Pathfinder 2E By prohibiting ORC licensing on Pathfinder/Starfinder Infinite, Paizo is now a step closer to WotC's walled garden approach with dmsguild

Reynard

Legend
To be clear, Monte Cook didn't "get around that" in any sense; while he had a lot of what the community referred to as "crippled content," that was with regard to how a monster's or spell's name and descriptive text wasn't declared OGC; you could still use the stat block and listed mechanical effects, regardless of declaration (the OGL explicitly disallowed making Open Game Content into Product Identity even if you tried to say it was).
They, and other publishers, explicitly PI'd new mechanics critical to the products as well. Whether that was allowed seems fuzzier since it depends on the definition of "derivative" ina way only a lawyer could love. But it is still a bad faith use of Open Content and I will never not bring it up. ;)
 

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AvtrSpirit

Villager
Infinite allows you to use material -- particularly IP -- that is not released under any license. This restriction is intended to protect their IP from getting accidentally released under the licenses. Surely you can't begrudge Paizo of wanting to protect the stories, characters and worlds they have created, especially in light of how much material they have otherwise made available?

If you want to create something using ORC, just use ORC. If you want to use Paizo's IP, you have to make concessions.

The ORC license, just like the OGL, provides protection for what you call IP (I've been told to call it Product Identity instead). In fact, the ORC license provides better protection for Product Identity because even if you "accidentally" include it as Licensed Material, the license will default to it not being included.

Allowing ORC license on Infinite would have maintained the status quo that the OGL had: Product Identity would be protected, while rules expressions would be open.

Prohibiting the ORC license changes the status quo.
 

Alzrius

The EN World kitten
They, and other publishers, explicitly PI'd new mechanics critical to the products as well. Whether that was allowed seems fuzzier since it depends on the definition of "derivative" ina way only a lawyer could love. But it is still a bad faith use of Open Content and I will never not bring it up. ;)
Would you mind posting an example of this? I'd like to look at the OGC and PI declarations of a product that tried to do what you're describing.
 

Reynard

Legend
Would you mind posting an example of this? I'd like to look at the OGC and PI declarations of a product that tried to do what you're describing.
This is from the relatively recent Arcana of the Ancients book. As you can see, MC Games tries to blanket PI any new rules, which essentially closes the book's content.
20231116_094749.jpg
 


AvtrSpirit

Villager
That last sentence makes it very clear that you can use Paizo's PF2 Remastered material in Pathfinder Infinite, the same way you can for PF1, PF2 original, and Starfinder content that they've published.

Yes, this is correct. You can use PF2 Remastered. Not because there is an exception for ORC Licensed PF2e content (there are no exceptions in ORC, afaik). But instead because Paizo has licensed the same content under other licenses as well.

The more correct version of what I wrote would be: "This prevents any Infinite creator from using ORC licensed material in their products - unless the material has also been licensed under the Community Content Agreement, which currently includes the Remastered rules, but would necessarily exclude any downstream products created from the ORC license."

My apologies for the confusion (including any new confusion from the previous sentence... ughh, this is painful to write about).
 
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Alzrius

The EN World kitten
This is from the relatively recent Arcana of the Ancients book. As you can see, MC Games tries to blanket PI any new rules, which essentially closes the book's content.View attachment 328936
Wow, that's egregious! While there's obviously a quagmire (which you cogently noted) with regard to what is and is not "derivative," simply going that far in the first place is very much against the spirit of the OGL.
 

eyeheartawk

#1 Enworld Jerk™
Wow, that's egregious! While there's obviously a quagmire (which you cogently noted) with regard to what is and is not "derivative," simply going that far in the first place is very much against the spirit of the OGL.
Yeah, you gotta wonder about the legal advice they received on this one.

I'm pretty sure you can't use the parts of the OGL you like to serve your own purposes to create derivative content from and then say literally all the non traditionally understood product identity aspects (items, feats, races etc) or not open content.

Humor Boomer GIF


EDIT: I really was curious so I sent their support email the following message:

Hi there,

Flipping through Arcana of the Ancients and on the first page I see your OGL statement. Are you seriously claiming "...new rules, classes, items, virtues, bakcgrounds..." as excluded from open gaming content because they are product identity? That's literally what open gaming content is. To my reading, your interpretation is you get to use previously made open gaming content to derive new content from but nobody can do that with your new rule content. I don't think you can do that? And even if you could I'm pretty sure that really flies in the spirit of the whole idea. Anyway, I'll doubt you'll respond to this but I just wanted to let you know that some of us do pay attention to stuff like this. I will certainly remember this when trying to determine if I'm buying any future product from you.


We'll see where this goes, but nowhere I suspect. It really does burn me that a dude who built his entire livelihood around publishing things using the OGL (where would Ptolus be without it?) turns around and does this.
 
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Epic Meepo

Adventurer
This is from the relatively recent Arcana of the Ancients book. As you can see, MC Games tries to blanket PI any new rules, which essentially closes the book's content.View attachment 328936
Wow. Just wow. Does that book draw upon any OGL content other than the 5e SRD?

If it's just building on the 5e SRD and nothing else, I guess it's not all that bad. WotC released the 5e SRD under a non-share-alike Creative Commons license earlier this year, so anyone can use it to create closed content without ever having to participate in the OGL. That would mean this book's mistake is marketing itself as an OGL product when it's not really an OGL product, which is annoying but not outright evil.

But if this book is taking Open Content from any source other than the 5e SRD and using it to create nothing but closed content, that's much more egregious than the Paizo restrictions being discussed in this thread. Paizo's just doing the minimum it deems necessary to defend its trademarks (which, I believe, is something you're legally obligated to do if you want to keep your registered trademarks). Meanwhile, if Monte Cook Games is using Open Game content from outside the Creative Commons 5e SRD to create an entirely closed OGL product, they're being a total parasite.
 

kenada

Legend
Supporter
Here is the agreement.

That doesn’t seem any better than the DM’s Guild. At least before, you could release your OGL content outside of the platform (because OGL). While that’s still an option, you can’t use any of the PF2 Remaster content.
 

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