The game industry doesn't work like you seem to think it does, which you'd have learnt if you actually read about the issues.
It's not even clear if the copyright law are respected by the new version of the game, as is proven by wonderdice attempt to reach an agreement with the original author post-polemic.
As has been repeatedly said by most of the editors and authors who witnessed the bad buzz, had they restarted a game from scratch, they would have obtained totally different mechanics.
And past this issue, when the editors, authors and the board game community acknowledges what they did was theft by the industry standard, clearly what they did was theft.
Saying the original author, who was still in contact with his usual editor about this game, has been negligent in any way is blatant ignorance of the facts surrounding the whole affair, and just means that you're apologetic of thieves.