OGL The OGL: Why is this really happening, and what to do now...

Festus

Villager
OGL 1.0(a) is a weak and out of date agreement. If it weren't, we wouldn't be in this spot today. Just getting WOTC to leave 1.0(a) alone is NOT sufficient. It just kicks the can down the road until WOTC tries again. And it wouldn't matter in the short term anyways. The 3rd party publishers can't unsee the risk to their businesses and livelihoods. There is absolutely no scenario where we just go back to where things were a month ago. The folks whose line in the sand is merely not deauthorizing OGL 1.0(a) are failing to understand the scope of the issue.

There must be a new agreement, whether that's ORC or Creative Commons or some good faith attempt at a new OGL by WOTC (and 1.2 is NOT a good faith attempt.) The new agreement must guarantee the licenses of already published works, and provide a perpetual, irrevocable, royalty free license for future works without draconian back doors such as the morality and severance clauses in 1.2.
 

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what is certain is that it was not a clean heist, to stay in the analogy. At this point they still got away with a lot of stuff and shot me (not lethally), but are themselves unharmed, apart from a few scratches


lethal? As in D&D stops selling and WotC shelves it? Not seeing that at all


so far it is a win-lose, just not as drastically as it started out

I think we lost each other.

I think OGL 1.1 could have dealt a lethal blow to a lot of 3pps.
I don't think it will be a win for WotC. A Pyrrhus victory at most.
 

mamba

Hero
I think we lost each other.

I think OGL 1.1 could have dealt a lethal blow to a lot of 3pps.
I don't think it will be a win for WotC. A Pyrrhus victory at most.
then how is it lethal for the robber / WotC? At most they did not get everything the wanted by driving the 3pps out of business instead of producing content
 

then how is it lethal for the robber / WotC? At most they did not get everything the wanted by driving the 3pps out of business instead of producing content

I never said that. But if you will, I speculate:
If WotC loses too much goodwill, they might get deperate and try to shoot again and again and again and lose even more. Which means, they try to sell bad game supplements and will lose more goodwill. Books remain on the shelves. New books tank. Good bye.
 

Micah Sweet

Legend
No, the OGL 1.2 does not deauthorize OGL 1.0(a), that is a separate move by WotC. Nothing in OGL 1.2 invalidates 1.0(a).

However, even if we accept the OGL 1.0(a) is deauthorized (which I don't) it only stops anything new using that license. Just move over to either the CC or OGL 1.2* and your all good.

*Again this assumes the OGL 1.2 is improved as needed.
Does that improvement include moving the SRDs from the 1.0a to the 1.2? Because that would be a necessary (but not the only) step.
 

dave2008

Legend
Fair enough. They have already proven who they are, but fair enough.

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The only issue I have with this assumption is that WotC is not a monolithic thing. Not only do you have people with different ideas and agendas in the corporation, but people change. And since it is run by people, I am willing to accept change and forgive - particularly if comes with an ironclad legal document!
 

dave2008

Legend
Does that improvement include moving the SRDs from the 1.0a to the 1.2? Because that would be a necessary (but not the only) step.
Yes, but they have already committed to that so I didn't include it. I guess we have to wait and see, but they said that was the plan in the OGL 1.2 FAQ. They are also planning to put more editions into CC per the FAQ.
 

Scribe

Legend
The only issue I have with this assumption is that WotC is not a monolithic thing. Not only do you have people with different ideas and agendas in the corporation, but people change. And since it is run by people, I am willing to accept change and forgive - particularly if comes with an ironclad legal document!

The fact this wasn't backed off immediately once the leaks started, shows that monolith or not, the exec level has enough control/pull, that without that change, it wont matter.

I have my doubts that given all we have seen, there is going to be the shake up needed.
 

dave2008

Legend
The fact this wasn't backed off immediately once the leaks started, shows that monolith or not, the exec level has enough control/pull, that without that change, it wont matter.
I disagree with this assessment, but there is no way for either of us to prove anything. It is all speculation on our part.
I have my doubts that given all we have seen, there is going to be the shake up needed.
I have my doubts too. But I don't think management needs to be shaken up to get things corrected.

EDIT: Just finished reading some post on another thread and I admit my doubts are increasing!
 
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ilgatto

How inconvenient
OGL 1.0(a) is a weak and out of date agreement. (...)

There must be a new agreement, whether that's ORC or Creative Commons or some good faith attempt at a new OGL by WOTC (and 1.2 is NOT a good faith attempt.) The new agreement must guarantee the licenses of already published works, and provide a perpetual, irrevocable, royalty free license for future works without draconian back doors such as the morality and severance clauses in 1.2.
Please correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't OGL1.0(a) already do what you suggest the new OGL should do?
 

mamba

Hero
I never said that. But if you will, I speculate:
If WotC loses too much goodwill, they might get deperate and try to shoot again and again and again and lose even more. Which means, they try to sell bad game supplements and will lose more goodwill. Books remain on the shelves. New books tank. Good bye.
I was not asking what scenario you envision could lead to WotC’s downfall. I was talking about our analogy. So basically WotC can only win here according to you, i.e. get what they wanted all along at minimal losses to them but large losses to the 3pp. Is that about correct?
 


Micah Sweet

Legend
I
Yes, but they have already committed to that so I didn't include it. I guess we have to wait and see, but they said that was the plan in the OGL 1.2 FAQ. They are also planning to put more editions into CC per the FAQ.
Thought the 1.2 only mentioned the 5.1 SRD. All the others are still in question.
 

Dausuul

Legend
Please correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't OGL1.0(a) already do what you suggest the new OGL should do?
We thought it did, until suddenly it didn't.

As @Snarf Zagyg pointed out (I think in a different thread), this marks the first time the original OGL has been put to the test. And it has, unfortunately, failed that test. The OGL should make it crystal clear that there is no backing out or "de-authorizing." It should explain in detail how sub-licenses work. Et cetera.

Now that Wizards is actively attacking it, we're discovering a lot of questions about exactly how the OGL works, and the mere existence of such questions means it has failed at its fundamental task: To provide clarity and certainty in the ominous fog of copyright law.

For the immediate future, I think "leave the OGL 1.0a alone" is a good rallying cry. If Wizards actually does that (very unlikely), we can get off their case. But over the long term, we really do need a better-drafted replacement.
 

mamba

Hero
As @Snarf Zagyg pointed out (I think in a different thread), this marks the first time the original OGL has been put to the test. And it has, unfortunately, failed that test. The OGL should make it crystal clear that there is no backing out or "de-authorizing." It should explain in detail how sub-licenses work. Et cetera.
just to be clear, it failed in that everyone scattered into the winds instead of saying 'see you in court'. The license itself would probably prevail if anyone did.

Also, I do not want them to leave 1.0a alone, I want them to fix the flaws that were discovered and release a 1.0b that fixes them. I am not even sure these are flaws in the original design, it is more that contract wording has been updated since the license was written, so it is now common practice to include the word irrevocable whereas in 2000 that was not the case (perpetual implied irrevocable, because you cannot be revocable and perpetual).
 
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ThorinTeague

Explorer
I'm hearing the conversation from industry people and 3pp's beginning to shift from speculating about the legality or lack thereof of "deauthorizing" OGL1.0a to how to get 3pp's organized and start prepping for legal action.

WoTC must back down on "deauthorizing" OGL1.0a. They are set on a disastrous course. This is not going to end well for anybody. Back down ASAP, WoTC.
 

Haplo781

Legend
just to be clear, it failed in that everyone scattered into the winds instead of saying 'see you in court'. The license itself would probably prevail if anyone did.

Also, I do not want them to leave 1.0a alone, I want them to fix the flaws that were discovered and rlease a 1.0b that fixes them. Also, I am not sure they are flaws in the original design, it is more that contract wording has been updated since the license was written, so it is now common practice to now include the word irrevocable whereas in 2000 that was not the case (perpetual implied irrevocable, because you cannot be revocable and perpetual).
The license hasn't been deauthorized so there's nothing to go to court over yet.
 


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