New GSL Announcement

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Grogtard

First Post
First excuse me because I'm still waking up so I may ramble a bit.
I think that this is good business decision by WOTC but it doesn't mean I have to like it and has kept me on the 4E fence. I can understand their decision to entice publishers away from 3.x material.
I'm sure that there was no malice intended by Scott and crew but hasn't everyone at some time in their life has done or said something that upset someone without intending to do so. So I hope they can understand some of the disgruntlement amongst the community.
It's just my opinion but I'm sure the "vetting" and debates at WOTC weren't centered on non-d20 OGL systems. I'm no lawyer by any means but I think that the WOTC's d20 OGL and the other non-d20 OGL's would be considered separate licenses. I don't think that there has been any clarification if publishers can product the products with GSL content and non-OGL content (such as with licensed systems or non-d20 OGC). I have no idea what the exact terms of the GSL if it does contain conditions that say you can only publish products under this license and no other then it does strike me as something very bad for the RPG community as a whole. It's not only an attempt to push aside 3.x material but also non-d20 material as well. Yeah, it's a good business decision in a traditional sense but let's face it the RPG industry isn't like most other industries.
We RPG consumers are much more community based, strongly opinionated, quick to anger and vocal about about what the producers of content do than most other industries. We take the content that publishers offer us and make it our own by adding our own unique twists and then offer it up to our friends to enjoy. We become emotionally attached to the worlds, characters and games. While publishers invest a lot of time and money into producing a product. We too feel that we invest a lot of time and money as well by buying their products then molding them into our own unique creations. So I hope we can all understand why so many folks get so emotional over each and every announcement.
The only silver lining I can find in this, is that it might encourage some of the many talented game designers out there to design new and refreshing game systems. While D&D is the big dog of the RPG industry, it literally doesn't have to be the only game in town.
Lastly, we're not even sure what kind of products will be allowed under the GSL. Will it just be adventures or campaign worlds? Will it allow for additional classes, races, monsters or crunchy bits?
Have to go now, the coffee is calling. So please forgive the rambling
 

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mxyzplk

Explorer
kalanijasmine said:
Its not... For one thing, its a d12-based engine, and for another, its 80% skill driven. I went with a d12 system because of all the polyhedrons in my dice bag, its the one that is sorely under-utilized.

Here's the conceptual problem with the GSL that means you do have to worry. As the current policy is being explained by Scott/Linae, the only thing prohibited for 4e licensees (GSL) is producing OGL games. But the GSL isn't an open license and they may change the terms at will. So with this licensing scheme, you have to understand you are taking a business risk. Wizards, at any time, can decide, for example "In fact, we don't want people producing 4e material to be producing *anything* else! We have confidence in 4e and are only supporting it ourselves you know!" At that point they could insist that you stop selling/developing your 4e product or stop selling/developing your other game. And I don't think anyone can say with a straight face this isn't a real risk, since they're already using this approach as a tactic.

Personally, I'm not sure the GSL is a tenable position for anyone who wants to do anything other than be a pure-play 4e support machine.
 

kalanijasmine

First Post
True, however I do not feel that they are in violation of the Sharman Act. Microsoft was in violation for the reasons I pointed out in my Peanut Butter / bread analogy...

About the best parallel I can draw between the OGL/GSL and my peanut butter analogy would be to say that -

Wizards of the coast holds the copyrights for all peanut butter products.

The OGL allows producers to use smooth peanut butter in their own products, regardless of whether that product is a different brand of smooth peanut butter (Pathfinder), peanut butter chocolate (campaign settings, adventure paths, etc), or Asian Cooking (M&M, Spycraft, etc).

The GSL allows producers a limited licence to use crunchy peanut butter in their own products, on the provision that they a) use their brand of crunchy peanut butter (core product) exclusively, they b) stop using "smooth" peanut butter products, and c) they make no attempt to create new products which use crunchy peanut butter in such a way that it is almost indistinguishable as having used the product.

IOWs, the GSL prevents companies from making Asian meals using crunchy peanut butter, because it is almost indistinguishable as being a peanut butter product.


I guess that is the best analog I can come up with... As you can see, unlike in my former analogy, where the Peanutbutter company was putting sanctions on the bread maker, in this case the peanutbutter company (eg: Wizards) is putting sanctions on peanut-butter products.
 

Scott_Rouse

Explorer
Urizen said:
Unless I'm reading this thread wrong, I'm pretty sure that (AND I HOPE I"M WRONG), if you accept the terms of the GSL, you'll have to dump all your OGL stock.

That has not been said. From my personal perspective asking them to rewrite the history books and wipe out their catalog does not sit well with me.
 

SSquirrel

Explorer
Psion said:
Yeah, but you have a malformed quote tag. Can't have that. ;)

heh I was just putting it all together in notepad and dint' bother w/exact quote tags. I had originally just listed Rouse #99, then cut n pasted his post underneath. Function over form ;)
 

BryonD

Hero
Scott_Rouse said:
That has not been said. From my personal perspective asking them to rewrite the history books and wipe out their catalog does not sit well with me.
So you can sell stuff you have already made, you just must stop making new stuff (including new copies of stuff you already made) and anything with the D20 STL must be scrapped by Jan 1, 2009, though new unmarked copies could be produced (assuming you are not in the GSL).

Is that correct?
 

Ghostwind

First Post
Scott-

Looking for clarification if you can, are you saying that the new license will allow you to continue to sell previous OGL products if you utilize the GSL for 4e but not let you produce new OGL products?
 

Wulf Ratbane

Adventurer
Ghostwind said:
Scott-

Looking for clarification if you can, are you saying that the new license will allow you to continue to sell previous OGL products if you utilize the GSL for 4e but not let you produce new OGL products?

It's sounds like he's saying that's how it would work if he was the one making the decision-- but he's admitting he's not. It's just his "personal perspective."

(A much appreciated personal perspective, I might add.)
 

tomBitonti

Adventurer
Let me know if I am understanding this correctly:

As a company, I could produce and sell OGC products, and provided that I satisfied the terms of the OGC, I would be safe from a lawsuit.

As a company, I can produce and sell a 4E GSL product, and provided that I satisfy the terms of the GSL, I would be safe from a lawsuit.

Here "being granted a license" is equated to "have a near absolute defense from a lawsuit".

One of the terms of the GSL license is that "no OGL version of that product may be sold". If I sell both OGC and GSL products, I am violating the terms of the GSL license. That is to say, since 4E uses the GSL and 35E uses the OGC, my sale of the 4E product violates the license.

---
 

Scipio202

Explorer
Scott_Rouse said:
That has not been said. From my personal perspective asking them to rewrite the history books and wipe out their catalog does not sit well with me.

Hi Scott. Perhaps an answer to this example would help clarify things. I know you can't talk in too much detail, but this seems general enough, and non-corner enough that you might be able to say.

Would this be allowed by the new GSL?

XYZ Inc. is an RPG publisher, and during 2007 had a d20 OGL based system called "MyD20 Fantasy RPG".

During December 2008, they publish "Random D&D 4E adventure" under the 4E GSL.

During the 2009 calendar year, they publish "MyD20 RPG Monster Sourcebook #27" under the OGL, as well as "Random 4E Adventure: the Sequel" under the GSL.

Is XYZ Inc. in violation of either license?
 

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