Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Star Trek Online Race Customization: Do They Own User-Created Content?

Fine.  Yes, I have considered trying out Star Trek Online.  I admit it.  Now, check out this little snippet from the FAQ: 

What’s more, anyone can create their own species in Star Trek Online, meaning you can tell your own story about how you came to be in the galaxy. Leave your mark on the Star Trek universe!

Yeah.  I'm going to have to go ahead and caution against this.  If you're a fan-fic person or heavy RPer and want to get your stuff out there, by all means go for it, but if you've had a cool sci-fi idea kicking around in your head for a while and think this might be a fun way to try it out before writing your novel, please don't.  If this world is the Star Trek world, and the Star Trek world is owned by CBS, can we assume that anything that happens in this world is owned by CBS?  Considering the successes Blizzard has had in this arena, I see no reason why not.  Either way, I think it is safe to assume that CBS has better lawyers than you do.  Be warned.


  1. Hey Alex,

    I see you're thinking of giving Star Trek a try. I don't know if I can recommend it. I am just finishing up a 5 day trial and I am very under whelmed so far.

  2. What's the deal? Not enough interaction? Or too much?

  3. I would agree with Alex on this. That content would definitely be considered to be owned by CBS. I'm no lawyer, but I can think of at least one convincing argument for CBS (aside from precedent); I can think of none for the user. For CBS, they would simply have to argue that said content was inspired by their IP and is therefore wholly owned by them. I don't think it could be proved otherwise since, of course, one would be using their software and their toolset to build the content.

  4. In short, the game is just pretty darn boring. The best implemented things of the game (as with most Cryptic Studios MMO's) are the character and ship creators. Which are really quite robust. However, the ground action is incredibly static and clumsy and the ship combat basically boils down to flying in circles and clicking on one little tiny icon repeatedly. I'll be talking about my experiences with the game at greater length this week on ATN. (Shameless Plug)