similarities when it's all taken together are what matters. For each example in that list it's not something that can be really copyrighted in itself, but when all those things are put together, that's what the copyright entails. For example: The “wholesale copying” of Tetris was troubling to the court, which found that the Tetris design, movement, playing field dimensions, display of “garbage lines,” appearance of “ghost” pieces, color changes and automatic fill-in of the game board at the end of the game (all of which were copied by Xio) were aesthetic choices, and were protected, original expressions of an idea. While the idea of a game that required one to rotate figures into a field was not protectible, the design of the component parts was. The court found that the overall look and feel of the games were nearly identical and that any differences between the two were “slight and insignificant.” The court concluded: “There is such similarity between the visual expression of Tetris and Mino that it is akin to literal copying. While there might not have actually been “literal copying” inasmuch as Xio did not copy the source code and exact images from Tetris, Xio does not dispute that it copied almost all of visual look of Tetris.” https://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=aa54729e-ea71-4520-970c-c0dfa8083fff So in combination there are overall significant similarities between the two, based on that.
https://twitter.com/draginol/status/1080967145218105344
Didn't take long to demonstrate that lack of expertise on copyright the Judge said he had.
https://twitter.com/draginol/status/1081057112468410369 What a fucking child.
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