Star Citizen developer Cloud Imperium files motion to dismiss Crytek copyright lawsuit

    
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The bombshell of December 2017 was the news that Crytek was suing Cloud Imperium Games and Roberts Space Industries, the companies behind the sprawling and controversial crowdfunded MMO Star Citizen, alleging that CIG infringed its copyrights by using CryEngine to develop non-Star Citizen game assets in the form of Squadron 42 while misusing Crytek’s logo in marketing materials and Crytek’s CryEngine in the form of Star Engine. In its initial filing, Crytek demanded a huge pile of direct damages, lost profits, and punitive damages, as well as a permanent injunction against CIG’s use of CryEngine.

At the time, CIG told Massively OP that it was aware of the complaint but that the lawsuit was “meritless” as CIG hadn’t used CryEngine since it switched to Amazon’s Lumberyard. And now we see its promised “vigorous defense” action, as CIG has issued a volley of its own in the form of a motion to dismiss the entire suit.

Among other things, the document attempts to:

  • assert that Crytek’s claims are baseless as CIG is not using Crytek’s software and that the licenscing agreement absolves CIG of wrongdoing;
  • assert that name changes to and expansions of Star Citizen’s “online universe” – presumably including S42 – do not constitute a new game and therefore that the licensing agreement covers all permutations of its titles in that “destination”;
  • note that the licensing contract was for €1.85M, which amounts to roughly $2.2M US (quite a bit of the licensing agreement has been published to the record here, as CIG blasts Crytek for not doing so);
  • accuse Crytek of “generating misleading, scandalous press”;
  • and correct the conflict-related accusations against CIG’s own in-house attorney and company co-founder (Ortwin Freyermuth) and absolve RSI of any culpability in the suit against CIG.

Want expert legal analysis? If you’ve got an hour, attorney Leonard French is probably worth a listen:

Source: Crytek GmbH v. Cloud Imperium Games Corp. et al., with thanks to DK, the Don Dude, Alexander, and some really passive aggressive anon guy.
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Kevin McCaughey

On the face of it this is just a speculative claim on the part of Crytech.

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socontrariwise

Is the GLA available somewhere? Where can I see the CIG defense without being blocked by a pay wall? The lawyer in the video above does scroll so quickly over the part discussing the “exclusive” section that I have no chance to understanding the argument CIG makes.

Edit: Alright, it is at https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1mPjfXrjAf9RUq3_5cJgd-hF-I5XoCQta
From that it seems indeed like Crytek has nothing in hand since the GLA gave CRI exclusive rights to use the game engine but did not force it to use the game engine. The lawyer had a written and signed waiver of conflict. The GLA states explicitly that both, Star Citizens and Squadron, were games CRI could use the engine for.

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socontrariwise

I found the GLA section about the exclusivity in exhibit B. That one is phrased oddly indeed:
“…Crytek grants to Licensee a world-wide, license only:
2.1.2. to exclusively embed CryEngine in the Game and develop the Game”

That is truly ambiguous isn’t it? It could be interpreted as “has to use only CryEngine” or “has exclusive rights to use CryEngine”. But if it was the latter how would Amazon ever have received a CryEngine license?

Woetoo
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Woetoo

If the analysis by Leonard J French is correct, it’s standard contract phrasing that Crytek says that only CIG can use CryEngine to develop the game.

I sell you the right to use this hammer to build your roof. But only your roof and only YOU. You can’t give the hammer away and you can’t use it to build a shed. Which isn’t to say you won’t use a wrench somewhere along the way or also hire a nail gun or ask your brother to help you. But only YOU can use that specific hammer for that specific roof.

The language may be ambiguous, but if the legal usage is as standard as LJF seems to imply it is… the judge is going to treat it as such.

Overall I think Crytek still have a point with some of it’s assertions. But they’ve blown their credibility by also going after things that they could never reasonably win. Their BIG items are all contradicted by the GLA and therefore I can see why CIG believe this to be more about publicity than an actual legal matter.

The GLA explicitly defines “The Game” as Star Citizen AND Squadron 42 (again, legally that might not be the case).. That Crytek didn’t include the GLA in their submission doesn’t help their case for me.
But equally, CIG didn’t address all of Crytek’s breach of contract points, which says to me that yes, CIG did breach their contract. Specifically their failure to deliver to Crytek enhancements/bug fixes to CryEngine as specified and their allowing 3rd parties to see CryEngine source code in violation of the contract (be that sharing it with a 3rd party company or allowing it to be seen via a streamed VLOG).

I guess we wait to see what that judge thinks.

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socontrariwise

Which brings the question up again: if CRI had the exclusive license, how could Amazon get one?

Woetoo
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Woetoo

Because, to use my analogy above… Crytek have as many hammers as they want to sell. They make hammers (licences).

Crytek sold a licence to exclusively create Star Citizen using CryEngine to a company called CIG. Which is to say CIG can’t use their licence to develop a completely different game and also to say that Crytek can’t licence CryEngine to a different company to develop Star Citizen.

Crytek sold a copy of CryEngine (version whatever) to Amazon to do whatever they damned well like with, including entirely rewrite, repackage and redistribute. They did just that and called it Lumberyard.

Amazon aren’t writing Star Citizen – so CIG’s exclusive right to do so remains.

CIG however, decided to buy a licence to Lumberyard as well as their licence to CryEngine.

Or put another way, my personal licence to MSOffice 2013 doesn’t impact your corporate licence to MSOffice 2013. Same product, different prices, different terms and conditions.

The exclusivity is through all the elements in the chain… Crytek AND CIG AND CryEngine AND Star Citizen/SQ42.

So Lumberyard is:
Crytek AND Amazon AND CryEngine AND Anything.

All those “AND”‘s describe a licence and any change you make to any of those elements means it’s outside the GLA and therefore require a separate licence. Unlicensed is a no-no.

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Jeff Weideman

Lawyers just doing what lawyers to. SC isn’t going down and it plays great and getting better each day.

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Roger Melly

“Some of the allegations, like Crytek’s claim that CIG did not provide any bugfixes for CryEngine or that confidential source code was shown to the likes of Faceware, were not touched on, so there might still be a case there”…. From the PCGamer related article .

The drama and controversy surrounding the development of this game is nothing short of a soap opera .

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Lethality

With the GLA out there, this is pretty much case closed for Crytek. I almost feel sorry for them.

Godnaz
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Godnaz

Just waiting for Citizen Joe Blobers to show up and counter now that DS shown up. Should make for some glorious page clicks.

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Karl Hungus

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Schmidt.Capela

Oh, right. Starting at roughly an hour and ten minutes we have Leonard French answering Derek Smart, who is trying to argue that the contract actually supports Crytek’s argument that using CryEngine in SQ42 is a copyright violation.

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dsmart

That wasn’t my argument at all. My argument is that SQ42 being SOLD as a separate product would constitute a breach. The definition of “GAME” covers both Star Citizen and SQ42 – as features, NOT separate products. The GLA is pretty clear on this. I have been pretty consistent with this opinion. Here is my entire thread on that.

https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/949626014367469568.html

Leonard barely skimmed the GLA before making a baseless opinion that were he the judge, he would rule in CIG’s favor. This despite the fact that Crytek has no less than FOUR specific causes of action in the complaint. This is why you have good and bad attorneys. And then there’s the judge and jury.

I believe that the judge is going to throw out the MtD on Feb 9th. And when she does, that’s going to show that Crytek’s lawsuit has enough merit to continue. But before that, we have to wait and read Skadden’s response to the CIG filing.

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primal

yet you who are in no way shape or form a lawyer is suddenly an expert on law now to?? WOW man. SQ42 can easily be resolved by using the same launcher and im not sure how squadron can be a feature of star citizen when Sq42 was supposed to be and still will be release BEFORE SC has a full release. if you go back to the kickstarter SC was only supposed to be in beta by the time SQ42 released

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dsmart

yet you who are in no way shape or form a lawyer is suddenly an expert on law now to?? WOW man.

Yeah, because I need to be a lawyer to read a contract which is similar in nature and context to the dozens I’ve seen, reviewed, executed etc over the years.

You don’t need to be a lawyer to understand common English. You need an English teacher or a translator.

SQ42 can easily be resolved by using the same launcher and im not sure how squadron can be a feature of star citizen when Sq42 was supposed to be and still will be release BEFORE SC has a full release. if you go back to the kickstarter SC was only supposed to be in beta by the time SQ42 released

You’re arguing about things clearly stated in the GLA. Why?

This has nothing to do with anything other than SQ42 being sold separately as a stand-alone game. Why are they not talking about Star Marine or Arena Commander?

This is common sense, man. It’s not that hard.

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primal

OK let’s say your right, what does crytek hope to achieve by this? The GLA specifically states they will not take royalties which was part of the buyout license so future earnings is nothing anyway, it can’t realistically promote cryengine because you cannot build star citizen with the cryengine you can download. CIG devs have said even though the whole code base is 50/50 SC uses about 10% cryengine/lumberyard 90% custom code further making it clear standard cryengine could never be used in that way without heavy modification. It’s clear in the GLA as a whole that they are not prohibited from switching engines and the amazon license usage isn’t any different to what crytek would get in royalties which is a big massive zero $€

Extremely few games are being made with cryengine as per there site showing. So in what way is crytek damaged? The only thing I can think of is they want another couple of million euros for squadron 42 as a separate release to keep the lights on until hunt showdown becomes a failure to and finishes them off. So ultimately I think there just after some money from squadron and that’s it.

The deceptive complaints and flat out refusal to give the GLA to the court may hurt there case to

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dsmart

OK let’s say your right, what does crytek hope to achieve by this?

I never said I was right. I just offer my opinions (like everyone else) based on my reading. Even attorneys disagree. Which is why there is a judge and jury to make those kinds of right|wrong determination.

Every company has a right to protect their IP, and to ensure that people who sign contracts, abide by them. What Crytek wants is clearly written in the complaint.

You guys have to stop this nonsense whereby CIG can’t do any wrong, and anytime they go up against a challenge, you all take a tenuous stance.

It’s clear in the GLA as a whole that they are not prohibited from switching engines

That’s false. Please cite me the part of the GLA where you read it in such cut and dry terms. Here, I will provide a link to the GLA for you.

GLA:

https://www.scribd.com/document/368546512/2-2017cv08937-Crytek-v-CIG-20180105-Notice-of-Errata-to-Motion-to-Dismiss-Exhibit-B

GLA amendment

https://www.scribd.com/document/368545846/2-2017cv08937-Crytek-v-CIG-20180105-Notice-of-Errata-to-Motion-to-Dismiss-Exhibit-C

and the amazon license usage isn’t any different to what crytek would get in royalties which is a big massive zero $€

That’s false. There were royalties attached to the GLA. CIG opted to pay up front, rather than in perpetuity. That’s the buyout.

If CIG wanted to license CE for use with another title under the GLA, they would have to negotiate it. But why do that when they can use either CE or LY free of royalties.

Extremely few games are being made with cryengine as per there site showing. So in what way is crytek damaged?

That’s actually irrelevant, and is not how IP law works.

he only thing I can think of is they want another couple of million euros for squadron 42 as a separate release to keep the lights on until hunt showdown becomes a failure to and finishes them off. So ultimately I think there just after some money from squadron and that’s it.

You have no proof of that, and your bias is making you write up the usual nonsense. I guess you missed the part where Crytek have been selling some of their assets (e.g. Warface to My.com last year) these past years. Or the fact that they’re a smaller company now, with less expenses. And yet they somehow managed to hire $1,000 per hr attorneys for what you and your ilk believe to be a frivolous lawsuit.

The deceptive complaints

That’s your opinion, and you have no basis in FACT to support it.

You can’t file a “deceptive” complaint. You file a complaint with or without merits, and then the judge and jury get to decide. That’s what lawsuits are about.

and flat out refusal to give the GLA to the court may hurt there case to

That’s false. How did they refuse exactly? Did the court request it, and they didn’t produce it? Yeah, no.

The FACT is that contracts are highly confidential in nature. So it is NOT standard practice to include them in a filing that’s going to be in the PUBLIC DOMAIN.

Do you think all the contracts between Apple and others suing them are in the public domain via the legal system? LOL!! Did you look at the Zenimax v Oculus docket? Did you see any contract there in the public domain? No. They are either filed under seal or under camera view only.

https://www.federalrulesofcivilprocedure.org/frcp/title-ii/rule-5-2-privacy-protection-for-filings-made-with-the-court/

Skadden did the right thing. And it is during the course of discovery or even responses to filings, that they would have filed it as per the rules above. CIG put it into the public domain because Ortwin is a dick. And I am sure that Skadden is going to be addressing that in their upcoming response to the CIG filing ahead of the MtD (which will fail) hearing.

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primal

Cigs lawyers wrote that it doesn’t prohibit them from switching engines in there response, which is likely right. I read it yesterday. You yourself have said you have purchased the right to use multiple engines. Have any of those stopped you from using another engine? Nope.

The royalties bit is not false actually, if it was false section 5.4 wouldn’t exist! The buyout true is so crytek wouldn’t claim future royalties and would consider it fully paid up but I said future earnings through royalties = nothing. So cig pay up front is done and dusted, so by cig moving to another engine won’t cost crytek anything because they have already paid up and they wouldn’t of got any more money in the future anyway. Do you understand that?

Deceptive complaints taking about ortwin when crytek signing a waiver that type of stuff.

The bit about what I said about them wanting more money for squadron and your saying I have no proof isn’t exactly true because crytek have said something about if cig wanted sq42 as a separate game the cost of the license would of gone up by alot so I’m just assuming 2x 1.85 mill so by that they are after squadron money seeing as like I said no future royalties in the current contract

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dsmart

Cigs lawyers wrote that it doesn’t prohibit them from switching engines in there response, which is likely right. I read it yesterday.

I read it. And you’re wrong. Just like CIG is.

You yourself have said you have purchased the right to use multiple engines. Have any of those stopped you from using another engine? Nope.

No because they didn’t give me anything in exchange for EXCLUSIVELY using their engines and middleware. If Havok had given me a deal to use only their engine, in exchange for marketing, promotion, reduced fee etc, I wouldn’t be switching to a different toolset knowing I would be sued.

The royalties bit is not false actually, if it was false section 5.4 wouldn’t exist! The buyout true is so crytek wouldn’t claim future royalties and would consider it fully paid up but I said future earnings through royalties = nothing.

You’re going around in circles. You said royalties didn’t exist. I said they did. Just because they pre-paid it doesn’t mean they didn’t exist. Are you serious?

So cig pay up front is done and dusted, so by cig moving to another engine won’t cost crytek anything because they have already paid up and they wouldn’t of got any more money in the future anyway. Do you understand that?

Yes, I understand that it’s rubbish. Just because you have paid up for an engine, including royalties, doesn’t mean you can breach another part of the GLA. It just doesn’t work that way.

Deceptive complaints taking about ortwin when crytek signing a waiver that type of stuff.

There was not deceptive about it. It was up to Ortwin to provide the waiver if Crytek didn’t want to. The waiver was immaterial and that’s why Skadden didn’t remove the wording; they just reworded it to take into account that Ortwin had provided a waiver. And we don’t even know what’s in it since Ortwin didn’t file it like he did the GLA. Guess why that is?

I am sure Skadden is going to file it in their response.

The bit about what I said about them wanting more money for squadron and your saying I have no proof isn’t exactly true because crytek have said something about if cig wanted sq42 as a separate game the cost of the license would of gone up by alot so I’m just assuming 2x 1.85 mill so by that they are after squadron money seeing as like I said no future royalties in the current contract

That’s not proof. It’s conjecture.

Also, that would only be because they are LOCKED into the GLA which CANNOT be terminated “at will”. Just because CE is currently free, doesn’t mean that CIG can use it for free, when they have a GLA with Crytek that has DIFFERENT terms. And that GLA pre-dates the CE going free.

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primal

The last bit has nothing to do with cryengine going free. I’m saying in there current contract /GLA they don’t get paid royalties on % of game sales in the future so they want money for the squadron 42 split

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dsmart

The last bit has nothing to do with cryengine going free. I’m saying in there current contract /GLA they don’t get paid royalties on % of game sales in the future so they want money for the squadron 42 split

And you would still be wrong because it’s not the present contract that prevails, because that is NOT the license that CIG has for CE. It’s the GLA, which is based on the licensing from 2012. And that’s the version they are going to abide by according to law. That’s how contracts work.

If the court finds that CIG did breach the GLA, then not only are they liable for damages to the tune of around 1.85M Euros (what they paid for ONE game back in 2012) but also other damages which can be in the millions.

People who are not in the biz, don’t keep up with things like this, read industry cases etc. We do. And it’s not rocket science. Cases of IP infringement are the worst kind for any software company; which is why all it takes it ONE simply mistake, to have a liability insurance claim denied.

I have gone on the record saying that I selfishly didn’t want to see this lawsuit distraction because I would rather CIG live and die by their own mistakes so that people – like you for instance – don’t then find another excuse (besides me) for why the project failed. But I also want it to proceed so that once it gets to discovery, backers can get a better glimpse as to what happened to this project and their money.

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Joe Blobers

Go go go DS…. leave us more no sense predictions… that will be even funnier on Feb 9th… :)

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Schmidt.Capela

The contract is self-contained and “supersedes all prior agreements made between the Parties regarding CryEngine,” so I don’t think Crytek can use the Kickstart page or the game’s web site to interpret its terms the way you used in your linked post, unless there is some blatant ambiguity that requires extra context to solve.

I don’t think that is the case, though. Granted, there is some ambiguity in that the GLA’s exhibit 2 mentions Squadron 42 as a feature of Star Citizen, but the GLA itself is explicitly stating that any time you see “game” in the contract, you should interpret that as both the “Space Citizen” game and the related “Squadron 42” game (“the game currently entitled “Space Citizen” and its related space fighter game “Squadron 42,” together hereafter the “Game”“).

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dsmart

The contract is self-contained and “supersedes all prior agreements made between the Parties regarding CryEngine,” so I don’t think Crytek can use the Kickstart page or the game’s web site to interpret its terms the way you used in your linked post, unless there is some blatant ambiguity that requires extra context to solve.

I didn’t using it for that purpose at all. I was using it to illustrate the products covered the the definition of GAME and how it compares to what’s in the GLA.

And yes, the GLA is quite specific that Star Citizen + Squadron 42 + multiplayer mods = GAME

They are contending that by developing and selling SQ42 separately, they have breached the GLA. They ARE selling SQ42 separately, though it was supposed to be just another feature to Star Citizen like Star Marine, Arena Commander etc.

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Schmidt.Capela

In the exhibit, it says Squadron 42 is a feature of Star Citizen.

In the GLA itself, it states that Star Citizen and Squadron 42 are two different, if related, games.

So there’s an ambiguity here, and given that the exhibit reads like an advertisement or a press release, while the GLA reads like a contract, I would expect the courts to go with the GLA definition that both are independent games. Lawyers are expected (and required) to be precise, marketing people are not.

In any case, if as you say a stand-alone Squadron 42 isn’t covered by the GLA, and it isn’t using CryEngine, then Crytek has no standing to sue anyone regarding that stand-alone game. So the courts might not even bother solving the above ambiguity.

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dsmart

In any case, if as you say a stand-alone Squadron 42 isn’t covered by the GLA, and it isn’t using CryEngine, then Crytek has no standing to sue anyone regarding that stand-alone game. So the courts might not even bother solving the above ambiguity.

You just brought up another issue that some people are not thinking about.

Even if CIG says that SQ42 isn’t using CryEngine, it’s using LY, that’s going to be a major project for CIG because they would have to prove it.

Using CE then switching to LY in 2016 isn’t going to cut it. If this goes to trial, and forensics experts get into the source code repo etc, it’s going to be easy to see 1) if they did switch from CE to LY 2) when they did the switch.

If SQ42 never used CE at all, then CIG are 100% in the clear. If they did, at ANY time, it doesn’t matter if they later switched, they’re in trouble. That’s how IP law works, as that would be copyright infringement.

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Armsman

Um, no Derek that’s NOT how Copyright works. And Softyware fiollows Copyright law in that regard VERY closely. The fact is – if CIG changed the Cyengine codebase 10% or more, they’re in the clear (OR if Lumberyard uswes some of the exact same codebase as Cryengine – they’re ALSO in the clear – unless Crytek now claim Amazon abrogated a part of their seperate agreement with Crytek and names Amazon a party to the suit.

Crytek SHOT THEMSEVES IN THE FOOT in this case when they stated outright that they informed CIG directly that SQ42 development WASN’T covered in their GLA with CIG You can’t claim something isn’t covered – and when CIG retorts, “That’s when we looked into an agreement with Amazon to use Lumberyard for SQ42… ” respond with… Oh, and we want damages for then developing SQ42 and NOT using our version Cryengine to do it.”

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dsmart

All of that is so hilariously wrong, that you should probably have just cut and pasted the CIG response instead of wasting your time.

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Armsman

The only thing hilariously wrong is you still trying to claim you’re a game developer.

lets face it – the only thing you write these days is Twitter posts (to yourself since all your latest twitter posts are post after post of you droning on with no replies)

Hell, I hadn’t looked at anything you’ve posted in over a year, but decided to just to see how ridiculous you’ve been getting over this – and it’s pretty ridiculous.

You constantly have claimed in the past you have all this ‘inside info’ – yet said info never pans out.

You just ramble on and on figuring (I suppose) if you guess right on something, suddenly you’ll be vindicated.

If you have so much info, why have you newer been able to initiate your own Clas action lawsuit – or get a Federal Consumer Agency to investigate CIG?

Why? because you’re nothing but a hot air keyboard warrior.

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Roger Melly

To be fair I would think as a games developer Derek Smart would have a lot of experience and knowledge of how copyright works . I am just wondering if you can say the same Armsman ?

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dsmart

Don’t waste your time. See his latest round below. The usual personal attacks with zero correlation to the discussion at hand. Typical.

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Schmidt.Capela

Not quite.

First, if the codebase for Squadron 42 is the same as that for Star Citizen, or if the fork happened after the switch to Lumberyard, there is no issue at all. Squadron 42 isn’t released yet, not even in Alpha, and if the codebase is the same as Star Citizen, then its development — including the use of proprietary Crytek tools — is covered by the GLA as development for Star Citizen. CIG should not even need a new royalties agreement to sell Squadron 42, even if Crytek’s interpretation of the GLA is used, because the game now uses Lumberyard, and even if it was using CryEngine, Crytek offers since March 2016 a royalty-free license to distribute and sell CryEngine games.

Even if the codebase isn’t the same, was forked before the switch to Lumberyard, and the GLA is found to not cover the development of Squadron 42, any use of CryEngine for SQ42 prior to February 14, 2016, is perfectly in line with Crytek’s interpretation of the GLA. That was the date when Squadron 42 started being sold apart from Star Citizen. And any use after the move to the Lumberyard engine doesn’t infringe Crytek’s copyrights either. So Crytek would be trying to recover damages for a period of development of less than a year, during which no copies of the game were distributed, and after which all Crytek proprietary material was removed from the project. What’s more, Crytek itself had been allowing devs free access to their engine and dev tools since 2011, and in March 2016 made the engine itself free, including full access to the source code and the dev tools, which seriously limits any damages they could claim; as the CryEngine home page states, “The most powerful game development platform is now available to everyone. Full engine source code. All features. No royalties. No obligations.”

This, of course, assumes that CIG did complete the switch to Lumberyard. But, as per a Chris Roberts post back in December 2016, both Lumberyard and the Star Citizen engine are based on the exact same version of CryEngine, so the migration was as simple as generating a diff containing all modifications CIG had done to the engine, applying it to Lumberyard, and fixing the few issues due to changes Amazon had done to Lumberyard; the whole process, according to CR, took “a day or so of two engineers on the engine team”, and was complete before the change was announced.

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dsmart

First, if the codebase for Squadron 42 is the same as that for Star Citizen, or if the fork happened after the switch to Lumberyard, there is no issue at all. Squadron 42 isn’t released yet, not even in Alpha, and if the codebase is the same as Star Citizen, then its development — including the use of proprietary Crytek tools — is covered by the GLA as development for Star Citizen. CIG should not even need a new royalties agreement to sell Squadron 42, even if Crytek’s interpretation of the GLA is used, because the game now uses Lumberyard, and even if it was using CryEngine, Crytek offers since March 2016 a royalty-free license to distribute and sell CryEngine games.

Except that’s not how that works.

Copyright and IP law are very specific. As I posted in my missive, the dates are vital. To wit. They announced in Jan 2016 that they would be splitting SQ42 into a separate game. They did the split in Feb 2016. Then in Dec 2016, after saying the switch took a matter of days, no effort at all etc, they released the 2.6 patch with LY.

The source code change logs and repos which are no doubt going to end up in discovery as cases like this tend to, will show when the switch was made, whether or not it was in fact made etc.

And to tie all that together 1) Crytek has the source branch they licensed to CIG 2) they have the source branch they licensed to AMZ for LY 3) They will get the source branch that CIG has been using since 2012 to present day.

And through all those, even if they did the switch, the period between Feb 2016 and Dec 2016 is what is going to determine IP infringement because if CIG used CE at any time AFTER the split, they’re in trouble. Once you breach an IP, that’s it.

Since SQ42 is a feature of Star Citizen as per the GLA, it wouldn’t have mattered at all had they not actually split it into a separate title, then went out and not only took out tax credits and loans in the UK against it, but also excluded Star Citizen from that. What that presents is a clear cut case of two titles. If SQ42 is using LY as they claim, they will have to prove it beyond a reasonable doubt.

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Schmidt.Capela

Then in Dec 2016, after saying the switch took a matter of days, no effort at all etc, they released the 2.6 patch with LY.

It is perfectly plausible, though. CIG stopped updating the underlying version of CryEngine they used just after Amazon forked CryEngine to make Lumberyard (as Chris Roberts had already explained back in 2016), so both the SC engine and Lumberyard were based on the exact same version and revision of CryEngine. Whether intentional or not (CIG was planning from the start to use AWS for the game servers), that meant Lumberyard was almost identical to the underlying version of CryEngine used by CIG, enabling their version control system to do almost all of the work required for such a change, in a similar way to how Git allows me to rebase my custom changes to Wine (a project with over a million lines of code) in mere minutes.

1) Crytek has the source branch they licensed to CIG 2) they have the source branch they licensed to AMZ for LY

Identical to the last line. Perhaps intentionally so. Which, mind, really undermines any copyright claim Crytek might have over Squadron 42, since Crytek explicitly allowed Amazon to distribute and relicense that specific version of CryEngine, which in practice allows CryEngine licensees that are on that specific version of the engine to ditch Crytek and license it from Amazon instead.

And through all those, even if they did the switch, the period between Feb 2016 and Dec 2016 is what is going to determine IP infringement because if CIG used CE at any time AFTER the split, they’re in trouble. Once you breach an IP, that’s it.

It’s not quite that clear-cut. Even if the GLA doesn’t allow creating an independent Squadron 42 game and CIG did violate the copyright, what would be the remedies?

Removing all CryEngine code from Squadron 42? CIG tells they already did that, and even if that change wasn’t complete, due to not updating the underlying CryEngine version past the one that was forked by Amazon removing any remaining code should be quite simple.

Royalties for all distributed copies? There are none, Squadron 42 was never released to the public.

To put it bluntly, even if there was copyright infringement, there were no damages. And CIG is willing — eager, even — to remove any infringing code Crytek can point to make sure there will be no copyright infringement when Squadron 42 is finally distributed.

Since SQ42 is a feature of Star Citizen as per the GLA,

We will have to agree to disagree, then. The way I see it, Crytek explicitly licensed their engine for CIG to make two games. They will need a lot of gumption to explain why they wrote in the GLA ““Space Citizen” and its related space fighter game “Squadron 42”” if they meant one indivisible game.

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dsmart

It is perfectly plausible, though. CIG stopped updating the underlying version of CryEngine they used just after Amazon forked CryEngine to make Lumberyard (as Chris Roberts had already explained back in 2016), so both the SC engine and Lumberyard were based on the exact same version and revision of CryEngine.

You don’t know ANY of that to be true. And that’s why there is a lawsuit which is what will determine if this actually did happen. Most of us devs have no reason to believe this to be the case. Especially since they were already promoting their own custom Star Engine based on Cryengine long before the switch. Which, btw, is in violation of 2.4 of the GLA.

Whether intentional or not (CIG was planning from the start to use AWS for the game servers),

That’s false. They were using Google Compute. They only switched to AWS because the LY license does not allow them to use a competing cloud service.

that meant Lumberyard was almost identical to the underlying version of CryEngine used by CIG, enabling their version control system to do almost all of the work required for such a change,

You don’t easily merge custom code just because the underlying engine is similar. LY is custom code based on CE 3.7. Their Star Engine is custom code based on CE 3.7. LY has way more changes to CE3.7 than could possibly have made it an easy switch.

in a similar way to how Git allows me to rebase my custom changes to Wine (a project with over a million lines of code) in mere minutes.

No, it’s not the same thing. LOL!!

It’s not quite that clear-cut. Even if the GLA doesn’t allow creating an independent Squadron 42 game and CIG did violate the copyright, what would be the remedies?

Damages in the millions. That’s what a lawsuit is for.

Identical to the last line. Perhaps intentionally so. Which, mind, really undermines any copyright claim Crytek might have over Squadron 42, since Crytek explicitly allowed Amazon to distribute and relicense that specific version of CryEngine, which in practice allows CryEngine licensees that are on that specific version of the engine to ditch Crytek and license it from Amazon instead.

Irrelevant. A license with one party has NO bearing or relation to another. In fact, AMZ has a different kind of license which not only allows them to modify CE, but also to CREATE AND DISTRIBUTE a competing engine (Lumberyard). And as per 2.4, CIG does NOT have those same licensing rights.

The GLA between CIG and Crytek is specific to their intent. As is the one between Amazon and Crytek, and the current one which is available to the public. Note that even the public one has similar restrictions as section 2.4 of the GLA between Crytek & CIG.

We will have to agree to disagree, then. The way I see it, Crytek explicitly licensed their engine for CIG to make two games.

No they didn’t. The definition of “GAME” is very clear.

They will need a lot of gumption to explain why they wrote in the GLA ““Space Citizen” and its related space fighter game “Squadron 42”” if they meant one indivisible game.

They will need a lot of gumption to explain why they wrote in the GLA ““Space Citizen” and its related space fighter game “Squadron 42”” if they meant one indivisible game.

They don’t. That’s the preamble. GAME is clearly defined in section 1.6 and Exhibit 2

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Schmidt.Capela

You don’t know ANY of that to be true.

I’m assuming Chris Roberts didn’t intentionally lie when talking about the engine switch back in 2016, nearly a year before the lawsuit.

Which, btw, is in violation of 2.4 of the GLA.

CIG isn’t selling or otherwise distributing their engine as an independent product, so they aren’t violating the no-compete clause; this clause might prevent CIG from contributing back to Amazon the improvements they make to Lumberyard, but it doesn’t prevent CIG from using Lumberyard internally or distributing a game that uses it. Besides, Crytek’s complaint never mentions a violation of 2.4, so Crytek would need to amend their complaint (and, thus, allow CIG to respond to such an amendment) in order to argue anything about 2.4.

That’s false. They were using Google Compute.

My bad.

That doesn’t invalidate that scenario, though. Amazon wants to promote the combination of AWS and Lumberyard, and which better usage case than an AAA-budget pseudo-MMO that already has a huge following? If I were Amazon, I would have reached for CIG as soon as Lumberyard was given the green light.

You don’t easily merge custom code just because the underlying engine is similar.

Depends on how similar. The initial release of Lumberyard was basically CryEngine 3.8 with an extra copyright notice at the start of each file, the Scaleforms component removed (likely unused by SC), a different network stack (not relevant for SC because it has its own network stack), and a handful of other improvements; moving from CryEngine to Lumberyard was likely easier than, say, moving from CryEngine 3.8.1 to CryEngine 3.8.2.

No, it’s not the same thing. LOL!!

Only in scope. I’m rebasing a few thousand lines of code whenever I port my changes to a new Wine version, CIG had to rebase far more code, but the underlying process is the same.

Damages in the millions. That’s what a lawsuit is for.

Crytek first needs to prove they suffered damages in the millions. Which is kinda hard when talking about an unreleased game from which all Crytek code was apparently purged over a year before any copy was ever distributed, and that if you even consider there was copyright infringement in the first place.

Irrelevant. A license with one party has NO bearing or relation to another.

True in that the two licenses are not directly related. But if the code you are licensing can be legally obtained from multiple parties you get to pick which one you want to license it from. Thus, in practice, CryEngine 3.8 licensees — like CIG — are able to rebase their code to Lumberyard and then discontinue their CryEngine licenses, if they so desire.

For all practical purposes the deal with Amazon stripped Crytek of its status as the exclusive distributor of CryEngine 3.8.

If you go back to the dates spanning the websites,

You can’t. The GLA is self-contained, as per 10.1. It should be interpreted based on just the GLA itself, its exhibits, and the GLA amendment.

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Joe Blobers

…. DS… more desperate every day… Proven wrong again on Feb 9th…. countdown started :)

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socontrariwise

I believe that brings up the question: If Crytek gave CRI the exclusive rights to the Crytek Engine, how could Amazon have gotten the rights?
Only if CRI agree to no longer pursue exclusivity because they agree with Crytek not to use it anymore?

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Kickstarter Donor
Estranged

DS – If SQ42 has only used LY, they lied about the timeline development of SQ42.

arandomusertoo
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arandomusertoo

Let’s see… Derek Smart vs an actual attorney. Who should we go with?

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Bruno Brito

Oh boi, did i miss you.

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Jeff Weideman

lol dude, haven’t you lost enough? :D

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Jeff Weideman

Derek Smart = That person who just can’t stand Star Citizen is succeeding.

Now how about taking your continued trolling EVERYTHING Star Citizen and find a black hole to stuff it.

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Joe Blobers

Quote DS: “I believe that the judge is going to…. ”

Others prophecies from the Clown:

– I swear CIG collapse 90 days top! … since 2015
– I swear CIG won’t have another Citizencon since 2016
– Seamless space to planet is decades away….

A sad man rying to exist through permanent lies & obfuscation rather than deliver anything… :)

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A Dad Supreme

It’s only January 8th… far too early to be eating popcorn already.

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Kickstarter Donor
Dividion

Not if you haven’t finished the popcorn ball ornaments from your Christmas tree. :)

Ornament-Popcorn-Balls_exps105926_TH133086B07_18_4bC_RMS.jpg
misterpiece84
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misterpiece84

Can someone enlighten me about 15:00 ish of the video. CSI claims that the Cryengine is exclusive of Star Citizen in the sense that only SC can use said engine. Crytek claims that the exclusivity is about CSI using only their engine.

I though Crytek profits came from renting their engine around. Why would they sign a contract where they agree to not give the engine to anyone else?

If that was the case, how did Amazon develop Lumberyard if Cryengine was off-limits, and then CSI uses Amazon’s engine….?

Head is spinning, let me sit down.

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TheDonDude

Apparently, going by French’s video, it’s more that Crytek will not give CIG’s license away to someone else.

I agree it’s weirdly written, though.

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Schmidt.Capela

The way I understand it, Crytek can still license CryEngine to anyone else; what they can’t do is to authorize someone to use the specific, customized version CIG developed in-house for Star Citizen. In other words, Crytek can’t unilaterally authorize someone to sell a Star Citizen total conversion mod that comes with the Star Citizen engine bundled.

That seems to be the common terms of such an engine license.

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Nick Thompson

That section of the licence agreement is stating what CIG has the rights to do, and whether only they do, or if others do to.

So:

2.1.1 – “To non-exclusively develop, support, maintain, extend and/or enhance CryEngine”

This means CIG can make changes to CryEngine, but that is not granted exclusively to CIG, CryTek can allow other companies to do so too.

2.1.2 “To exclusively embed CryEngine in the Game and develop the Game”

This means that CIG is granted the right to embed CryEngine in Star Citizen (& SQ42), and ONLY CIG is allowed to do this. No one else is allowed to embed CryEngine in Star Citizen (& SQ42), therefore it is an exclusive right.

2.1.3 “To exclusively manufacture, market, promote, sell, license, publish and exploit the Game”

This means that CIG is allowed to sell and profit from Star Citizen (& SQ42), and no one else is allowed to do so, i.e. it is an exclusive right to CIG.

Those last two may seem common sense, I mean it’s their game, of course they have those exclusive rights. But this is a legal document, it still needs to be stated!

If you were to take 2.1.2 to mean they have to use CryEngine, then that would imply 2.1.3 means that the ONLY thing CIG can ever do as a company is sell this one game. Which is clearly ridiculous. Crytek don’t have a leg to stand on here. No idea what the hell they are playing at.