Clarification in Response to Recent Media Stories

FROM: Rear Admiral Tolwyn, CINCWEAPONSDIVISION
DATE: 2012.17.03

We would like to post an official correction about something that has been misreported about "Wing Commander Saga: The Darkest Dawn." We are not officially or unofficially sanctioned or endorsed by Chris Roberts, Origin, or EA. We are thankful to them for permitting us to make Saga- as manifested by them taking no action to shut us down but allowing us to develop it, just as they have done with other projects like Standoff and Privateer: Gemini Gold- but they have in no way, shape, or form sanctioned our project, nor have they done anything to make it official. They have not contacted us and we have not discussed it with them. Once again, we are thankful that they are permitting us to do this, but no endorsement of Saga by these entities should be implied from that fact.

-Tolwyn




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Dingus (18.03.2012 (22:46:59))
Plagiarism Yes No
You may want to remove your plagiarism of 2003's Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King before New Line Cinemas sends you a letter.

"We cannot achieve victory through strength of arms."
"Not for ourselves, but we can give Frodo a chance..."
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Tolwyn (18.03.2012 (23:04:28))
Yes No It is a homage. You know that's right.
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Skyjogger (19.03.2012 (18:40:35))
Yes No Well, it's nothing to object to or comment on until it's released. To conclude they're allright with the project because they haven't objected SO FAR is stretching it too far. Maybe they're Ok with this, maybe not. We'll see when the game is released.

But I really look forward to Saga's release and to try it, so I do hope nothing and no one stops it. I cross mye fingers in anticipation.
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Mace (19.03.2012 (20:55:51))
Legal issue Yes No Dear Tolwyn,
The release of Saga was mentioned on www.tweakers.net, and while the site misunderstood that standoff and gemini gold where actually stopped by EA, wich to my knowledge is not the case, they also state that EA would just snap it's fingers in order to close you down. Could you please shed some clarity on the issue... I took the liberty of running it through google translate for you: http://translate.google.com/translate?sl=nl&tl=de&js=n&prev=_t&hl=nl&ie=UTF-8&layout=2&eotf=1&u=http%3A%2F%2Ftweakers.net%2Fnieuws%2F80759%2Fdoor-fans-gemaakte-wing-commander-opvolger-komt-op-22-maart.html%23r_5406775
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Tolwyn (19.03.2012 (21:12:48))
Yes No I don't speak gibberish, but I guess someone was overzealous and inaccurate in their reporting.
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Tom (19.03.2012 (22:51:38))
Yes No Well I'm German, so I can read Dutch. I can't see where tweakers.net raises any legal issue whatsoever. They just repeat what this website already said and bring up no new questions.

Also I don't see a legal issue here that downloaders should be concerned about. It is all about using the name, which is a registered trademark, in the title. So this is about trademark laws and this has nothing to do with consumers. Or otherwise people wearing "Nickey" shoes should start to wet their pants, expecting to be extradited to the US and shot on arrival. Which is clearly nonsense.

Yet: only EA could deny using the name and even if they did (which they surely won't) this would have no consequences for people downloading the game. The worst thing that could happen is that the name is changed and the game is distributed nevertheless. This should have no impact on already downloaded copies. We have seen it before. Not a big deal.

Still it's important to make sure, that Saga is not mistaken for an EA product or part of the Wing-Commander franchise, even though I'm not even sure if such a thing still exists since I haven't seen a single copy of Wing-Commander in any store for years.
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Bedowyn (20.03.2012 (16:27:51))
What COULD be done Yes No With all due respect Tom, I do not think that is completely correct. EA owns more than just a logo or title, but also essentially anything that could be defined as being unique to the Wing Commander property(s). This could include characters, races (Kilrathi), literary references (the ongoing story line from WC3), ship types and shapes, etc. Moreover, they could insist that any product (the download) that contains such reference be made unavailable (IE - the downloads taken offline) until such time as all of these issues were addressed; said references removed.

That is, with a little lawyerly help, it is likely that EA could have the product stopped before or soon after it starts, and until such time as all owned material was removed. Which would, essentially, kill this baby before it was born.

The good news is that it looks like such a draconian response is unlikely. HECK, here is to hoping that they let it go, see it as a booming back alley success, and are encouraged to dust this very viable property and genre off with a new project.

CHEERS to the Saga team. Thanks; I am looking forward to Thursday!
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Tom (21.03.2012 (00:58:42))
Yes No Quote :
EA owns more than just a logo or title


Well, at least in Germany the only registered trademark is the name. Nothing else: no image, no nothing - except for the EA name and logo, which was not used. That's all. No kidding!

But you don't need to trust my word: do your research on dpma.de, the registration info is all public.

But if you are talking about "copyright" - well, that is a whole different story. But it is very unlikely that copyrights could be violated by something like this. There is no 1:1 copy here: models are made from scrap, the voice-act is new, the story is related but new, the characters are fresh and the engine is Open Source. Even the references used are mere citations, not copies.
I would indeed need to smoke a lot of Holland's Finest to see any way how this could interfere with copyright.
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Refund (21.03.2012 (14:36:09))
copyright and trade laws Yes No The problem many people face when discussing copyright or trade law issues is that they fail to understand the national (or supernational in case of the EU) differences. Some right automatically granted to the IP holder in the United States, could be explicitly excluded in Germany for example.

EA could try to block the game from being published, their success would largely depend on local and, in some cases, international laws.

So, in conclusion, there is no way of discussing this, whithout knowing a lot more details.
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Monkey (22.03.2012 (00:15:11))
Yes No This game looks awesome in its own right... so why not just rename a few things here and there and avoid any legal worries? I think the secret is out now anyway, the Wing Commander fans will play this in their thousands either way.


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