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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. 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...

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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darjr

I crit!
I have one.

It sounds like he has inside sources who have limited information and is vetting it as best he can. It sounds like he's upset at what he's hearing just like a lot of us are.

It sounds like that info has been largely accurate despite some details being incorrect.

But that's just my take.
You are assuming I'm countering that? Cause you'd be wrong.

I said I don't know.

Do you know him? Are you privy?
 



eyeheartawk

#1 Enworld Jerk™
Whether they actually read this survey or not I think misses the forest for the trees.

Two weeks for the survey to run, then collate and analyze and then respond after that?

Buying time, simple as that.

Who's going to fill out the survey and say yes this is better than what we have now? In fact, I would like you to go further and take the first born away from all 3PPs? They know what the surveys will say.

Our red line is theirs, insofar as we don't want the old OGL revoked and they absolutely need it to be.

They're just hoping that in a month from now we'll have moved on to the acceptance phase, as right now we're all in the anger phase. Nothing will substantively change if we all get ameliorated by this token gesture. Gotta keep the pressure on.
 



Oofta

Legend
Whether they actually read this survey or not I think misses the forest for the trees.

Two weeks for the survey to run, then collate and analyze and then respond after that?

Buying time, simple as that.

Who's going to fill out the survey and say yes this is better than what we have now? In fact, I would like you to go further and take the first born away from all 3PPs? They know what the surveys will say.

Our red line is theirs, insofar as we don't want the old OGL revoked and they absolutely need it to be.

They're just hoping that in a month from now we'll have moved on to the acceptance phase, as right now we're all in the anger phase. Nothing will substantively change if we all get ameliorated by this token gesture. Gotta keep the pressure on.
Hypothetical scenario: You're a WOTC employee. You think this whole thing was a stupid, avoidable mistake. But your boss tells you that we really don't know what's going on without actual data because upper level management just thinks it's a handful of malcontents and that a lot of people who are okay with the changes or support some of it are just being shouted out of the conversation. WOTC dude calls the bluff and says "Okay, let's do a survey and get real feedback."

Is that hypothetical accurate? Heck if I know. It has just as much validity as the "buying time" statements being passed around. Unless there's a recording of what's going on in WOTC offices right now, we simply don't know. I plan on reading the proposed change and giving honest feedback. If it's a waste of my time and they ignore it, so be it. But if there's even a chance that they'll listen to honest and thought-out feedback I think it's worth the effort.
 

Oofta

Legend
My question is this. Based on the current thoughts on the OGL 2.0, can I publish for profit a new module for Old School Essentials, Swords & Wizardry, Labyrinth Lord, Delving Deeper, or not? I believe that is the crux of the matter. WOTC was cleverly obtuse in their recent announcement. I think they need to come out and clear this up.
Which is one of the reasons people should read the new document and comment. It's a good question - even if I don't see a need to revoke the 1.0a version.
 

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