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


Because the last time I responded to your request to clarify (where you literally asked me to provide a source saying what the intent of the law was), I responded to that request to clarify by pointing out what the intent of the law was, citing it, and you got angry and told me not to tell you what the law said because you knew what it said, even though you clearly didn’t.

I mean, dude, I’m trying to be nice but your track record here is not awesome.


Again with the assumptions…

As to the material aspects: I asked you to cite a statement of intent from the people who passed the law, and instead you inferred intent from the legal mechanisms.

And on the assumptions go…


We don’t have to infer the intent of the DMCA because the DMCA literally states what its intention is: to amend the Copyright Act to provide limitations on liability of service providers relating to online material.

You proposed a novel (somewhat unclear) standard for how infringement should be treated. It’s cool that you think that US Copyright law should work differently than it does, but I think it’s only fair to recognize that the burden is on your to argue that the law should, for somewhat vaguely stated ethical reasons work the way you think it should, rather than the way it actually does.


Claiming P&F’s use of DMCA is abuse and not ethical or even immoral is a bit rich for the reason already pointed out ad nauseum: Stardock had zero to do with the game that P&F created; all they did was buy the Star Control trademark and nothing else. They/Brad then tried to claim ownership of material that they/he had no hand in creating, going so far as to trademark alien names etc. that Brad et al. never came up with by themselves, but which had been created by P&F.

The car analogy that @Thrag came up with earlier is pretty apt.


Okay, fair enough: The DMCA’s intent is to balance the rights of copyright holders and of service providers.

That says nothing about the question of taking down clearly-infringing works vs nebulous works. You still wrote quite a lot inferring it’s stance on that issue, though, and that’s the portion I disagree with you on.


You are implying that the distinction you are drawing above has some meaning under copyright law, and it doesn’t. If you want to argue that it does (or should) that’s fine, but it’s not really my burden to disprove that. The DMCA clearly sets out the requirements for a notice (and counter-notice) of infringement, and that’s the standard that any reasonable lawyer would advise their client to respect.


The legal, and yes ethical, implications of asking the service providers to make the judgement of what is clearly infringing and what is not are pretty vast. The current system exists so they don’t have to. Do you want a system that forces service providers to make that judgement? How should the liability be handled if they turn out to be wrong?


No I’m not.

I’m saying, quite plainly, that ethics is orthagonal to law. It is unrelated. It has no relationship. Why do you continue to insist on misrepresenting me as having a stance on the law?


There is literally no legal implication to what I’m talking about, because I am talking about ethics, not changing the law.


I’m saying that if you want to argue that a party being sued is engaged in an ethical lapse by vigorously defending against the lawsuit using tools provided by statute for this exact situation, that is an extraordinary claim, and requires extraordinary evidence, which you have (in my opinion) failed to provide.


Such a system already exists. It is called morality.

We resolve errors by saying “this corporation acted unethically” and occasionally people even feel remorse and apologize (but that step is optional)

Why is it so difficult to understand that I’m not proposing a change to the law?


“The law can produce unethical results” is an extraordinary claim to you?

Well, we disagree strenuously, and I don’t see any point to further debate.


Yeah that’s fine, I’m saying plainly that ethics in this case are also clear: Paul Reiche III is in the right. My basis is having read what Stardock holds according to what I discovered from Atari’s bankruptcy documentation, and the DMCA. edt. Also what I understand from copyright law. That your argument against the DMCA use – in this single case, not in others – is incorrect from an ethical perspective. I could add that removing the DMCA may be a net benefit regardless to society but this is not relevant to this specific case, and today.

If you can make a position that affirms what Stardock claims it *potentially has on their copyrights, the DMCA as written, then the use of that vehicle by the defendant, I’ll consider it. Definitely not an expert here and willing to change this position in light of real legal documentation on what Stardock actually owns, as opposed to their claims on technicalities.


Your claim, as I understand it here, is that in this case, the use of the DMCA, by a party being sued, and which has a good-faith belief that their copyright is being violated, was unethical. That is an extraordinary claim, and you’ve provided no explanation beyond this “I know what pornography is when I see it” distinction about types of copyright infringement - a distinction that the law doesn’t recognize.

My claim is that of course using every legal tool available to you to defend against a lawsuit is ethical, and to argue otherwise is absurd on its face. (There are ways to misuse the legal system, which are unethical and - surprise! - they are also literally illegal)


You’re not really giving a good reason why it’s unethical in this specific case, though. You make general claims and try to match them onto a case that doesn’t match a general case. Hell, after you made a case that it would have been ethical if it had some benefit for being done, and then someone laid out the exact and important benefit, and you admitted that the benefit was very significant… and then you about-faced and said that it’s still unethical.


That’s a really bold claim. So you’d be okay hiring slave labor to help your defense? Assuming it was legal of course?


We are exactly one round of responses away from Nazi hypotheticals.


I conceded the specific case quite a few messages back…


Then what the hell are you going on about? This has become utterly nonsensical.


I actually disagree with him here…

But at the same time, stop with this awful arguing tactic. All it does is make you look bad and foolish.

B… but! You’ve been arguing about it still! People are arguing about this specific case! As I even said, after you admitted that, you then turned around and said you still disagree about it’s ethicality and have been arguing that it’s unethical!