Starfleet Veteran
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 2,630
# 11
02-08-2013, 11:04 AM
You only have to actively defend a trademark. You don't need to police a copyright or patent to keep it. In fact, you don't even have to exist anymore for your trademarks to be legally enforceable.

Copyrights deal with reproduction, any reproduction is a violation. Trademarks however are about association, a violation is when there is confusion about association. When a trademark is already being used without association a new violation no longer meets the criteria.

Last edited by hevach; 02-08-2013 at 11:07 AM.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 199
# 12
02-08-2013, 11:23 AM
Originally Posted by markhawkman View Post
Enh.. if you aren't making money off the project what can they really sue you for?
You don't have to be making money to infringe on copyright. If a company feels that your project will impact their future business plans for the franchise, they are within their rights to take legal recourse to stop it.

Take, for example, the Skyrim M.E.R.P. (Middle Earth Role Playing) project. I remember this becoming a huge controversy when I was active on the Skyrim Nexus. Basically, this not-for-profit game modification caught the eye of the powers that be at Warner Brothers, who own the gaming rights to the franchise. The modders received a cease-and-desist order, with the implication of legal action being taken if they did not comply. Of course they couldn't fight it - since they weren't making any money off the project, they simply didn't have the resources to go up against WB's lawyers in court. So regardless of whether they were in the right or not, the reality of the situation is that they weren't in a position to fight for the project.

STE could very well be headed down the same road.
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 14
# 13
02-08-2013, 02:26 PM
Originally Posted by hevach View Post
There's some serious question if STE will ever actually come out. I think we've had that argument on this forum before, but basically, they've been working for so long with so little except mockups to show for it, and even some of the people who've contributed to it say that there's serious doubt they even have what they say they do (which isn't much to begin with), because only a couple people actually have access to most of it.

Bridge Commander 2, another indie project, started years later and has at least had some test builds and as of last week an alpha that actually has some playable elements to it.

As for commercial licensed games, probably not, because the last two companies that had the license had problems with poor sales, and the industry's currently a hostile place when it comes to putting a real budget behind a niche licensed game - at the very least the franchise needs a solid track record of good sales, and Star Trek doesn't have that because of the sheer volume of poor games that have buried the good ones.

Right now Trek's best chance for a commercial video game release is probably a Lego Star Trek game. TT Games has proven they can crank those out crazy fast on tiny budgets, and they've already worked with major rival franchises in the past so Lego Star Wars is unlikely to stand in the way.
Hmmmmm i see, thanks Hevach. It's a real shame, i can honestly say Elite Force and Armada 2 are up there in my top 10 favorite games of all time. Elite Force was so immersive and i used to love simply sitting around the locker-room with my away team pretending to be one of them haha.

You are right, so many BAD games have drowned out the classics, that seems to be all we're capable of these days. Hollywood trashes IP's and so does the gaming industry. I guess modders and independent devs are our only hope (as they are for most games). That Bridge Commander 2 also looks promising, shame about Excalibur i guess but ill keep an eye out.

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