Brad Wardell's site for talking about the customization of Windows.

We have received news today that Paul Reiche III and Fred Ford, contractors on the classic DOS game, Star Control 2 for Accolade and widely credited as being the "creators" of Star Control II have issued a DMCA take down notices to Valve and GOG to take down Star Control: Origins.

(this is the one sent to GOG)

As some of you may know, there is a legal dispute between Stardock and Reiche and Ford regarding the trademarks and copyrights pertaining to Star Control.  Stardock owns the copyright to Star Control 3 and the trademark to Star Control overall.  Reiche and Ford claim to own the copyright to Star Control 2 (though it's not clear what within it they own outside source code).

You can read the history here:
https://www.stardock.com/games/starcontrol/article/487690/qa-regarding-star-control-and-paul-and-fred

Unfortunately, rather than relying on the legal system to resolve this, they have chosen to bypass it by issuing vague DMCA take-down notices to Steam and GOG (who, btw, Reiche and Ford are suing using GoFundMe money).

Steam and GOG both have a policy of taking down content that receive DMCA notices regardless of the merits of the claims. 

To my knowledge, never in the history of our industry has anyone attempted to use the DMCA system to take down a shipping game before. For example, when PubG sued Fortnite for copyright infringement, they didn't try to take Fortnite down with a DMCA notice.

For those not familiar with copyright law, you CANNOT copyright ideas, individual or short phrases, concepts, mechanics, game designs, etc. 

Star Control: Origins does not contain any copyrighted work of Reiche or Ford. We spent 5 years working on it making it our own game. It very much plays like you would expect a Star Control game. But that has nothing to do with copyright. 

We have assurances from GOG and Valve that already purchased games will continue to work.

Unfortunately, without the income from Star Control: Origins, Stardock will have to lay off some of the men and women who are assigned to the game.

We will do our very best to continue to support the game and hopefully Star Control: Origins will return as soon as possible.


Comments (Page 3)
on Jan 02, 2019

Zorkins

Just out of curiosity as I have to knowledge of U.S. law, how long do this kind of legal issues take to settle on average? weeks, months, years?

Years.

on Jan 03, 2019

I had planned on buying Paul&Fred's SC game as well but now that I see another underhanded move by them I'll go ahead and skip that. Buying their game would leave a bad taste in my mouth so... season pass here I come

on Jan 03, 2019

Inibriatus

I had planned on buying Paul&Fred's SC game as well but now that I see another underhanded move by them I'll go ahead and skip that. Buying their game would leave a bad taste in my mouth so... season pass here I come

 

Hopefully you aren't just getting your news through Stardock's own forums. At the beginning I would have been happy to buy both games too, but I can't see myself buying Origins at all by this point.

on Jan 03, 2019

Ok, can fans fund stardock a bit so that you do not lay people off or do it once they complete their project so that development does not stop?

on Jan 03, 2019
Fund stardock by buying their games, and getting others to buy their games.
on Jan 03, 2019

Prof_Hari_Seldon

Chill Kavik please.  Don't forget SpaceWar! was a big influence on SC as well.

 

Maybe SFB contributed the idea of unique ships with multiple weapons.

I don't think Stardock wants me discussing this here, but you are completely and totally wrong.  Star Control ***IS*** the integrated Star Fleet Universe.  I was more responsible for "creating" Star Control than Paul & Fred were.  And it was not just Star Control.  The early computer game industry was open season on the Star Fleet Universe and many people made their careers and reputation by stealing our work and reputation.  The liars, plagiarists, and thieves who made Master of Orion, for example, are no different than Paul & Fred.

I am a "living god" of Paul & Fred's universe... I know "their" own universe better than they do.  And I also know a few dozen other people who know their own universe better than they do.  Paul & Fred are liars, plagiarists, and thieves.  They are the biggest scumbags in the history of the game industry, and I am one of the world's leading experts on the history of the game industry... AND I DARE THEM TO SUE ME FOR SAYING SO!!!

SUE ME, YOU WORTHLESS COWARDS... I DARE YOU!!!

 

EDIT: Oh, and Harry... If I were lying they would sue me for slander, right?  Because this is NEVER going to end from this point forward.  For the rest of my life, I will be there to call Paul & Fred liars, plagiarists, and theives publicly, and remind everyone in the game business that they are nothing and nobodies who did nothing other than to spend 30 years attempting to steal the reputation of the most important game and simulation designer of all time.  Everyone will constantly be reminded from this point forward that Paul & Fred are liars, plagiarists, and thieves.  Talentless hacks who spent 30 years attempting to steal the reputation of SVC and the SFU.  Not suing me for slander is admitting their lie...

 

on Jan 03, 2019

Oh Gosh.. lemme be a bit ::sarcastic:: for a moment.

When GameSpot bought Impulse from StarDock.. i was definitely pushed to try rationalizing how the entire Gaming Industry had just turned into some cut-throat monster that would spin customers/market (of the day) on its tail for the worst. Later on.. DLC, Pay-Per-Play, Steam hegemony, Online scooping (Twitter + FaceBook didn't really exist back then.. remember?), rapid growth or decay, etc. We all know what Gamespot did with that power -- ruined it and cheeky licked Valve/Steam right back on track to where they steadily aim for -- THE Best Platform. Popular by default.

Now comes that --frankly-- silly DMCA claim by some obscure guys that no longer hold Star-Control (initial intellectual property, if anything) rights.. not fully for sure. StarDock does.

Sooooooo.. to loop another story worth such incredibly magical twists of fate; Firaxis' (Jake Solomon) & Julian Gollop's (goes all the way back to 1994 Microprose) mutually preferred X-Com titles franchise.

Not a single LAW gambit in sight, none ever since either. Every minds are still absolutely focused on their own business with full respect towards each other. Firaxis went on to create & distribute (on Steam too!! ) two VERY successful X-Com titles & plenty of cool DLC byproducts. Gollop is presently deeply involved into his hybrid runover with "Phoenix Point" as a true Indie Box cycle. Good luck Julian -- Release predicted for June'19.

The money is in the pudding.

on Jan 03, 2019

Zyxpsilon

Sooooooo.. to loop another story worth such incredibly magical twists of fate; Firaxis' (Jake Solomon) & Julian Gollop's (goes all the way back to 1994 Microprose) mutually preferred X-Com titles franchise.

Not a single LAW gambit in sight, none ever since either. Every minds are still absolutely focused on their own business with full respect towards each other. Firaxis went on to create & distribute (on Steam too!! ) two VERY successful X-Com titles & plenty of cool DLC byproducts. Gollop is presently deeply involved into his hybrid runover with "Phoenix Point" as a true Indie Box cycle. Good luck Julian.

And let's not forget that they're both letting Xenonauts thrive as well, whose developers are getting ready to release a second game in that universe.

I'd like to point out that I own the original X-Com titles, the new XCOM ones, Xenonauts, and I backed both Phoenix Point and Xenonauts 2 on Kickstarter. They all deserve it!

I think Brad had hoped that everyone would get along in this way, each doing their own thing, both being "Star Control-y," and realizing what each does benefits the other. Sadly, was not to be.

on Jan 03, 2019

I have a suggestion. The people who might get laid off; why don't you employ them to modernize the source code for GalCiv 2? That way it can compile on modern machines. That way you can do updates to it again. At least, thats the reason I recall hearing of why GalCiv 2 no longer get updates.

on Jan 04, 2019

This is a sad say that many feared was coming. Hope you guys can get it back up on Steam & GoG. All the fans wanted after all these years were new Star Control games and therefore for both of the projects to happen. However it looks like this isn't going to end until one party is completely obliterated and bankrupt resulting in there only being one game out there.. and it'll probably be incomplete (compared to original plans) due to the winner losing so much money as well.

I've just purchased the game and the addon from Stardocks site. I buy nearly all of Stardocks games anyway but I usually wait for physical releases. Can't take that risk with this one. Plus I wanted to show my support for Stardock as while I prefer not to take sides I don't want the game obliterated and people losing their jobs.

In regards to Steam also taking the game away from existing buyers. That shouldn't happen I own several games that were removed by steam after various legal troubles. You can't buy them and they have no store page but they still work. Hell one of them I bought a physical copy from ebay long after the take down and was able to install via steam, activate via steam and even get it's final updates downloaded via steam.

on Jan 04, 2019

Thanks for putting that sale up. I was going to pick the game up anyway, but now I'll probably grab the season pass as well. I used to buy all Stardock games near release, but then I moved my main gaming system to Linux and haven't been buying very many windows only games anymore.