Star Control Origins Available Once Again on GOG

/ 5 years ago

Star Control Origins Available Once Again on GOG

DRM-Free Version from GOG Available Once Again

Stardock‘s Star Control Origins was pulled out of Steam and GOG four weeks ago following a DMCA claim by Paul Reiche III and Fred Ford. Reiche and Ford are of course, the original series creators. Moreover, both are in an on-going dispute for control of the Star Control IP, with plans to create a direct sequel called ‘Ghosts of the Precursors’.

After three weeks, Steam eventually restored the page for SC: Origins. Now, GOG has followed suit and everything is back to normal.

Are Reiche and Ford’s Star Control Claims Valid?

To further emphasize their right to the property, Reiche and Ford has even released a comparison list outlining why their claim is valid. This is what they use to justify the DMCA takedown notice:

Star Control Origins Available Once Again on GOG

Stardock however calls this DMCA takedown as “potentially disastrous” for the games industry in general. Stardock posts a rebuttal:

“This chart lists a series of ideas that they appear to believe, when put together, violates their rights. After discussions with Valve and GOG, who are now aware of the nature of their claims, we are happy to report that Star Control: Origins is fully restored.”

“Copyrights protect the specific expression of authorship.  See the U.S. Copyright Office FAQ for more information. In fact, the only thing in their chart that can be copyrighted is the music, which Reiche and Ford have no rights to. The composer retained rights to the songs, and worked with us on the music for Star Control: Origins.

One can only speculate what would happen if someone were to claim ownership of entire genres or game designs.  Next time you play a game, whether on your PC, console, or mobile, think about how other games in the same genre play or how it may share features in common with other games that have previously been released.”

With regards to the Star Control franchise, Stardock acquired it from Atari back in 2013.  Atari themselves acquired it from Accolade. This acquisition includes all trademark rights to the series as well as registered copyrights to Star Control 3.  Any association between SC: Origins and the classic series is part of the trademark which is exclusively Stardock property.

The company says they are grateful that they have been able to avoid having to lay off employees. Especially those assigned to the project, despite the on-going litigation.

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