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Society & Culture
Virtual Legality Episode 11

Star Control: Origins, Stardock, and the DMCA

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158 158 views
2y Jan 1, 2019
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One of gaming's biggest legal scuffles of 2018 has apparently boiled over as Paul Reiche III and Fred Ford have issued a DMCA takedown notice against Star Control: Origins and Stardock, causing both Steam and GOG to remove the game.

What is the reason behind the notice?

How does the DMCA work?

Why are Steam and GOG all but required to follow the instructions of the takedown due to the language of the Copyright Act?

And what does this mean for Star Control, Stardock, and future use or abuse of the DMCA?

FULL DISCLOSURE: Hoeg Law is located near Stardock's headquarters and has had numerous personal and professional contacts with the company. No part or portion of the matters discussed in this video have been discussed by Hoeg Law with Stardock or any of its personnel.


Discussed in this episode:

"Star Control: Origins Will be Coming Down"
Steam Post, December 31, 2018
(https://steamcommunity.com/app/271260/discussions/1/1742229167221237036/)

Q+A Regarding Star Control and Paul and Fred
Stardock Forum Post, February 2018
(https://www.stardock.com/games/starcontrol/article/487690/qa-regarding-star-control-and-paul-and-fred)

"Notice of Copyright Infringement" (DMCA Takedown)
December 28, 2018
(https://content.screencast.com/users/draginol/folders/Snagit/media/530875f0-933f-4aff-943c-d15035d58a3a/12.31.2018-16.33.png)

"Stardock acquires Star Control rights in fire sale, plans reboot"
Ars Technica, July 24, 2013
(https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2013/07/stardock-acquires-star-control-rights-in-fire-sale-plans-reboot/)

US Copyright Act, Section 501
(https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/17/501)

US Copyright Act, Section 106
(https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/17/106)

US Copyright Act, Section 101
(https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/17/101)

US Copyright Act, Section 512
(https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/17/512)

US Copyright Office Summary of the DMCA
December 1998
(https://www.copyright.gov/legislation/dmca.pdf)


"Virtual Legality" is a continuing series discussing the law, video games, software, and everything digital, hosted by Richard Hoeg, of the Hoeg Law Business Law Firm (Hoeg Law).

Rick has practiced for more than a decade at some of the country's largest law firms, representing IT, software, video game, and other technology companies, as well as the individuals and institutions which fund them.

DISCUSSION IS PROVIDED FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND IS NOT TO BE CONSTRUED AS LEGAL ADVICE. INDIVIDUALS INTERESTED IN THE LEGAL TOPICS DISCUSSED IN THIS VIDEO SHOULD CONSULT WITH THEIR OWN COUNSEL.

Any and all feedback is appreciated. Let us know what you think!


Blog, "Rules of the Game", at https://hoeglaw.wordpress.com/

On "Help Us Out Hoeg!" a regular segment on the Easy Allies Podcast (formerly GameTrailers)

(https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZrxXp1reP8E353rZsB3jaA)

Biweekly on "Inside the Huddle with Michael Spath" on WTKA 1050

About Hoeg Law

The Hoeg Law Firm is a business law firm with big law experience and a small firm approach focusing on start-ups, technology, financing, and everything else a business might need.


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