OGL and ORC; A Marriage made in Heaven?

Alzrius

The EN World kitten
No responsible lawyer would take that case. WotC has nothing meaningful to gain, and probably couldn't even claim damages. I'm not sure, at this point, WotC would even definitely have standing to bring that case in first place, in fact. That'd be the first battle there - proving you had standing to interfere in that.
I'd presume that something published under a license that they (WotC) own would give them standing, presuming that they're maintaining that the OGL v1.0a is revoked and someone else is continuing to use it. Given that they own the license's copyright, presumably they'd claim that their work was being reproduced without authorization, since you have to print a copy of the OGL in any work that uses it.
 

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I'd presume that something published under a license that they (WotC) own would give them standing, presuming that they're maintaining that the OGL v1.0a is revoked and someone else is continuing to use it.
I don't think that's guaranteed.
Given that they own the license's copyright, presumably they'd claim that their work was being reproduced without authorization, since you have to print a copy of the OGL in any work that uses it.
Yeah it'd be interesting to see how that worked out for them.

They'd have incredible problems claiming there were any damages to them, and the court REALLY DOES NOT LIKE IT when you aren't able to show actual damage. Could they get an order telling you to stop it? Maybe, but even then I'm not completely convinced, and it's a lot to risk, because if they lose, they just completely and totally screwed themselves.
 

Voadam

Legend
Are they going to go to court over that, though? Seems like there's no upside to doing so.

Hasbro/WOTC has no involvement in OGL-licensed works that did not use its SRDs. It isn't a part of those agreements.

There are a lot of stunts Hasbro can pull in an attempt to kill the OGL, but attacking the right of unrelated parties to make agreements with each other would be the toughest to achieve. Games like OpenD6 Fantasy -- released by West End Games under the OGL to free the community to continue its development -- are going to still be reusable.
WotC's position from the FAQ is that the OGL, the license is de-authorized. Not their SRD as OGC under the license.

If they don't stop the OGL entirely with de-authorization, they don't stop 5e OGC from continuing.
 

If they don't stop the OGL entirely with de-authorization, they don't stop 5e OGC from continuing.
They're already past that.

5E-compatible products will keep getting made. In lesser numbers, maybe, but they'll keep going. People will try it without a licence.

Sheesh, it might even be a big boy like, say, Chris Metzen, who created an entire 5E-compatible setting basically as a vanity project, and has a net worth in excess of $10m.

Or it'll be people in non-US jurisdictions there the courts are even less likely to buy what WotC is selling.
 

Voadam

Legend
They're already past that.

5E-compatible products will keep getting made. In lesser numbers, maybe, but they'll keep going. People will try it without a licence.

Sheesh, it might even be a big boy like, say, Chris Metzen, who created an entire 5E-compatible setting basically as a vanity project, and has a net worth in excess of $10m.

Or it'll be people in non-US jurisdictions there the courts are even less likely to buy what WotC is selling.
A few people trying to figure out how to work around copyright derivative work issues is not something I believe they think is a big deal. They can still threaten to sue things that cross the line or come close and make threats about their claimed IP as TSR did, which will suppress even more the small number who go without a safe harbor.

Killing the OGL kills a big publishing industry of legally compatible royalty free licensed products with low entry barriers all at once going forward.
 

They can still threaten to sue things that cross the line or come close and make threats about their claimed IP as TSR did, which will suppress even more the small number who go without a safe harbor.
Not without huge reputational risks.

It's amazing to me just how many of you people are stuck in 1990 when it comes to the way the world works.

What, EXACTLY do you think is going to happen, when WotC sends a threatening letter to some small-but-popular 3PP? Seriously what do YOU think is going to happen?

In 1990, yeah, sure that would have worked well, there was no way to publicise it, and no-one would have cared anyway, and even if they did, they couldn't have helped.

In 2023, on the other hand, that C&D will IMMEDIATELY end up on the internet, and literally hundreds of people will be trying to make clicks off it. And none of those clicks will be in WotC's favour. People will demand WotC answer as to why they did this, and this whole outrage cycle we're having right now? It'll kick off again. People who've gone back to Beyond will start cancelling accounts again. People will stop buying WotC products for a while. WotC's reputation will get even lower. Eventually they're going to end up as the "EA of the TTRPG industry" if they do stuff like this.
 

glass

(he, him)
(IANAL, the following is not legal advice.)
Can you simultaneously license the same material under 2 different licenses, especially if those licenses have very different views of access and obligation? I don't know.
License as in "release"? Sure. If you own the copyright, you can license it any way(s) you want. License as in "use stuff other people have released"? Only if the licences are compatible (that is, only if it is possible to simultaneously comply with both sets of terms).

Yes, although I am not sure how they square that.
AIUI, there is no problem with their releasing it under both licences. They own it, they can do what they like with it. A licensee using FATE material would probably need to pick one or the other, though.

OneD&D = Evergreen Edition
Does anyone actually believe that? 5e was supposed to be "evergreen" too, but we are still getting a new edition in 2024.
 


pemerton

Legend
Can you simultaneously license the same material under 2 different licenses, especially if those licenses have very different views of access and obligation? I don't know.
As long as they own the rights to every single scrap of material enclosed within themselves (or have permission from someone that does), releasing the same thing under two wildly different licenses is fine. It's then the choice of anyone reusing which of those licences they are using it under and to pass on to their audience (or potentially both again, if they can say the same about their own product)
What Matt Thomason said.

You can do whatever you want with your property, provided you don't violate any obligation in doing so. If you've made a contractual promise about how you will licence your work (eg because you're relying on someone else's licence which imposes that sort of condition, such as the OGL v 1.0/1.0a) then if you break the promise you'll be liable to a lawsuit.
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
Eventually they're going to end up as the "EA of the TTRPG industry" if they do stuff like this.
I think this is the crux of the issue for the disagreements we are seeing here on the boards-- whether or not being the "EA of the TTRPG industry" is actually a bad thing from HasbrotC's point of view?

Because sure EA's reputation sucks with the hardcore players within the industry... but they have and will continue to dominate the market. So what has that loss of face actually cost EA? It sure hasn't been money these past 40 years they've been in existence.

For all we know... HasbrotC is banking on their new 3DVTT system to so dominate the online roleplaying sphere that the loss of all the OGL people will be small potatoes compared to the influx of new players they expect to capture. A risk? Sure. We all have no idea whether this new program of theirs will actually work worth a damn. But if it does? Then there's quite the potential for all the bad rep they garnered from revoking the OGL not amounting to a hill of beans when all is said and done.

Of course, if HasbrotC botches their 3DVTT release? Then all bets are off and woe be to they in the company who will be beholden to answer to the shareholders.
 

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