Star Control: Origins Gets Yanked From Store Shelves After DMCA Takedown

While the Digital Millennium Copyright Act has been used more times than we can count to pull videos and music off of the internet, it’s very rare that the process is used to take down an entire video game. That said, Paul Reiche III and Robert Frederick Ford have decided to end the year with a copyright strike, and Star Control: Origins is the victim.

As noted by developer Stardock, as of this publishing Star Control: Origins is unavailable for purchase on Steam and Good Old Games. The takedown came from the above mentioned Reiche and Ford, over claims that Star Control: Origins violates their copyright ownership over Star Control and Star Control II. Stardock purchased assets related to Star Control from Atari in 2013 after the publisher filed for bankruptcy, including trademark and publishing rights for the trilogy. Creators Ford and Reiche have disputed Stardock’s ownership, which has lead to an ongoing lawsuit between the three parties.

In their announcement on Star Control’s Steam page, Stardock detailed the facts behind the takedown:

“Unfortunately, rather than relying on the legal system to resolve this, they have chosen to bypass it by issuing vague DMCA take-down notices to Steam and GOG (who, btw, Reiche and Ford are suing using GoFundMe money). Steam and GOG both have a policy of taking down content that receive DMCA notices regardless of the merits of the claims. To my knowledge, never in the history of our industry has anyone attempted to use the DMCA system to take down a shipping game before. For example, when PubG sued Fortnite for copyright infringement, they didn’t try to take Fortnite down with a DMCA notice.”

Star Control: Origins released on PC just three months ago in September. This is not the first time Stardock has received a DMCA takedown from Reiche and Ford, as the pair had filed a copyright notice to cease distribution of the original Star Control trilogy, a strike that was later reversed. Ownership of the Star Control trademark is viewable here.

Star Control: Origins is still available on Good Old Games as of this article being published. This is likely to change.

Source: Steam

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