You reap what you sow - GSL.




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  1. #1
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    You reap what you sow - GSL.

    There are many things in the GSL that I'm not exactly happy about, the primarily one being how you cannot reprint statblocks from the Monster Manual, which will have horrible implications on the presentation of adventures.

    However, when it comes to the lack of "reuse" clauses for 3rd party publishers, I think they've got it right. This is pretty much how a lot of publishers - including some well-regarded ones - regarded the "Open" part of the OGL: Not for their products. Let's release "Crippled" OGC.

    There have been exceptions, with Clark Peterson and his Tome of Horrors being the most shining star in that constellation.

    For the purposes of this license, however, it seems to be the case that a large part of the OGL "community" has reaped what it has sown.

    Cheers!
    Last edited by MerricB; Wednesday, 18th June, 2008 at 07:52 AM. Reason: changed "majority" to "a large part"
    Merric Blackman
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    Quote Originally Posted by MerricB
    There are many things in the GSL that I'm not exactly happy about, the primarily one being how you cannot reprint statblocks from the Monster Manual, which will have horrible implications on the presentation of adventures.

    However, when it comes to the lack of "reuse" clauses for 3rd party publishers, I think they've got it right. This is pretty much how a lot of publishers - including some well-regarded ones - regarded the "Open" part of the OGL: Not for their products. Let's release "Crippled" OGC.

    There have been exceptions, with Clark Peterson and his Tome of Horrors being the most shining star in that constellation.

    For the purposes of this license, however, it seems to be the case that the majority of the OGL "community" has reaped what it has sown.

    Cheers!
    I don't agree with this. When I was writing, most authors of works had no problems with me reprinting things from their products. The main ones being RPGObjects, Green Ronin, The Game Mechanics, but many fantasy ones, like ENPublishing, and others, were very free with their content.

    "Crippled Content" always seemed more "Ask me first, it's polite" than forbidding anyone from using their content. I've NEVER been turned down.

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    I think the biggest issue with the GSL is that if WotC publish something on a topic 3 months after a 3rd party publisher has released a similar, they can force them to stop selling that book. At least that is how I read it. If that is correct then it sucks.

    Olaf the Stout
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    Quote Originally Posted by Olaf the Stout
    I think the biggest issue with the GSL is that if WotC publish something on a topic 3 months after a 3rd party publisher has released a similar, they can force them to stop selling that book. At least that is how I read it. If that is correct then it sucks.

    Olaf the Stout
    I agree. From the point of view of what I want (adventures), I really hate that stat blocks have problems being reprinted.

    From the point of view of actually *using* the GSL, I'm very worried about what happens in the case you mention.

    Cheers!
    Merric Blackman
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    Quote Originally Posted by Olaf the Stout
    I think the biggest issue with the GSL is that if WotC publish something on a topic 3 months after a 3rd party publisher has released a similar, they can force them to stop selling that book. At least that is how I read it. If that is correct then it sucks.
    Pretty sure that's not how it's going to work.
    http://www.enworld.org/forum/4e-discussion/213067-unified-theory-gnomes.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by Whizbang Dustyboots
    Pretty sure that's not how it's going to work.
    Unfortunately, pretty sure isn't enough to base a business on.

    Hyrum.
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    Quote Originally Posted by HyrumOWC
    Unfortunately, pretty sure isn't enough to base a business on.
    Neither are hysterical message board threads. Someone versed in contract law needs to be consulted by anyone considering signing on with the GSL, probably after someone else has already had their lawyer send a "are you KIDDING ME with this stuff" letter to WotC to help sand some of the rough edges off.

    Right now, there are freelancers and third party folks openly freaking out about the GSL despite having no JD nor having actually consulted with someone who has one, or even having picked up the phone and calling WotC and asking about the most problematic language. (If someone has done any of this, or isn't publicly freaking out, I'm not talking about you.) That's a pretty terrible way to do business as well. Even worse, really, since that's the kind of "snap judgment in public" behavior that will just lead to repeated trouble throughout a career.
    http://www.enworld.org/forum/4e-discussion/213067-unified-theory-gnomes.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by HyrumOWC
    Unfortunately, pretty sure isn't enough to base a business on.

    Hyrum.
    Especially when we were all "pretty sure" that (1) 4e wasn't coming any time soon, and, when that bubble burst, (2) 4e would be OGL.

    There are a few "This opens the door for WotC to...." predictions that haven't surfaced yet, but the majority of them, from the time Dungeon & Dragon were cancelled, have come to pass. Despite the fact that some claimed that doing things like tiered licensing and making 4e a non-OGL game would be "corporate suicide", many of these same folks are still claiming that they are "pretty sure" that WotC won't do X or Y.

    I, personally, think it's time to take what WotC has done lately into account when determining what it is likely to do in the future.

    Please note also that, from my reading of the GSL, WotC could shut down EN World (at considerable cost to the owners) for containing both 4e and OGL materials. And, if WotC decides that EN World hits their Gleemax bottom line where it hurts, please tell me that you think that WotC will not so.......despite the fact that Hasbro's shareholders can demand that WotC not act in a way that hurts their profits.

    Meh.

    The only whiff of interest in all of 4e came from Necromancer Games' announcement of planned suppliments, and I have no idea what will actually be produced under the new GSL. IMHO, WotC's policies are turning the D&D brand name into a sinking ship. Luckily, the OGL allows for D&D to survive...albeit without the brand name.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Olaf the Stout
    I think the biggest issue with the GSL is that if WotC publish something on a topic 3 months after a 3rd party publisher has released a similar, they can force them to stop selling that book. At least that is how I read it. If that is correct then it sucks.

    Olaf the Stout
    While there's a potential risk of this happening, I don't think it's very likely, to be honest. WotC usually looks at big picture kind of problems, and unless something changes in the near future, 3rd party publishing isn't really a big picture kind of problem for them.

    Now, let's say hypothetically, that one of the larger 3rd party publishers decides to go all out by guessing what WotC has coming down the pike for the next year or so, creates full color books intentionally designed to precede those books, hires on some big name talent (like myself ) and markets the heck out of those products, like say, placing an ad in GQ or Popular Mechanics, then I can see where they might get a little concerned.

    In other words, if niche publishers remain niche, then I think they're safe. If someone comes along with the intention of knocking WotC off their pedestal, then they may have reason to fear.

    That said, I'm pretty happy that Pathfinder will be keeping 3.x around for some time to come. Its nice having someone supporting a version of the game that cannot be summarily revoked.
    Darrin Drader - Writer/RPG Game Designer - www.amazon.com/author/darrindrader

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    Ignore Ralts Bloodthorne
    Quote Originally Posted by Darrin Drader
    While there's a potential risk of this happening, I don't think it's very likely, to be honest. WotC usually looks at big picture kind of problems, and unless something changes in the near future, 3rd party publishing isn't really a big picture kind of problem for them.

    Now, let's say hypothetically, that one of the larger 3rd party publishers decides to go all out by guessing what WotC has coming down the pike for the next year or so, creates full color books intentionally designed to precede those books, hires on some big name talent (like myself ) and markets the heck out of those products, like say, placing an ad in GQ or Popular Mechanics, then I can see where they might get a little concerned.

    In other words, if niche publishers remain niche, then I think they're safe. If someone comes along with the intention of knocking WotC off their pedestal, then they may have reason to fear.

    That said, I'm pretty happy that Pathfinder will be keeping 3.x around for some time to come. Its nice having someone supporting a version of the game that cannot be summarily revoked.
    Hi Darrin!

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