Quoted from flynnibus:
It's not stolen property. You can't apply reclaimation policies to creations that were created without license. They were created illegally, not created and than stolen.
It would fall under civil ip laws - not criminal theft
Just for the record, this is correct. The original person who went against the IP usually has to destroy what they have on hand and stop selling the rest, and pay the company they stole the IP from, but those items already sold are already sold. A good example of this was the Tengen version of Tetris for the NES. Tengen made the game legitimately thinking they had the license for the home, but they did not and Nintendo is. When the courts sorted it out, they made Tengen destroy all of the copies of the game that weren't yet sold... but those copies of the game that were already in gamer's hands were too late to stop.
Quoted from frolic:
The heat was on him for some time, just look at how long his web site was scrubbed and how long he kept the deceit going after that.
How simple could it have been to cancel the game when the initial cease and desist came in, tell everyone he "lost" the license and couldn't proceed. Hell, he might have had many people stay on with a rethemed game.
So, quick disclosure - I didn't lose any money but I find this whole process fascinating, and I totally agree that there is more to this story that only some people know that will be coming out in the future... Because what is said above is exactly right. Now, maybe I look at things this way because I'm not an idiot, but if all of a sudden I didn't have the ability to manufacture something that I had said that I was going to, I would take a step back and figure out what I could do for it. Then, you reveal everything all at once.
I don't think too many people would have been greatly put off if he came forward and said that he thought he had the license, it turns out he did not have what he thought, and o he is going to instead retheme the game to "Alien Hunter" (or whatever), and that it was delayed by a few months because of this. Get to work redecaling or whatever you need to do to the cabinets, program new sounds in your code, and show it. Explain to people that it's still the same game, just because of the licensing snafu, it won't have the official theme.
I think that a *lot* of people would have stuck around.
Instead, what we do seem to know is that he got served the C&D, and then hid his actions for as long as possible while asking for more money from people. Nothing about that is okay. Nothing about that is someone who was trying his best getting caught up in it. It's the sign of a deceitful person, and so I believe he should get everything that is coming to him.