OGL The OGL 1.1 is not an Open License

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
That's what I've been saying.
The part I quoted had you saying that no version of the OGL can have additional restrictions, so that made it seem like you were saying that no version of the OGL can have additional restrictions. That's why I objected and said that future versions can in fact have additional restrictions. :)
 

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pemerton

Legend
This is wrong. Section 2 only prevents changes to that particular license. So if you release a document under OGL 1.0a, the terms of 1.0a cannot be changed according to section 2.
This is another example of reasoning about the OGL as if it were a statute. It's not. It's a written setting-out of the terms of a private law offer.

The effect of section 2, in combination with sections 3 and 4, is to oblige licensees to licence their own OGC on the same terms as they received their licence from others, that is, under an OGL with no terms altered except as the OGL itself provides (ie via section 9).

(I am largely reiterating what @see said in post 687 upthread. Although I don't agree that "it's entirely possible that a court will rule that various possible WotC-favoring terms of a new authorized version of the OGL are invalid because they are unconscionable in a unilaterally-promulgated revision of a contract of adhesion." To me, that seems extremely unlikely rather than entirely possible.)

A new OGL, say 1.1 can have new restrictions as it is an entirely new OGL, so does not violate section 2 of 1.0a.

You could then release stuff under 1.0a OR 1.1, your choice.
WotC can offer to license a revised SRD under whatever terms it likes. The mere fact that it labels those terms "Open Gaming Licene v 1.1" will in my view not settle the question of how it interacts with sections 2 and 9 of OGL v 1.0/1.0a, in so far as these establish rights and liabilities for existing licensees.

It is certainly quite possible that OGL v 1.1 will preclude new licensees who do not have rights under v 1.0/1.0a from using the revised SRD under those old licences.
 

Alzrius

The EN World kitten
The part I quoted had you saying that no version of the OGL can have additional restrictions, so that made it seem like you were saying that no version of the OGL can have additional restrictions. That's why I objected and said that future versions can in fact have additional restrictions. :)
No, it had me saying that "the idea was put forward" that that was the case (and not saying by who in an effort to be polite). If you go back over the last few pages of the thread, you can see who was putting that idea forward, and that I've been pointing out why that's clearly not so.
 

mamba

Hero
True. But, knowing that a OGC producer is banging out 50k worth of OGC might warrant a second look, whereas someone who isn't just isn't worth the time or effort. As I said, I was just spit balling. I'm really not sure why they are asking this to be honest, and frankly, it seems like a waste of time. But, in the absence of any other explanation, I'm trying to think how this information might actually be used.
market research I assume
 

I made another blog post on Section 9 of the OGL

Section 9 of the Open Game License​


There is been a lot of discussion over whether Wizards can revoke the OGL by de-authorizing it. This came about because of Section 9 of the open game license.

9. Updating the License: Wizards or its designated Agents may publish updated versions of this License. You may use any authorized version of this License to copy, modify and distribute any Open Game Content originally distributed under any version of this License.
I highlighted in bold the operative section. The theory goes if Wizards de-authorized the license then everybody who ever used OGL 1.0 or OGL 1.0a will be forced to go to OGL 1.1 even folks who made their stuff open content that had nothing to do with any of Wizard's offerings like the d20 SRD, or the d20 Modern SRD, for example, Cepheus, Mongoose Legends and so on.
I am not a lawyer but like any layman, especially one involved in making creative content, I learned enough so I can ask my attorney intelligent questions to make sure what I want to do has all the i's dotted and t's crossed.
What I learned is that while the letter of the contract is important, the courts give great weight to intent. Where the parties intending to do to when the license or contract was made. If you google contract law and intent you will find several excellent summaries of what intent means in common law countries like the US.
As for the OGL, this means that the old d20 FAQ becomes highly relevant.
The D20 FAQ captured on April 29th, 2001
While not a legal document it does show the intent of Wizards circa 2001 when they released the OGL.


Q: What is meant by the term "Open Gaming"?

A: An Open Game is a game that can be freely copied, modified, and distributed, and a system for ensuring that material, once distributed as an Open Game will remain permanently Open.

This is further supported by the fact that when Wizards released the highly restrictive Game System License several years later, they did not try to revoke the OGL although they did sunset the d20 Trademark License.
Next, is the fact what is meant by an authorized license? Many contend it means that the OGL can be revoked. Or some like myself, argue that it means that the version had to have been authorized by Wizards at some point. The fact that Wizards does not wish to continue offering it for its own stuff is irrelevant to its use for current and future material.
I believe my point of view is further supported by how ambiguity is handled in the US Courts. A reasonable person in 2001 and in 2022 would reasonably assume they can use the OGL and any associated open content as long as they met the terms of the license.
This is further supported by the references in the d20 FAQ to what the term "Free" means in the context of the OGL.
Particularly this

This use of the term "free" is a recognition of the philosophy of the roots of the Open Source software movement. The Free Software Foundation and the GNU Project, founded by Richard Stallman were the first formal efforts to codify the philosophy of Open Source software. It is the preference of the Free Software Foundation and Mr. Stallman to use the term "Free Software" rather than "Open Source", to keep the focus on the idea that the important part of the philosophy is the freedom to copy, modify and distribute computer software, rather than the more utilitarian objective of simply giving users access to the source code.
And the above is supported by the fact that the d20 page referred to the Open Gaming Foundation which is still in existence and has been recently updated.
Section 9 is, in my opinion, is a badly rewritten version of Section 9 of the GNU Public License Ver 2 (the then current version) which reads.

9. The Free Software Foundation may publish revised and/or new versions
of the General Public License from time to time. Such new versions will
be similar in spirit to the present version, but may differ in detail to
address new problems or concerns.

Each version is given a distinguishing version number. If the Program
specifies a version number of this License which applies to it and "any
later version", you have the option of following the terms and conditions
either of that version or of any later version published by the Free
Software Foundation. If the Program does not specify a version number of
this License, you may choose any version ever published by the Free Software
Foundation.
Finally as for Wizards making all open content magically use OGL 1.1 by focusing on authorized licenses. I submit folks are forgetting about

You may use any authorized version of this License to copy, modify and distribute any Open Game Content
That is a choice, if the worst case scenario comes to pass, you can decline to use OGL 1.1 and omit the open content that is not original to your work and then release it other another license or under traditional copyright.
I can't say how things will go but I hope this helps as a more hopeful view of the possibilities than some of the other commentary that is out there.

Update


This was pointed out to me that was in the OGL FAQ as well.

Q: Can't Wizards of the Coast change the License in a way that I wouldn't like?
A: Yes, it could. However, the License already defines what will happen to content that has been previously distributed using an earlier version, in Section 9. As a result, even if Wizards made a change you disagreed with, you could continue to use an earlier, acceptable version at your option. In other words, there's no reason for Wizards to ever make a change that the community of people using the Open Gaming License would object to, because the community would just ignore the change anyway.
This gives weight to my assertion that Section 9 of OGL 1.0a is intended to operate like Section 9 of the GPL rather than a "scrap it" clause.
 
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Xyxox

Hero
The current OGL already lets them do that. That's how it works -- the license goes both ways. You get to use WotCs OGC, they (and everybody else) get to use yours. To my knowledge they've never actually done that, though.
But, you have the right to trademark and release certain content that is not OGL, too. If you create a new monster with a new name, you ahve a right to NO release it under the OGL. Under OGL 1.1, you no longer have that right.
 

But, you have the right to trademark and release certain content that is not OGL, too. If you create a new monster with a new name, you ahve a right to NO release it under the OGL. Under OGL 1.1, you no longer have that right.
so in theory WotC could (and I am not claiming they WOULD) take a look at the top selling 50k+ but less then 750k monsters throw them in a book and sell it themselves?
 

mamba

Hero
so in theory WotC could (and I am not claiming they WOULD) take a look at the top selling 50k+ but less then 750k monsters throw them in a book and sell it themselves?
and then terminate the OGL but keep the monsters, yes. Not sure why you stop at 750k, they can do it beyond that point too, unless the 3PP has a separate license
 

pemerton

Legend
so in theory WotC could (and I am not claiming they WOULD) take a look at the top selling 50k+ but less then 750k monsters throw them in a book and sell it themselves?
WotC can already do this. It's exactly the same principle as allows the hypertext SRD, Mongoose's old pocket PHB, etc.

and then terminate the OGL but keep the monsters, yes.
I don't think this is correct. If WotC were to terminate the licence (which I'm not persuaded they can do unilaterally) they would have no permission to use the other party's copyrighted work.
 

mamba

Hero
I don't think this is correct. If WotC were to terminate the licence (which I'm not persuaded they can do unilaterally) they would have no permission to use the other party's copyrighted work.
everyone signing / accepting is granting them a perpetual license. Of course by the time this thing actually gets published that might have changed, but in the leaked version that is a thing
 

pemerton

Legend
everyone signing / accepting is granting them a perpetual license. Of course by the time this thing actually gets published that might have changed, but in the leaked version that is a thing
That licence is consideration granted as consideration for entering a contract, on the terms set out by the contract. If the contract comes to an end, so does the licence that it gives rise to. As best I can see, at least.
 

Haiku Elvis

Adventurer
But, you have the right to trademark and release certain content that is not OGL, too. If you create a new monster with a new name, you ahve a right to NO release it under the OGL. Under OGL 1.1, you no longer have that right.
I'm not so sure. Another part states you have to divide everything in the product down into what is and isn't covered under the new license and include that information within the product, so I believe you may be able break it down into "your side, my side"
 
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glass

(he, him)
I can't follow your reasoning here; Section 9 explicitly allows for Open Game Content released under one version of the license to be used under another version of the license. Questions of "meaningfulness" are moot.
Probably moot now, given the recent leak which (if accurate) is even worse than either of us were envisaging. But for the record my logic was thus: If under 1.0 you could mention registered trademarks and 1.0A changed that (rather than merely clarifying it for readability purposes), then it would not actually change anything. Because anyone who wanted to refer to registered trademarks could simply use the older version. Therefore, closing a loophole could not have been WotC's motivation to spend time and money updating the licence. Therefore, I can only assume that clarity was.
 


Alzrius

The EN World kitten
Indestructoboy has a full copy and went over it on stream:
Well, based on what we can see at 3:01:52, we can confirm the part about them no longer referring to Open Game Content as "Open Game Content." It's now "Licensed Content."

But it is not enough to simply include a statement that Your Licensed Work includes Licensed Content (what used to be called "Open Game Content"). If the only way a reader can distinguish what You created from what We did is to check Your Licensed Work against the SRD, You are not in compliance with this provision.
 

Xyxox

Hero
Well, based on what we can see at 3:01:52, we can confirm the part about them no longer referring to Open Game Content as "Open Game Content." It's now "Licensed Content."
Based on everything I've seen to date, I'll not be purchasing single item from any creator using one of those stinking creator badges.
 




pemerton

Legend
If the creator signs onto the OGL 1.1, they are promoting WotC’s agenda. Should they be rewarded for that?
I think if someone believes that the best commercial decision for them is to enter into a v 1.1 licence with WotC, that's ultimately their prerogative. For better or worse the RPG market is just that - a commercial market. I don't think that potential RPG publishers are obliged to suppress their own commercial interests in order to also undermine those of WotC.
 

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