This past week, Activision executives, Paul Reiche III and Fred Ford sent DMCA notices to Steam and GOG demanding the removal of Star Control: Origins on the grounds that Star Control: Origins violates unspecified copyrights of theirs.
Finally, after many months of requesting from them what, specifically, in our game that they they believe they own they finally posted a table outlining their justification for taking down our game.
For those not familiar with copyright, here is a really simple outline of what copyright covers and doesn't cover.
The table is right from their website. Our comments are next to it.
Next time you play a game, any game, consider how many ideas in it appeared in other games. For the record, Star Control: Origins is not a clone of Star Control II. For obviously reasons, it's a 25 year old game and as we have stated countless times, it wasn't commercially viable to continue that story. We were interested in licensing the ships from Star Control II to include in Fleet Battles but they declined to so we didn't include them. But even if it were a "Clone" of the gameplay of Star Control II, that doesn't fall under copyright protection. See here for more information on that.
So at long last, the meat of their complaint. They think they own the ideas listed.
UPDATE: No, we did not make up this chart. You can find their chart here. These are their claims and words. We have not edited their claims.
As a reminder, this table was made by Reiche and Ford. Not us. We aren't putting words in their mouths here. This is what they actually believe. This is their justification for filing a DMCA to take down a shipping game.
As for their argument that game ideas count as expressions and can be copyrighted, the copyright office already admonished them for this erroneous misinterpretation.