Third Party Character Creation iOS App Removed

The d20 Fight Club for D&D 5th Edition iOS app has been removed from the Apple App Store by its creator at the request of WotC. The creator reports that he received a Cease & Desist demand (although it's worth noting that some supposed recent C&Ds appear to have turned out to be amicable requests). This follows on from the removal of the D&D Tools website and the more recent online character generator.

The d20 Fight Club for D&D 5th Edition iOS app has been removed from the Apple App Store by its creator at the request of WotC. The creator reports that he received a Cease & Desist demand (although it's worth noting that some supposed recent C&Ds appear to have turned out to be amicable requests). This follows on from the removal of the D&D Tools website and the more recent online character generator.

The creator reports that "I received a cease and desist order from Wizards of the Coast. All D&D apps will be removed from the App Store as they weren't compliant with WotC's copyrights and trademarks. Hopefully they'll be back in some form someday. Til then, thanks for all the support."

Nobody has actually shared one of these C&Ds yet, and others have indicated that what they actually received was simply a friendly email asking that they respect WotC's trademarks, so it's not entirely clear what is happening. Hopefully somebody will share one soon!

It does look like this particular app contained text and stat blocks copied directly from the D&D books. Below is the DM version of the app (the companion to the character creation app).

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S

Sunseeker

Guest
I understand takedown notices if WOTC has the intention to release a character creation app soon(tm*soon trademarked Blizzard ent.). I could understand C&D notices if WOTC already had a character creation app available. But they don't. As far as I'm aware their intended product will never be completed. There is no word of a replacement on the horizon, or any plan to do so. At best this is equivalent to C&D notices for fan-fiction. It doesn't accomplish anything but rile up the customer base.
 

I understand takedown notices if WOTC has the intention to release a character creation app soon(tm*soon trademarked Blizzard ent.). I could understand C&D notices if WOTC already had a character creation app available. But they don't. As far as I'm aware their intended product will never be completed. There is no word of a replacement on the horizon, or any plan to do so. At best this is equivalent to C&D notices for fan-fiction. It doesn't accomplish anything but rile up the customer base.

um, so if I own a book series (and I hope to someday be published) but couldn't put out a toy line, or video game does that mean anyone could put those things out for my characters??? Is my inability to produce something that I have the right to give you the right to take that from me? Does it change if I were rich(witch I am far from)
 

Shasarak

Banned
Banned
Nobody has actually shared one of these C&Ds yet, and others have indicated that what they actually received was simply a friendly email asking that they respect WotC's trademarks, so it's not entirely clear what is happening. Hopefully somebody will share one soon!

Is there any essential difference in the end result between a friendly email and an official CnD?
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
Is there any essential difference in the end result between a friendly email and an official CnD?

Apparently not. Both result in people announcing that they received a C&D! Since we don't know what these things actually said, all we can do is guess.
 


trancejeremy

Adventurer
um, so if I own a book series (and I hope to someday be published) but couldn't put out a toy line, or video game does that mean anyone could put those things out for my characters??? Is my inability to produce something that I have the right to give you the right to take that from me? Does it change if I were rich(witch I am far from)

It doesn't give that person a right, but how does it harm the company if they have no competing product to offer?

If anything, character generators and such help Hasbro because it gets people playing the game, which in turn sells more books.

I mean, look at Star Trek. There are no Star Trek shows on TV but CBS not only allows fans to make their own shows, they even let fans form non-profit corporations and run kickstarters for them. Because they realize that allowing fan stuff only helps their brand in the long run.
 

DaveDash

Explorer
WOTC clearly plan to make money off D&D via licensing. They don't really care about selling books now that the core 3 are out, they want to sell more licenses.

In that context the C&Ds make sense.
 

um, so if I own a book series (and I hope to someday be published) but couldn't put out a toy line, or video game does that mean anyone could put those things out for my characters??? Is my inability to produce something that I have the right to give you the right to take that from me? Does it change if I were rich(witch I am far from)
If someone made a free fan video game of you book, would you really mind?
Do you really think a free game, even a well made one, would hurt sales of an official game?

I don't entirely fault WotC for their actions. But it'd be nice if they spelt out what we could or could not do, rather than finding out when a C+D is sent. Making software is time consuming and I'm sure the developer wished he hadn't wasted his time.
 

It doesn't give that person a right,
so they have no right to use other peoples IP, copyright, and trademark..
but how does it harm the company if they have no competing product to offer?
well that depends... in my example, where I wrote a book (still waiting I'll let everyone know if I get published) I could loose a lot from someone else taking my characters and my setting and using it. I could loose the right to sue people who do other things I do plan on doing, or worse it could turn into me loseing my fandom to someone else...

now for wotc, I am sure they would loose money from selling the rights and/or there own. It doesn't have to be today either... if they want to put out there own app for $0.99 but it wont be ready for a year, then stoping this one now means that a year from now no one has one yet...

If anything, character generators and such help Hasbro because it gets people playing the game, which in turn sells more books.
I hear this all the time, but it always rings hollow, I don't know anyone who read a character generator, then go out and buy the book.
I mean, look at Star Trek. There are no Star Trek shows on TV but CBS not only allows fans to make their own shows, they even let fans form non-profit corporations and run kickstarters for them. Because they realize that allowing fan stuff only helps their brand in the long run.

and if someone wanted to make a toy, or novel, or phaser toy I bet they would not be so nice.... if someone wants to write an adventure they wont mind... even if you put it on kickstarter...
 

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