Revised GSL TODAY! - Page 22




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  1. #211
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainChaos View Post
    Interesting then that the Book of Erotic Fantasy was co-written by a WotC employee and published by the guy who used to be in charge of D&D.
    A guy who, in the midst of doing that, made a lot of 3pp upset because he interpreted the license creatively, to say the least, and who then was let go from WotC pretty promptly.

    Could be coincidence.

    And was he really in charge of D&D, or was he in charge of the d20STL? I can't really remember anymore.

    /M
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  • #212
    Quote Originally Posted by JohnRTroy View Post
    As far as the morals clause goes--well, it's okay to cry about censorship and freedom when its your own neck on the line, but if your creating a product that is "spun off" or using somebody's else's creation, you shouldn't drag them into a fight they might not want to have.
    Silly question. Is HASBRO or WotC legally responsible if you bludgeon someone to death with a 4th edition PHB since it was their product? Why would they be responsible for something someone else writes or decides to misuse any of their products, be it physical or intellectual?

    Without some connection between the two WotC could claim deniability. Without the SOA, WotC is not directly connected to the 3PP materials. With the SOA, is where they open themselves up because they are bound to a 3PP. So just like they could claim a portion of the 3PP product, they must also take the bad with the good they want.

    Likewise a 3PP cannot be held responsible for WotCs debts just because they are using their IP.

    The GSL could simply contain, and should, that any 3PP is the sole responsibility of its creator, and WotC is only liable for its material in its published products, and not the misuse thereof in any 3PP product.

    So if a BoEF came out of 4h, WotC would have it known in the license that it isn't their fault. Likewise someone could write the "Book of Goblin Porn" and have it compatible with 4th edition, without using the GSL. So they really didn't solve anything.

    Kingdoms of Kalamir still says compatible with 4th edition without using the GSL. So no reason the "Book of Goblin Porn" can't turn up and say the same thing, and without the GSL, WotC has nothing really they could do to stop the book without going to court and try to fight over it.

    So that clause has really done nothing except waste a lot of lawyers and Scott's time probably. You cannot control the minds of other people.

  • #213
    where is the delete option?
    Last edited by justanobody; Wednesday, 4th March, 2009 at 11:16 PM. Reason: double post due to database error

  • #214
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alzrius View Post
    Quality replies, all.
    Just trying to help
    Clark Peterson
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  • #215
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orcus View Post
    I feel bad for Joe and I'm sorry I was so harsh on him, but I had to nip that in the bud right out of the chute. I appreciate where he is coming from. He's right to call attention to the provisions that remains and to let people make up their own minds. But what he doesnt have is actual publishing experience with the license and a historical understanding of the licneses since their infancy and inception, which, by fortunate accident, I do. The GSL is essentially no more risky than the old d20 STL which lots of people used for a long time. Similar and often identical provisions. It is not scary in any way. Plus, as I think I previously pointed out, if you want a barometer for whether or not Wizards is going to "use the license for evil" just see what they have already done--the very first change they make is an improvement, an expansion, an addition of content, a reaction to the comments of the community, a removal of the poison pill and over all good guy good partner good neighbor attitude. If you STILL want to say they are the evil empire, then I just cant save you from that at this point. You're just going to ignore all evidence to the contrary. Look, do I love every part of it? No. Should they have just listened to me from day 1? Yes. Should they have adopted all my suggestions? Yes. Did they? No. Should this have all happened much much faster? Hell yes. But is this a great change and now a license that is on par with prior licenses and totally acceptable to people who did 3E products for years? Absolutely.

    Thanks, Mistwell, by the way

    No need to feel bad man. I don't take it personally. Like I said, and I think you would agree, my take on the legal provisions was accurate. My take on what MAY logically happen based on those provisions is accurate. No lawyer would disagree with me there, I don't think. Where we differ is in our opinions of the business decisions to make based on that reading of the contractual provisions.

    The bottom line is, as I stated, you have a working knowledge of the industry and I do not. Also, most importantly, I have no skin in the game. You do. And green skin at that. How you or anyone else chooses to weigh the risks vs. rewards of the contractual terms is a business decision, not a legal one. I only pointed out the legal terms and gave a plain language interpretation of the powers it gives WOTC. We differ in our business analysis.

    If lawyers didn't have different opinions on things there would be no need for lawyers.

    edit--I just wanted to add that I am glad you feel comfortable enough to publish material for 4e. While don't play or like 4e, I think the D&D brand brings more people into the hobby than probably all other brands combined. While I don't have much need for new players in my game, based on my brother and sister-in-law's insane reproductive abilities, I do love the tabletop RPG hobby. So I wish 4e all the success it can get. Your support can only help that.
    Last edited by joethelawyer; Wednesday, 4th March, 2009 at 11:49 PM.

  • #216
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    Quote Originally Posted by justanobody View Post
    Silly question. Is HASBRO or WotC legally responsible if you bludgeon someone to death with a 4th edition PHB since it was their product? Why would they be responsible for something someone else writes or decides to misuse any of their products, be it physical or intellectual?
    They may not have any legal responsibility, but anything written for D&D is going to reflect on the brand of D&D - most people won't know or care that a BOEF (just as an example) was put out by a third party and not WoTC. It has the potential to reflect poorly on them, and as a result they'd like to reduce that potential.

    (And to address someone else's qustion, Anthony Valerra was the brand manager of D&D and the person behind the BOEF if I'm remembering correctly. He had Scott Rouse's job, basically).
    "I hurt Firewing." is not something a huge number of people can say. "He dropped a parking garage on me," on the other hand, a lot of people can say. -Kazan, my Champions GM.

  • #217
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alzrius View Post
    There are, in fact, quite a few reasons not to use the GSL, which have been enumerated over the last few pages of this thread. And that's not even taking into account questions of whether or not the publishers want to support 4E at all.

    And by the way Clark, great work elevating the discussion. So far you've referred to other products as being "garbage," suggested that those who complain about the GSL are just ignorant (because they don't use licenses) and those who object to it are "unreasonable," and objectively said that there's "little" reason not to use the GSL, despite a number of people, including publishers, having raised some very valid points over the last few pages of the thread.

    Quality replies, all.
    The bottom line is that it's Clark's money to do with as he pleases. He read the GSL, did his legal analysis, presumably saw the same risks I did legally speaking, and decided it was worth the risk based on past business practices and industry norms. If he seems defensive, maybe it's because to a certain degree this is his "baby." As he stated in an earlier post, he put a lot of work into it. Maybe he's too close to it. They say lawyers should never act as their own attorneys because they are too close to the matter to be objective.

    Who knows.

    Who cares.

    The bottom line is that Clark made the decision to go for it. He did the legal and business analysis and decided to publish under the GSL.

    Everyone should make their own legal and business analysis and make their own decision. Everyone has different needs and issues to consider. Everyone who is deciding whether they should publish under the GSL should go talk to a lawyer, someone who deals in these types of matters, not your brother's divorce lawyer or the guy who did your mother's Will. Then talk to other publishers in this business. Then examine your own particular unique situation and your vision of where you want to take your publishing business. Then make a decision. Your own decision. To do something just because someone else is doing it is just, to put it bluntly, stupid.

    I'd bet a dollar Clark doesn't want to be perceived a giving legal advice on these boards in any way, shape, or form. I doubt he is saying that just because he is doing it that everyone should do it.

    He is just telling everyone what he is doing, and how he views the matter for him personally. Since everyone's situation is unique, do the same thing he did and evaluate the opportunity for yourself. Then decide.

    /ass coverage on/ Again, don't ever take a word of anything I say here as legal advice. /ass coverage off/

    Joe
    Last edited by joethelawyer; Thursday, 5th March, 2009 at 12:37 AM.

  • #218
    Quote Originally Posted by Alzrius View Post
    And by the way Clark, great work elevating the discussion. So far you've referred to other products as being "garbage," suggested that those who complain about the GSL are just ignorant (because they don't use licenses) and those who object to it are "unreasonable," and objectively said that there's "little" reason not to use the GSL, despite a number of people, including publishers, having raised some very valid points over the last few pages of the thread.

    Quality replies, all.
    Alzrius, you misunderstand Clark's statements I think.

    Clark is putting things in perspective. Most licensing arrangements work like this for IP.

    You pay a license fee and/or royalties.
    You submit all work for approval.
    You have a limited time to hold it, expiring after a certain point.
    Most licenses by nature tend to favor the owner of the property, at least slightly.

    The OGL was a very unusual license, and in some ways it kind of spoiled the publishers. I think Clark is just reminding people that the current revised GSL is what could be considered a reasonable license from a publisher. You're not likely going to get the OGL back for 4e or future editions of D&D.

    Most businesses consider licenses on this point, and they are aware there are tradeoffs--most licenses are a tradeoff. The key value of the license is the tie to D&D--is it worth giving up some control for the benefit. That's a question every licensee asks.

    Now, I can understand why some publishers don't want to support the 4e rule set, or believe their existing systems are a better business model, that's reasonable.

    I don't feel like having a sig right now

  • #219
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    Quote Originally Posted by joethelawyer View Post
    Maybe he's too close to it.
    "Maybe"? I think when you've degenerated to name-calling and childish insults, to say nothing of broad characterizations regarding everyone who disagrees with you, then you've long since crossed that line.
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  • #220
    Quote Originally Posted by Kid Charlemagne View Post
    They may not have any legal responsibility, but anything written for D&D is going to reflect on the brand of D&D - most people won't know or care that a BOEF (just as an example) was put out by a third party and not WoTC. It has the potential to reflect poorly on them, and as a result they'd like to reduce that potential.
    Keep in mind too that the GSL allows the use of the D&D Logo/Trademark and Trade Dress. This ties GSL products tighter to 4e and thus D&D/Hasbro.

    Put it this way. A license is a sign of trust between two partners. You're basically agreeing to act in good faith. 98% of the licensees will do nothing to upset that balance. The other 2% might try to push the envelop or try to find loopholes in things or exercise very poor judgment--the reason you have restrictions on a contract is to prevent "worst case scenarios".

    These "slippery slope" arguments don't really hold water to WoTC behavior. Heck, they may still want to release a BoVD or the like. But because it's their reputation and their product on the line, the clause is their to prevent the "line-steppers" from hurting them.

    I don't feel like having a sig right now

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