The Third Doctrinal War -- Stardock, Reiche/Ford, and Star Control


I’m pretty sure they can continue to update. I have it on Steam (was given to people who backed the abandoned Servo game) and I noticed it had a 400mb update just the other day.


He assumed they would be thrilled to work for their #1 fan on their baby, which is even sillier.


“Stay a while, and listen, your honour.”


Can you wait 2 weeks for Star Citizen to collapse before you Announce Star Diablo? I can only follow so many trainwrecks at once.


Double Damage’s Star Diablo, coming to your mobile phone in 2019. Don’t worry about it interfering with the Rebel Galaxy Outlaws schedule, development of Star Diablo has been outsourced to a nice mobile gaming company in China.




Thank you. An important correction.


I dunno, like this whole thing I doubt it’s exactly that cut and dry. From reading the emails Brad was looking for a collaboration initially and then it went sour. In this mess I think it’s easy to demonize a single party but it takes two to tango and both sides haven’t exactly come out smelling of roses.


This made me coffee spit. Nicely done.


We never saw any real offers of collaboration. A collaboration isn’t “give up all your rights and you get to use them under my direction”. Even an offer to build a dev team for P&F for their game it would be under Stardock’s control. Stardock has talked a lot about things like being willing to give P&F a free license (to the rights they would be giving up claim to) but “free” as in not having to pay money and “no string attached” are two different things and the later was never offered.

There’s also no “it went sour”. Stardock received a polite but outright refusal, plus a reminder of the rights it did not have and that P&F planned to utilize their copyrights to make their own work. P&F were under no obligation to work with Stardock in any way. The relationship did not sour, there was no relationship.

In this mess I think it’s easy to demonize a single party but it takes two to tango and both sides haven’t exactly come out smelling of roses.

It’s also easy to fall into the trap of pointless and baseless devil’s advocacy and “both sides are bad”-ism.




Really? After you pulled the “demonizing” line and said in slightly different words that both sides are bad.

If you have instances where you feel P&F have made mistakes go ahead and discuss them. You might notice a lot of that goes on in this thread. However when they fall flat after discussion just going back to “well, both sides are bad” is pretty weak.

If you want to accuse people of “demonizing” one side actually do it. Show examples. Don’t just fall back on vague statements of it.


Because I’m annoyed by this notion that McMaster, et al., think that some here are complete P&F fanboys:

  1. P&F did a horrible job over the years of resolving their dangling IP. They had multiple chances over the decades when they could have wrested control of the trademark and fully owned everything related to Star Control. They did not, and are now unfortunately reaping that whirlwind.
  2. The hiring of Singer PR was an awful call by their legal counsel, or at least their initial stabs at “PR” were really bad. Brad continues to garner public sympathy from that one stupid tweet they made.
  3. Decent to good chance that P&F infringed on SD’s trademark. Their language specifically said they were “creating a direct sequel to SC2”. That’s different than, “from the team that brought you X”, or “from the creators of X”. However, what blood can be squeezed from one redacted blog post remains to be seen. They may also be able to claim nominative use, but I don’t know if that defense applies.
  4. The GoFundMe wasn’t the best look. Millionaires asking for money to fund their legal plight isn’t something that will endear you to everyone.
  5. The use of the DMCA was questionable. Blameless SD employees may get hurt by it, and Brad gets yet another sympathy lever he can pull. However, in this situation I think it’s completely justified.


All of this, ALL OF IT, is more than offset by the behavior of the other party.

I can see nuance in this case and I can see how one side is not 100% guilt-free. However, our very nation is being crippled by this notion that because it’s X vs. Y, somehow X and Y are simply equally opposed viewpoints, therefore both are equally right and wrong and both are equally responsible. This is simply not true. I can point out countless examples of Brad behaving terribly in this case, whereas P&F have simply shut the hell up and for the most part let their actions do the talking.

He lies constantly. His word is meaningless, since he’ll go back on any public statement if it suits him. He has waged an aggressive propaganda campaign. He’s threatened to publicly reveal real-life ID of people not even involved in the case. He’s attempted to take over fan communities while insulting them. He wields his fanbase as a cudgel to downvote things he doesn’t like, merely by invoking the specter of identity politics and SJWs. Hell, he tried to “community manage” this very site!

Because of this, I feel the need to try to represent P&F’s side a bit more favorably. They aren’t angels, but they don’t have a host of CMs on sites actively trying to persuade people.


Well, sure, but that’s not really a satisfying analysis.

I went looking and funnily enough, found a parody game that was unpublished on Steam via a DMCA takedown! The budget was a lot smaller and the legal situation much cleaner/funnier than Stardock’s, though.


I’m not saying they wanted to sabotage SC:O, but you don’t need evil intent to make a crap decision. They pissed on Stardock’s parade. There was no significance to the them making this announcement given that they didn’t have anything to show. Sure it was the 25th anniversary but big deal. Would it have hurt them to delay their announcement until after SD had released their game? No, not really. And I suspect you would feel differently had you been the one who had a substantial investment in SC:O.


Yeah, it seems to me that some people are doing the very same thing they accuse others of doing. For some it appears Brad can do nothing right and P&F can do no wrong.


The issue isn’t whether what they can use those funds for but whether the DMCA is appropriate. Two separate issues.


I still have not seen a decent argument for why the use of DMCA is inappropriate in this case. Can you explain why you think it is?

Note: I’m drawing a distinction here: I have seen reasonable arguments that using DMCA here is a tactical or PR mistake, or that the work being DMCA’d doesn’t infringe. But “inappropriate”, to me, implies an ethical judgment here that I disagree with.

Put another way: IF you were in F+P’s shoes, and IF you believed in good faith that the things they claim infringed actually infringe, are you still saying that the use of DMCA is inappropriate? If so, why?


It was the 25th anniversary of their game. Should they have polled every game developer to see if it was OK that they make a timely announcement?

Why on Earth do you feel that they were obligated to pass up a milestone because of anything Stardock was or was not doing?


As pointed out by others, absolutely. There was already considerable behind the scenes hostile discussion going on at that time. Brad claimed exclusive license to their content and indicated that he was going forward with his project under that assumption. Battle lines had been drawn and if P&F just let Stardock run over them at that point it would have set a dangerous dynamic to the relationship from P&F’s point of view.

They had indicated they had their own plans a long time ago, and it was well within their right to celebrate the game they made with that announcement.