OGL Class action lawsuit?

Bayushi_seikuro

Adventurer
As a non-lawyer outsider who gets his knowledge from Law and Order and Suits, I would also think a danger people don't seem to consider is the issue that even IF you can form a class of affected publishers, given that this OGL has never been challenged (IN THE RPG SPACE/CONTEXT) in court, you have a crapshoot depending on which judge gets it, how they feel about big companies vs little guys, their understanding of open licenses., etc. And depending on how they come out, that will affect all those publishers, for better or worse, because it will also become settled case law regarding this particular hobby/product.

Not every company is Volvo, creating and refusing to patent seat belts. I dare say most companies, especially in America, are straight out of the Thomas Edison school of theft.
 

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pemerton

Legend
On TV shows (and based on how they handle fields I know I have negative trust in them being right) when big companies go after little fish, sometime the little fish can STILL band together and ask the judge to combine cases in a way MAKING a class action defense... is there ANYTHING in reality like that?

In case I am not clear my hypothetical law school question is, if Big Company A sues little company B, but it is for something that little company C D E F G H I and J are all doing too, can they all bind together at this point AFTER company A sues?
Would it change things if BIg Company A was suing some or all of C D E F G H I and J?
Why wouldn't the C, D etc just give B money to support B's defence?

Anyway, I have no idea what the rules of civil procedure are in any US jurisdiction and what sense they would make of parties trying to join themselves as defendants.
 

With WotC's track record in court, the idea that 3pp should be afraid to sue is silly, in any if their cases involving breaching a contract they caved, and to use their wealth to beat down the plaintiffs takes time, time they don't have if they don't want this to impact the D&D movie and other products, or continue to interfere with the creation of D&D One.

Dragging this out in the courts, the usual weapon of corporations in legal cases against those smaller then them, in this case hurts WotC more then the third party because of bad PR and timelines, and the fact that say Paizo can crowd fund the case.
 

Why wouldn't the C, D etc just give B money to support B's defence?
I don't know if they CAN do that either to be honest... I mean if a company just gives money away how does that work? No company I have ever worked for and no example when I was in school for this ever just "gave" money... there is charitable donations, but I don't think that would count.
Anyway, I have no idea what the rules of civil procedure are in any US jurisdiction and what sense they would make of parties trying to join themselves as defendants.
 

Jer

Legend
Supporter
time they don't have if they don't want this to impact the D&D movie and other products, or continue to interfere with the creation of D&D One.
I mean, that ship has probably sailed as much as it's going to unless they decide to just drop everything and walk it all back in February when their survey closes and try to do a reset back to status quo. Even then they've riled up people for bad reasons so probably whatever impact it's going to have they're now stuck with. No lawsuit is going to impact the movie being released in March at this point, though community noise could have an impact I suppose.

(I suspect it'll have more of an impact on the narrative around the movie if the movie underperforms but is critically ok. Entertainment reporters love their narratives about why one movie succeeds and another flops and if it's a flop but reviewers say nice things about it, they'll be looking for reasons beyond "people didn't feel like going out to the movies at the end of March for whatever reason.")
 

(I suspect it'll have more of an impact on the narrative around the movie if the movie underperforms but is critically ok. Entertainment reporters love their narratives about why one movie succeeds and another flops and if it's a flop but reviewers say nice things about it, they'll be looking for reasons beyond "people didn't feel like going out to the movies at the end of March for whatever reason.")
man I can hear it now "this would have been a billion dollar movie, but those evil fans destroyed it"
 

Jer

Legend
Supporter
man I can hear it now "this would have been a billion dollar movie, but those evil fans destroyed it"
Naw, it'll be more like "promising franchise ruined by bungling corporation shooting themselves in the foot right before release."

Genre movie narratives tend to be written by fans of genre. And movie reviewers in general like to pounce on "executive meddling" as the reason for any failure if they can see it at all. Combine those two tendencies together and Wizards really should have waited until April to start rolling out these changes to the OGL plans.

(I actually don't know why they didn't wait. Having bad press right before a movie premier is usually something companies work really hard to avoid. They must really not understand the other companies in the market at all if they thought nobody was going to leak their plans to the press once they sent them out. Their execs might be too used to dealing with software companies I guess.)
 

pemerton

Legend
I don't know if they CAN do that either to be honest... I mean if a company just gives money away how does that work? No company I have ever worked for and no example when I was in school for this ever just "gave" money... there is charitable donations, but I don't think that would count.
I would have thought that if the board of a company (or the executives with appropriate delegated authority) resolved that supporting another party's litigation was an important matter for the company, then they could spend on that as they spend on anything else.

How do you think that raises problems different from your suggestion that they try and join themselves as defendants?
 


Bayushi_seikuro

Adventurer
Why wouldn't the C, D etc just give B money to support B's defence?

Anyway, I have no idea what the rules of civil procedure are in any US jurisdiction and what sense they would make of parties trying to join themselves as defendants.
If Paizo's releasing ORC, what is their financial incentive to fund an OGL case for any number of smaller publishers? I would reckon they would rather capitalize on WotC's error - like Sun Tzu said, when your enemy is making mistakes, don't stop them.
 

If Paizo's releasing ORC, what is their financial incentive to fund an OGL case for any number of smaller publishers? I would reckon they would rather capitalize on WotC's error - like Sun Tzu said, when your enemy is making mistakes, don't stop them.

Paizo already promised to use WotC over revoking the OGL, and Paizi doesn't want to lose the trust of fans, plus that the upcoming DLCs for Wrath of the Righteous use the OGL, plus that they may want to do new print runs of PF1 & 2 to match the increased demand and because it's amazing PR that is already paying off, they look like paladin fighting a greedy ancient red dragon, they can crowd fund for help paying legal bills (might be a tax write off as well) and lastly because WotC pissed them off.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
I don't know if they CAN do that either to be honest... I mean if a company just gives money away how does that work?
They give the money away. Or they pay the other company's legal fees. Nothing prevents the companies from spending their money like that.
No company I have ever worked for and no example when I was in school for this ever just "gave" money...
Were you in the inner circle where they would have told you of all of their business expenditures?
 

I mean, that ship has probably sailed as much as it's going to unless they decide to just drop everything and walk it all back in February when their survey closes and try to do a reset back to status quo. Even then they've riled up people for bad reasons so probably whatever impact it's going to have they're now stuck with. No lawsuit is going to impact the movie being released in March at this point, though community noise could have an impact I suppose.

(I suspect it'll have more of an impact on the narrative around the movie if the movie underperforms but is critically ok. Entertainment reporters love their narratives about why one movie succeeds and another flops and if it's a flop but reviewers say nice things about it, they'll be looking for reasons beyond "people didn't feel like going out to the movies at the end of March for whatever reason.")

I expect there is a good chance they do in fact give in on OGL 1.0a in Febuary there is no longer any upside, they just have to figure out how to do it without completely losing faith. Alternately they keep making concessions on OGL 1.2 until it's better then even OGL 1.0a (they will have go give away the metaphorical shirt ofc their back to make that happen).
 

I would have thought that if the board of a company (or the executives with appropriate delegated authority) resolved that supporting another party's litigation was an important matter for the company, then they could spend on that as they spend on anything else.

How do you think that raises problems different from your suggestion that they try and join themselves as defendants?
I don't know how that works either... in my mind it would (normally) only work if WotC sues and they combine defense AFTER they got sued, I have never seen a preemptive like this
 


Jer

Legend
Supporter
I expect there is a good chance they do in fact give in on OGL 1.0a in Febuary there is no longer any upside, they just have to figure out how to do it without completely losing faith. Alternately they keep making concessions on OGL 1.2 until it's better then even OGL 1.0a (they will have go give away the metaphorical shirt ofc their back to make that happen).
Interesting. I think they'll dig their heels in on a few key points and eventually tell folks to like it or lump it. It has the smell of some executive's baby around it to kill the OGL and it's tough to stop a bullheaded exec once they get an idea in their head.

And the 1.2 version can't be better than the 1.0 version because deauthorizing the OGL 1.0 means that they can yank away 1.2 at any point in the future too. They can put whatever language they want into it to claim it's irrevocable, but they can't expect us to trust that they'll leave it alone if they successfully deauthorize the current version. So even if the terms look better nobody should expect that they'll exist longer than the current executive team, possibly not even that long.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
not always, especially not when I was younger... again... why i am asking
They can do it. The business controls its money and can buy everyone in the company Superbowl tickets if it wants. Or spend it on the legal fees of a company fighting a lawsuit that it has a strong interest in.
 




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