TA IP is abandoned and hence in the public domain.
Until I see something official, that's not
really true. The fact of the matter is that it's basically being ignored... not abandoned. Do I need to write to Atari about this, and get this issue dealt with officially, before people quit posting stuff like this?
The issue isn't
whether one mod or game dominates.
Never has been. The issue is that the Spring project has not supported the non-OTA games very effectively, and that that basically hoses the chances of any non-OTA game breaking through, no matter how good it is. The whole way that people getting Spring for the first time are steered by peer-pressure, poor documentation, poor advertisement and poor Lobby support into playing BA is a big problem, though.
Most of this has already been dealt with, to some degree. With the new website, the system will be a lot more fair. A revamp of the Lobbies to better-support new games would also help.
Past that point, you're entirely right. There's nothing else that can, or should be done. If we make crappy games, we don't deserve an audience- I completely agree with that. If you assume that everything that's not OTA is basically crappy... well, that's your opinion, and you're welcome to it, but I think that it's a very narrow-minded POV. E&E isn't crappy, but can't gain traction, despite being out there for quite awhile now. We have multiple giant games, with uber-pretty content, that are coming out... if they can't find an audience, the system is obviously broken. What we're discussing, basically, is how to prevent that from happening, by making sure they have a fair chance at release, to find and hold their audiences. That's all.