OGL 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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Jerik

Explorer
Here's an example:
The Porphyra RPG is an even starker example.

I have a print copy of the core book. The Section 15 is six pages long. (It's in larger type than the Section 15s in most books, but not that much larger.)

There's no possible way they could track down every single person and company they used Open Game Content from to ask them for a new license.

Without the ability to use the OGL 1.0(a), Porphyra RPG is dead in the water.
 


demoss

Explorer
Please look behind the link for context, but TSR's original owlbear was a spitting image ripoff of the oft-mentioned toy, as show in the image. Sure, it's evolved beyond that now, but they want to prohibit others from evolving owlbear as it now stands? (...and a million other things. They can keep the mindflayer, they've used that as a mark, fair enough, and never released it as Open Game Content.)

This is just ridiculous beyond the fact that they already released owlbear as part of 1.0a.

No backsies. Not even if you say "double undo" and cross your thumbs.

Especially not when the thing you're trying to claim wasn't yours in the first place.

1674251057617.png


 

Section 9 of OGL 1.0 says "You may use any authorized version of this License to copy, modify and distribute any Open Game Content originally distributed under any version of this License."
Yea, but if they deauthorize previous versions (if they can), then that clause really doesn't matter right?
it doesn't say they can JUST canlce anyone for any reason
But it does make them judge, jury and executioner with no recourse if anyone disagree with their unilateral action. So it would seem to give them the power to act unilaterally for any reason since the could claim something is in violation and no other party is allowed to disagree with them.
it is getting tiring to see people goimg, um, bananas over a waiver of jury trial and sever ability provision because they’ve never read a single contract in their lives.
Because litigation is expensive. Jury trials (which are guaranteed in civil trials in federal court, and common in state civil matters) raise the cost. This applies to both Hasbro and the 3PPs. It doesn't give any substantive rights away- you still get a bench trial, and it's not like being forced into arbitration.
So I'm not a lawyer and would love to here some educated thoughts on these topics and to address my concerns...

So waiving jury is a little concerning. Why do this? If both sides in a legal action agree to it at a later date, they can always forego a jury trial for arbitration or a bench trial. But forcing it now is... concerning after the actions leading up to this point.
But what is actually more concerning to me is the inability to have class action or joint actions. To my uninformed self, those appear like a means to keep the small guy out of pursuing action. i.e. by myself I could not afford to pursue legal action against them, but if a thousand of us were wronged, we could get together and afford it then. To me, this clause seems to be like a bully trying to protect themselves from being held accountable from picking on the little guy. I get that WotC is trying to protect themselves with this, but it comes across as they are expecting to have legal action brought against them and therefore are trying to stack the deck in their favor. Does not come across as a company engaged in good faith.
 

But it does make them judge, jury and executioner with no recourse if anyone disagree with their unilateral action. So it would seem to give them the power to act unilaterally for any reason since the could claim something is in violation and no other party is allowed to disagree with them.

the issue is, that like now, if we don't agree then they risk driving away all there customers. Now is where we JUST proved how important that is.
So waiving jury is a little concerning. Why do this? If both sides in a legal action agree to it at a later date, they can always forego a jury trial for arbitration or a bench trial. But forcing it now is... concerning after the actions leading up to this point.
I have seen similar language in many contracts (even some of my employers use it)
 


Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
So I'm not a lawyer and would love to here some educated thoughts on these topics and to address my concerns...

So waiving jury is a little concerning. Why do this? If both sides in a legal action agree to it at a later date, they can always forego a jury trial for arbitration or a bench trial. But forcing it now is... concerning after the actions leading up to this point.
But what is actually more concerning to me is the inability to have class action or joint actions. To my uninformed self, those appear like a means to keep the small guy out of pursuing action. i.e. by myself I could not afford to pursue legal action against them, but if a thousand of us were wronged, we could get together and afford it then. To me, this clause seems to be like a bully trying to protect themselves from being held accountable from picking on the little guy. I get that WotC is trying to protect themselves with this, but it comes across as they are expecting to have legal action brought against them and therefore are trying to stack the deck in their favor. Does not come across as a company engaged in good faith.

I've written a series of lawsplainers ... here's the most recent one.


(There's a link in it to a prior one about why lawyers write the way they do)

When I have the chance, I'll do a quick one about boilerplate provisions and use the joint action waiver was an example.
 





I've written a series of lawsplainers ... here's the most recent one.


(There's a link in it to a prior one about why lawyers write the way they do)

When I have the chance, I'll do a quick one about boilerplate provisions and use the joint action waiver was an example.
Thank you. I understand all of that, but not sure how it applies to class actions (joint action waiver?) so I'll wait expectantly for your next write up :)
 

pemerton

Legend
There is 20+ years of accumulated OGC that we all have the right to use under a perpetual, royalty-free license. That's huge. Sadly, most of it depends on WotC's contributions to that body of work, and it would require the licensing regime to stay as is.
There's a tension between your first and last sentences.

If the right is as you say in your first sentence, then changes to future licensing regimes are irrelevant.

If use of that accumulated OGC depends upon WotC not exercising certain legal powers, then there is no right - just some sort of complicated permission from WotC.

This is what private orderings look like.
 

Vivificient

Explorer
So i filled the survey, they said they would send me a code to an email of my choice, but didnt give me any option to input an email, anyone else having this issue?
There is a button in the top-right corner to save your responses. Pressing the button lets you enter an email. They then send a link which can be used to resume working on the survey.

However, once you press Submit, you can no longer use the link to edit your responses.
 

glass

(he, him)
No one is forcing other companies to accept a license. Just try, for a second, to imagine this from Hasbro's point of view.
I am afraid my mindset is so removed from an MBA that that is difficult to truly get into Hasbro's PoV. But if I in charge of a brand as stupendously successful as D&D has been for the last few years I would keep things going more or less as they were, rather than upending everything.

Right? We should just stay mad and see what else drops ;)
Not sure (now) if this was sarcasm or you actually meant it, but wither way: Yes, that is exactly what we should do!

This is past my line in the sand, so if anything, they are conceding, at least from where I stand. Some people are unable to recognize a victory when it is staring them in the face it seems
Nothing has changed in practice, so if they are over your lines they always were.

One more time… we don’t have to pretend. They are in active litigation with an entity that is attempting to use their marks for their own, bigoted ends.
Which has nothing to do with the OGL, and is therefore a red herring.

They're not going to use this to take down any material that give Goblins ability score penalties, or make orcs evil.
No, they are going to use it against anyone making money they think should be theirs.

I hope you realized after writing this how easy it is to turn around. In the situation you describe, would your spouse have a case to deny your divorce request by pointing out that your marriage agreement was perpetual? (To be clear, in most legal jurisdictions I know of, they wouldn't.)
The marriage was entered into on the understanding that divorce was a possibility. The OGL was not.

Your analogy equates two individuals to a corporation and thousands of licensees. It's not that apt.
It has its limitations. But in the ways that it is different, this is worse.

Since Kobold Press is a corporation and Wolfgang Baur is a person, I don't see how Baur telling a joke could impact the use of this new non-open OGL.
You don't have to see it. If WotC can see it (or claims to) you're toast.

I don't know Curse the Heart, but I was very supportive on tic tok and twitter about the Eat the rich adventure... in fact I got told by many I was over reaching saying it should have stayed up as is
So you admit that you thought WotC abused their power under that licence, but you are still saying we can totally trust them not to do so under this one.

I get it, you don't want any compromise, it is 100% your way or nothing as far as you are concerned. In what way do you think anything you say here is changing my mind?
Well yes, obviously. Cultural vandalism does not become OK if they pinky promise not to do it again.

that is not a joke... That is sexual assault not a punchline
I disagree with basically everything else you have said in this thread, but you are spot on with this one!

Adding the the branding with the trademark ampersand does mean that the case for a morality clause is stronger with this license.
Which is not excuse because they could simply...not do that.

I guess these figure heavily in the upcoming film? I won't pay to watch that by the way.
Nor me. Which is part of what saddens me about this.

YOU WANT TO LAY BLAME, i just am trying to find out why you are so mad...
People are mad for the same reason they were mad last week. Because WotC are attempting an unconscionable act of cultural vandalism (not to mention destroying a bunch of people's livelihoods). Why aren't you?

Just noting that the survey appears to now be open.

OGL 1.2 survey
I have filled it in, for all that that will be worth.

Problem solved folks. I will just provide you all with the Scribe Open License (SoL) and everything will be fine!
I see what you did there! (I tried to insert the picture with the bird, but it didn't work for some reason.)

If use of that accumulated OGC depends upon WotC not exercising certain legal powers, then there is no right - just some sort of complicated permission from WotC.
There is a difference between the legal power that they actually have and the legal power they claim, and they can do damage (and have done damage) just with the claiming.
 

GDGD

microscopic
Insightful article on this over at GamesRadar.

Their summary of changes they'd like to see to OGL 1.2 and the VTT policy:
  • Don't revoke OGL 1.0a and/or offer an incentive to accept the new one
  • Make this expressly royalty free
  • Make it truly irrevocable. Give the community something they can build off of
  • Make sure that creators have a right to contest WotC's bad-faith action (RE sections 3 and sections 6c, e, and f)
  • Have a standard severability clause
  • Don't limit what virtual tabletops can do, because that denies innovation in the space
I've already completed the survey, but I would echo their sentiment on the VTT policy. As written, it is weirdly restrictive in a way that's not only myopic but also implausible to monitor or enforce. Does anyone know how Wizards expects to be able to police whether you use their art for your owl bear token or not?
 

Which is not excuse because they could simply...not do that.
Funny enough, that is exactly what my post said.

I said there is no support to remove 1.0a because of the reasons they stated and they could use the branding permission as a big carrot if hate speech was the only issue and drag people that way without touching 1.0a.

That does not remove the fact that if they allow their trademarks and branding which 1.2 draft does, then their motivation to protect their actual brand does not.

I consistently say that 1.0a forbids the use of their brand and trademarks so they are already protected.
 

Gambit42

Explorer
Its interesting that Square Enix has used Mind Flayers (specifically called that) in Final Fantasy for decades with zero issue on the matter.

I just want to weigh in to say to the fine folks here, dont allow WotC to trick you with their "think of the children!" smokescreen on their way to the next tier of corpo greedland. Dont be a shill, dont be a fool, and dont be a bootlicker.
 


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