OGL Critical Role Issues Statement


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darjr

I crit!
Has anyone suggested that they might be involved in a lawsuit?

Wouldn't that be public record though?

I mean it is the one legit thing I'd think would make it unwise to talk about all this.
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
Has anyone suggested that they might be involved in a lawsuit?

Wouldn't that be public record though?

I mean it is the one legit thing I'd think would make it unwise to talk about all this.
Lots of big money corporate contracts include an anti-disparagement clause. If you talk smack about your contracted partner, you get sued. So if that's what's going on, it's speculation, then it makes sense they'd release a nothing burger of a statement like that.
 

Staffan

Legend
Lots of big money corporate contracts include an anti-disparagement clause. If you talk smack about your contracted partner, you get sued. So if that's what's going on, it's speculation, then it makes sense they'd release a nothing burger of a statement like that.
Yeah. The statement doesn't outright say they have their hands tied, but if mine were and I still felt I had to say something, that's about what I'd say.
 

Clint_L

Hero
Has anyone suggested that they might be involved in a lawsuit?

Wouldn't that be public record though?

I mean it is the one legit thing I'd think would make it unwise to talk about all this.
I think lawsuits are matters of public record, but maybe a lawyer can confirm?

There may be legal negotiations going on. But I think the more likely explanation is that CR, while part of and generally aligned with the wider creative community, are also a relatively large entity with a lot of employees, and whose fate is significantly intertwined with Dungeons and Dragons and WotC. So commenting explicitly on the situation is problematic and they have to tread carefully.

I think that on this forum we have a tendency to take hyperbolic positions because most of us do not have actual skin in the game. Folks whose livelihood (or employee's livelihoods) are potentially at stake have to be more nuanced and careful.
 

darjr

I crit!
I think lawsuits are matters of public record, but maybe a lawyer can confirm?

There may be legal negotiations going on. But I think the more likely explanation is that CR, while part of and generally aligned with the wider creative community, are also a relatively large entity with a lot of employees, and whose fate is significantly intertwined with Dungeons and Dragons and WotC. So commenting explicitly on the situation is problematic and they have to tread carefully.

I think that on this forum we have a tendency to take hyperbolic positions because most of us do not have actual skin in the game. Folks whose livelihood (or employee's livelihoods) are potentially at stake have to be more nuanced and careful.
Yea. I think the answer is probably they just are being reserved and as professional as possible
 

Whizbang Dustyboots

100% that gnome
Actual lawsuits that are actually filed in court are matters of public record. Threats of lawsuits are not. And even if a record is technically public, you have to go looking for filings in the correct venue to know about it.

The courts and the jurisdictions that control them don't make it as easy as they could, partially because of inefficient bureaucracy, partially because it would embarrass powerful people and partially so they can extort people into paying to look up electronic records as a money maker.
 
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Haplo781

Legend
There have been many Firbolgs depicted in Critical Role, including one of the PCs and one of the most popular NPCs, so they couldn't very well leave them out of the Tal'Dorei setting. And CR just uses standard D&D rules plus some home brew content. Anyway, WotC can't own the concept of a Firbolg because, as you point out, it comes from mythological sources even if it has changed over the years and been represented in many different ways.
Fir Bolgs are creatures from Celtic mythology.
 

Yeah. The statement doesn't outright say they have their hands tied, but if mine were and I still felt I had to say something, that's about what I'd say.
This is what I'm getting here too. It looks like a statement of support from someone under a non-disparagement agreement. Time will tell if they want to stay in business with WotC going forward though. They started out playing Pathfinder.
 
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Saracenus

Always In School Gamer
And Linda Codega at io9 posted an interview with Matt and Marisha on YouTube. She asked them about their views on the Open D&D Movement... It definitely feels like they are under some sort of agreement and cannot speak plainly.

The whole vid is 10min but I started is around the 7:50 mark to get to the Open D&D question.
 

Azzy

KMF DM
And Linda Codega at io9 posted an interview with Matt and Marisha on YouTube. She asked them about their views on the Open D&D Movement... It definitely feels like they are under some sort of agreement and cannot speak plainly.

The whole vid is 10min but I started is around the 7:50 mark to get to the Open D&D question.
But, man, the way Matt exaggeratedly says "grandiose" speaks volumes.
 

MacDhomnuill

Explorer
The way they PR talked the response (Marisha would be a good political spokesperson) makes me think they already signed the new OGL or more likely one of WOTCs super secret special agreements and have no way to back out with out damaging their company plus 100% NDA has been signed.
 

Haplo781

Legend
The way they PR talked the response (Marisha would be a good political spokesperson) makes me think they already signed the new OGL or more likely one of WOTCs super secret special agreements and have no way to back out with out damaging their company plus 100% NDA has been signed.
Or they have a sponsorship deal with D&D Beyond (now part of Wizards of the Coast) that includes a non-disparagement clause.
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
The way they PR talked the response (Marisha would be a good political spokesperson) makes me think they already signed the new OGL or more likely one of WOTCs super secret special agreements and have no way to back out with out damaging their company plus 100% NDA has been signed.
Yeah, I don’t think so. I don’t see CR being dumb enough to sign on to only forking over 15% of their revenue over $750,000 when they basically don’t use the OGL. They published one book that uses the OGL. Nothing else they do touches it. They were business savvy enough to keep ownership of CR from Geek & Sundry before that went sideways. No way they’ve suddenly got real dumb.
 

OB1

Jedi Master
Now that the OGL drama is over, I'm starting to wonder if the reason for CRs careful statements was that either CAA (the agency that represents the cast) or Amazon (for obvious reasons) or both were preparing a lawsuit against WotC in response to all of this, and they were instructed not to make any specific statements about the situation. Perhaps they were trying to get out of their sponsorship deal with DDB (which probably includes an agreement that they actually play D&D), and taking Wildmount and Netherdeep away from WotC's ability to publish (if they argue that WotC's move is hurting their brand).
 

pemerton

Legend
Now that the OGL drama is over, I'm starting to wonder if the reason for CRs careful statements was that either CAA (the agency that represents the cast) or Amazon (for obvious reasons) or both were preparing a lawsuit against WotC in response to all of this, and they were instructed not to make any specific statements about the situation.
Why would they be suing their sponsor? What would be the cause of action?

To me it seems fairly obvious - as others have posted, Critical Role have existing professional, commercial and legal relationships with WotC. These will almost certainly included legal obligations not to disparage the sponsor or bring it into disrepute. Critical Role also has good non-legal reasons not to burn any bridges.
 

OB1

Jedi Master
Why would they be suing their sponsor? What would be the cause of action?

To me it seems fairly obvious - as others have posted, Critical Role have existing professional, commercial and legal relationships with WotC. These will almost certainly included legal obligations not to disparage the sponsor or bring it into disrepute. Critical Role also has good non-legal reasons not to burn any bridges.
If they felt that WotCs actions were a breach of their agreement and they wanted to remove themselves from their obligations to DDB and/or allowing their IP to be sold under Wizards name. Agree it's not likely, but also possible depending on if they felt WotCs actions could cause serious harm to their brand via the association.
 


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