Since I last posted there have been additional legal developments. Rather than sum it up, I will just point interested parties to Fred and Paul's blog: https://dogarandkazon.squarespace.com/
They also posted some neat Star Control development art.
What prompted me to post, however, was finding out that in 2016 Stardock openly talked about their mod tools existing to allow fans to create ripoffs:
You start up Star Control and one of the menu items is "Multiverse". You click on that and you see various universes we've made (DLC, expansions, whatever) along with universes other players have made and put up via Steam workshop (Firefly, Star Trek, Star Wars, Babylon 5, Battlestar Galactica, whatver people come up with that the player has already downloaded). Fans of Star Control 2 might want to download the Ur-Quan series like "Ur-Quan War I: Alliance of Free Stars, Ur-Quan War II: Kohr-ah", and so on).
In a recent post this same person has cited, as a reason for fighting Fred and Paul over their IP, the possibility that the duo would demand that Stardock remove the mod tools that would allow players to make their own ships:
Or that they think we have to remove our ship designer. That move would ruin us.
Mind you, from all appearances this is not an actual request that Fred and Paul have made. In his post, Frogboy (representing Stardock), listed their actual demands separately and then, in the paragraph I pulled this from, decided to list possible future demands.
I find this particular fear interesting given that it's been obvious to me from the start (and now I see it has been backed up by Stardock's own words) that they're attempting to create a copyright loophole by empowering fans to rip off the earlier games or whatever else they want, including other science fiction universes. Now it looks to me like they recognize what shaky ground this player universe scheme puts them on are and are attempting to head it off with legal action.