OGL Don't Give Ground

Haplo781

Legend
They can do whatever the heck they want with ogl1.2--it doesn't matter. Demand firstborn children to the 5th generation, tell everyone they now have to work in a coal mine, take one wall and the roof from every structure owned by those agreeing to 1.2.... doesn't matter. Go for it.

1.0a cannot be "deauthorized." There is no legal mechanism in the language for "deauthorizing" an open license. Everyone knows what it meant, what it still means, and WoTC does too. The path they are on will end in tragedy unless they do an about face ASAP.
Really, their best bet at this point is to just release a 1.0b with the word "irrevocable," ask for suggestions on how to make sure it's extra-super-duper-for-realsies-this-time set in stone, and then make 6e actually significantly different with a GSL 2.0.
 

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ThorinTeague

Explorer
Really, their best bet at this point is to just release a 1.0b with the word "irrevocable," ask for suggestions on how to make sure it's extra-super-duper-for-realsies-this-time set in stone, and then make 6e actually different with a GSL 2.0.
I now believe it's a red herring. Put in "Irrevocable" and then watch them move on to "Abolish, void, nullify, renounce, repeal, retract, vacate, rescind, or repeal" 1.0a. Or just figure out a different attack vector.

The reason WoTC now needs to be challenged and defeated in court is because "revoking" open licenses on a whim has wider implications--there are plenty of [for example software] companies that would just LOVE to do exactly this--and not because anybody in their right mind would even consider for one second publishing anything under any open license stewarded by WoTC.
 

Haplo781

Legend
I now believe it's a red herring. Put in "Irrevocable" and then watch them move on to "Abolish, void, nullify, renounce, repeal, retract, vacate, rescind, or repeal" 1.0a. Or just figure out a different attack vector.

The reason WoTC now needs to be challenged and defeated in court is because "revoking" open licenses on a whim has wider implications--there are plenty of [for example software] companies that would just LOVE to do exactly this--and not because anybody in their right mind would even consider for one second publishing anything under any open license stewarded by WoTC.
Really the best way to make them back down would be a letter from the FSF threatening to deauthorize them back to the Stone Age if they go through with their naughty word.
 

ThorinTeague

Explorer
Really the best way to make them back down would be a letter from the FSF threatening to deauthorize them back to the Stone Age if they go through with their naughty word.
Which could very well be where this is headed. That, or class action suit... antitrust lawsuit from the government...

Jeepers. (<---Again, as I've consistently restated, this is my official position on this whole mess.)
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
At what point is the fight over? We want everything and give them nothing. Take everything back and more, make them squirm and pay to the point of bankruptcy and spin off WotC. Got it. But, can't they just make a 6e and take their ball and go home like 4e but worse. Then 90% of the players will just follow them to 6e. Then what do we have? Careful what we ask for.
Then we have everything we have now lol
 

Dausuul

Legend
Which could very well be where this is headed. That, or class action suit...
Any lawsuit in this whole mess will be filed by Wizards. No one else has any basis to sue them -- not individually and not as a class.

And that means Wizards can leave the whole question unsettled as long as they like.

antitrust lawsuit from the government...
I think the Justice Department has much, much bigger fish to fry.
 


Clint_L

Hero
Few might be as easily cooked though. Some times even they might go for a simple snack?
A simple snack? Not a lawyer, but even I can see that none of this goes anywhere near an anti-trust lawsuit, in so many ways. There is no merger happening, so all that is off the table, there is no monopolization or attempted monopolization, and WotC attempting to become more restrictive of its own IP hardly seems like an unfair method of competition in an anti-trust sense, even if we don't like it (to put it in context, Hasbro's worst offer from a few weeks ago is still miles better than what a company like Disney would give you). Plus...in the greater scheme of things, a controversy around Dungeons and Dragons licensing rights is not something that the US government is going to intervene in. Let's keep our expectations reasonable.
 


ThorinTeague

Explorer
Any lawsuit in this whole mess will be filed by Wizards. No one else has any basis to sue them -- not individually and not as a class.

And that means Wizards can leave the whole question unsettled as long as they like.


I think the Justice Department has much, much bigger fish to fry.
You are absolutely completely wrong, IF and only IF wizards of the coasts attempts at shutting down ogl 1.0 a would set a precedent for open licenses outside the world of tabletop gaming, for example, software. If that were established as a universal precedent, there is no way it could be allowed to stand and would be challenged in court by other industries regardless of wizards action or inaction. But whether that sets any precedence that apply to the wider world of open licensing would be a big question mark. I guess it would depend on the judge.

But the other way in which your train of thought might be problematic is that there are something in the ballpark of 1500 third-party publishers over the last two and a half decades that have been working under the apparently false pretense that wizard of the coast could not just end this license. So, if they could have legally ended this license all along then all of those third-party publishers for the last two and a half decades have been defrauded and would probably be Keen to put up illegal battle for the fact that wizards lied to them for 23 years.

(Of course never mind the fact that it begs the question why wizards of the coast, if this license was revocable, didn't simply do so in 2008 instead of letting a direct competitor grow into an industry Giant. Seems like kind of a weird choice to me.)
 


Azzy

KMF DM
At what point is the fight over?
When they honor the OGL 1.0a that they themselves created and claimed to be perpetual and irrevocable and stop acting in bad faith.

We want everything and give them nothing. Take everything back and more, make them squirm and pay to the point of bankruptcy and spin off WotC. Got it.
Right, because asking WotC to keep the promise they made 20-odd years ago is such a big ask. 🙄
 

Enrahim2

Explorer
A simple snack? Not a lawyer, but even I can see that none of this goes anywhere near an anti-trust lawsuit, in so many ways. There is no merger happening, so all that is off the table, there is no monopolization or attempted monopolization, and WotC attempting to become more restrictive of its own IP hardly seems like an unfair method of competition in an anti-trust sense, even if we don't like it (to put it in context, Hasbro's worst offer from a few weeks ago is still miles better than what a company like Disney would give you). Plus...in the greater scheme of things, a controversy around Dungeons and Dragons licensing rights is not something that the US government is going to intervene in. Let's keep our expectations reasonable.
Are we talking about the same thing?

"Hasbro's worst offer from a few weeks ago is still miles better than what a company like Disney would give you"

Hardly anyone is talking about the offer in this context. There seem to be a general agreement that wizards can give whatever terms they want for a license offer, or no offer at all without it being a big deal. What people are reacting to is what they try to do with 1.0a. When was the last time Disney tried to kill off a thriving market by blatantly breaking publicly made promisses?

"there is no monopolization or attempted monopolization, "

It seem like almost everyone analysing the situation conclude that this is a move to try to ensure effective monopoly in the ttrpg digital tooling space? A market that currently is very healthy by the way. The effect on the static content side is commonly interpreted as necessary colatteral damage.

It might be that this indeed do slmehow not fall in under current antittrust law. I am not a lawyer. But given how obviously cartoonishly distruptive this is to a well functioning competive marked I would be tempted to think that if this is not a simple slam dunk for the government, this appear to be very easy PR points for law makers on both sides of the aisle. I would actually be surprised to not see at least some of them not being able to resist the temptation to comment if this news get mainstream enough without being picked up by the justice system somehow.
 


Dausuul

Legend
You are absolutely completely wrong, IF and only IF wizards of the coasts attempts at shutting down ogl 1.0 a would set a precedent for open licenses outside the world of tabletop gaming, for example, software. If that were established as a universal precedent, there is no way it could be allowed to stand and would be challenged in court by other industries regardless of wizards action or inaction. But whether that sets any precedence that apply to the wider world of open licensing would be a big question mark. I guess it would depend on the judge.
"This lawsuit would set a harmful precedent if we lose" is not grounds for filing a lawsuit.

But the other way in which your train of thought might be problematic is that there are something in the ballpark of 1500 third-party publishers over the last two and a half decades that have been working under the apparently false pretense that wizard of the coast could not just end this license. So, if they could have legally ended this license all along then all of those third-party publishers for the last two and a half decades have been defrauded and would probably be Keen to put up illegal battle for the fact that wizards lied to them for 23 years.
So, the basis for this suit is, "We believe that Wizards does have the power to de-authorize the OGL and we're suing them for lying to us about it?"

I guess you could try that, but I have a lot of trouble seeing how it gets anywhere. The text of the OGL was out there the whole time, and you could at any point have consulted your own lawyer about what it meant. Wizards could simply say they themselves were mistaken in their understanding of the contract. It isn't fraud to be wrong.

(And you couldn't ever raise the argument that Wizards lacks the power to de-authorize the OGL in the first place, because if that's true, they have done nothing and you've suffered no injury.)
 


ThorinTeague

Explorer
"This lawsuit would set a harmful precedent if we lose" is not grounds for filing a lawsuit.


So, the basis for this suit is, "We believe that Wizards does have the power to de-authorize the OGL and we're suing them for lying to us about it?"

I guess you could try that, but I have a lot of trouble seeing how it gets anywhere. The text of the OGL was out there the whole time, and you could at any point have consulted your own lawyer about what it meant. Wizards could simply say they themselves were mistaken in their understanding of the contract. It isn't fraud to be wrong.

(And you couldn't ever raise the argument that Wizards lacks the power to de-authorize the OGL in the first place, because if that's true, they have done nothing and you've suffered no injury.)
I'm no lawyer so don't take my word as authoritative. Just expressing my thoughts and feelings. Obviously nobody really knows. My understanding from some software industry people who claim to know what they're talking about is that they believe they already know where this is headed and how it ends. Revoking open licenses in realms outside the TTRPG community, according to these folks, has already been tested in court and won't work. But like I said before, it could be that the TTRPG realm is too far from other open license realms that those rulings would not be considered a precedent. Probably depends on the judge, jurisdiction, lawyers, stars, will of the gods....

Attempting to revoke an open license and bully the 3pp community exposes WoTC to liability for an antitrust lawsuit. (They're already exposed as we speak).

Succeeding at revoking an open license may (I wouldn't know authoritatively, this is just what I've heard,) set a precedent for open licenses outside the TTRPG world with much much wider implications, and cannot, and will not be allowed to stand by, for example, the software community (as I understand it--let me reiterate, not authoritative). It will further mean that nearly 1500 3pp's have been defrauded by WoTC for 23 years who lied to them about how it works (see attachment--those are WoTC's words right off their own website, meant to entice publishers into doing the whole 3pp thing).

wuzards.jpg


Failing at revoking OGL1.0a means nobody in their right minds will ever sign on to their 1.2/2.0/etc. draconian BS (just like in 2008) and they fail to corner the VTT market as proposed and hoped. Which leaves WoTC and Hasbro fragged with a capital F.

The whole thing is just a giant steaming pile of bad bad bad. That turned longer than I realized it would.
 


Steel_Wind

Legend
Don’t give in. Don’t back down. Don’t give WotC an inch.
Please understand, I don't think you are wrong. I absolutely agree with you.

At the same time, I don't think WotC is meaningfully persuadable at this point. This isn't a negotiation, this is just a PR performance now. There's a BIG difference between the two.

So WotC isn't persuadable on the key issues of de-authorization and s. 1(b) "works covered". As it so happens, I'm not persuadable on my reaction to that, either. I'm out.

I will continue paying my DDB subscription which powers my 2 current Foundry 5e campaigns until one of the following happens:

1- DDB takes steps to break Foundry's use of that data;
2- Black Flag or another clone in suitable form is released AND support for same exists on Foundry VTT; or
3- Both my current 5e campaigns come to a natural end.

One of those campaigns (RotFM) will likely come to a close by very late spring or early summer 2023. The other (SotDQ) will likely stretch into mid 2024 as we have just started. The replacement for RotFM will be a conversion of the DL 1-14 classic DragonLance campaign. I had thought to roll with 5e on that and do some cool campaign crossover with the two at some point (which I have never done), but ... likely not now. I'm certainly not starting another 5e campaign now. So I have already made the choice to convert DL 1-14 instead, to PF2. It's okay -- Frightful Presence is a persistent issue in the Classic DL campaign's design and the PF2 rules work much better with that and require no changes. It's fussy work, but it's not that hard.

Yes, I will share those conversion notes and PF2 Statblocks when complete.

So really, at this point? That's it for me. In my estimation, WotC and I are at the fork in the road where we exchange Mutual Screw Yous. It's not new to me -- it's happened twice before during my time as a gamer. Indeed, I have spent much more of the past 43+ years NOT playing D&D (and playing some other FRPG game system) than I have playing a D&D branded product. (Roughly only 1/3rd of that time actively playing some form of D&D branded game).

I'm good, thanks. Fight the Good Fight, by all means, but I will leave Dungeon$ and Drama to Mr. Cao and Co. to bilk for what he can manage to squeeze out of it with subscription fees and microtransactions. I'm preparing to take my wallet and go play something else and I am at peace with it.

I hope at some point that you - and the rest of the similarly disposed gamers on ENWorld each find their slice of Zen in all of this, too. WotC doesn't own this game; they just own a trademark. It'll be fine.
 


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