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

eyeheartawk

#1 Enworld Jerk™
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.
Surprising no one they never responded.

It's really dissapointing to see this behavior from people who've built their careers and business on open gaming content. Content derived from literal decades of prior work and then to give nothing back. That's absolutely parasitic.

As has been pointed out before, I doubt they can enforce their little walled garden entries considering how the OGL is written. If it wasn't worth litigating on either end before Wizard's imploded the OGL, it certainly isn't worth litigating now that the OGL is being abandoned chunk by chunk.

Still though, it be poop.
 

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Anon Adderlan

Adventurer
So this issue came up on my search for ORC info, yet apparently neither #Google nor #Bing properly indexed this thread, so I had to invoke site search to finish the job.

The ORC license requires that derivative mechanics be released under ORC automatically, rather than designating content (If I understand it correctly).
I thought this too, but truth is your derived mechanics are only licensed under ORC if you include the explicit declaration. And unless you're copying things verbatim you don't need a license to use or modify mechanics in the first place.

Now I understand what folks meant when they said this license only benefits upstream creators, as downsteam creators are forced to open their additions while they are not. And the idea that the threat of lawsuits is what's driving adoption implies we should fear that upstream creators might take unwarranted legal action despite working within the law.
 


pawsplay

Hero
I thought this too, but truth is your derived mechanics are only licensed under ORC if you include the explicit declaration. And unless you're copying things verbatim you don't need a license to use or modify mechanics in the first place.

Wrong. You cannot withhold rules mechanics from being licensed under the ORC. You can use an explicit declaration to include something that would normally be reserved material, or that maybe is in a bit of a fuzzy zone.
Surprising no one they never responded.

It's really dissapointing to see this behavior from people who've built their careers and business on open gaming content. Content derived from literal decades of prior work and then to give nothing back. That's absolutely parasitic.

As has been pointed out before, I doubt they can enforce their little walled garden entries considering how the OGL is written. If it wasn't worth litigating on either end before Wizard's imploded the OGL, it certainly isn't worth litigating now that the OGL is being abandoned chunk by chunk.

Still though, it be poop.

"Giving nothing back" is a strange way of describing releasing a new set of core books that are pretty much entirely open content.

I am not privy to internal Paizo discussions, but there are substantial hurdles to simply allowing ORC licensed material in their CC program. The OGL and the ORC do not, and can not, mix. Some people have made products that include both (which I highly do NOT recommend) and the declarations are tortuous; it's not even 100% clear whether that works, legally.

A general note about Community Content programs; they are amazing, but it is important, so important, to understand you are piggy-backing off someone else's IP. Your product has no independent existence. A lot of CC programs have what I consider very onerous conditions, such that if the program ended, neither you nor the main publisher would be able to use the content without a separate agreement. Think of a CC program more like a franchise than an independent business. Make the decisions that are right for you.
 
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eyeheartawk

#1 Enworld Jerk™
"Giving nothing back" is a strange way of describing releasing a new set of core books that are pretty much entirely open content.

I am not privy to internal Paizo discussions, but there are substantial hurdles to simply allowing ORC licensed material in their CC program. The OGL and the ORC do not, and can not, mix. Some people have made products that include both (which I highly do NOT recommend) and the declarations are tortuous; it's not even 100% clear whether that works, legally.

A general note about Community Content programs; they are amazing, but it is important, so important, to understand you are piggy-backing off someone else's IP. Your product has no independent existence. A lot of CC programs have what I consider very onerous conditions, such that if the program ended, neither you nor the main publisher would be able to use the content without a separate agreement. Think of a CC program more like a franchise than an independent business. Make the decisions that are right for you.
In this case, we're talking about the Arcana of the Ancients, which is an OGL only product. No ORC or community content involvement.
 

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