D&D 5E Skyrim supplement for D&D 5e

nightwind1

Explorer
To jump in with a relevant comparison: so is speeding on the highway. Is the fact that everyone does it going to deter the officer from writing your ticket?

Same thing. Everyone doing it doesn't mean that when you get pulled up on a IP infringement it's going to go away. It's not. What everyone else got away with won't help you in the least. You run your risks however you want, but they're still risks and have actual consequences. Often unpleasant and expensive ones.




They weren't making money off the IP, directly. They already made their money in hosting other people's children. What they did was show a Disney movie and get sued for it. If you dislike the daycare example because it's a business, there are plenty of google-able cases of Disney suing non-profits and school districts over illegal use of it's IP.

There was a daycare in Florida that had Disney characters painted on their interior walls. They weren't making any money off of the artwork. They were slapped with a C&D from The Mouse, and were told to remove the artwork, or else. (Admittedly, this was trademark-related rather than copyright, but it still shows how screwed you can be when you use someone else's IP.

https://www.snopes.com/disney/wdco/daycare.asp
 
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Tracy Leigh

First Post
This raises anther question, about artwork and such. I have been to numerous conventions where artists sell their art, based on other IPs, or create pieces of other kinds of art (buttons, stuffed representations, t-shirts, etc.). There are companies like TeeFury, that sell other artists' work, with representations from obvious IPs, INCLUDING those that are famous for suing/issuing C&D (Nintendo, Disney). The characters are never actually named, but everyone knows who they are.

Where is the "fair usage" line drawn? What then becomes 'okay' and 'not okay', as far as usage goes? I've seen RPG fan-written supplements for many game systems, that are accepted by the Game companies, as long as they are not "official" and not offered for a cost.

Bethesda allows mods for Skyrim, for Fallout (mostly), as long as they're free, so does creating a "mod" if you will, for Skyrim that incorporates the OGL from Wizards, then violate their rules? And if so, how exactly does it do so, if it is also offered for free?

It seems to me that there is a TON of interpretation for what is okay and what is not.

Any thoughts? :confused:

Tracy
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
This raises anther question, about artwork and such. I have been to numerous conventions where artists sell their art, based on other IPs, or create pieces of other kinds of art (buttons, stuffed representations, t-shirts, etc.). There are companies like TeeFury, that sell other artists' work, with representations from obvious IPs, INCLUDING those that are famous for suing/issuing C&D (Nintendo, Disney). The characters are never actually named, but everyone knows who they are.

Where is the "fair usage" line drawn? What then becomes 'okay' and 'not okay', as far as usage goes? I've seen RPG fan-written supplements for many game systems, that are accepted by the Game companies, as long as they are not "official" and not offered for a cost.

Bethesda allows mods for Skyrim, for Fallout (mostly), as long as they're free, so does creating a "mod" if you will, for Skyrim that incorporates the OGL from Wizards, then violate their rules? And if so, how exactly does it do so, if it is also offered for free?

It seems to me that there is a TON of interpretation for what is okay and what is not.

Any thoughts? :confused:

Tracy

Don't confuse a someone using IP based on something like an OGL (which is the IP holder giving permission in a very specific way) and someone using IP and never having a stink raised, with it being OK to use it how you want. It's pretty clear: if someone owns an IP, they get to decided how it's used. If there are any grey areas or questions, then talk to an lawyer. No one should assume they can use it under "fair use' or because "no one else is sued". That is horribly bad advice and can set someone up for failure.

Edit* Also, Bethesda doesn't just allow mods as long as they are free. It's more complicated than that. Their Terms of Service can be found here. So no, you can't create a "mod" in any other form than one that adheres to the ToS, which is pretty specific. Using Bethesda IP to create an RPG supplement directly violates the ToS in how you can use their IP.
 
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Mecheon

Sacabambaspis
Incidentally speaking about Bethesda and mods, here's an anecdote

You know that Thomas the Tank Engine dragon replacer mod? Did you know that if anyone else does anything with Thomas the Tank Engine in Skyrim or Fallout, the current right holder for Thomas the said Tank Engine is going to go after Bethesda and that poor modder like a rabid dog? They really don't like that mod existing, but Bethesda somehow talked them down over probably how popular the thing is

Someone asked about why there isn't a version of that for Fallout. That's the reason.
 

Incidentally speaking about Bethesda and mods, here's an anecdote

You know that Thomas the Tank Engine dragon replacer mod? Did you know that if anyone else does anything with Thomas the Tank Engine in Skyrim or Fallout, the current right holder for Thomas the said Tank Engine is going to go after Bethesda and that poor modder like a rabid dog? They really don't like that mod existing, but Bethesda somehow talked them down over probably how popular the thing is

Someone asked about why there isn't a version of that for Fallout. That's the reason.

One reason why Bethesda gets more of my money than Disney.
 

Tracy Leigh

First Post
Don't confuse a someone using IP based on something like an OGL (which is the IP holder giving permission in a very specific way) and someone using IP and never having a stink raised, with it being OK to use it how you want. It's pretty clear: if someone owns an IP, they get to decided how it's used. If there are any grey areas or questions, then talk to an lawyer. No one should assume they can use it under "fair use' or because "no one else is sued". That is horribly bad advice and can set someone up for failure.

Edit* Also, Bethesda doesn't just allow mods as long as they are free. It's more complicated than that. Their Terms of Service can be found here. So no, you can't create a "mod" in any other form than one that adheres to the ToS, which is pretty specific. Using Bethesda IP to create an RPG supplement directly violates the ToS in how you can use their IP.

Fair enough. An OGL allows for people to use that *system* as they wish, not to infringe on other IPs and such. That makes sense. EVERY one of those things I mentioned has a disclaimer specifically stating who owns the rights to names, characters, etc., AND that the piece has done for no profit or monetary gain, etc.

I guess there's nothing stopping Bethesda from putting out C&D orders on all of that, for any of those pieces like this that are out there. I just wonder why they don't. I've seen so many different fan-built products, often with a lot of love and devotion to the lore, that are just put out there to share with the other fans of an IP. I've created a couple myself, for worlds and options that I've wanted to use, although I've never published them.

I do understand why the DM's Guild did and said what they did. I also enjoy reading all the creations that others have made, and I will continue to do so. :) I hope that more companies notice that it's a love of the work, and not just a copyright infringement when something like this is shared.

Tracy
 

robus

Lowcountry Low Roller
Supporter
Fair enough. An OGL allows for people to use that *system* as they wish, not to infringe on other IPs and such. That makes sense. EVERY one of those things I mentioned has a disclaimer specifically stating who owns the rights to names, characters, etc., AND that the piece has done for no profit or monetary gain, etc.

I guess there's nothing stopping Bethesda from putting out C&D orders on all of that, for any of those pieces like this that are out there. I just wonder why they don't. I've seen so many different fan-built products, often with a lot of love and devotion to the lore, that are just put out there to share with the other fans of an IP. I've created a couple myself, for worlds and options that I've wanted to use, although I've never published them.

I do understand why the DM's Guild did and said what they did. I also enjoy reading all the creations that others have made, and I will continue to do so. :) I hope that more companies notice that it's a love of the work, and not just a copyright infringement when something like this is shared.

Tracy

I agree that “intent” is a big component in these works by “little guys”. Is the work intended to compete with the original? I.e. is it going to hurt sales? Or is the work leveraging the copywritten material for financial gain (in the case of the daycare - their use of copywritten artwork of popular characters likely increased the appeal of their business to prospective customers.

The intent here is very clearly “I love this stuff so much I want to do more with it”. When Bethesda releases a tabletop rulebook for Skyrim then they would be likely to go after unofficial alternatives. Until that time I doubt it’s worth the effort.

But hey, we’re actually running the experiment so let’s see what happens! :)
 

Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
I agree that “intent” is a big component in these works by “little guys”. Is the work intended to compete with the original? I.e. is it going to hurt sales? Or is the work leveraging the copywritten material for financial gain (in the case of the daycare - their use of copywritten artwork of popular characters likely increased the appeal of their business to prospective customers.

The intent here is very clearly “I love this stuff so much I want to do more with it”. When Bethesda releases a tabletop rulebook for Skyrim then they would be likely to go after unofficial alternatives. Until that time I doubt it’s worth the effort.

But hey, we’re actually running the experiment so let’s see what happens! :)
No, intent doesn't matter at all. Get this idea out of your head, it's wholly wrong.

If the IP holder can prove damages, even unintentional ones, they can recover against you, but even in no damage cases they can legally require you to cease and desist and remove your infringing material.

Intent doesn't matter at all. The good intentions defense doesn't hold water.
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
No, intent doesn't matter at all. Get this idea out of your head, it's wholly wrong.

If the IP holder can prove damages, even unintentional ones, they can recover against you, but even in no damage cases they can legally require you to cease and desist and remove your infringing material.

Intent doesn't matter at all. The good intentions defense doesn't hold water.

^this. Also, pretty true in most contexts. The police don't care if you didn't intend to speed. Or steal. Or whatever. It seems despite the evidence provided (like the aforementioned license agreement I linked to from Bethesda or the clarification as what copyright is that I also linked to), people still seem to think that it's OK if your'e a little guy just wanting to pay homage, or if you don't try to make a profit. Those things do not matter at all as to whether or not something is infringement, as the evidence provided shows. People need to stop saying such things, because just because someone hasn't been caught yet doesn't mean they won't later.

It's like when I see people post musician's videos on YouTube with "No copyright infringement intended." :O Yeah it is. You intended to post that video of someone else's work without their permission. Just because you say that disclaimer doesn't make it so.
 

ArchfiendBobbie

First Post
^this. Also, pretty true in most contexts. The police don't care if you didn't intend to speed. Or steal. Or whatever. It seems despite the evidence provided (like the aforementioned license agreement I linked to from Bethesda or the clarification as what copyright is that I also linked to), people still seem to think that it's OK if your'e a little guy just wanting to pay homage, or if you don't try to make a profit. Those things do not matter at all as to whether or not something is infringement, as the evidence provided shows. People need to stop saying such things, because just because someone hasn't been caught yet doesn't mean they won't later.

It's like when I see people post musician's videos on YouTube with "No copyright infringement intended." :O Yeah it is. You intended to post that video of someone else's work without their permission. Just because you say that disclaimer doesn't make it so.

Bethesda has a rather odd relationship with their fanbase, where they actively steal ideas (sometimes copyrighted ideas) from their fans and ignore the little copyright infringements they suffer in return. This goes as far as letting a fan recreate Oblivion as a Skyrim mod. They reacted the same way to recreating the game Morrowind as a Skyrim mod.

For the most part, I think Bethesda would just write this infringement off as the cost of their business model. If they do decide to do anything about it, my money would be on them contracting to have an official product made that is much higher quality.

Would their relationship with their fanbase change the way copyright infringement applies?
 

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