The DMCA is not "nuclear" - it's a very common legal procedure.
You're just debating adjectives there. Sure, offshore nuclear testing in international waters isn't the same thing as a full-fledged global nuclear purge strike, but it is neither the less crossing the line into participating in a nuclear arms race.
But ignoring the colourful analogy we basically agree they crossed the line from polite discourse to direct legal action.
DMCA abuse has been a hot topic in creative communities since it was introduced and the general consensus is it is incredibly poor form to pull the trigger on a DMCA without attempting to deal with the parties in question first. Financially speaking it's a dumb move unless it's causing you immediate damages because it limits your potential remuneration should the issue be resolved in your favour in court (they weren't selling anything yet, so...). Or the other big reason to do it is to cause a disruption to a competitor, which is certainly an abuse of the system and why it has such a negative reception.
As for my comment on the illegal claim, I'm referring to their filing for a takedown of Star Control 3, a game they had nothing to do with. Or at least so I've been lead to believe. If correct then that's categorised as a fake DCMA claim and the penalties for similar cases where they were found not to have a legal copyright claim so far have been around $125,000. The DMCA's for Star Control 1 and 2 might well stand depending on how this legal action all plays out. But I've not seen anything that suggests they even have any kind of copyright claim for SC3. :-/
I could be wrong and that's fine. I'm just going by the information we've been given. Doesn't make it any less an industry faux pas to handle things how they did. If the courts do rule against them, no one I know in the industry is going to work alongside them in the future. What they did is real loose cannon behaviour and despite people wanting to believe otherwise, it is absolutely a shot across the bow. Maybe they didn't understand this. But it's not like they've been inactive in the industry. They must have picked up something about industry etiquette while working at Activision... Then again... No, I'll leave the obvious dig at Activision out. Low hanging fruit.
Now, I'm not saying Stardock has handled themselves spotlessly either. The CEO Brad has a short temper and big mouth (sorry Brad, you know it's true. You're lawyers must hate you for it but at least you wear your heart on your sleeve I guess). But I'm not going to stand up for P&F on any action they took I don't agree with either. There is no point playing favourites. If you have to omit or colour the truth to defend your preference they don't deserve the pedestal in my opinion.
Honestly, though far from untarnished my general opinion of Stardock is rather positive. They do screw up. The number of hours I've wasted in galactic civ releases during launch months because of save ending bugs... I preordered the deluxe edition of elemental, I don't think I need to elaborate on that. I've had more than one disagreement with things Brad has said in his fits of fury on twitter. I'm kinda bitter about the whole selling of impulse to gamestop thing too. So even ignoring this current debacle with P&F when it comes to Stardock I have plenty to complain about...
But intent matters.
I know what I'm getting with Stardock and while the ride is rough sometimes I know there are good intentions backing things up. Broken products will get polished. Dissatisfied customers get reimbursed. They take their windfalls and they lift other studios up and generally promote growth and creativity in the industry. They examine themselves and try to understand where they've gone wrong and try to improve. So in spite of not having a stellar record, I respect them and frankly although I don't agree 100% with their actions here, they are about in line with what I anticipate. Of course, if you are one of those people who is all "If you aren't 100% with me you're 100% against me" then we just aren't going to get along. We like the idea of goodies and baddies, black and white clear-cut heroes and villains. But it's not realistic, and my 2 cents is Stardock if nothing else at least aspires to be one of the lighter shades of grey. The fact it is a shade of grey and not pure white is just the truth of the matter and seems pointless to deny.
On the other hand, speaking of dark grey clouds looming on the horizon... I have lost a tremendous amount of respect for P&F in the last few short months. I mean I still give them props for what they created but damn, my opinion of them is just not what it was. There is a lesson in there somewhere about harbouring false idols I'm sure. I still totally hope they get to make Star Control Ghosts regardless. But I'm not going to defend them on their breaches of professional courtesy and I'm perfectly happy to let seasoned lawyers decide if they are legally in the right or wrong in court so I don't see the point in debating that.
If that leads you to think I'm siding purely with Stardock in this case, let me assure you I'm perfectly happy to talk about the controversial things Stardock has said and call them out on it.
In fact, I have done so. But it's just got buried is so much pseudo-legal bullshit from fanbois trying to absolve P&F of absolutely everything and paint them purest white even though it takes two to tango. Think about that... We can't have a discussion about the things that Stardock has done which we disagree with because it's buried under the noise of fanatics trying to argue you can't disagree with anything P&F have done. That's the mentality of a fandom I want nothing to do with frankly.
So I don't know what to tell you. I want to see P&F continue on as creatives, building new stories and worlds too. But the more people I see avidly trying to convince me their shit doesn't stink, the more suspicious I become...