Paizo Posts New Draft of ORC License

Adds clarity, more FAQ information, and other changes

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A second draft of the Open RPG Creative (ORC) license has been posted by Paizo, incorporating changes based on feedback on the first draft.

This second draft incorporates changes and suggestions from hundreds of participating publishers on the ORC License Discord community, adds significant clarity to key terms and definitions, substantially increases the size and scope of the project’s official FAQ, and introduces several basic quality-of-life improvements across the board.

You can download a copy of the ORC license and its associated FAQ/AxE (Answers and Explanations) document below. Our intention is to solicit “final” feedback on the ORC License Discord until the end of the day NEXT Monday, May 22nd. We intend for this wave of commentary to be the last round before presenting the truly final version of the license, which we plan to release by the end of May.

Our deepest thanks to all project participants. Your feedback has been invaluable in making the ORC License an ideal open gaming license that will serve the community long into the future.

A new era of open gaming is nearly here!
 

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Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
It’s my understanding that the OGL intended mechanics to be OGC automatically,
Not quite. The OGL doesn’t mention mechanics. The OGL intended derivative content (which, if you were making a compatible game your mechanics almost certainly were, but you could include non-derivative mechanics or other content) to be OGC automatically,
 

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Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
Some folks may have intended it a certain way, but that's not how it has been used...and ORC therefore represents a change for publishers, that may be a deal breaker when there are other options on the market.
I don’t think it matters. There are now three different options for publishers — OGL, CC, and ORC. Each will choose the one suited to them or their project. More options is good, as I’m sure Paizo would agree. It’s not like Paizo gets paid when you use ORC.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
One view discourages a portion of potential users away, one does not. It is an exercise for the viewer as to whether those license users (re publishers/producers) are a loss to greater to the whole than the idea of not permitting them in the club.
That’s some loaded language. “Not permitting them in the club”? Just use the license which suits you the best. Each is different. There’s no ‘club’.
 

kenada

Legend
Supporter
Not quite. The OGL doesn’t mention mechanics. The OGL intended derivative content (which, if you were making a compatible game your mechanics almost certainly were, but you could include non-derivative mechanics or other content) to be OGC automatically,
Section 1.d mentions mechanics in the definition of OGC. I remember having this discussion with @pemerton back during the OGL in January. He seemed to read it the same way.

(d)"Open Game Content" means the game mechanic and includes the methods, procedures, processes and routines to the extent such content does not embody the Product Identity and is an enhancement over the prior art and any additional content clearly identified as Open Game Content by the Contributor, and means any work covered by this License, including translations and derivative works under copyright law, but specifically excludes Product Identity.​
 

kenada

Legend
Supporter
Some folks may have intended it a certain way, but that's not how it has been used...and ORC therefore represents a change for publishers, that may be a deal breaker when there are other options on the market.
Should it not also be a dealbreaker for those wanting to release content that it can be used by freeloaders in spite of their intent (due to an ambiguity in the license)? Why privilege the wants of freeloaders over the rights of the original authors?

I understand if they consider it a dealbreaker now that the intent of the ORC license is clear. I just don’t care. That they were able to get something for nothing before was a bug in the license and not a feature, and it’s been (apparently) fixed.

Edit: And yes, there are more options now. If someone wants no conditions imposed on them, they should base their work on permissively licensed content. If the work they want to use as a base is not licensed that way, then they need to respect the license chosen by the original authors (or try to negotiate a special one for their use). To expect otherwise is entitled.
 
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Parmandur

Book-Friend
I don’t think it matters. There are now three different options for publishers — OGL, CC, and ORC. Each will choose the one suited to them or their project. More options is good, as I’m sure Paizo would agree. It’s not like Paizo gets paid when you use ORC.
For sure, I was just talking about why some publishers may have preferred more options tondesignste what is open or closed content, as is the case with the OGL.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
Should it not also be a dealbreaker for those wanting to release content that it can be used by freeloaders in spite of their intent (due to an ambiguity in the license)? Why privilege the wants of freeloaders over the rights of the original authors?

I understand if they consider it a dealbreaker now that the intent of the ORC license is clear. I just don’t care. That they were able to get something for nothing before was a bug in the license and not a feature, and it’s been (apparently) fixed.

Edit: And yes, there are more options now. If someone wants no conditions imposed on them, they should base their work on permissively licensed content. If the work they want to use as a base is not licensed that way, then they need to respect the license chosen by the original authors (or try to negotiate a special one for their use). To expect otherwise is entitled.
The OGL has allowed, intentionally or not, a certain mechanism for control over one's IP. ORC has "closed the loophole", but that is not necessarily to everyone's preference, and I can see why a creator may not want to plug into that system and give up rights they wouldn't have to with an OGL or CC based game.
 

kenada

Legend
Supporter
The OGL has allowed, intentionally or not, a certain mechanism for control over one's IP. ORC has "closed the loophole", but that is not necessarily to everyone's preference, and I can see why a creator may not want to plug into that system and give up rights they wouldn't have to with an OGL or CC based game.
I understand some aren’t happy with the clarified intention. I addressed that in my previous post. I think it’s more important the original authors have their intentions respected than it is that others can freeload because of an ambiguity or loophole. Others may not like that, but the previous situation wasn’t right. They should honor the terms or take a different approach: negotiate for a different license, rebase to a different work, or even create their own new work.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
I understand some aren’t happy with the clarified intention. I addressed that in my previous post. I think it’s more important the original authors have their intentions respected than it is that others can freeload because of an ambiguity or loophole. Others may not like that, but the previous situation wasn’t right. They should honor the terms or take a different approach: negotiate for a different license, rebase to a different work, or even create their own new work.
Well, certainly, that's what I'm saying: facing terms more restrictive than the OGL, many creators will doubtlessly not sign on for this.
 


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