Brad Wardell of Stardock is making legal trouble for the original creators of Star Control (settled)

Adnor

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,498
Why is he still talking about what constitutes "copyrightable" material when the judge clearly stated that he lacks the expertise to talk about that kind of stuff:

Indeed, not only has Wardell failed to establish any such expertise, but his opinion as to whether the work in question is “copyrightable” constitutes an improper legal conclusion. See United State v. Diaz, 876 F.3d 1194, 1197 (9th Cir. 2017) (citing Fed. R. Evid. 704). Such legal conclusions are without evidentiary value.
 

Maledict

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,243
While it is sad that people jobs are on the line, almost of all this situation is of Brad's doing, and that post read as a "little" disingenuous. I remember reading how he was happy to make a new game with just the name and let Fred and Paul do the spiritual successor with the races, and then suddenly he though he owned everything.

I hadn't kept up with this thread, but it's nice to see things appearing to be going the way of the original creators. Really looking forward to playing the sequel if they are able to do it, as SC2 still is one my favorite games of all time.
Remember Brad Waddell is the guy who said that if liberals boycotted his games, he would fire all the left leaning employees first. That’s not an exaggeration - he actually said he’d pick and choose the democrats in his company and fire them first.

The guy is an absolute shit heel of the highest order.
 

piratepwnsninja

Lead Game Designer
Verified
Oct 25, 2017
1,472
On a scale of 1 to 10, how surprised are you that this is indeed the case? :)

I had to comment in that thread; I'm not usually one for schadenfreude but damn if I'm not enjoying this particular worm squirm.
On a scale of 1 to 10 I am 0 surprised.

Also lol on him deleting posts. He won't be able to do that everywhere.

I do feel bad for the actual devs that are affected. Hopefully their anger and disappointment are towards the right person. If any of the affected are on here, read this, and are looking for work, please send me a PM.
 

Digoman

Member
Oct 27, 2017
223
Remember Brad Waddell is the guy who said that if liberals boycotted his games, he would fire all the left leaning employees first. That’s not an exaggeration - he actually said he’d pick and choose the democrats in his company and fire them first.

The guy is an absolute shit heel of the highest order.
Oh.. i know. I just make an extra effort when talking about him in this thread because typing what I *really* think about this whole situation would probably get me banned for offensive language.

And yes, I'm enjoying watching him post in anger and delete a lot messages on the steam forums.
 

Adree

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,557
And I thought his good buddy Tom Chick calling Origins his #3 most disappointing would be the final blow to Wardell's ego this year but then I get an even better present. Couldn't happen to a bigger asshole.
 

The Orz

Member
Dec 5, 2017
220
Brad working overtime to delete all posts critical of him, including mine. I guess this explains why the thread currently has a grand total of 17 posts. :)
I was wondering why that thread seemed to be displaying lot of support for Stardock (and Wardell in particular). Also seemed strange when I went to the next page and suddenly the post count was lower.

Wardell playing the victim is really creepy. Funny, but creepy. Especially since he does have at least a few supporters--like the one kid who keeps referring to Paul and Fred as losers. I mean...why? What is wrong with you?

Anyway, Happy New Year, Stardock.
 

Weltall Zero

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Oct 26, 2017
9,256
Madrid
Especially since he does have at least a few supporters--like the one kid who keeps referring to Paul and Fred as losers. I mean...why? What is wrong with you?
I would assume most if not all of them are either sock puppet accounts of Wardwell (and quite possibly a far more honest reflection of his actual thoughts), or Stardock employees. Although the ones that quoted me seemed unwise to how he was deleting my posts (considering what they did was to preserve them).

But, as they say, there's a defense force for literally everything, so there's a good chance they're legitimately that stupid.
 

LewieP

Member
Oct 26, 2017
6,989
Amazed that even with this mounting legal pressure, Brad Wardell still has time to namesearch on twitter and send his numbskull followers after people tweeting negatively about him.
 

Kilrogg

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Oct 25, 2017
1,177
Amazed that even with this mounting legal pressure, Brad Wardell still has time to namesearch on twitter and send his numbskull followers after people tweeting negatively about him.
What impresses me more than his bad faith is his stubborn stupidity: judge essentially tells him he doesn't know what he's talking about and that he should keep his mouth shut and stop playing the victim, so what does he do? Keeps blabbing about stuff and acting like a victim. Like, I get what he's doing, but he can't possibly be this dumb, can he? His opening line in that Steam thread where he still implies that F&P are not the creators of Star Control is confoundingly facepalm-inducing.

His grasp of the most basic legal concepts, such as the difference between copyright and trademarks, is bafflingly weak.
 

Weltall Zero

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Oct 26, 2017
9,256
Madrid
Amazed that even with this mounting legal pressure, Brad Wardell still has time to namesearch on twitter and send his numbskull followers after people tweeting negatively about him.
He's a literal psychopath, there is literally no action too petty for him to entertain. This is the kind of guy that if elected into power would run a dictatorial police state, with people disappearing at night.

I've contacted Steam support about how he's abusing the power he holds in the Steam forums. Frankly the idea of a forum where moderators can delete things without a trace is downright creepy to me.

What impresses me more than his bad faith is his stubborn stupidity: judge essentially tells him he doesn't know what he's talking about and that he should keep his mouth shut and stop playing the victim, so what does he do? Keeps blabbing about stuff and acting like a victim. Like, I get what he's doing, but he can't possibly be this dumb, can he?
At this point I assume he's butthurt from the trial and DMCA, and is venting in the only places he has so much power he can't be told to fuck off; Steam's forums and his own. I'm assuming he'll back off from twitter soon enough.

Edit: God, his twitter. Literally nothing but retweets of alt-right people. *shiver* He's not pretending any more.
 
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eddy

Member
Oct 25, 2017
661
Preliminary injunctions are almost always denied. Haven't read the filings but that in itself is not a huge win. Still, doesn't sound like a lot is going shithead's way.

I just wish I could enjoy this more, but the DMCA is such a terrible set of laws makes everything taste sour.
 

xylo

Member
Oct 27, 2017
70
Preliminary injunctions are almost always denied. Haven't read the filings but that in itself is not a huge win. Still, doesn't sound like a lot is going shithead's way.

I just wish I could enjoy this more, but the DMCA is such a terrible set of laws makes everything taste sour.
This is true because there are several pillars of a Preliminary Injunction that need to be met -- if any one of them are not the whole thing goes down. However why this was denial was significant was the facts the Judge outlined in the summary go completely against the claims Stardock has been making -- a very good initial sign. As for the PI, in this cause the Judge didn't even bother to look at all 4 pillars because the first few were not even close to being met and she sent it all up in flames and basically said "I'm not even going to bother with outlining the others".
 

xylo

Member
Oct 27, 2017
70
So reading the position here, P&F are stating that Stardock is "not authorized to publish, reproduce, prepare derivative works based on, or distribute the Works" -- Works being "Star Control, Star Control II" and "those materials present ... that were incorporated into Star Control 3".

They are clearly being very selective in what they are claiming. Interestingly, Wardell is basically going to nuke from orbit and pull everything down. I suspect this is a play by him to be able to file more court paperwork to try and convince the Judge of nefarious doings on P&F's part. His main thrust with the Injuction request was his fear that P&F would try and DCMA Origins wholesale. They clearly didn't with the DCMA wording and definition of "Works". But I bet dollars to donuts he's going to claim this is the case. He's has been claiming over and over on that thread there is nothing from SC/SC2 in Origins -- if that's the case then why does he need to pull anything down?

e: Reply on takedown is due by Jan 2. Nixon Peabody really needs to tell him to shut the hell up -- he's not doing himself any favors here. Bartko Zankel Bunzel & Miller have coached P&F correctly.
 
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The Orz

Member
Dec 5, 2017
220
The Steam thread continues to be a source of hilarity. For example:

smakdaddy 4 hours ago

Well, I just reported Paul Reiche and Fred Ford's little gofund me for the fraud it is. Hopefully that avenue will be closed off to them. If they want to lie, steal, defraud, it should come out of their own pockets.

Have a great day :)

You hear that guys? You're on notice! Have a great day :)
 

deepFlaw

Member
Oct 25, 2017
13,102
Honestly, the people defending him is killing my enjoyment of the mess he’s made for himself a bit.

but only a bit

Brad just banned me for "trolling" after deleting all my posts: ironically, some of his supporters preserved them by quoting me. :)

My deleted posts, for posterity:






It's also kind of amazing to me that the developer of a game has the power to delete posts without a trace and ban people with no recourse. Absolutely zero accountability.
Not to be rude, but from this and your more recent post I’m not sure you get why Steam’s forums being like this is a problem.

It’s not an abuse of power on Steam for a developer to do this. Because they’re a mod for the forum for their game. Valve probably won’t do anything about this behavior because they don’t want to do any moderation of the Steam forums themselves. They just offload it on the devs, regardless of all the work that might cause for devs when bad actors get involved. There’s no accountability because it’s easier for Valve if they don’t have to hold anyone accountable; they’d much rather it be “your forum that you run is hosted here” than “we create and manage a forum for people to post about your game”.

Remember Brad Waddell is the guy who said that if liberals boycotted his games, he would fire all the left leaning employees first. That’s not an exaggeration - he actually said he’d pick and choose the democrats in his company and fire them first.

The guy is an absolute shit heel of the highest order.
This doesn’t surprise me but I still think first of some of the absolute petty shit he did around Gamergate. He’s scum in the most boring, childish ways possible.
 

grandwizorb

Member
Oct 26, 2017
1,533
Good, fuck Brad Wardell. Of course he's going to play the victim now and post about his poor employees losing jobs when this is all his doing.
 

rawhide

Member
Oct 28, 2017
1,904
Didn't P&F cancel their gofundme in the end? I thought they said they found funding elsewhere, but I could be wrong. I do know it didn't really bring in a lot of money.
 

Zips

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,182
I feel like this is a wake up and smell the ashes moment for Wardell. Glorious.
Wardell lacks any sense of self-awareness. He will view this only as a slight against him and continue to believe that he's in the right, despite the overwhelming evidence that he's not and that he's still a jackass.
 

Spoit

Member
Oct 28, 2017
600
And I thought his good buddy Tom Chick calling Origins his #3 most disappointing would be the final blow to Wardell's ego this year but then I get an even better present. Couldn't happen to a bigger asshole.
That's actually kind of surprising. I thought that QT3 was like one of the only forums that actually was able to tolerate him long term
 

Weltall Zero

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Oct 26, 2017
9,256
Madrid
Not to be rude, but from this and your more recent post I’m not sure you get why Steam’s forums being like this is a problem.

It’s not an abuse of power on Steam for a developer to do this. Because they’re a mod for the forum for their game. Valve probably won’t do anything about this behavior because they don’t want to do any moderation of the Steam forums themselves. They just offload it on the devs, regardless of all the work that might cause for devs when bad actors get involved. There’s no accountability because it’s easier for Valve if they don’t have to hold anyone accountable; they’d much rather it be “your forum that you run is hosted here” than “we create and manage a forum for people to post about your game”.
I think this is quite off-topic, so let me just state the reasons why I disagree, and then let's just agree to disagree or take it to PMs. Sounds good?
1- Steam is under no obligation whatsoever to provide a curated or moderated forum. Indeed, they aren't obligated to provide any kind of forum at all (the argument that they probably be better off if they didn't is a different one, and one I can agree with).
2- A mod having absolute power in a forum doesn't absolve them from abuses of such power. I mean, this very forum we're posting in was created as a response to one such abuse.
3- Deleting factual information because it doesn't fit your narrative is a flagrant abuse of power. Again, I think we can think of a very prominent example considering this forum's story.
4- Steam probably didn't have in mind this blatant doctoring and skewing of facts when they created their forums. I simply contacted support to find out.
 

Herr Starr

Member
Oct 26, 2017
313
Norway
You can literally see Wardell seething in that Steam thread. His description of F&P went from something along the line of: "the "creators" of Star Control" to the current "contractors on the classic DOS game, Star Control 2 for Accolade." He actually edited his post to change it.

His misery is my happiness. May it last for a long time.
 

Kilrogg

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Oct 25, 2017
1,177
You can literally see Wardell seething in that Steam thread. His description of F&P went from something along the line of: "the "creators" of Star Control" to the current "contractors on the classic DOS game, Star Control 2 for Accolade." He actually edited his post to change it.

His misery is my happiness. May it last for a long time.
Holy shit I hadn't noticed the change! He really can't admit they're the creators of Star Control even though other key members of the original development team like Greg Johnson have spoken up on Stardock's website to say that F&P are indeed the creators of Star Control. Who knew salt and bad faith could make such a tasty mix?
 

Cosmonaut X

Member
Oct 26, 2017
771
You can literally see Wardell seething in that Steam thread. His description of F&P went from something along the line of: "the "creators" of Star Control" to the current "contractors on the classic DOS game, Star Control 2 for Accolade." He actually edited his post to change it.

His misery is my happiness. May it last for a long time.
Yeah, I'd spotted that. So petty and small - the feeble wee "well, fuck you" of a sad man without the power to do anything else.
 

deepFlaw

Member
Oct 25, 2017
13,102
I think this is quite off-topic, so let me just state the reasons why I disagree, and then let's just agree to disagree or take it to PMs. Sounds good?
1- Steam is under no obligation whatsoever to provide a curated or moderated forum. Indeed, they aren't obligated to provide any kind of forum at all (the argument that they probably be better off if they didn't is a different one, and one I can agree with).
2- A mod having absolute power in a forum doesn't absolve them from abuses of such power. I mean, this very forum we're posting in was created as a response to one such abuse.
3- Deleting factual information because it doesn't fit your narrative is a flagrant abuse of power. Again, I think we can think of a very prominent example considering this forum's story.
4- Steam probably didn't have in mind this blatant doctoring and skewing of facts when they created their forums. I simply contacted support to find out.
Sorry, worded a bit of that badly (in my defense, 2 AM). I can definitely agree it is actually an abuse of power; I meant more that I doubt Valve sees it that way or cares, because they don’t want to be responsible for it. But fair enough, yeah.
 

Weltall Zero

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Oct 26, 2017
9,256
Madrid
Sorry, worded a bit of that badly (in my defense, 2 AM). I can definitely agree it is actually an abuse of power; I meant more that I doubt Valve sees it that way or cares, because they don’t want to be responsible for it. But fair enough, yeah.
They may or may not care. If they do, then contacting them can help the situation. If they don't, there's no harm done. Hell, if enough people contact them about it (or the game press makes a stink about it), they may be forced to care. That's how it's worked with pretty much everything else they've been forced to act upon.

BTW:
Locking the thread for the evening.
Putting the "control" in Star Control; he doesn't even dare to leave the thread running in his absence :D
 

saenima

Member
Oct 25, 2017
9,483
Wardell getting fucked is always good news. No surprise he's spinning his narrative on the forums and the sycophants are bringing cuck as an insult. All feathers of the same shitbird.
 

Kilrogg

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Oct 25, 2017
1,177
Lol, he changed the wording on Paul & Fred once again:

"We have received news today that Paul Reiche III and Fred Ford, the designers on the classic DOS game, Star Control 2 for Accolade "

Anything to avoid the word "creators"!
 

Slayven

You probably post about me on another board.
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Oct 25, 2017
32,531
I posted a new thread with the big news, but I made sure to give you guys credit
 

Weltall Zero

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Oct 26, 2017
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The fuck? This seems like a calculated move to place them in a bind to decide between disobeying the DMCA (can they even do that?) or lose face with their customers by selling a bundle with a discount for a game that's going to be pulled from the shop in days.

I guess Wardell now wants to force them to play whack-a-mole with DMCA Claims?

By putting it on Humble Store specifically he can also spin a story about them "taking money away from charities" or something if they do. That sounds very in-character for him.
Oh hell, that does sound like something he'd do. :D It's quite likely Humble was already sent a DMCA; what's even worse is that I assume these bundles aren't negotiated in a day, so this was probably a calculated move to coincide with the resolution of the PI, independently of what the result was.
 
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Shaneus

Member
Oct 27, 2017
3,382
Jesus, I leave the thread for a day or two and what... SC:O has been completely pulled from Steam? Holy fucking shit! I'll read through this thread this morning to check on developments, but man... this is crazy. I thought the legal case might've been tit-for-tat, didn't realise it would've been so one-sided (for the side I'm supporting, no less!).

Fuck Brad, but yeah, I feel sorry for some of the Stardock employees.

Edit: I wonder if lawyers (or whoever) got hold of pre-release builds of SC:O and found references to P&F-owned races. Hell, it wouldn't surprise me if the "LGM" aliens have data files called "arilou.png" or some shit.


Edit #2:
Looks like you can still donate. They've only made $40k so I imagine they've put a lot of their own money into it.

https://www.gofundme.com/help-fred-amp-paul-save-the-universe
I have a feeling they're pretty well off. Not rolling around in riches, but with the success of Skylanders and the Spyro remake as well as being founders of Toys for Bob, they probably have at least a little bit to sling around if needed. And I kinda feel they'd sell their own houses to support this case if it came to that, given how much they care for the universe they created.
 
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Nairume

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,108
I have a feeling they're pretty well off. Not rolling around in riches, but with the success of Skylanders and the Spyro remake as well as being founders of Toys for Bob, they probably have at least a little bit to sling around if needed. And I kinda feel they'd sell their own houses to support this case if it came to that, given how much they care for the universe they created.
It wouldn't surprise me if part of the need for them going to crowdfunding is that maybe whatever agreement they have with Activision to work on their own side products outside of their regular jobs without interference requires that Activision not be tied to anything they do, including them not being able to spend money they get from Activision to work on their projects or, in this case, fight legal battles over them.

But then, I'm not a legal expert and I'm not going to try and pretend to be one like Wardell hilariously failed to do.
 

Adree

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Oct 25, 2017
2,557
Edit #2:

I have a feeling they're pretty well off. Not rolling around in riches, but with the success of Skylanders and the Spyro remake as well as being founders of Toys for Bob, they probably have at least a little bit to sling around if needed. And I kinda feel they'd sell their own houses to support this case if it came to that, given how much they care for the universe they created.
I'm sure they can handle it but helping screw Wardell and give a little love to the two guys who made my favorite game of all time was well worth my paltry $10.
 

Tempy

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,864
They may or may not care. If they do, then contacting them can help the situation. If they don't, there's no harm done. Hell, if enough people contact them about it (or the game press makes a stink about it), they may be forced to care. That's how it's worked with pretty much everything else they've been forced to act upon.
It's a feature, not a bug.

This isn't the first or the last time a Steam subforum has been cleansed of criticism by the dev/pub. Unless something actually illegal occurred, Valve will do zilch like every other time.
 

Weltall Zero

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Oct 26, 2017
9,256
Madrid
It's a feature, not a bug.

This isn't the first or the last time a Steam subforum has been cleansed of criticism by the dev/pub. Unless something actually illegal occurred, Valve will do zilch like every other time.
Admittedly I know next to nothing of Steam forums and how they're normally run by devs. If this is business as usual, carry on. :D
 

Dreamwriter

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,881
disobeying the DMCA (can they even do that?)
Yes, how a company reacts to a DMCA claim is up to that company - they can take down the content or leave it up at their own whim. However, if they take it down then they are legally protected against future lawsuits claiming they broke copyright law by knowingly hosting illegally copied content. So there's incentive to just take down the content, but it's not a requirement.
 

chrominance

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,285
Update from Fred and Paul. Basically their perspective on the events of the past few weeks, not much you don't already know if you've been following the thread. Also this:
So, why do we contend that Star Control: Origins is substantially similar to and/or derivative of our copyrighted game, Star Control II? Besides the evidence of infringement identified in our most recent filings with the court, let’s compare the expression in a very limited part of the gameplay — interstellar travel. One would presume that Stardock would either make entirely new gameplay for Origins or base it upon the original parts of SC3. Let’s check that out…
Pretty hilarious comparison.
 

Frump

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,925
I'm 100% on Fred and Paul's side but hasn't the idea of gameplay elements like that already been shown to be something you can't copyright, going back to the IK+ lawsuit in the 80s?