OGL v1.2 Survey Feedback: 'Hasn't Hit The Mark'

WotC has shared some of the (still ongoing) survey feedback following the release of the Open Game License v1.2 draft last week.

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We want to thank the community for continuing to share their OGL 1.2 feedback with us. Already more than 10,000 of you have responded to the survey, which will close on February 3.

So far, survey responses have made it clear that this draft of OGL 1.2 hasn't hit the mark for our community. Please continue to share your thoughts.

Thanks to direct feedback from you and our virtual tabletop partners it's also clear the draft VTT policy missed the mark. Animations were clearly the wrong focus. We'll do better next round.

We will continue to keep an article updated with any new details posted here or elsewhere on the OGL. You can read it here

The linked FAQ (no, not THAT linked FAQ, the one where they say the original OGL cannot be revoked, I think we're supposed to ignore that one!) indicates that recent rumours about $30 subscriptions and homebrew content are false. They also say that they will be revising the 'harmful content' morality clause in the recent OGL draft, which in practice gives WotC power to shut down competitors at will.

You can still take the survey here until Feb 3rd.
 

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It took me a while, but I figured out the big thing bothering me about this argument.

Society has decided to pretend corporations are people. They have pretty much the same rights as people – they can own property, they have freedom of speech, etc.

Then we shouldn't absolve corporations from keeping promises made in the past even if those promises are no longer convenient for them. The corporation made that promise. The corporation should keep it. It doesn't matter that there's another person wearing the corporation mask now, because we still treat the corporation as the same person.

If we allow a corporation to wiggle out of promises made in the past, we should also deny them everything else that happened in the past. They bought something? Well, that was different people buying it and different people selling it, so the sale is no longer valid. They paid people to make books for them? Well, the people in charge of the corporation have changed, so those books should now be public domain.

You can see how ridiculous this is. The same goes for the argument that a promise made by other people in the same corporation, when empowered to speak for the corporation (like Ryan Dancey was), can be nullified when new people are in charge.


View attachment 273977
yeah, there is a lot to unpack and I am pretty sure the mods don't want me talking my "what is the best type of corporation so I will just say I totally see where you are coming from but want almsot the exact reverse...
 

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Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Supporter
Then we shouldn't absolve corporations from keeping promises made in the past even if those promises are no longer convenient for them. The corporation made that promise.

Well, there's a great deal of question on whether the actual official promise (the OGL itself) actually promises what we all came to believe it did. That's a legal question that even legal experts cannot agree upon, and will only be resolved if it goes to court.
 


Staffan

Legend
Well, there's a great deal of question on whether the actual official promise (the OGL itself) actually promises what we all came to believe it did. That's a legal question that even legal experts cannot agree upon, and will only be resolved if it goes to court.
Officers of the company made statements saying it was permanent and irrevocable. Regardless of legal shenanigans, they should stick to that promise.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Because that clause is their best protection when in 15 years WotC releases a paranormal 7e book which has some passing similarities to your Paranormal Power despite the writer never having seen your book. Though you decide to sue and just defending themselves costs them $10k irrespective of the size of your product or whether you are right. It’s a common and water tight protection against an otherwise substantial risk when you open up your work to thousands of creators or buy simple coincidence my create a similar product.

They have had this right in place in the DM Guild license for years now. Can you point me to a single instance where WotC has taken a creators work and published it themselves without paying for it and attributation?

I judge people on what they do, not on what they might do.
That last sentence is mistake number one.

When dealing with a corporation you not only have to think of what they might do, you have to think of what's the worst thing they could possibly do and then assume that at some point they're going to do it. Then, stretch that line of thinking out a bit further into the realm of near-absurdity, and stress-test your agreement(s) against that. If it passes, you're probably (but still not certainly) good to go.
 

Dausuul

Legend
Officers of the company made statements saying it was permanent and irrevocable. Regardless of legal shenanigans, they should stick to that promise.
Exactly. Nobody but a judge can say for sure what the legal status of those commitments is, and I'm sure you could find any number of technical loopholes in those past statements.

But officers of Wizards, speaking in their official capacity, did their damndest to convince the 3PP community that the OGL was forever, in repeated statements over many many years. As a matter of ethics if not law, they should uphold that promise.
 


dave2008

Legend
The draft OGL 1.2, however, doesn't define any sort of Open Game Content or Product Identity mechanism. It's a specific grant from Wizards for the contents of the D&D SRD. There is no way for anyone else to release open content to the community or to build on what others have provided. There is no equal footing. It is not an open license!
That is not entirely true, but effectively true IMO. 1.2 describes "Our Licensed Content," which is WotC's content, and "Your Licensed Content," which is the creator's content. It also describes "Our Unlicensed Content," which is effectively WotC product identity. I don't recall, but I don't think it provides provisions for "Your Unlicensed Content." It does allow you to distribute your content anyway you want (so through CC or ORC or whatever). But it doesn't give a framework in this license on how to do that IIRC.

One of my survey comments was that there needs to be a default sharing of "Licensed Work" and a way to protect "Unlicensed Work" i.e. product identity.
 


Lanefan

Victoria Rules
there are vocal posters on this board that have for months said they are ONLY playing 3rd party retroclones and or 3rd party changes to 5e.
There is a thriving community called the OSR that live off the games being 1e retroclones (or BEIM retroclones)
Indeed, and as it currently stands it will become illegal to sell or distribute new material for any of those systems as of whenever the new liecnse takes effect. Existing material may be distributed and sold as now, they conceded that one at least.

That said, there may be hope: in the OP there's reference to including older-edition material in the CC at some point. But right now OGL 1.2 only applies to material produced for 5.5e; everything else becomes locked if-when OGL 1.0a dies.
 

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