[Hoard] Trying to get the license right.

edited January 2008 in Story Games
I'm trying to wrap up Hoard (it's a week late, and I'm getting twitchy); one of the things people have asked for is that I clean up the "Stakeholder License" into something at least a little formalised. So I've tried to do that, and I'm now looking for obvious flaws...

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Stakeholder License
The following text is released into the public domain; no copyright is claimed for this license.

1. Definitions: A “stakeholder” is any person that has purchased a copy of the product which incorporates this license, or who has received a copy of such product from the author. The “original work” is the product to which this license is attached. The “author” is the creator and copyright holder of the original work.

2. Application: This license applies to all text of the original work, but specifically excludes all visual artworks, logos, and graphic design elements.

3. Grant And Terms: All stakeholders are granted the perpetual, royalty-free, worldwide right to make use of the text of the original work in any publication, so long as the following terms are met:

-All instances where such content is used must be by nature either distinct from or supplemental to the original work; the stakeholder may not create any document which duplicates the entirety of the original work or which purports, directly or indirectly, to do so.

-Content which is duplicated from the original work must be clearly indicated as such.

-Where such content is used, copyright of that portion of the content must be noted as being retained by the author, and as being used under the terms of this license.

-Where such content is used, this license must be either included as written, or referenced in such a fashion as to make it reasonably possible for the audience to find or obtain it.


4. Inability To Comply: Where it is impossible, by law or government order, to comply with the whole of this license, the stakeholder may not make use of this license to any degree.

5. Reformation: If any portion of this License is found to be unenforceable, that portion shall be reformed only to the extent necessary to make it enforceable.

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Now, I appreciate that the vast majority of folks here aren't lawyers, but it there anything that strikes you as plainly and obviously wrong or clumsy in there?

Comments

  • Well, personally I always prefer some open license, but it seems you're aiming for something different here. As is there's nothing that jumps out to me as OMGWTF, but then: I'm not a lawyer. ^_^
  • Posted By: Levi Kornelsen-Where such content is used, this license must be either included as written, or referenced in such a fashion as to make it reasonably possible for the audience to find or obtain it.
    Why is this needed? It's not like I feel it's wrong or clumsy, it just feels... pointless?
  • Posted By: Adam KleizerWhy is this needed? It's not like I feel it's wrong or clumsy, it just feels... pointless?
    It's because...

    No, actually, you're right. That can get tossed.
  • edited January 2008
    I'm seeing the same thing as Adam. You don't need the stakeholder to reproduce the license. You need them to indicate that the re-used content is under your copyright, and was used by permission.

    edit: looks like we cross-posted.

    Paul
  • edited January 2008
    Posted By: Lord MinxWell, personally I always prefer some open license, but it seems you're aiming for something different here.
    The idea is to be "open" to the extent that if you have my game, you can use the stuff in it to make supplements or whole new games of your own - but you aren't obligated to reciprocate and open up your own content. You can, of course - just toss in the same license, and make sure your notes on "who wrote which bits" are clear enough to be mapped out if someone grabs from you in turn.
  • You might want to make sure that "stakeholder" doesn't have some specific legal meaning that's gonna trip you up.

    Yeah... in general, my feeling here is that a little formalization is worse than none at all. You're either gonna want a lawyer, or to look seriously at a Creative Commons Attribution license.
  • Posted By: misubaYeah... in general, my feeling here is that a little formalization is worse than none at all.
    How so?

    I mean, I have my own mild misgivings on that front, but none so strong that the request for it didn't win through to date.

    So, well, I'm curious what yours are.
  • edited January 2008
    Well, granted, you are not exactly writing service contracts for jet-engine parts or anything. The worst that can happen to you is someone misunderstands you and uses your content wrongly (or rightly, if you leave a loophole), or gets salty about a perceived injustice.

    OK, here's something: what if I buy a copy of your product, then sell it to my friend for a dollar, then he sells it right back to me for the same dollar? Does he now have the right to use the content?

    This is the kind of thing you're opening yourself to. If you have a system, it'll get gamed.
  • edited January 2008
    Posted By: misubaOK, here's something: what if I buy a copy of your product, then sell it to my friend for a dollar, then he sells it right back to me for the same dollar? Does he now have the right to use the content?
    By the text, as I understand it, yes he does.

    And really, I think I'm mostly okay with that specific one - the principle of "people gaming the system", and doing things I'm less cool with, does bugs me a bit. But only a bit; the vast majority of my stuff to date is released directly to the public domain, for free - hell, one of the main reasons I'm charging money for this game is so that people who feel like they didn't get something worth the money will feel like they have the right to bitch.

    Which, I know, might sound completely weird - but "nobody complains, ever" is actually something that has interfered with my ability to get useful feedback on previous designs.
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