Question for Scott Rouse re: Retroclones
Closed Thread
Page 1 of 11 12345678910 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 107
  1. #1
    Member
    Scout (Lvl 6)



    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    New Haven, Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    688
    Reviews
    Read 0 Reviews

    Block joethelawyer


    Friend+

    Question for Scott Rouse re: Retroclones

    Does WOTC have any official position on the question of whether or not OSRIC, Swords and Wizardry, or Labyrinth Lord violates WOTC's intellectual property rights in any way? How about retroclones in general?

    If there is no offical position on this question, is the question still under legal review? Is the question on the legal department's radar at all? Might it be in the future?

    In other words, are the developers and sellers of the retroclones and those who produce retroclone compatible material ever going to face the threat of legal action from WOTC/Hasbro for violating WOTC's intellectual property rights for what's already been produced as of now?

    Thx.
    Last edited by joethelawyer; Saturday, 20th June, 2009 at 05:21 AM.

  2. #2
    Member
    Myrmidon (Lvl 10)



    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    knockin' on heaven's door
    Posts
    2,263
    Reviews
    Read 0 Reviews

    Block ggroy


    Friend+
    I would be quite surprised if anybody at WotC would officially answer this type of question, short of a subpoena.

  3. #3
    Member
    Scout (Lvl 6)



    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    New Haven, Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    688
    Reviews
    Read 0 Reviews

    Block joethelawyer


    Friend+
    Quote Originally Posted by ggroy View Post
    I would be quite surprised if anybody at WotC would officially answer this type of question, short of a subpoena.
    Even that's an answer of sorts, isn't it? Everybody keeps dancing around the issue. I figured I'd just ask the question many many others want to know the answer to.

  4. #4
    Member
    Defender (Lvl 8)

    jdrakeh's Avatar

    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Colorado Springs
    Posts
    6,585
    Reviews
    Read 0 Reviews

    Block jdrakeh


    Friend+
    Quote Originally Posted by joethelawyer View Post
    Even that's an answer of sorts, isn't it? Everybody keeps dancing around the issue. I figured I'd just ask the question many many others want to know the answer to.
    I'm sure they do have some kind of official position on the issue, though whether they're willing to openly talk about it is another question altogether.

  5. #5
    Member
    Acolyte (Lvl 2)

    Belorin's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    the Gray Vale
    Posts
    429
    Reviews
    Read 0 Reviews

    Block Belorin


    Friend+
    Quote Originally Posted by joethelawyer
    Does WOTC have any official position on the question of whether or not OSRIC, Swords and Wizardry, or Labyrinth Lord violates WOTC's intellectual property rights in any way? How about retroclones in general?

    If there is no offical position on this question, is the question still under legal review? Is the question on the legal department's radar at all? Might it be in the future?

    In other words, are the developers and sellers of the retroclones and those who produce retroclone compatible material ever going to face the threat of legal action from WOTC/Hasbro for violating WOTC's intellectual property rights for what's already been produced as of now?
    Aren't these all published under the OGL?

    Bel

  6. #6
    Member
    A 1e title so awesome it's not in the book (Lvl 21)



    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Victoria BC
    Posts
    7,618
    Reviews
    Read 0 Reviews

    Block Lanefan


    Friend+
    Quote Originally Posted by Belorin View Post
    Aren't these all published under the OGL?
    Ah, but does the OGL cover pre-3e product, or just the 3e/d20 system?

    Lanefan

  7. #7
    well many use d20 structures and terms just kinda rearranged to pre 3e rules

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Lanefan View Post
    Ah, but does the OGL cover pre-3e product, or just the 3e/d20 system?
    The OGL covers the use of "open content." The 3e rules and the d20 system build on top of that, defining some open content (e.g. the SRD). You can use the OGL (and the open content from the SRD) without using the d20 license. Using the OGL, by itself, doesn't wed you the d20 system or 3e at all. (The d20 system license is separate from and much more restrictive than the OGL.)

    Given some open content (e.g. stuff from the SRD), the OGL gives you permission to use it (i.e. Distribute, copy, edit, format, modify, translate and otherwise create Derivative Material of Open Game Content). Also, the OGL defines "Derivative Material" as "derivative works and translations (including into other computer languages), potation, modification, correction, addition, extension, upgrade, improvement, compilation, abridgment or other form in which an existing work may be recast, transformed or adapted."

    The above use of the OGL is what allows games like Mutants & Masterminds, True 20, Pathfinder, Castles & Crusades (which edges towards retro-clone territory), et cetera.

    The idea behind the retro-clones is that the OGL gives you permission to use open content terms and descriptions (e.g. classes, spell names, monsters, hit points, armor class, etc) and then edit/modify/extend/abridge/adapt/transform/and format them. The specific form into which the retro-clones modify the open content happens to match the algorithms and such used in other games. Since copyright does not apply to such game formulas and rules (only to their presentation), and the retro clones present the formulas and rules with a combination of original description and open content, no legal rights are infringed. (Subsystems or elements which are deemed to be unique expressions, rather than uncopyrightable algorithms/rules are avoided or changed -- this is why there are minor differences between the originals and the retro-clones, in certain areas.)

    That's my understanding, anyway.
    Last edited by Philotomy Jurament; Saturday, 20th June, 2009 at 11:07 AM.

  9. #9
    Member
    Thaumaturgist (Lvl 9)

    Derulbaskul's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    The Philippines
    Posts
    1,660
    Reviews
    Read 0 Reviews

    Block Derulbaskul


    Friend+
    @OP: You're a lawyer so why are you asking these things in public? And, more particularly, calling out a specific WotC manager to answer?

    What if you provoke one of the WotC's lawyers into issuing a policy that the community doesn't like? Some things are simply best left unasked.

  10. #10
    Member
    Acolyte (Lvl 2)

    Belorin's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    the Gray Vale
    Posts
    429
    Reviews
    Read 0 Reviews

    Block Belorin


    Friend+
    Quote Originally Posted by Derulbaskul View Post
    @OP: You're a lawyer so why are you asking these things in public? And, more particularly, calling out a specific WotC manager to answer?

    What if you provoke one of the WotC's lawyers into issuing a policy that the community doesn't like? Some things are simply best left unasked.
    QFT

    Bel

Closed Thread
Page 1 of 11 12345678910 ... LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. 4e interview with Scott Rouse
    By TheLe in forum Older D&D Editions (4E, 3.x, 2E, 1E, OD&D), D&D Variants, and OSR Gaming
    Replies: 24
    Last Post: Saturday, 26th April, 2008, 05:05 PM
  2. Scott Rouse - how can I help?
    By der_kluge in forum Older D&D Editions (4E, 3.x, 2E, 1E, OD&D), D&D Variants, and OSR Gaming
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: Saturday, 25th August, 2007, 11:22 AM
  3. Scott Rouse - how can I help?
    By der_kluge in forum Roleplaying Games General Discussion
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: Friday, 24th August, 2007, 06:55 AM
  4. A question for Scott Rouse
    By Shazman in forum Roleplaying Games General Discussion
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: Thursday, 26th July, 2007, 06:36 PM
  5. Demonweb maps - now featuring Scott Rouse question
    By Zaukrie in forum Roleplaying Games General Discussion
    Replies: 69
    Last Post: Thursday, 3rd May, 2007, 11:58 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •