Hello, I am lawyer with a PSA: almost everyone is wrong about the OGL and SRD. Clearing up confusion.

pemerton

Legend
This seems analogous to the situation many non-DnD publishers are in. Let's say I wish to publish a sourcebook for the Cepheus Engine. This rule system is based on the Traveller SRD released by Mongoose Publishing under the OGL v1.0a. I am not using any intellectual property of WoTC with the exception of the licence itself. The right to distribute copies of the license is explicitly granted by OGL v1.0a itself. So what is my relationship to WoTC? Mongoose relied upon representations by WoTC that the OGL v1.0a was available for use by any publisher for any game system. The creator of the Cepheus Engine (Jason Kemp) relied upon the ongoing validity of the licence in turn. And I am relying upon the rights v1.0a conveys upon me to use material copyrighted by Jason Kemp. It's a mess. Which I suspect is the point. I believe WotC may be acting in bad faith to muddy the waters as much as possible.
Re your bolded sentence - only if you are in an agreement with WotC. Mongoose cannot license WotC's copyrighted licence text to you. In that case, you are relying on some other express or implicit permission granted by WotC to use their copyrighted licence text for your purposes.

Various posts upthread (including my own 479) have conjectured where such a permission might be found.

Re your underlined sentence - you are treating the OGL as if it's a statute. It's not. If you and Mongoose and Jason Kemp have entered into licensing agreements on the terms set out in the OGL then (subject to general principles that govern the validity of contracts) you have made valid contracts among yourselves. WotC has nothing to do with this, except that you and Mongoose and Jason Kemp have all promised one another to reproduce WotC's licensed text under certain conditions, so you may have trouble upholding your contractual promises if WotC is in fact able to insist that you not do that.

Hence, again, why you may wish to consider where any express or implicit permissions were granted.

But also pay attention to @Steel_Wind's point upthread: this may be purely academic. Is there any reason, at this stage, to think that WotC cares at all about the licensing agreements you, Mongoose and Jason Kemp have made among yourselves?
 

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Prime_Evil

Adventurer
But they were all of them deceived, for another license was made. In the land of Seattle, in the fires of WotC-Hasbro, the Dark Lord Cynthia forged in secret, a master license, to control all others. And into this license she poured all her cruelty, her malice and her will to dominate all life.

(Not my joke - but it keeps getting more and more apposite!) :eek:
I was amused by the person who commented "never let anyone named Williams anywhere near DnD".
 

In that case I think the situation might be bad here. It seem like the basic offer is considered somewhat draconic, but not completely unreasonable. If Wizards actively contact you and ask you to agree or terminate, then you can't claim lack of knowledge. Hence continuing commercial use would appear to me as a sufficiently active act that similarly to the pressing OK button, it is hard to argue that I "had to do it", or similar ways of "tricking" a trigger.
It does seem to me that sending these packets directly to the publisher wasn't just a matter of convenience for them. "We told them exactly what action would trigger acceptance, they knew it, they did the thing, and now they want to claim they weren't accepting the offer?"
 

kenada

Legend
Supporter
But they were all of them deceived, for another license was made. In the land of Seattle, in the fires of WotC-Hasbro, the Dark Lord Cynthia forged in secret, a master license, to control all others. And into this license she poured all her cruelty, her malice and her will to dominate all life.

(Not my joke - but it keeps getting more and more apposite!) :eek:
Kind of gives new meaning to “One D&D”.
 


Tazawa

Adventurer
Just a short note.

OGL 1.0 is still an authorized version of the OGL. SRD v. 5.0 was released prior to 5.1 and theoretically could continue to be distributed under OGL 1.0.
 

Steel_Wind

Legend
They have not needed to, they were gathering info and were planning on this nuclear strike on the OGL and VTT in general.

I already said that I am a Hasbro shareholder much earlier in this thread, but that does not change my opinion of their current contemplated actions.

I mainly use Fantasy Grounds but I have used Foundry and think it is quite good. Prefer it to Roll20. Happy all three exist and push each other.

I have posted about the danger of investing in a VTT that does not have a license for material that many users depend on well before this current issue.

If anything, Foundry is more pure in this than Roll20 or FG as they are not risking WoTC derived revenue as directly and are less likely to have been offered a sweetheart deal.

I am perfectly capable of both liking Foundry and seeing a potential IP issue with it. Surely as a lawyer you know that a C&D not being sent yet does not mean one is not coming. There were a bunch of quite good character builder spreadsheets on DMs Guild until WoTC started making money on D&D Beyond and then suddenly they were told to stop.
It means that right now, WotC sees that it makes more -- far more -- per sale on DDB than it would as a royalty on a sale through Roll20 or FG. In other words, it is in their financial interest to do nothing and look the other way.
 

Enrahim2

Adventurer
It does seem to me that sending these packets directly to the publisher wasn't just a matter of convenience for them. "We told them exactly what action would trigger acceptance, they knew it, they did the thing, and now they want to claim they weren't accepting the offer?"
On second thought, the offer is unreasonable given the current situation. As far as I can see the only thing they offer, that the offeree didn't already have the rights to was the creator badge - which might be hard to argue reasonably could be worth the amount of rights they would be giving away..
 

S'mon

Legend
It does seem to me that sending these packets directly to the publisher wasn't just a matter of convenience for them. "We told them exactly what action would trigger acceptance, they knew it, they did the thing, and now they want to claim they weren't accepting the offer?"
These kind of Mafia tactics don't work in practice. You have to show the other side did voluntarily accept your offer, not that they 'did the thing', if 'the thing' is the kind of thing they'd normally do anyway!
 


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