Stardock Systems Inc. v. Paul Reiche III and Robert Frederick Ford

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Community Q+A guidelines

Editor behavior

  • Work together. Collaborate. Be constructive.
  • Revert edits with reference to the guidelines. Defer to the guidelines. Change guidelines only with discussion.
  • Where there is a dispute, discuss and come to a consensus. Assume good faith.
  • Don't assume good faith if an editor repeatedly ignores guidelines.
  • Bad faith editors are not welcome.

Verification in reliable sources

  • All statements on this page should be verified in reliable sources, using footnote citations.
  • The most reliable sources are statutes, neutral legal experts, and news outlets with editorial oversight and fact-checking
  • Evidence submitted by the parties (Stardock, Paul Reiche III, and Fred Ford) is assumed to be reliable and accurate, under penalty of law.
  • Public statements by the parties are only relevant and reliable for understanding how the dispute has been represented by the parties.
  • Clearly distinguish between types of sources, for the sake of the readers.
  • Third party forum posts, blogs, and opinion pieces are NOT reliable. In rare exceptions, they might be relevant as evidence of a legal issue. Use and mark them accordingly.
  • Statements in the Q+A without reliable sources should be verified to reliable sources, or removed.


  • Maintain a neutral point of view. Even if you have strong feelings, the Q+A should not. Let the reliable sources speak.
  • Where there is potential bias, discuss the best way to maintain neutrality. Consider replacing with better sources, comparing the sources, adding a note, or removing altogether.
  • Clearly note areas of disagreement, to distinguish them from widely agreed facts.
  • Evidence and statements published by the parties (Stardock, Paul Reiche III, and Fred Ford) should be marked clearly and used with care.
  • Speculation should be careful, clear, and limited. Refer to relevant outcomes described by the parties, with analysis from reliable sources as much as possible.


  • Utilize internet archives to protect sources from being deleted or modified as the legal dispute continues.
  • Use quotes and/or images to highlight areas under dispute.
  • Don't overuse quotes and/or images where footnotes will do, particularly for issues not under dispute.
  • Strive to be concise. Avoid redundancy.
  • As this wiki stabilizes, we will move these guidelines to make the Q+A more readable.

Basic background

  • who, what, why...


Who owns the copyrights in Star Control 1, 2, and 3?

What rights are protected under copyright?

What is a derivative work?

... what's the dispute ...

How does the DMCA takedown process work?

Licensing agreement

What is a licensing agreement?

... 1988 licensing agreement ...

... acquisition of licensing agreement ...


Who owns the Trademark in "Star Control"?

What rights are protected under Trademark?

... what's the dispute ...

What about the recent Trademark applications?

Unfair competition

What are the allegations of unfair competition in each lawsuit?

Why does it matter if P&F call themselves the "creators of Star Control"?

Why does it matter how Stardock described their relationship with P&F leading up to SC:O?

Timeline of Star Control history

Creation and release of Star Control 1-3: 1988-1999

  • 1988 agreement
  • Games

Disappearance, legacy, and re-emergence: 1999-2013

  • Interviews
  • Best of
  • GOG

Timeline of legal dispute

Stardock's new game: 2013-2017

  • bankruptcy and sale
  • development

Private and public dispute: 2017-present

  • public statements
  • claims
  • settlement offers