My thoughts on the new OGL v1.2 draft

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
No open licenses of which I'm aware. And I agree with you that a company generally shouldn't issue an open license that includes branding rights, but of course, Wizards of the Coast didn't do that. And that's why Lamentations of the Flame Princess and the like can be in circulation for years without causing any harm to the D&D brand.

I can also understand an executive at some point deciding, "You know, our rules are still associated with our brand and it would be better protected if our license included a morality clause." Perfectly understandable! I'm flabbergasted that you buy the next move: "And that's why I'm willing to nuke the community commons that has been cultivated around my brand for the past twenty years." That's the move that is so blatantly...implausible, let's say...that, even now, it's just extraordinarily difficult for me to believe that you accept it. Especially when the bloody obvious reason is slapping you right in the face!

I don't disagree with any of that. The only thing I might offer in (slight) defense is that they probably assumed that they'd get feedback/pushback under the cover of the NDA and calibrate from there. Maybe?

But I'd love to have been a fly on the wall for the various conversations (and you KNOW that there conversations) between the Hasbro people, Legal, and the D&D people about this .... because this was planned for a while.
 

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I think that's a good way of framing the discussion. While this is less bad than the proposed OGL v1.1, you'd still expect the v1.2 draft to try and slip in a few spoonfulls of sugar by offering benefits that the OGL v1.0a didn't grant. But the v1.2 draft can be summarized as "now it's only somewhat worse than v1.0a, instead of horrifically worse."
Well, it's not actually a good-faith negotiation. It's a "compliance technique". They're not actually going to give you anything. They have nothing to give, and if they do, they could have done so without illegally violating OGL 1.0(a) to begin with. It's all a distraction.

 

I utterly refuse to accept that this attempted maneuver is in any way legal.
I mean, unless I'm still misunderstanding them, we have multiple attorneys here saying Wizards can clearly withdraw their offer under the terms of the license at any time, as a basic principle of contract law. Other attorneys here seem to disagree with that? Or at least that it would depend on further details, such as jurisdiction? Point is, what I thought was very clear 20+ years ago is no longer very clear to me.

Legality aside, nuking the creative commons is still repugnant.
 

I mean, unless I'm still misunderstanding them, we have multiple attorneys here saying Wizards can clearly withdraw their offer under the terms of the license at any time, as a basic principle of contract law. Other attorneys here seem to disagree with that? Or at least that it would depend on further details, such as jurisdiction? Point is, what I thought was very clear 20+ years ago is no longer very clear to me.
This isn't even WotC's argument. They're going with a declaration that the license is "deauthorized". Have any of the lawyers here actually argued for the legality of that specific method?
 

This isn't even WotC's argument. They're going with a declaration that the license is "deauthorized". Has any of the lawyers here actually argued for the legality of that specific method?
I think "deauthorization" is pure FUD. More charitably, they're using non-legal language to describe the effects of their action in a way that non-lawyers will understand. Like I said, I'm not expecting them to lay out their legal strategy for us.
 


overgeeked

B/X Known World
This isn't even WotC's argument. They're going with a declaration that the license is "deauthorized". Have any of the lawyers here actually argued for the legality of that specific method?
There is a very long thread where the lawyers on the forum discuss it.

 

There is a very long thread where the lawyers on the forum discuss it.

I have read it.
 


Jer

Legend
Supporter
Legality aside, nuking the creative commons is still repugnant.
Nuking the creative commons is repugnant.

Lying to everyone for 20+ years about a license being irrevocable and then revoking it is deceptive business practice.

Neither of these may be against the law in any way, but they certainly color my desire to do business with a company perpetrating them.
 

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