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


Source? P&F are major executives behind a billion dollar franchise, while Stardock says it had to lay people off. I’m not really inclined to believe Stardock is actually that badly off, but neither do I see any reason to assume P&F have the smaller pockets here.

P&F also have the option to walk away with little more than the loss of their retirement project. If Stardock abandons SC:O, it could quite possibly tank the company.


What Venjer described is retaliation. There are some well known proverbs about retaliation.


P&F are not the major executives behind a billion dollar franchise, that’s Brad Wardell’s framing and it’s concerning you buy it so entirely. They’re the developers who run a company that works on a billion dollar franchise. It’s not even their company, as Activision owns it. So they can’t use all that company dosh to fund legal fees even if they had it. They are, I assure you, not as personally wealthy as Stardock is, and they have to pay for the legal fees from their bank while Wardell has bragged multiple times that he has insurance that covers all his legal fees, which is why he can hire one of the best firms in the country for his case, and why P&F can’t.

Also the part you quoted is not retaliation in any way. Depositions are a natural part of a lawsuit like this. Unless you strangely think that requiring Brad to show up in court and provide evidence/testify as ‘retaliation’, which that should be the basis of how he wins his case. Venjer was pointing out that Brad is literally using scummy unethical tactics to screw over P&F by having P&F’s lawyers expensively show up to the court only to find out that Stardock demanded a delay at the last second because they ‘keep finding’ new documents.

EDIT: And if SC:O being abandoned tanks Stardock… well, that’s their fault entirely, isn’t it? They initiated the expensive legal proceedings that brought to question the legality of their game in the first place, and then released the game in the middle of those proceedings. As stated before, this is a fire they jumped in themselves.


Which is fine if I want to ignore a party intentionally escalating my risk using less-than-ethical tactics so I can appease the moral sensibility of someone who thinks my opponent, who is ripping off my creative history, is only potentially guilty of “minor infringement”. It is amoral to arbitrarily assign judgement to other people’s beliefs as well.

Let he who is without sin

In this case the DMCA may have been justified whether or not we agree with the DMCA in total. This was emailed to the defendant and is widely thought of as one of the most egregious hostile statements made to them:

While there is no disagreement that you own the IP. There seems to be a misconception that our rights stop at the trademark. We also acquired the full publishing rights to Star Control and the included licenses to the IP.

Stardock has a perpetual world-wide exclusive license to the characters, setting and plot line.

That seems like a clear intent to claim authority over copyrights. In my view this is also a moral and tactical mistake made on part of the plaintiff. From a perspective of ethics, subjective or not, I find this action against a content creator’s rights abhorrent. I say that free and clear as I’ve gone through the Atari bankruptcy documentation and have only found, out of everything, the trademark Star Control and Star Control 3. I found nothing that claimed or claimed to grant any copyrights edit. or extended license for the original content created by Paul Reiche III.

I’ve looked carefully, and would be happy to review any document Atari provided to the contrary. In light of this I struggle to see how someone could blame the defendant for using the DMCA as it was actually intended.


“Reiche is currently the CEO and Director of Development of Toys For Bob, which was acquired by Activision in 2005.” -

“Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure is the first video game in the Skylanders series, developed by Toys for Bob” -’s_Adventure

Just because Stardock says something doesn’t mean it’s false. They aren’t some sort of Reverse Oracle.

Ahh, are we moving the goal posts again? The original question was “who has the deeper pockets”, not who is at fault.


Which is irrelevant except if one party is trying to use financial harm as a weapon instead of truth.


Brad has stated more than once that Stardock doesn’t need to make games to be profitable; make of that what you will for the size of their wallet.


What truth-finding purpose was there when P&F used the DMCA to cut Stardock off from a major revenue stream?


I just think it’s fundamentally a really weird position to take that it’s an ethical lapse for F+P to use legal means to defend themselves against the corporation that has openly stated they sued them in order to steal their authorship rights, yet to not view it as an ethical lapse to sue someone in order to steal their authorship rights.


“Which was acquired by Activision in 2005” That’s why none of that Toys for Bob money matters. It’s not P&F’s money, unlike Brad Wardell who owns Stardock and can use its money freely for anything he wants.

And again, Activision owns the rights through Toys For Bob. That money literally doesn’t matter when it comes to this legal fight. Please understand that. P&F have to fund it with their personal funds, which I assure you are quite a bit more limited.

rolls eyes infinitely I was replying to a completely different post there that was not about ‘who has the most money’ and you know it.


I already discussed my findings from the Atari documents. Definitely am opening to adjusting my position if you can find a document in there that grants such rights as to make even “minor infringement” acceptable in light of the DMCA process.


You know what they say about assumptions… they’re often wrong.


The literal major revenue stream that came from a game that was released during the middle of a legal battle over it’s legality! That REALLY CHANGES THING I hope you know!


I can really only judge you based on what you choose to spend your time focusing on.

For the record, the truth-finding purpose of the DMCA takedown is patent, because it required Stardock to put its money where its mouth is and indemnify Valve and GOG. This clarifies the relationship between the defendants in a way that will have direct impact on the outcome of any trial.


Okay, you’re just being contrarian for the sake of being contrarian, aren’t you?


Your post begins with the words " P&F are not the major executives behind a billion dollar franchise" so no, I did not realize it was a completely different post that was not about who has the most money. My comment on SC:O tanking Stardock was definitely from a post about the topic, so you might want to mark your topic changes a bit more clearly - if you reply to my post on a topic, I’m going to assume we are indeed still on that same topic…


I can think the DMCA was wrong AND that Stardock is a horrible company engaged in an absurd lawsuit against the original creators. Indeed, I do.


Interesting. I use a different method where, if I’m in doubt about some aspect of someone’s position, I ask them to elaborate or clarify. I’m curious why this method doesn’t work for you?

Interesting. Well, thank you for educating me about that. I didn’t realize it affected the lawsuit so significantly.


Tangentially, the fact that I’m spending time on the DMCA today should not be taken as indicative of where I usually spend my time. I speak up when either side appears wrong to me, and I end up talking about Stardock’s wrongs a lot more often. It just happens that, in this particular case, I disagree with P&F.


They aren’t, though. Activision is the one behind Skylanders. Toys for Bob are the studio they tapped to develop it. It’s a key difference.

But you were defending that ‘absurd lawsuit’ with that quote! He was denigrating the lawsuit and its associated actions and you made a vague defense saying he was wrong. You didn’t ask him to clarify, either. You told him ‘your assumption is wrong’.

Yes, we get it that you hate the DMCA but this is one of the rare correct and ethical uses it of. You absolutely should DMCA someone for trying to release something you’re having a legal battle with about it’s infringingness!