WotC Unveils Draft of New Open Gaming License

As promised earlier this week, WotC has posted the draft OGL v.1.2 license for the community to see.

A survey will be going live tomorrow for feedback.


The current iteration contains clauses which prohibit offensive content, applies only to TTRPG books and PDFs, no right of ownership going to WotC, and an optional creator content badge for your products.

One important element, the ability for WotC to change the license at-will has also been addressed, allowing the only two specific changes they can make -- how you cite WotC in your work, and contact details.

This license will be irrevocable.

The OGL v1.0a is still being 'de-authorized'.
 
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Heck, it's still been going on under Wizards of the Coast; D&D gnolls have found their way into Everquest and World of Warcraft, and as far as I know no one at WotC has objected.
Everquest is absolutely a fountain of D&D creatures, classes, and races that copy closely from D&D, but WotC never has taken action in the 24 years the game has been active. Just about all the current major D&D classes except Warlocks and Sorcerers are in there (because they weren't in D&D when EQ was created), same with the core races (only lacking dragonborn and tieflings, because the former wasn't a part of D&D yet and the latter was setting-specific at the time), and a HUGE number of monsters, spells, and various elements.

In thinking of things (due to this whole mess of trying to figure out what is REALLY the IP of WotC) that aren't specifically WotC IP, in that you can point to other works and say they have the same thing under the same name, in substantially the same appearance and behavior, EverQuest has stood out in my mind as something that could be an example for the vast majority of D&D "stuff".
 

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Haplo781

Legend
Everquest is absolutely a fountain of D&D creatures, classes, and races that copy closely from D&D, but WotC never has taken action in the 24 years the game has been active. Just about all the current major D&D classes except Warlocks and Sorcerers are in there (because they weren't in D&D when EQ was created), same with the core races (only lacking dragonborn and tieflings, because the former wasn't a part of D&D yet and the latter was setting-specific at the time), and a HUGE number of monsters, spells, and various elements.

In thinking of things (due to this whole mess of trying to figure out what is REALLY the IP of WotC) that aren't specifically WotC IP, in that you can point to other works and say they have the same thing under the same name, in substantially the same appearance and behavior, EverQuest has stood out in my mind as something that could be an example for the vast majority of D&D "stuff".
Yeah if WotC tries to sue for trademark infringement they're gonna have a tough time explaining that.
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
@Sacrosanct

Would the no offensive content thing have changed anything you put in your recent Twilight Fables?
Oh heck yes. Twilight Fables has a warning disclaimer on the front cover lol. Depending on the whim of Hasbro, they could have shelved the whole thing, even though here is no promotion of racism, sexism, or others. But because it's based on historical folklore, there are creatures that are potentially problematic, especially when it comes to consent (like faun and Finnbheara).
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
Yeah if WotC tries to sue for trademark infringement they're gonna have a tough time explaining that.
Coincidentally I spoke to Tim Kask a few days ago re: the bulette. He owns the rights to it. But according to him, because he didn't defend that right when TSR and later WoTC kept using it, he doesn't have a leg to stand on in court.
 

Haplo781

Legend
Coincidentally I spoke to Tim Kask a few days ago re: the bulette. He owns the rights to it. But according to him, because he didn't defend that right when TSR and later WoTC kept using it, he doesn't have a leg to stand on in court.
Yeah, all it takes is a licensed EverQuest TTRPG being publishedunder ORC or something and suddenly WotC is up a creek.
 


JEB

Legend
Yeah, all it takes is a licensed EverQuest TTRPG being publishedunder ORC or something and suddenly WotC is up a creek.
Funny enough, there already was an EverQuest RPG published under the OGL. (World of Warcraft as well.) Dunno how that factors in, though.
 


JEB

Legend
Huh. Did they happen to release those monsters as open content by any chance?
EverQuest and World of Warcraft both - if I'm reading them correctly - released all the game rules as OGC, but none of the names or descriptions are attached to them. So there are open content rules for iksar and tauren and such, but you can't call them that.
 

Jerik

Explorer
IANAL, and hopefully one of the people posting here who are lawyers will chime in and clarify, but it should be noted there are big differences between copyrights and trademarks. Trademarks can be lost if you don't defend them; copyrights can't. Also, copyrights are automatic (though there are benefits to officially registering them); trademarks have to be specifically registered, and each name, brand, or logo has to be trademarked separately. As far as I know, WotC never tried to trademark specific monster names like "gnoll" or "treant", but if they did, their use in EverQuest certainly could cause them problems. However, that would have no effect on their copyright—you don't lose copyrights by not defending them.
 

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