Foundry VTT Statement Update re WotC and ORC

ECMO3

Hero
Had they simply done that, and then released a 1.1 OGL that simply removed VTTs from permitted products, going forward? Nobody would have said jack. It would have had a thread here, on DDB and rpg.net. Discord would barely have raised an eyebrow. Gizmodo wouldn't have bothered to write a sentence on it.

I don't think that is true. I think Roll20 has more people on it than Foundry. There was going to be a backlash if they pushed groups out.
 

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Bitbrain

ORC (Open RPG) horde ally
I salute Foundry for this statement.

My group doesn’t play via VTT (we tried, but all of us hated it so we switched back to in-person), but if we had to do so again, I’d definitely use Foundry.
 

S'mon

Legend
Released this afternoon on Foundry VTT's Website here.

This morning, Wizards of the Coast shared a statement regarding their intention to update the OGL. We will leave a critique of this statement to others in the community, but we want to emphasize a few important notes.

The efforts made by the TTRPG community over the past two weeks are truly notable. Deep concern about the terms of OGL version 1.1 galvanized companies, creators, and gamers into a united cause. The community has leapt to the defense of creators who use the Open Gaming License (1.0a) to offer amazing content in diverse and creative formats. The powerful voice of the united TTRPG community has caused Wizards of the Coast to reconsider their direction - something that seemed very unlikely only a week ago.

It is important to celebrate the ground that has been recovered, but it is also essential to remain patient until we learn the actual terms of the offered license. Multiple clauses in the version 1.1 license which was previously intended for release were wholly unacceptable to the community of content creators; there was no singular problem with that document that is easily corrected. Wizards of the Coast faces a challenge to provide license terms which communicate mutual respect with the creators who consider that license.

The statement today from WOTC concedes that prohibitions on digital content, a broad grant of rights over creators' content, and attempted revocation of the 1.0a license were serious errors. This should have been clear all along, but your voices of opposition ensured that the message was received. Until the exact terms of the new license are confirmed it's impossible to say with certainty how they will affect creators. We can, however, comment on several items:

  1. We believe that OGL version 1.0a is a license which cannot be revoked or "deauthorized". The creation of software and other digital products is unambiguously permitted under the OGL 1.0a. There is clear extrinsic evidence that Wizards of the Coast and the creators of OGL 1.0a had the same interpretation as we do. We are committed to supporting creators who publish works using the OGL 1.0a license. We will continue to support content for our platform created under OGL version 1.0a as long as the creator of that content has not foregone the rights to publish that content by agreeing to an updated OGL.
  2. We intend to continue offering and improving upon our DND5E game system under OGL 1.0a using SRD version 5.1. Whether or not that project will accept the terms of a revised OGL and expand compatibility to additional 5th Edition or future One D&D content will depend entirely on the legal terms of the license. If we choose not to accept the updated OGL, we may support third-party creations that use it as long as there is legal authorization for us to do so.
  3. This situation has irreparably damaged the trust that creators placed in Wizards of the Coast as the custodian of an open license used by countless companies and creators across an entire industry. Efforts are underway to author and establish an open, perpetual, and irrevocable Open RPG Creative License (ORC) under the stewardship of a neutral and non-profit organization. We support this initiative, will be providing direct feedback to the team working on it, and we are excited that many of our partners have also committed to participate. We hope that creators throughout the industry use this opportunity to reconsider the licensing frameworks used for their content regardless of whether that solution is the ORC or a bespoke license suitable for that work.
Thank you all for your messages of support. Many of you have shared that the Foundry Virtual Tabletop software is more important to you than the game system that you play on it - that is incredibly humbling and gratifying for our team to hear. We are eager to put this situation behind us (to the extent possible) and return our full focus towards creating the best system-agnostic virtual tabletop we can possibly make.



With gratitude and in solidarity,
The Foundry Virtual Tabletop Team
This is a great statement. It makes two distinct and important points:

1. OGL 1.0 remains valid; WoTC cannot legally take it away.
2. WoTC have destroyed their reputation as trustworthy guardians of the OGL (and frankly, even as reliable business partners), and companies have to deal with that new reality.
 

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