Does OGL 1.1 Mean the End of Open Gaming?
This makes GW look tame in comparison, which is hilarious. WotC basically saw GW and went, "Hold my beer".
I will support you in any way that I can. I am at war with this license - how dare this company steal my hobby and hurt my friends.
Hmm. If OGL v1.0a truly is revoked -- and my nonlawyerly reading of the purported leaked draft is that 'OGL v1.0a is unauthorized' might apply only if one accepts v1.1 (v1.0a and v1.1 are clearly immiscible, v1.1 and v1.0a each require things the other disallows) -- then the restrictions it places on you should be revoked also, yes? So that restriction on not being able to take 'open content' and make to 'closed content' should similarly disappear, freeing you to rerelease an OGL-free version. Lots of rewriting to make sure it's SRD-free, of course, but that should be how it works. In a fair system (yes, I read that it is not a fair system, I'm just being logical).
(The bit in Section 13 about termination meaning your license is terminated if you breach but your sublicenses are still valid shouldn't apply either -- this isn't termination due to breach, it's revocation of the license entirely.)
I'm not an experienced designer, but you can certainly count me in as someone who wants to see a good OPEN game and I'm willing to work on that. I'm not planing on buying any WotC's One D&D or 5E books at this point, until this is resolved, and even then, at this point, it feels like treason. I never played Pathfinder, and I certainly now hope that Paizo (or anyone else for that matter) comes up with a good system to remove WotC from this hobby. It's not only a SAD day, but a complete disaster. I don't think that WotC will be able to recover from this. When I received this email, I had already almost 10 other publisher offering fire sale of their stuff because of that. AND I've been ordering some other RPG's book in order to be able to play them at some point, in CASE OF.
This is a terrific post and lays out the problem perfectly.
-Anthony Valterra, former brand manager for D&D and publisher of the OGL "Book of Erotic Fantasy"-
Don’t sign it. You never needed a license to create 3rd party content. Game rules and mechanics are not protected by copyright—only the art and lore.
I’m so thrilled your conclusion is to simply abandon the OGL. There are so many games and systems out there, better than D&D imo, just waiting for more attention.
Let WoTC enjoy their island of diehard fans as their talent, innovations, and content slowly stagnates.
I believe this will be healthy for the rest of the community overall, as we embrace a more open and rich ecosystem that we dictate collectively as people and hobbyists.
I left the gaming world in 1989 when I graduated college and received my commission as a US Army officer. Years went by, married, children, etc......and I returned to it on the thoughts of giving my children the lessons and fun I had from them. I was led to ACKS by the route of a blog my wife follows, Vox Dei, many years ago.....never regretted it, Mr. Macris made the game what it should have been back in the 80s. I am poor but proud, Mr. Macris, where you lead, I and my family will follow, even if I have sink more money for a new and I am positive a better system, so be it. A grunt like me can still learn a few things, so if I can figure a way to help or support your endeavors I Will! I can't stand bullies, and that is what Wotc is in my simple mind, should you and others decide to do a class action I am sure I can find some money to pledge........."This we shall defend"
For those of us heavily invested in ACKs I, what should be the approach? I think all Imm missing are some of the Axioms and maybe one of the books. Grab a copy before the 13th? Wait for ACKs II? Will there be a "conversion" package?
Leave it to WOTC to destroy a good thing.
An excellent and sobering read. Lacking a legal background, I'm curious about one thing though: What about a class action lawsuit against WotC/Hasbro?
So, just how deep does the OGL problem go? Is it a matter of changing the labels and your good to go, or does the entire 6 stats and a d20 system have to get reworked as well?
Thanks for an excellent read, lucid and comprehensive.
I don’t even agree with “WOTC wants the end of open gaming.” Neither part of it is true. While WOTC is owned by Hasbro and has to go with what Hasbro tells them, this is really coming from Hasbro. And their actions make it clear that they’re targeting open D&D, not open gaming. For example, they haven’t tried to pull a TSR by trying to patent basic RPG processes/mechanics to try to tie up
the entire industry.
WOTC wants to end open gaming among non-D&D clone ecosystem? Not really in evidence.
Hasbro wants to end/encumber open gaming in the D&D clone ecosystem, to maximize their monetization of third party content? seems to be the case.
They have had a huge stock devaluation, and need to show their stock holders that they’re maximizing company value in every sector… especially after the major backfire of over printing legacy MTG cards (that they shouldn’t have brought back in the first place).
The above claim of “end of open gaming” depends on one completely false claim:
That the OGL is the only license available for open gaming license that non-D&D-clones can use. You sort of hint at that when you mention your upcoming kickstarter, but the fact is that there are existing open content licenses that can easily be adopted. FSF/GNU’s FDL. The FreeBSDDL (in both of those “DSL” means document license, suitable for use on documents/books). And of course variants of the Creative Commons license. The FSF has a great page listing all of the various document licenses (stated from
an angle of programming documentation, but still applicable to gaming books).
If you’re not tied to the OGL (because your game isn’t a D&D clone), then any publisher should be looking to jump off of the OGL ASAP.