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Star Control Origins Back on GOG.com

Stardock announces that sales of Star Control Origins are once again underway on GOG.com following the recent news that the space sequel is back on Steam as well. Sales of the game on each service were suspended around the new year following a DMCA takedown notice from original Star Control developers Paul Reiche III and Fred Ford. Stardock takes advantage of the opportunity to press their case, offering Paul and Fred's chart that justified the takedown and saying: "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." They go on to say they were able to avoid layoffs since this was resolved quickly, calling this use of the DMCA "malicious." Here's a bit more:

With regards to the Star Control franchise, Stardock acquired it from Atari (who, in turn, had acquired Accolade) in 2013. This included all trademark rights to the series (i.e. any word or short-phrase from the franchise that is strongly associated with Star Control), as well as the registered copyrights to Star Control 3. Reiche and Ford have no rights to our work. Any association between Star Control: Origins and the classic series is part of the trademark (trademarks protect against consumer confusion), which is exclusively owned by Stardock and not, obviously, relevant to any copyright claims.

Thanks to the timely review of the situation by our partners at GOG and Valve, and taking the exceptional step in placing our game back for sale, despite ongoing litigation, we have been able to avoid having to lay off employees assigned to the project.

We are hopeful that this malicious use of the DMCA process will make consumers aware of just how out-of-hand the state of the DMCA has become. Anyone with an interest in digital goods and services owes it to themselves to increase their awareness of how wide-spread DMCA abuse has gotten and spread the word on it.

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