Green Ronin not signing GSL (Forked Thread: Doing the GSL. Who?) - Page 9
  1. #81
    Quote Originally Posted by Nikchick View Post
    Green Ronin was formed in early 2000 and our first product Ork! the Roleplaying Game was released in June of that year. We shortly thereafter decided to dabble in this "d20 thing" by planning out a couple adventures, adventures that went on to become the Freeport Trilogy, but when we made that decision the OGL and the d20 STL were completely untested. Make no mistake, we certainly benefited from the license and will never deny the impact that d20 had on the direction of our company but I think it's quite overstating the case to claim that we "wouldn't exist if not for the OGL."
    There's no way to judge whether Ork! would have propelled the company this way or that, so I can't debate anything here.

    We've always had our fingers in things other than d20 products.
    I think OGL/D20 probably gave enough breathing room to do some of that stuff, along with the rep to back it up, but again I can't/ won't debate GR's financial status/ alternate histories. There's just no way to know.

    My feeling is that WotC's expectation that unrestricted numbers of third party support companies could continue to endlessly support straight-up D&D in the face of the product glut and unending direct competition was unrealistic. The market was demanding more and WotC themselves were not filling those holes; it's utterly predictable that companies would expand out to fill those niches and strive to create products to meet fan demand (as well as differentiate themselves from their competition). That was no more a "betrayal" than WotC designing a new edition of D&D... it's the natural course of business.
    I agree completely. I think the "problem" happened when WotC decided to shift to printing 1-2 books a month, rather than a lazier approach. When they wanted to make the money and noticed the 3rd parties were in their path and not "in their place" with adventures, suddenly the OGL became a hindrance.

    My point is simply that the GSL is a natural extension of WotC's actions and the 3rd parties actions. It was predictable (and, even predicted!) that it would go this way. Publishers should be aware of their role in it too though...

    We helped manufacture support for WotC's business according to the plan they offered and by doing so we received exposure for our company; it was a mutually beneficial relationship.
    It has always been my opinion that 3e would have done fine without the OGL/SRD and that 3rd party stuff didn't play a role in their success. It definetly would have been better overall if there was a higher barrier of entry early on.

    BUT, the main issue here for me, is that since 3.5, Pramas' statements and posts have come off as very hostile towards WotC. His comments regarding 3.5 ruining things, his constant 4e pressure for the last couple years, he seems to me to be overly critical of WotC and "mad" at them in a way that colors everything his company announces for me.

  2. #82
    I have this sneaking suspicion that, although its the thing that random people on ENWorld complain about the most, the third party publishers aren't actually worried about the clause permitting WOTC to change the GSL. Most of them have probably seen that sort of clause before, or dealt with that sort of business scenario before. Its probably other stuff that bothers them.

  3. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cadfan View Post
    Its probably other stuff that bothers them.
    I may regret asking, but what do you suppose that might be?

  4. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grimstaff View Post
    Its sad the GSL is so restrictive, but understandable. Its also sad that so few 3P companies are willing to go to bat for their fans and try to work something out, and this I have a harder time understanding.
    I think you are rewriting the last few months. The bigger 3pp were aproached with WOTC with a special deal with the GSL. That phone conversation was placed on the front of this site. Told they were valued and they could release early with only a few other companies, after seeing and reading the GSL.

    3pp were told to wait for it. WOTC delays to the point where their first offer, no longer exists. Now maybe the GSL delay was all in good faith. However, it's hardly a good starting point for good side deals. How long might some of these companies need to wait for WOTC to answer with a private deal? WOTC can afford having a decrease in product sales for a while(pre 4e), a lot of 3pp can't.

  5. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Tolle View Post
    It's a pitty that Green Ronin isn't like hero games, which pretty much can spit out another Champions supplement every month or so, but I'm pleased with the quality of the materials I've seen from them, and am lookng forward to more.
    I'm glad they're not like Hero games. If they were the quality of their products would be as low as hero games.

  6. #86
    I am a fan of GR stuff and I support whatever decision they decide to make on this topic.

    I might decide to find myself a lawyer and learn a little bit about this "copyright" stuff myself.
    Last edited by Vague Jayhawk; Wednesday, 16th July, 2008 at 05:31 AM. Reason: speling is my emeny

  7. #87
    Quote Originally Posted by radferth View Post
    I thought one of the big reasons for the GSL was to prevent third-party mini-systems. That is was a modules-only type of thing.
    Very possibly that was one of the intents. It seems like the crowd of companies supporting D&D 4E is starting to be winnowed out a bit.

    Maybe WotC is going to learn a lesson here...or maybe they don't care.

    I guess time will tell. I wish Green Ronin the best of luck. They've made many excellent products over the years. I'd *love* to see them do Pathfinder-supporting products...maybe it'll happen if Pathfinder takes off?


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    When the OGL was originally released, I remember an interview (with someone at WotC) where it was said that the d20 OGL had been released so every 3PP product would require to have the PHB, so they would sell more of it eventually. However, with games like C&C, True20, Arcana Unearthed or Conan d20 you really didn't need to buy the D&D books. In fact, at some point I entirely ceased to buy any WotC product, spending all my money on 3PP stuff. So, it's perfectly understandable and normal WotC does a license much more restrictive for 4e. Just I had ceased to buy WotC stuff because they had gone in a direction I didn't like. So, even without the OGL I wouldn't have bought WotC stuff anymore. I would have attempted some other game out there. There are many that seem really interesting, but there is so little time to try them all. In the end it's not OGL/GSL that will do the difference, but products' quality...

  9. #89
    Quote Originally Posted by Treebore View Post
    Let me guess, your going to bring up the Red Book and Seinfeld cases, aren't you?
    One doesn't need to bring up caselaw to refute your assertions that copyright protects nothing more than word-for-word (or bit-for-bit) copying: the Copyright Act itself does that.

    Wulf Ratbane is entirely correct: your advice is not only incorrect, as it seems to be based on a somewhat incomplete understanding of copyright law (e.g., you appear to be referencing Castle Rock Ent. v. Carol Pub. Group and another case that I can't place).

    I'd be happy to explain further, but let me first refute your use of the Seinfeld case. In Castle Rock, the defendant published a Seinfeld trivia book. The owners of the Seinfeld IP sued for copyright infringement, and the appeals court determined that defendant had misappropriated the IP.

    The defendant then raised a fair use defense, which was rejected. Any student of fair use knows that it turns on four elements: (1) the purpose and character of the work, (2) the nature of the copyrighted work, (3) the amount and substantiality used, and (4) the effect the copying has on the market of the work. Basically, the trivia book was commercial (which weighs against, but does not mandate, finding against fair use), and the other factors militated against finding fair use.


    I'm really not sure what you're trying to say, Treebore, but this is a fairly cut-and-dry example of a case that teaches the application of the fair use doctrine. It also shows quite plainly that protectible expression can have a fairly broad sweep - especially when you take derivative works into account.

    Quote Originally Posted by Treebore
    To make it clear, copyright only really protects someone from having their work copied, word for word. Change the presentation, change the layout, change the look of the charts and graphs you use, change XP charts numerical progression, and your good to go.
    Copyright protects more than that, as I've shown above (and could show via more illustrations). And fair use is absolutely not cut-and-dry. Now, on the other hand, if he was commenting on the fact that certain things simply cannot be copyrighted, he's closer to the mark: "roll 1d20, add a modifier, and hit a target score" absolutely cannot be copyrighted.

    It's possible to use the nuts and bolts of the system and rewrite all of the "fluff," and that would take you out of copyright, but I think it's inapt to say that merely changing the presentation and layout is enough: you'd need to change the explanations, the vocabulary, and basically graft an entirely new system onto the numbers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dolfan View Post
    ...but it's definitely a loss for the rest of the people who enjoy both 4e and 3rd party material.
    Perhaps, but as several posters have pointed out, WotC has drawn the line and GR didn't blink. Both, as good businesses, are practicing what they believe is good for their interests.

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