Comments

  • Wuzzat about Fruits?
  • after reading the shit storm about this in various other places (like paizo, wizzies, and enworld)

    I find this thread oddly refreshing

    like mentos

    Do you think if you combined gsl with ogl in a bottle with coke and mentos it would make a fizzy rocket?
  • This seems pretty cut-and-dried. Jonathan? What's your problem with it?

    yrs--
    --Ben
  • Wow. The GSL looks amazingly sucky for licensees from what I can see. It retains the badness of the old D20 trademark license that the licensee had to keep up-to-date by browsing for license updates. However, under the older D20 trademark license, they would have 30 days to cure a breach. If there is still a breach after that time, then they have to destroy all copies of violating books. However, they could at least sell off a bunch of their stock during that time.

    Under the new GSL, they must immediately destroy all copies of books if Wizards decides to remove or further restrict the license, which they can do at any time and for any reason.
  • I really hope we're going to see third parties skip the GSL altogether and use the rights they already have under existing copyright and trademark law.

    It's too bad litigation (be it meritorious, vexatious or frivolous) is such a death sentence in the US. If WotC really wants to stop a third party, having Hasbro's backing probably means more than legislation and case law.
  • Part of my job now is reviewing and negotiating contracts. I would not sign this license as is. Even if I wanted to simply create modules for D&D (which is one of the license's goals) that support their core books, I wouldn't pursue this direction. It would be more advantageous to contact Wizards directly and negotiate an agreement on a deal by deal basis. In a few ways, this license is worse than I was expecting. Ultimately Wizards obviously can and should do whatever they want. But from a pure, we want to make as much money as possible perspective, the license doesn't completely make sense to me.
  • I read through it and thought it was fine. It's obviously much more tailored to get specific types of products and prevent others. But, as far as the language of the agreement itself, I don't see the big problem. What are your issues with it, John?

    FYI: I am a lawyer and, likewise, spend a lot of my day reviewing and interpreting contracts.
  • I'm slammed at work at the moment but I do plan on writing a detailed writeup when time allows. I'm tempted to go through the agreement line by line but I probably won't! It's also worth looking at the SRD as it clarifies additional restrictions not apparent in the license itself. Including the inability to use certain monsters that Wizards blatantly took the names from other works!

    But really quick, putting out modules where you can't include monster stats, page reference, in some instances where you have to use an alternate name for certain monsters (confusing the ability to reference even more), you can't use classics such as Beholders, Demons, Devils, Displacer Beasts, Drow, Githyanki, Githzerai, Mind Flayers, you can't offer online support, website errata, wikis, blogs, forums, free downloads, supplementary materials, fan contests, miniatures, and if Wizards decides to change or further restrict the GSL in any way, for any reason, they can force you to immediately pull all materials using the previous license... and they don't have to notify you :-) And these are all negatives without going into discussion of open gaming or how you can't produce backwards compatible work or you can't provide modules supporting multiple systems, and once you go GSL on a product line you can't even go back to OGL, even if the GSL changes into something completely different that would invalidate your product line. These are all negatives from my perspective if I simply want to do what the license is expressly designed to do. Produce modules to market their core products.

    I'm sure there is much more I missed!
  • Posted By: Justin D. Jacobson It's obviously much more tailored to get specific types of products and prevent others.
    That's the thing I've found interesting when browsing the various "The sky is falling!" threads about the GSL. It seems pretty clear that third party modules and setting sourcebooks are what they're encouraging, and "This is a new game but we want to sell it using the D&D branding" is pretty strongly discouraged. From a design perspective, anyway, a lot of the people who are complaining are doing so about things like "What do you mean I can't totally rewrite how attributes/healing/falling damage works?"

    Personally I can see how "You can add almost anything, but you can't change the rules" fits into their brand strategy.

    (Disclaimer: IANAL, and I'm not looking to be proven right or wrong, that's just my own take on the matter. I recognize the IP issues people may have with how the license is written are separate from what I'm talking about. Please reprint this disclaimer if you quote my post, (c) 2008 Andrew Norris)
  • edited June 2008
    Posted By: Albert AWuzzat about Fruits?
    The sign declares this to be the Fruit Dojo, home of a guy with an onion for a head. Parappa apparently believes the sign to be accurate, despite the shrimp on the roof.

    Kick! Punch! It's all in the mind...
  • John, to clarify, it sounded from your prior post that you didn't like the GSL as a legal document irrespective of its practical implications with regard to open gaming. It seems that is not the case, so maybe I just misunderstood.

    I was going to type responses to a bunch of your points, but I'll start a new thread.
  • Ok, now I'm late for work :-)

    I love that you are not allowed to have any depiction, in text or via visuals, of any gore in a game where you have hundreds of powers to kill monsters and steal things from their corpses!

    The license is also written in a way that if I put out a "new Thief powers" book on a Monday, Wizards could not like this for some reason or think it's an awesome idea that they want to do themselves and update the license to say "No Thief power book allowed" on a Tuesday, don't have to notify me, and then come after me for releasing a New Thief Powers book and I would have to stop selling them immediately. I don't think this would be common place or possibly ever happen, but that is how the license reads. It's essentially written so that Wizards has 0 responsibilities and can terminate any material they don't want at any time for any reason with no notification or warning. In most licensing agreements that I've seen, even between big and small companies... and I mean big, I deal with Disney, Sony, Nasa, The Yankees, the small companies at least are able to include something where they have to be notified and are free and clear for a specific length of time after the product is released with a few clearly defined exceptions.
  • Hey smart guys, business moguls, lawyers, et al,

    I'd love to see this parsed line by line with an eye toward third party publishing. It'd be really helpful! Lazyweb powers activate!
  • Posted By: jenskotI love that you are not allowed to have any depiction, in text or via visuals, of any gore in a game where you have hundreds of powers to kill monsters and steal things from their corpses!
    And there is some bloody-ass art in the core books, too. I pointed out one gigantic illo with some monster getting its skull crushed, and brains flying out, last time we played.
  • Posted By: Justin D. JacobsonJohn, to clarify, it sounded from your prior post that you didn't like the GSL as a legal document irrespective of its practical implications with regard to open gaming. It seems that is not the case, so maybe I just misunderstood.
    Right on Justin. I don't have a problem with the license as a legal document. I think it's actually well put together structurally. Although many of the terms are too vague and need tighter definition.
  • My nuts-and-bolts GSL discussion thread is HERE.
  • Justin, thanks for taking the time to put that thread together!
  • Posted By: jenskotyou can't use classics such as Beholders, ... , Displacer Beasts, Drow, Githyanki, Githzerai, Mind Flayers,
    Beholders, Drow, Gith, Mind Flayers, etc. were all "Product Identity" in 3rd edition, too. Third party types couldn't use them, though some made cheap knockoffs thereof.
  • Posted By: jenskotPosted By: Justin D. JacobsonJohn, to clarify, it sounded from your prior post that you didn't like the GSL as a legal document irrespective of its practical implications with regard to open gaming. It seems that is not the case, so maybe I just misunderstood.
    Right on Justin. I don't have a problem with the license as a legal document. I think it's actually well put together structurally. Although many of the terms are too vague and need tighter definition.

    Barring section 2 (the unilateral change / no notice clause), I found the GSL to be a fairly straightforward contract lacking drama. I did forget to check the SRD though for additional restrictions, though, darn it.

    I'm more disappointed at the lack of share-alike provision being a big fan of open-source. They certainly have shifted the burdens to the 3rd party publishers.
  • Posted By: jenskotPart of my job now is reviewing and negotiating contracts. I would not sign this license as is. Even if I wanted to simply create modules for D&D (which is one of the license's goals) that support their core books, I wouldn't pursue this direction. It would be more advantageous to contact Wizards directly and negotiate an agreement on a deal by deal basis.
    ... which only works if WotC is actually interested and motivated in working a direct deal with a publisher instead of the GSL. I might give it the college try if I were involved, but I wouldn't reasonably expect WotC to reciprocate.
  • Posted By: Mr. TeapotPosted By: jenskotyou can't use classics such as Beholders, ... , Displacer Beasts, Drow, Githyanki, Githzerai, Mind Flayers,
    Beholders, Drow, Gith, Mind Flayers, etc. were all "Product Identity" in 3rd edition, too. Third party types couldn't use them, though some made cheap knockoffs thereof.
    Good call! Although you could use Drow as they were included in the SRD: http://www.d20srd.org/indexes/monsters.htm
  • I can't, for the life of me, figure out why any publisher would dare want to spend a dime to publish something under this license. Ok, maybe a PDF publisher, but certainly no publisher that would have to risk money on printed goods.

    But then, back in the day, I was also a nay sayer of OGL and D20. Not the OGL license per se, but using it as a vehicle to publish and brand "D&D compatible" product lines. Its always been easy enough to publish a game that was actually compatible without getting involved with getting permission to expressly say so. You just had to be very careful how you went about educating consumers to the fact.

    Ryan S. Johnson
    Guild of Blades Retail Group - http://www.guildofblades.com/retailgroup.php
    Guild of Blades Publishing Group - http://www.guildofblades.com
    1483 Online - http://www.1483online.com
  • Good call! Although you could use Drow as they were included in the SRD: http://www.d20srd.org/indexes/monsters.htm
    You know, you really can't. Because the GSL is fundamentally different from the OGL; the OGL was a thing anyone who wanted to could use, and the limits to what you could do with it were defined by the terms of the License. With the GSl you need to enter into an agreement with WotC to use it. And your work can be approved or not at their whim. People looking to subvert the spirit of the GSL with the letter of the law are likely to find themselves disappointed.
  • Jack, I think you may be misreading me. I'm not talking about the GSL at all where you quoted me. I'm only referring to what was possible before the GSL with different agreements. That's all. No one is suggesting that anyone subvert the spirit of the GSL or anything remotely close! My apologies if there was any confusion. Thanks, John
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