OGL Legal Discussion of OGL 1.2

SoonRaccoon

Explorer
I don't think I've seen this mentioned yet. It looks like the VTT policy is not actually part of the license, it is only referenced by the license. Would this allow WotC to change the VTT policy any time they like?
 

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demoss

Explorer
I don't think I've seen this mentioned yet. It looks like the VTT policy is not actually part of the license, it is only referenced by the license. Would this allow WotC to change the VTT policy any time they like?
Yes.

Ditto for Fan Policy. (Which is already abusive as all, though, so it would be hard to make it worse...)
 

S'mon

Legend
BTW to all publishers - if you don't already have a website that republishes all the WoTC SRDs with OGL 1.0a, I'd advise doing so. Doing that means you have accepted their offer while it's still open, and you don't have to go get your SRD stuff from a possibly abandoned website/publisher.

Edit: Here's my own publication of SRD 5.0. Thanks for your offer WoTC - I accept!

 
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MarkB

Legend
I don't think I've seen this mentioned yet. It looks like the VTT policy is not actually part of the license, it is only referenced by the license. Would this allow WotC to change the VTT policy any time they like?
Yes. The VTT policy even states that it's subject to change.
 

Riddle me this, legal minded peope. Suppose that:

In 2022 "Toadstool Games" (TG) published "Forest of Fancy" (Fof), an original RPG where you play intelligent furry animals. TG also publised an SRD for FoF as Open Gaming Content under the OGL 1.0a.

Then in late 2023 "Greenrock Games" (GG) publishes "Sea of Serenity" (SoS), a 3rd party expansion for FoF with rules for aquatic animals. It includes a fair amount of text directly taken from the FoF SRD.

TG then sues GG for copyright infringement, claiming the distributing TG's copyrighted text without a valid licence, as the OGL1.0a was supposedly "deauthorized" by wotc earlier that year. GG doesn't deny copying TG's content, but maintains that their licence is as valid as ever and the "de-authorization" is invalid. GG starts a GoFundMe to cover legal costs and raises enough to hire an expert law firm.

To resolve this the court will have to rule on whether or not the OGL 1.0a has been "deathorized" or not. Will this set precedent in case wotc later starts a similar lawsuit against a 3rd party D&D publisher?
 

FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
BTW to all publishers - if you don't already have a website that republishes all the WoTC SRDs with OGL 1.0a, I'd advise doing so. Doing that means you have accepted their offer while it's still open, and you don't have to go get your SRD stuff from a possibly abandoned website/publisher.

Edit: Here's my own publication of SRD 5.0. Thanks for your offer WoTC - I accept!

Presumably this is because it's legally questionable whether you can sublicense out WOTC's SRD's from another Licensee after they withdraw their offer?
 

FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
Riddle me this, legal minded peope. Suppose that:

In 2022 "Toadstool Games" (TG) published "Forest of Fancy" (Fof), an original RPG where you play intelligent furry animals. TG also publised an SRD for FoF as Open Gaming Content under the OGL 1.0a.

Then in late 2023 "Greenrock Games" (GG) publishes "Sea of Serenity" (SoS), a 3rd party expansion for FoF with rules for aquatic animals. It includes a fair amount of text directly taken from the FoF SRD.

TG then sues GG for copyright infringement, claiming the distributing TG's copyrighted text without a valid licence, as the OGL1.0a was supposedly "deauthorized" by wotc earlier that year. GG doesn't deny copying TG's content, but maintains that their licence is as valid as ever and the "de-authorization" is invalid. GG starts a GoFundMe to cover legal costs and raises enough to hire an expert law firm.

To resolve this the court will have to rule on whether or not the OGL 1.0a has been "deathorized" or not. Will this set precedent in case wotc later starts a similar lawsuit against a 3rd party D&D publisher?
IMO. If they were tried in different jurisdictions, then the precedent might be of little effect. If different arguments were made then the precedent might not even come into play. Also, an initial ruling made by a lower court in a single case may not be principled or persuasive enough to create a precedent going forward.
 

I've also published on my blog I publish under OGL 1.0

I suggest that as many people as possible do the same with the various SRDs.

Today at my blog I've published the Open Gaming Bible II containing open material for fantasy, modern, and future gaming.

(Edit: I have also decided to accept WotC's offer regarding the 5.1 SRD via the 1.0a OGL.)

joe b.
 
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Alzrius

The EN World kitten
Today at my blog I've published the Open Gaming Bible II containing open material for fantasy, modern, and future gaming.

joe b.
Link, please?

I mentioned in another thread that, over on my blog, I reposted an old Open Game Content article that I wrote, which very helpfully references the d20 Modern and 3.5 SRDs.

Maybe I should write a quick 5E OGC article, too?
 

mamba

Hero
I don't think I've seen this mentioned yet. It looks like the VTT policy is not actually part of the license, it is only referenced by the license. Would this allow WotC to change the VTT policy any time they like?
yes, absolutely. I will ask them to make their VTT to be bound by the VTT policy in the OGL, so that policy improves, because right now it is much too restrictive.

I am semi-ok with restricting games, but not with hobbling VTTs
 




S'mon

Legend
Riddle me this, legal minded peope. Suppose that:

In 2022 "Toadstool Games" (TG) published "Forest of Fancy" (Fof), an original RPG where you play intelligent furry animals. TG also publised an SRD for FoF as Open Gaming Content under the OGL 1.0a.

Then in late 2023 "Greenrock Games" (GG) publishes "Sea of Serenity" (SoS), a 3rd party expansion for FoF with rules for aquatic animals. It includes a fair amount of text directly taken from the FoF SRD.

TG then sues GG for copyright infringement, claiming the distributing TG's copyrighted text without a valid licence, as the OGL1.0a was supposedly "deauthorized" by wotc earlier that year. GG doesn't deny copying TG's content, but maintains that their licence is as valid as ever and the "de-authorization" is invalid. GG starts a GoFundMe to cover legal costs and raises enough to hire an expert law firm.

To resolve this the court will have to rule on whether or not the OGL 1.0a has been "deathorized" or not. Will this set precedent in case wotc later starts a similar lawsuit against a 3rd party D&D publisher?

My view is: Under Privity of Contract principles, the court will look at the contract relationship solely between TG & GG, and decide that the OGL licence is valid between those two parties. A third party's announcement that the licence is 'deauthorised' cannot affect the relationship between those two as far as I can see.

AFAICS, 'deauthorised' is not a legal term of art and the court in this situation won't rule on WoTC's contractual status or the status of their licenced work, although I guess an obiter dicta side comment is possible. They'll only rule on WoTC's claims if WoTC is a party to the action.
 

To get this right, this is about spreading the availability of the SRDs, I didn't miss anything about declaring that I publish under 1.0 possibly being beneficial in the future?
I think there's a possible argument here that WotC can a) withdraw their standing offer to contract with future licensees directly but not b) withdraw an existing licensee's right to sublicense the same content to another.

This is widespread and accepted practice in the open source programming world. If you can't find the original libraries you want, you just yank them out of another, unrelated distribution that happens to include them.

If anyone knew of any court cases that consider the legality of that practice, that would be helpful.

Also: You need to be a licensee to have standing in the massive class action lawsuit I'm hoping someone has the balls to go for.
 

demoss

Explorer
I apologize if I've missed it, but I haven't seen lawyers discussing 9(b) of OGL 1.2 draft yet:

(b) Entire Agreement and Disclaimer of Reliance. This license governs your use of Our Licensed Content. This license consists only of the terms expressly included herein, and not any matter not expressly included herein. In accepting this license, you represent and warrant to us that you have relied only on the terms of the license and the advice of your own counsel, if any; you have not relied on anything that is not expressly a part of this license.

I have no idea if this is standard or not, but this seems to me to be intended to allow them to blatantly misrepresent the license in materials distributed with it, and say "oops" later, and provide insulation agains the type of representation they provided for 1.0a in their FAQ.

?

(Also, does 1.0a not having this type of clause and one being added now increase the weight of the old FAQ and other communications surrounding 1.0a, or is it completely irrelevant?)
 

mhd

Adventurer
This is widespread and accepted practice in the open source programming world. If you can't find the original libraries you want, you just yank them out of another, unrelated distribution that happens to include them.
So we're building a pkgsrc/homebrew for OGC? ;)
 

Jack Daniel

dice-universe.blogspot.com
Published on my blog.
 

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