It seems more likely F&P lawyers said you better announce a new game before we start trying to inflict harm on Stardock.
It seems more likely that such cynical interpretations of their motives are conspiracy theories. It would also be possible to read Stardock's actions in the most devious light possible too and Brad's posts as just public posturing (as some have in other settings), but I don't want to because I'm trying to be charitable instead of assuming the worst intentions from either party.
Their punishment for making Star Control lay dormant for 20 years. Though after the case is close Stardock will be blamed for us not having a SC2 sequel.
They gave us Ur-quan Masters, without which the Star Control community probably would have completely died sometime in the early 00s. Releasing the source is a generous thing that developers of old games rarely do Yes, the subsequent open-source development has been a community project, but just getting the 3DO code and assets into a semi-workable state for release took some work.
Also, people seem to believe both that "Fred and Paul are lazy/don't care about fans for taking so long to make a sequel" and "Fred and Paul don't actually have any legal rights to make a sequel unless the old Accolade license that Atari and Stardock inherited is signed over to them" (and yes, I realize Stardock's official position is they want this to happen). These are contradictory statements. If the first is true it follows that they were legally able to make one, if the second is true it would be impossible for them to make one until recently.
It is sad that most people here have decided they hate Fred and Paul and that it's impossible they could have any plausible arguments on their side at all, even if only prima facie. Or that they might actually feel threatened, even if only as an overreaction - instead it can only be money grabbing or ridiculous self-sabotage. We have heard Stardock's interpretation of the matter repeatedly and in detail, and I believe Brad is making it in good faith but I'm not convinced it's the whole story.
But eh, I won't argue any further on about the legal dispute in this forum. This is for obvious reasons a strongly pro-Stardock board where very few will agree with me, fair enough.