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Apparently it seems that Crytek wants a piece of the cake after the success CIG brought with using the founding elements of CryEngine. They now are suing for copyright infringement. I feel like this is a last dick move to try and save themselves before they finally go under.




Edited by Gallitin
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There was a contract, but a contract doesn't mean you can do anything with the property. 

We'll have to see what happens. I think this is motivated because Crytek is probably getting cut out by the switch to Lumberyard.

Edit: If you read it, its pretty damning. It only contains the allegations by the plaintiff, but it reads bad. CIG had better have a good defense.

User  xpaladin on r/starcitizen did a good TL/DR:

Gonna edit this some for my take on tl;dr:

[facts A] Seems like they're angry about the splitting off of squadron 42 as a standalone game without purchasing a separate game license, as the original license was procured for star citizen only.

[facts B] Crytek seems super salty that the logos for crytek/cryengine were removed from the product. They claim the inclusion of the actual logo was part of a negotiation for a lower fee on the licensing for the engine, which (according to facts A) was intended for SC only.

[facts C] CIG isn't using cryengine exclusively anymore, so they broke the promise they made to us to use the engine exclusively. They claim that entering into agreement with Amazon Lumberyard is a breach of exclusivity. That's going to be a fun one to watch play out.

[facts D] CIG apparently agreed to give bugfixes etc to CryTek yearly. Several notices were sent by CryTek, CIG responded that they'd be OK and are ready to send fixes, but allegedly did not.

[facts E] CIG disclosed the engine to third parties, faceware etc. Also mentions us, by way of Bugsmashers (kind of funny, CIG could just ship the entire bugsmashers series on a dvd to CryTek to satisfy 'facts D', and they've clearly watched it...)

and now for the counts:

[counts 1] Basically all of the above, itemized and restated as "Breach of Contract"

[counts 2] "Copyright infringement" - much salt about code being shown on screen and to third parties, basically expanding on "facts E" above a bit.

relief prayers... what they want out of this. some nasty stuff.

(a, c, d, e) direct damages (cash, money, drugs and hos) "well in excess of $75,000" [this suit is citing and targeting a California law edit: misread, actually 28 USC 1332 and specifically 17 USC 504], punitive damages, etc. money money money.

(b) oof. quoting this one directly. "entering a permanent injunction enjoining and restraining Defendants from continuing to possess or use the Copyrighted Work and a preliminary and permanent injunction requiring Defendants, and all those acting in concert or participation with Defendants, from infringing or encouraging, aiding or abetting others to infringe the Copyrighted Work" -- seems to me they either want to repossess cryengine or otherwise 'steal' starengine.

Bonus favorite line of the entire suit (I lol'd):

On November 20, 2012, Crytek and Defendants entered into a Game License Agreement ("GLA") with Crytek. The GLA was extensively negotiated, and negotiations on behalf of the Defendants were led by one of the Defendants' co-founders, Freyermuth. In prior years, Freyermuth also represented Crytek in negotiations of similar license agreements with third parties. Notwithstanding that he had confidential information about Crytek's licensing practices that would unfairly advantage Defendants, Freyermuth never recused himself from those negotiations and never resolved that conflict of interest with Crytek. The negotiations on behalf of Crytek were led by Carl Jones, then an employee of Crytek. Jones later left Crytek and became an employee of Defendants.

As far as impact goes - we'll have to see. I think as others have said this is just a cash grab, although it may have some legs. I'd bet that Crytek is vastly overstating its leverage in the actual contract with CIG, based on how little emphasis is placed upon that part of the supposed 'breach'. They were probably desperate to have the name attached to the project and agreed to everything. The Squadron 42 split was always going to happen, it was definitely part of the kickstarter announcements and should be considered public knowledge. I'd think that was covered when Ortwin and company licensed the engine.


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Well, none of that squares with this.


Roberts: Yes, this is the CryEngine. We’ve done a lot of modifications and we’ll continue to do more.

GamesBeat: They’ve changed their licensing policies some. Does that help you at all? Or do you have a more general license?

Roberts: Yeah, we bought it out. We’re building this game for the long term. It’s an MMO. Hopefully it lasts as long as something like EVE or World of Warcraft. We need to have control over it. So we basically had to buy it out and control the source and everything. We still get updates from them. We work very closely with Crytek. But their new licensing deal doesn’t factor into what we do.


Will have to wait for the lawyers to quit posturing I reckon but looks like a last ditch effort to get some cash flow. - DRUM out

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9 minutes ago, Dragon-Knight said:

Worrying but wait and see what happens.

This only goes really bad if CIG elects to take this to court. Taking it to court would mean they think they have a believable defense to each of the allegations and can prove it with evidence. 

Most of the opinion that I've read is that the document written was with an eye to making CIG settle privately out of court to make this "go away". They could elect to settle because its cheaper than going to court or because they know they're fully in the wrong. 

4 minutes ago, LloydM said:

Do you think the court case will be funded by backers? Technically it can't because whenever you buy something its stated that all the money is going into making the game.

I doubt we backers are they only investors in the project. I see Amazon, Intel, AMD (at least they were a few years ago), unspecified private individuals, Chris, Sandi, other CIG corporate personalities, etc. as other major contributors. Using backer funds to defend themselves in court probably won't happen if this is true. Of course, they don't have to go to court at all, they can settle outside of it. 

Edit: Personally I'm curious to see if they can prove that code shown in Bugsmashers is actually Crytek intellectual property. 

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Not sure what their deal is and it smells like a desperate cashgrab attempt by Crytek's corporate fatcats who want to fill their pockets before declaring bankruptcy. However, last time I checked CIG completely switched over to Lumberyard in 2016 and it was only AFTER that CIG stopped displaying the Crytek logos.

So it sounds to me like Crytek are desperate for cash and are now trying to strongarm CIG into paying for an engine they don't even use anymore. I also recall both Chris and Erin stating that they bought full rights to the engine back in 2014, yet Crytek lawyers are making it look like it's just a license for a single game.

Guess we'll just have to wait and see why Crytek is suddenly going full retard with a lawsuit.

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CIG's answer “We are aware of the Crytek complaint having been filed in the US District Court. CIG hasn’t used the CryEngine for quite some time since we switched to Amazon’s Lumberyard. This is a meritless lawsuit that we will defend vigorously against, including recovering from Crytek any costs incurred in this matter.”


source: http://massivelyop.com/2017/12/13/crytek-sues-star-citizen-developer-cloud-imperium-alleging-copyright-infringement/

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3 minutes ago, Fintz said:

The ones that didn't pay :P


1 minute ago, GeraldEvans said:

Can't exactly not pay employees and expect them to stay on. There's loyalty, but that doesn't cover food, rent, medical bills, transportation, etc.

Yeah I know, that's what got me thinking in the first place.  Because crytek hasn't been consistent with salary payments, I remember hearing about a number of them jumping ship and joining cig.  So maybe crytek is butthurt because of that as well as the fact that they're using what used to be originally their engine and doing stuff with it that they never imagined possible.

But tbh I do believe what @Danakar Endeel has said is the most plausible tho... this could be a cash grab before jumping ship.

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CIG gave a statement to Massively OP:

“We are aware of the Crytek complaint having been filed in the US District Court. CIG hasn’t used the CryEngine for quite some time since we switched to Amazon’s Lumberyard. This is a meritless lawsuit that we will defend vigorously against, including recovering from Crytek any costs incurred in this matter.”


To me, and I'm not a lawyer, this appears as if CIG feels strong in their case and are willing to defend themselves. Of course, I wouldn't expect anything other than fighting words if their private discussions went this far (apparently for years according to the complaint). So if CIG thinks they have a legal leg to stand on, we'll have to see what happens next. 

Their response (which probably won't say much) is due 21 days from when the suit was filed (yesterday). 

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This sounds to me like a desperate move by Crytek... although I don't know anything about all this legal stuiff so I'm not going to even try and wrap my head around all of this.
I do worry about this generating bad publicity that CIG doesnt need... with "you know who" and his bag o' cronies and certain websites are going to latch on to... possibly something Crytek is actually counting on so CIG will try to make this go away by settling.


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4 minutes ago, J. Coren said:

A legitimate copyright lawyer with a channel on Youtube. Doesn't jump to conclusions quickly and is fairly level-headed in his legal analysis.

He gained a lot of fame recently for being one of the primary targets in the Imagos/Alex Mauer shitstorm.

Awesome. I initially was under the impression that he was some sort of predatory troll and I didn't want to give him any clicks.

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All that this seems to be is a desperate attempt to get money. Crytek failed as a company due to bad business practices and failure to manage its funds. This seems like an attempt to threaten lawsuits, then get a settlement under the table in order to "go away". Companies change and modify engines all the time, and CIG isn't stupid in how it handles the contracts for stuff like this. What would be interesting is if CIG countersued. I don't know what grounds, but it'd be interesting. ;)

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In Russia they have to deal with bears.  In the USA, it's lawyers and being sued. All they have to do should they need extra capital, extra concept ships :D.

They have been desperate for capital for years, they have closed down offices fired staff. CIG employs quite a few ex-crytek guys.

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