The Final Open RPG Creator (ORC) License Is Here!

Open-RPG-Paizo-21190388.jpeg

After several drafts and feedback rounds, Azora Law has announced the final version of the Open RPG Creative license. The license is now ready for use!
The new license was created as a response to the 'OGL crisis' earlier this year, when Wizards of the Coast announced its intention to attempt to 'deauthorize' the Open Gaming License. While WotC eventually reversed course on that plan, and then released the core of Dungeons & Dragons 5E into Creative Commons, the ORC license--spearheaded by Paizo and Azora Law--forged ahead. This license is designed to be completely irrevocable.

Some features of the license:
  • Mechanics are expressly made 'Licensed Material' (their term for 'open' content which can be freely used).
  • Trademarks, lore, art etc. are 'Reserved Material' (not open and cannot be freely used) but can be designated by the creator as 'Expressly Designated Licensed Material' and shared.
  • You don't have to include a copy of the license in your product, but you do need to include an 'ORC Notice' which notes attribution, reserved material, and expressly designated licensed material.
The license has been submitted to the US Library of Congress; this doesn't give them control over it in any way, it simply ensures that the original is safely and indisputably stored somewhere in case there's a dispute over the content of the license. Given that the license will no doubt be found in many places on the internet (including this thread), it's mainly a redundancy measure.

For my (and EN Publishing's part) we today added ORC to the OGL and CC licenses which the full What's OLD is NEW rules are released under at woinrules.com, and will be doing so with Level Up: Advanced 5th Edition shortly at a5esrd.com.

The ORC License and accompanying ORC AxE (Answers and Explanations) document are now final and ready to be used by game publishers large and small. The public commentary portion of this process is now complete, and there will be no further changes with one small exception. The final text of the ORC License and ORC AxE have been submitted to the Library of Congress for copyright registration. As soon as copyright registration issues, the ORC License and AxE will be updated solely by insertion of the US Copyright registration number, which we expect will be ready in about six months. In the meantime, publishers are free to begin using the ORC License right now. No other elements of this document will be changing in the future.

I am deeply grateful to the army of collaborators that gave us incredibly useful guidance in drafting and refining this and coming up with bugs and edge cases that made the final product vastly better could otherwise have been produced.

This license strives to create a system-agnostic, perpetual, incorruptible, and irrevocable open gaming license that provides a legal “safe harbor” for sharing rules mechanics and encourages collaboration and innovation in the tabletop gaming space. It is also company agnostic and no organization, company, law firm, or individual has the power or political influence to corrupt or bend this agreement to their need.

Ask Questions:

If you are at Gen Con, please come to SEM23ND240468 to ask me or one of the other key stakeholders your questions about the ORC license.

Get CLE Credits at Gen Con:

For the lawyers, the Indiana State Bar has requested I put together a CLE on Thursday of Gen Con. You should be able to take this for Continuing Legal Education credits in your state. Please reach out to me if you are interested.

Thank you for entrusting me to work on this for you and I hope it serves the gaming community and the best interests of gamers everywhere for decades to come.

(from Brian Lewis, Azora Law)
 
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robertsconley

Adventurer
But this isn't true. One merely need browse CreativeCommons.Org and see them mix licenses on most pages

On this page the art is CC0
The rest of the page is CC BY 4.0


The people who use Creative Commons more than anyone else likely know how to do so, and they mix various CC on their own website
You neglect to quote the part where I say
You can but there is no standard way of indicating the difference non-open and open content.

Furthermore, if you read the legal text of the various CC license like this one from CC-BY-SA.

1688476568528.png


What is Licensed Material?
1688476640259.png


What is a work?
From the WIPO website.

1688476725736.png

For the US from here.

Literary works​

“Literary works” are works, other than audiovisual works, expressed in words, numbers, or other verbal or numerical symbols or indicia, regardless of the nature of the material objects, such as books, periodicals, manuscripts, phonorecords, film, tapes, disks, or cards, in which they are embodied.

Section 3 License Conditions
Finally, section 3 was not written in mind with people making a work with different sections with different licenses.
1688477455370.png

If you share the Licensed Material i.e. the work. With CC-BY and CC-BY-SA you must properly attribute. And with CC-BY-SA. You must also do the following.
1688477540614.png

In addition to the condition Section 3(a) means that a literal reading of this means that this applies to the Licensed Material even in modified form. Thus entirety of your works must also be under CC-BY-SA.

So what is happening out there with the mixed content works?
What is happening is that current copyright law is very pro-author. If you only wish to open part of the work, state that clearly multiple times then if push comes to shove then it is likely that will be upheld.

So hence I stand by my statement that you can but there is no standard way of going about this given the reasons above.
 

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John Lloyd1

Explorer
You neglect to quote the part where I say


Furthermore, if you read the legal text of the various CC license like this one from CC-BY-SA.

View attachment 289405

What is Licensed Material?
View attachment 289406

What is a work?
From the WIPO website.

View attachment 289407
For the US from here.


Section 3 License Conditions
Finally, section 3 was not written in mind with people making a work with different sections with different licenses.
View attachment 289408
If you share the Licensed Material i.e. the work. With CC-BY and CC-BY-SA you must properly attribute. And with CC-BY-SA. You must also do the following.
View attachment 289409
In addition to the condition Section 3(a) means that a literal reading of this means that this applies to the Licensed Material even in modified form. Thus entirety of your works must also be under CC-BY-SA.

So what is happening out there with the mixed content works?
What is happening is that current copyright law is very pro-author. If you only wish to open part of the work, state that clearly multiple times then if push comes to shove then it is likely that will be upheld.

So hence I stand by my statement that you can but there is no standard way of going about this given the reasons above.
I'm not sure I follow your logic. Licenced material doesn't have to be a 'work'. The licenced material can be a database or other material. That seems to cover a lot of ground.

I'm also can't see why a 'work' can't be a component of another work (ie monster stats being a part of an adventure).

I am curious. Why does there need to be a standard way to indicate licenced and unlicensed material? Don't you just need to say what you are licencing and what licence you are using?
 

robertsconley

Adventurer
I'm not sure I follow your logic. Licenced material doesn't have to be a 'work'. The licenced material can be a database or other material. That seems to cover a lot of ground.
We are discussing RPG materials which tend to be in book or PDF form.

I'm also can't see why a 'work' can't be a component of another work (ie monster stats being a part of an adventure).
The problem is the issue of derivative works. Does constituting monster stats block from a CC-BY-SA licensed RPG into an adventure make it a derivative work of that RPG? If it does then it has to be CC-BY-SA per the legal text of the license. If it doesn't then only the Monster Stats need to be declared as CC-BY-SA.

In contrast the OGL make it clear that only the Monster Stats need to be open content. The ORC license makes it clear as well that ANY game mechanics must be Licensed Material (open content). So again only



I am curious. Why does there need to be a standard way to indicate licenced and unlicensed material? Don't you just need to say what you are licencing and what licence you are using?
The point of these license is so that a layman can use them without hiring an IP attorney. The CC, OGL and ORC try to achieve this by providing clarity. The OGL predated CC and started a tradition of making a distinction between open content and product identity. ORC continues that traditions with the distinction between the three different types of material, Licensed Material, Reserved Content, and Third Party Reserved Content.

CC in contrast is silent and thus not clear what you do when you are intermixing two different types of content with two different licenses or where part of the work is not licensed. Leaving it up to the author to figure it out.

Of course, all of these issues are avoided if you declare your entire work as open content. Which is what I do for my stuff that wasn't licensed by other folks like Judges Guild. The text and maps of Blackmarsh are dual licensed under the OGL and CC-BY. And the entire text of my Basic Rules for the Majestic Fantasy RPG is licensed under the OGL. And going into the future I will be licensing my material under OGL, CC-BY, and ORC (your choice which one to use). It is only when people don't want to share fully that we get these questions.
 

John Lloyd1

Explorer
We are discussing RPG materials which tend to be in book or PDF form.
Would you consider a single monster stat or a poem to be a work? I would be happy to agree, but if you disagree it would be covered by 'other materials'.
The problem is the issue of derivative works.......
Can you consider a RPG as a collection? Frequently Asked Questions - Creative Commons
CC in contrast is silent and thus not clear what you do when you are intermixing two different types of content with two different licenses or where part of the work is not licensed
It is more that it leaves it up to the Licencor to decide which bits they offer and under what licences as long as they comply with the license agreements they have made.
 

robertsconley

Adventurer
Would you consider a single monster stat or a poem to be a work? I would be happy to agree, but if you disagree it would be covered by 'other materials'.
If the author released it as a single work. That is generally not the case although some zine and small press authors do this.
Can you consider a RPG as a collection? Frequently Asked Questions - Creative Commons
If the author released it as a collection. Most RPGs and their supplements are not released that way. There are exceptions like Tome of Horror where each monster was stated to be under a separate set of credits if you used it under the OGL.
It is more that it leaves it up to the Licencor to decide which bits they offer and under what licences as long as they comply with the license agreements they have made.
In the link you cited there is the following.

1688644794581.png

In regards to collections, in the section that you reference explicitly, it is quite clear that any of the CC licenses with the NC (non-commercial) provision can not be part of a commercial collection. And if they thought of running a similar chart for share-alike it would be the same for the share-alike provision. You cannot remix share-like content unless the subsequent work is entirely under a share-alike license.

1688644907135.png


Again I will stress that all of this only matters if you are trying to avoid sharing the entirety of your material for whatever reason.

Given the recent widespread use of CC I would recommend folks start contacting Creative Commons about updating their compatibility FAQ and compatible licenses page in the interest of clarity. Although I will warn folks that it is likely that the CC folks will approach this from an open content maximalist viewpoint.
 
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Nylanfs

Adventurer
I recorded audio and an AI transcript of the ORC Q&A. I used Otter.AI so if anyone also has that account I can share the meeting with them. The transcript is very rough. :)
Audio:

PDF Transcript:
 

Yora

Legend
So it's been a couple of months. Any noteworthy releases that use the license yet or are currently still in development?
 



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