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D&D General Frylock on the ‘Ineffectual OGL’


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Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Supporter
So, his very first paragraphs has an astounding error:

"WotC introduced the OGL and the System Reference Document 5.0 (“SRD5”) for the noble cause of telling the public which of the material they published was, in their opinion, protected work (i.e., work only they could publish), and which was public domain (i.e., freely useable by everyone without restriction)."

No, the OGL and SRD tell the public what material was protected under normal copyright, and what was usable under the OGL,which does have some restrictions. It says so, right on WotC's SRD page. There is no public domain involved at all.

This phenomenally large error indicates to me... that we really shouldn't be paying attention to this person. Why are we reading what this guy writes?
 


Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Supporter
Also, as a person who has received C&D requests from WotC, Frylock is hardly an unbiased analyst who's thoughts on the matter should be trusted, hm?

"I was asked to stop, so here is a public post of my reasons why I don't have to," is not so much a presentation of analysis as it is trying the case in the court of public opinion.
 


The really important thing is our money will be for the original creators and not for pirates. We aren't not only players, but also collectors. We will buy books because later these will become our threasure.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Supporter
I'm not sure he's helping himself in the court of public opinion.

Probably not. But he wishes it otherwise.

If his case was so rock-solid, rather than blather at us, he should flagrantly violate the license, have WotC come after him, and actually win in court. Instead, he's setting out every one of his arguments in the public ahead of time, giving his eventual opponent tons of time to construct their counter-arguments. That seems... just poor tactics. The only rational reason to take this approach is to try to win the market to his side, so that WotC leaves him the heck alone.

But, as you say, I think most of us are looking forward to him being shown the error of his thought process.
 


Jer

Legend
Supporter
This phenomenally large error indicates to me... that we really shouldn't be paying attention to this person. Why are we reading what this guy writes?

Mostly I'm rubbernecking, tbh. He's decided to pick a fight intentionally with WotC over this because he thinks he has a point to make. He's not a small company getting thrown up against the wall by a big corporation, just a lawyer who thinks he's going to prove a point in court about how Wizards can't possibly own the copyright to the rules they publish. That makes this "fun" to watch instead of angrifying - if he loses, well, he should have had a bit more humility and maybe hired another lawyer to check his work. If he wins then we may see fallout all over the game industry as well as in the software industry. The OGL was specifically modeled after open source software licenses, and as IANAL I have no idea how much fallout there might be if there is some declaration that even expressions of game rules can't be copywritten - which is what my non-lawyerly eyes read him as saying.
 

Mort

Legend
Supporter
So, his very first paragraphs has an astounding error:



No, the OGL and SRD tell the public what material was protected under normal copyright, and what was usable under the OGL,which does have some restrictions. It says so, right on WotC's SRD page. There is no public domain involved at all.

This phenomenally large error indicates to me... that we really shouldn't be paying attention to this person. Why are we reading what this guy writes?

He's claiming the OGL is an unenforceable document -that bears watching. Especially as he seems to be an experienced IP attorney and looks to be throwing bombs at WoTC.
 

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