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January 16, 2019

VIA EMAIL AND FEDEX

Valve Corporation d/b/a Steam


10900 NE 4th Street, Suite 500
Bellevue, WA 98004
dmca@valvesoftware.com
copyright@valvesoftware.com
dawnd@valvesoftware.com
chriss@valvesoftware.com

RE: DMCA Takedown Counter-Notice Regarding Star Control: Origins

To Copyright Agent for Valve Corporation and Steam:

Pursuant to § 512(g)(3) of the DMCA, Stardock Systems, Inc. (“Stardock”) hereby submits this
counter-notification to Paul Reiche III’s and Robert Frederick Ford’s (collectively “Reiche and
Ford”) December 28, 2018 DMCA notice to Valve Corporation d/b/a Steam (“Valve”) requesting
the removal of Stardock’s Star Control: Origins game (“Origins”) and related materials from
Valve’s site via https://store.steampowered.com/app/271260/Star_Control_Origins/ (the “DMCA
Notice”). As a result of the DMCA Notice, Valve has removed Origins and related materials from
its site. As discussed below, and among other issues, the DMCA Notice is noncompliant and
constitutes an abuse of the notice-and-takedown system. As such, Stardock requests that Valve
reject Reiche’s and Ford’s request and reinstate Origins and related materials on Valve and resume
their sale.

Pursuant to 17 U.S.C. § 512(c)(A), a notification of claimed infringement requires that the alleged
copyright owner substantially (among other requirements):

(i) identify the copyrighted work claimed to have been infringed; and

(ii) identify the material that is claimed to be infringing.

In their DMCA Notice, Reiche and Ford have neither substantially identified the work claimed to
be infringed nor substantially identified the material claimed to be infringing. Instead Reiche and
Ford vaguely allege in conclusory terms that they “own certain exclusive rights in, to and for the
games ‘Star Control’ and ‘Star Control II’ originally released in 1990 and 1992, respectively, and
own…similar copyrights in ‘Star Control 3’ with respect to those materials present in ‘Star
Control’ and ‘Star Control II’ that were incorporated into ‘Star Control 3.’” However, Reiche and
Ford fail to identify those allege rights or state with any particularity how Stardock’s Origins and
Copyright Agent
Valve Corporation d/b/a Steam
January 16, 2019
Page 2 of 3

related materials infringe such purported copyrights. Thus, Reiche and Ford have not met the
substantiality requirements under 17 U.S.C. § 512(c)(A). As such, the Reiche and Ford’s DMCA
Notice is not effective. See 17 U.S.C. § 512(c)(A). Reiche’s and Ford’s nonspecific DMCA
Notice constitutes an obvious abuse of the notice-and-takedown process.

Stardock is the developer of Origins. Any and all copyrights in and to the game and related
materials belong to Stardock. Origins does not incorporate any copyrightable expression
purportedly owned by Reiche and Ford. Also, any alleged similarities between Reiche’s and
Ford’s alleged work and Origins are not actionable as, inter alia, Reiche and Ford own no
protectable rights in any such work.

Moreover, § 512(c)(1)(A) of the DMCA provides that “a service provider shall not be liable for
monetary relief or (except as provided in subsection (j) of Section 512), for injunctive or other
equitable relief, for infringement of copyright by reason of the storage at the direction of a user of
material that resides on a system or network controlled or operated by or for the service provider,
if the service provider—

(i) does not have actual knowledge that the material or an activity using the material on
the system or network is infringing;
(ii) in the absence of such actual knowledge, is not aware of facts or circumstances from
which infringing activity is apparent; or
(iii) upon obtaining such knowledge or awareness, acts expeditiously to remove, or disable
access to, the material.”

17 U.S.C. § 512(c)(1)(A) (emphasis added). Reiche and Ford have not provided sufficient
information to confer on Valve, or provide VALVE with, actual knowledge that the claimed
material is infringing or to create facts and circumstances from which infringing activity is
apparent per (i) and (ii) above. For instance, there has been no decision from a tribunal that the
material is actually infringing to put Valve on notice of infringement. Further, as far as we know,
Valve is not aware of facts or circumstances from which infringing activity is apparent. If Valve
is aware of any such facts or circumstances, please let us know immediately. Without such actual
knowledge or awareness that the material is infringing there is no requirement that it be removed
or disabled to qualify for the safe harbor under the DMCA.

In light of the foregoing, it is Stardock’s position that Valve should deny Reiche’s and Ford’s
takedown request and reinstate Origins and related materials on its site as soon as practicable.

For the foregoing reasons, Stardock submits under penalty of perjury that it has a good faith belief
that the material noted above was removed or disabled as a result of mistake or misidentification
of the material to be removed or disabled. Stardock consents to the jurisdiction of Federal District
Court for the judicial district in which it is located and will accept service of process from the
person who provided the DMCA Notice or an agent of such person.
Copyright Agent
Valve Corporation d/b/a Steam
January 16, 2019
Page 3 of 3

I am authorized to make and submit this counter-notice on behalf of Stardock.

Additionally, as you know, Valve already has been served with process as a cross-defendant in a
related action, Stardock Systems, Inc. v. Reiche and Ford, et. al., No, 4:17-cv-07025 (N.D. Cal.).
As previously agreed between Stardock and Valve, Stardock has agreed to indemnify Valve in this
litigation and intends to continue to do so during the pendency of this litigation.

Respectfully submitted,

Angela Marshall
General Manager, Software
Stardock Systems, Inc.
15090 Beck Road
Plymouth, Michigan 48170
Phone: 734-927-0677
January 23, 2019

VIA EMAIL AND FEDEX

Copyright Agent
GOG sp. z o.o.
ul. Jagiellońska 74
03-301 Warsaw
Poland
legal@gog.com
JMedina@fkks.com

RE: DMCA Takedown Counter-Notice Regarding Star Control: Origins

To Copyright Agent for GOG Limited:

Pursuant to § 512(g)(3) of the DMCA, Stardock Systems, Inc. (“Stardock”) hereby submits this
counter-notification to Paul Reiche III’s and Robert Frederick Ford’s (collectively “Reiche and
Ford”) December 28, 2018 DMCA notice to GOG sp. z o.o./GOG Limited (“GOG”) requesting
the removal of Stardock’s Star Control: Origins game (“Origins”) and related materials from
GOG’s site via https://www.gog.com/game/star_control_origins (the “DMCA Notice”). As a
result of the DMCA Notice, GOG has removed Origins and related materials from its site. As
discussed below, and among other issues, the DMCA Notice is noncompliant and constitutes an
abuse of the notice-and-takedown system. As such, GOG should reject Reiche’s and Ford’s
request and reinstate Origins and related materials on GOG and resume their sale.

Pursuant to 17 U.S.C. § 512(c)(A), a notification of claimed infringement requires that the alleged
copyright owner substantially (among other requirements):

(i) identify the copyrighted work claimed to have been infringed; and

(ii) identify the material that is claimed to be infringing.

In their DMCA Notice, Reiche and Ford have neither substantially identified the work claimed to
be infringed nor substantially identified the material claimed to be infringing. Instead Reiche and
Ford vaguely allege in conclusory terms that they “own certain exclusive rights in, to and for the
games ‘Star Control’ and ‘Star Control II’ originally released in 1990 and 1992, respectively, and
own…similar copyrights in ‘Star Control 3’ with respect to those materials present in ‘Star
Control’ and ‘Star Control II’ that were incorporated into ‘Star Control 3.’” However, Reiche and
Ford fail to identify those allege rights or state with any particularity how Stardock’s Origins and
related materials infringe such purported copyrights. Thus, Reiche and Ford have not met the
Copyright Agent
GOG sp. z o.o.
January 23, 2019
Page 2 of 3

substantiality requirements under 17 U.S.C. § 512(c)(A). As such, the Reiche and Ford’s DMCA
Notice is not effective. See 17 U.S.C. § 512(c)(A). Reiche’s and Ford’s nonspecific DMCA
Notice constitutes an obvious abuse of the notice-and-takedown process.

Stardock is the developer of Origins. Any and all copyrights in and to the game and related
materials belong to Stardock. Origins does not incorporate any copyrightable expression
purportedly owned by Reiche and Ford. Also, any alleged similarities between Reiche’s and
Ford’s alleged work and Origins are not actionable as, inter alia, Reiche and Ford own no
protectable rights in any such work.

Moreover, § 512(c)(1)(A) of the DMCA provides that “a service provider shall not be liable for
monetary relief or (except as provided in subsection (j) of Section 512), for injunctive or other
equitable relief, for infringement of copyright by reason of the storage at the direction of a user of
material that resides on a system or network controlled or operated by or for the service provider,
if the service provider—

(i) does not have actual knowledge that the material or an activity using the material on
the system or network is infringing;
(ii) in the absence of such actual knowledge, is not aware of facts or circumstances from
which infringing activity is apparent; or
(iii) upon obtaining such knowledge or awareness, acts expeditiously to remove, or disable
access to, the material.”

17 U.S.C. § 512(c)(1)(A) (emphasis added). Reiche and Ford have not provided sufficient
information to confer on GOG, or provide GOG with, actual knowledge that the claimed material
is infringing or to create facts and circumstances from which infringing activity is apparent per (i)
and (ii) above. For instance, there has been no decision from a tribunal that the material is actually
infringing to put GOG on notice of infringement. Further, as far as we know, GOG is not aware
of facts or circumstances from which infringing activity is apparent. If GOG is aware of any such
facts or circumstances, please let us know immediately. Without such actual knowledge or
awareness that the material is infringing there is no requirement that it be removed or disabled to
qualify for the safe harbor under the DMCA.

In light of the foregoing, it is Stardock’s position that GOG should deny Reiche’s and Ford’s
takedown request and reinstate Origins and related materials on its site as soon as practicable.

For the foregoing reasons, Stardock submits under penalty of perjury that it has a good faith belief
that the material noted above was removed or disabled as a result of mistake or misidentification
of the material to be removed or disabled. Stardock consents to the jurisdiction of Federal District
Court for the judicial district in which it is located and will accept service of process from the
person who provided the DMCA Notice or an agent of such person.
Copyright Agent
GOG sp. z o.o.
January 23, 2019
Page 3 of 3

I am authorized to make and submit this counter-notice on behalf of Stardock.

Additionally, as you know, GOG already has been served with process as a cross-defendant in a
related action, Stardock Systems, Inc. v. Reiche and Ford, et. al., No, 4:17-cv-07025 (N.D. Cal.).
As previously agreed between Stardock and GOG, Stardock has agreed to indemnify GOG in this
litigation and intends to continue to do so during the pendency of this litigation.

Respectfully submitted,

Brad Wardell
Founder, President & CEO
Stardock Systems, Inc.
15090 Beck Road
Plymouth, Michigan 48170
Phone: 734-927-0677

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