OGL WotC Talks OGL... Again! Draft Coming Jan 20th With Feedback Survey; v1 De-Auth Still On

Following last week's partial walk-back on the upcoming Open Game Licence terms, WotC has posted another update about the way forward.

Screen Shot 2023-01-09 at 10.45.12 AM.png

The new update begins with another apology and a promise to be more transparent. To that end, WotC proposes to release the draft of the new OGL this week, with a two-week survey feedback period following it.


They also list a number of points of clarity --
  • Videos, accessories, VTT content, DMs Guild will not be affected by the new license, none of which is related to the OGL
  • The royalties and ownership rights clauses are, as previously noted, going away
OGL v1 Still Being 'De-Authorized'
However, OGL v1.0a still looks like it's being de-authorized. As with the previous announcement, that specific term is carefully avoided, and like that announcement it states that previously published OGL v1 content will continue to be valid; however it notably doesn't mention that the OGL v1 can be used for content going forward, which is a de-authorization.

The phrase used is "Nothing will impact any content you have published under OGL 1.0a. That will always be licensed under OGL 1.0a." -- as noted, this does not make any mention of future content. If you can't publish future content under OGL 1.0a, then it has been de-authorized. The architect of the OGL, Ryan Dancey, along with WotC itself at the time, clearly indicated that the license could not be revoked or de-authorized.

While the royalty and ownership clauses were, indeed, important to OGL content creators and publishers such as myself and many others, it is also very important not to let that overshadow the main goal: the OGL v1.0a.

Per Ryan Dancey in response this announcement: "They must not. They can only stop the bleeding by making a clear and simple statement that they cannot and will not deauthorize or revoke v1.0a".


Amend At-Will
Also not mentioned is the leaked draft's ability to be amended at-will by WotC. An agreement which can be unilaterally changed in any way by one party is not an agreement, it's a blank cheque. They could simply add the royalties or ownership clauses back in at any time, or add even more onerous clauses.

All-in-all this is mainly just a rephrasing of last week's announcement addressing some of the tonal criticisms widely made about it. However, it will be interesting to see the new draft later this week. I would encourage people to take the feedback survey and clearly indicate that the OGL v1.0a must be left intact.
 
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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey

DMZ2112

Chaotic Looseleaf
New news post on D&D Beyond!


"Your OGL 1.0a content. Nothing will impact any content you have published under OGL 1.0a. That will always be licensed under OGL 1.0a."

That looks like a pretty unequivocal walk-back!
 


mamba

Hero
New news post on D&D Beyond!

"Your OGL 1.0a content. Nothing will impact any content you have published under OGL 1.0a. That will always be licensed under OGL 1.0a."

That looks like a pretty unequivocal walk-back!
no, this is ‘nothing has changed since our apology last week’

The rest is: tell us the minimum amount we have to retreat over this

EDIT: Towards the end with what the new minimum expectation is, there is a bit of new stuff though, so they are walking back farther in the details

VTT content. Any updates to the OGL will still allow any creator to publish content on VTTs and will still allow VTT publishers to use OGL content on their platform.”

Your revenue. There will be no royalty or financial reporting requirements.”

look like the big ticket items

Of course unless all of this is perpetual and irrevocable, I consider it a trap, not a promise at this point
 
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FallenRX

Adventurer
"Your OGL 1.0a content. Nothing will impact any content you have published under OGL 1.0a. That will always be licensed under OGL 1.0a." But not future content because we think we can revoke it(even though that likely isnt possible by law).

"We are still changing the OGL to not do thinks it was meant to do
And we think we can make it a little sweeter so we can act like we are actually doing something, even thought we are still doing something that no one wants or needs to happen that is only in the benifit of controlling you more."

They still do not get the damn problem, We dont want this to happen period, It benefits no one in the community, we want the old deal not whatever dogshit they are putting forward.

The right answer is to not do this, no update to whatever they are trying to do is negotiable, we do not want this to happen, let them know in the survey the only right answer is for them to screw off, or we are not giving you our money.
 
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Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
"Your OGL 1.0a content. Nothing will impact any content you have published under OGL 1.0a. That will always be licensed under OGL 1.0a."

That looks like a pretty unequivocal walk-back!
No, that's what they said in last week's announcement. Existing content remains OK, but you can't use the license going forward. The license is still de-authorized.
 






TheAlkaizer

Game Designer
This is the bare minimum I'm willing to accept from there. If they want to move forward alone without all the creators, they can do so. At least everything that was published in the past is not nuked out of existence.

But the problem is that trust has been broken. If they can change the OGL now, they can change it five years down the road. Who will want to put his/her eggs in their basket again?
 



Alzrius

The EN World kitten
Okay, so this is a slight expansion on their previous statement about what they won't do going forward, but they still manage to avoid the biggest issues of all: there's no statement saying that they've abandoned their plans to try and revoke the OGL v1.0a, and there's nothing about them dropping the provision that they can change the OGL v2.0 (née v1.1) anytime they wish.

Everything else is them just giving minor ground, especially since without any notice to the contrary, they're apparently keeping their right to walk all of this back later in reserve.
 

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A Working Conversation About the Open Game License (OGL)​

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Hi. I’m Kyle Brink, the Executive Producer on D&D. It’s my team that makes the game we all play.
D&D has been a huge part of my life long before I worked at Wizards and will be for a long time after I’m done. My mission, and that of the entire D&D team, is to help bring everyone the creative joy and lifelong friendships that D&D has given us.
These past days and weeks have been incredibly tough for everyone. As players, fans, and stewards of the game, we can’t–and we won’t–let things continue like this.
I am here today to talk about a path forward.
First, though, let me start with an apology. We are sorry. We got it wrong.
Our language and requirements in the draft OGL were disruptive to creators and not in support of our core goals of protecting and cultivating an inclusive play environment and limiting the OGL to TTRPGs. Then we compounded things by being silent for too long. We hurt fans and creators, when more frequent and clear communications could have prevented so much of this.
Starting now, we’re going to do this a better way: more open and transparent, with our entire community of creators. With the time to iterate, to get feedback, to improve.
If this sounds familiar, it’s because it’s how we do it for the game itself. So let’s do it that way for the OGL, too.
We’ll listen to you, and then we will share with you what we’ve heard, much like we do in our Unearthed Arcana and One D&D playtests. This will be a robust conversation before we release any future version of the OGL.
Here’s what to expect.
  1. On or before Friday, January 20th, we’ll share new proposed OGL documentation for your review and feedback, much as we do with playtest materials.
  2. After you review the proposed OGL, you will be able to fill out a quick survey–much like Unearthed Arcana playtest feedback surveys. It will ask you specific questions about the document and include open form fields to share any other feedback you have.
  3. The survey will remain open for at least two weeks, and we’ll give you advance notice before it closes so that everyone who wants to participate can complete the survey. Then we will compile, analyze, react to, and present back what we heard from you.
Finally, you deserve some stability and clarity. We are committed to giving creators both input into, and room to prepare for, any update to the OGL. Also, there’s a ton of stuff that isn’t going to be affected by an OGL update. So today, right now, we’ll lay out all the areas that this conversation won’t touch.
Any changes to the OGL will have no impact on at least these creative efforts:
  • Your video content. Whether you are a commentator, streamer, podcaster, liveplay cast member, or other video creator on platforms like YouTube and Twitch and TikTok, you have always been covered by the Wizards Fan Content Policy. The OGL doesn’t (and won’t) touch any of this.
  • Your accessories for your owned content.No changes to the OGL will affect your ability to sell minis, novels, apparel, dice, and other items related to your creations, characters, and worlds.
  • Non-published works, for instance contracted services. You use the OGL if you want to publish your works that reference fifth edition content through the SRD. That means commissioned work, paid DM services, consulting, and so on aren’t affected by the OGL.
  • VTT content. Any updates to the OGL will still allow any creator to publish content on VTTs and will still allow VTT publishers to use OGL content on their platform.
  • DMs Guild content. The content you release on DMs Guild is published under a Community Content Agreement with Dungeon Masters Guild. This is not changing.
  • Your OGL 1.0a content. Nothing will impact any content you have published under OGL 1.0a. That will always be licensed under OGL 1.0a.
  • Your revenue. There will be no royalty or financial reporting requirements.
  • Your ownership of your content. You will continue to own your content with no license-back requirements.
That’s all from me for now. You will hear again from us on or before Friday as described above, and we look forward to the conversation.
Kyle Brink
Executive Producer, Dungeons & Dragons

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JThursby

Adventurer
No, that's what they said in last week's announcement. Existing content remains OK, but you can't use the license going forward. The license is still de-authorized.
It's amazingly stupid they're still gunning toward that conclusion when a new open license is already in the works to replace it. What features does this new license even contain that gives WOTC any advantage at this point? They're letting go of revenue reporting, royalties, license back...unless they're still including the stupid "we can change this whenever" clause, this is entirely a lateral change. Just leave 1.0a alone FFS!
 


No, that's what they said in last week's announcement. Existing content remains OK, but you can't use the license going forward. The license is still de-authorized.

As with the prior statement, this statement by WotC can only be true if the right to use and republish currently-published 1.0a material remains as it has been for 23 years. Any thing other than that definitely impacts the content "you" have published. For instance, one of the 3PP's digital versions of the entire WotC SRD.

joe b.
 


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