My Thoughts on the New OGL 1.2

I’ve answered the survey as requested but I’m putting them here to for completion’s sake.

OGL 1.2

  • You should not deauthorise the OGL 1.0a. I understand the reasonings but you are, at least, killing 3 and 3.5 modding with it and that’s a lot of people hurt. Then it also hurts people who were already working on content using it.
  • 3a. You can not say money damages is enough. There could be a lot more at stake. Without injunctive relief, you’re still strongarming smaller creators.
  • 3b. How exactly do we show knowing and intention, short of a WotC insider leaking it?
  • 6f. Hateful content is a broad subject. What if in the future, the owner of the license decides that LGBT content is hateful? The “engage” portion is also problematic. You’re allowing yourself to police all creators everywhere about everything they do.
  • 7b-ii. Termination upon Breach of any term? That’s a lot.
  • 9d. Here you’re telling creators that if your country has a higher law standard than Washington State in the US, they can’t create content. Because, if some scummy term is unenforceable there, they don’t have a license.
  • 9e. Waive the right to a class action? So Hasbro can stomp out any small creator in the right just by dropping money on them? That’s immoral and unethical on so many levels.
  • 9g. No jury trial? So you can go to an elected Judge (as opposed to normal countries where they are appointed by the local version of The BAR Association) who Hasbro got elected to rule in your favor? Hell effing no.

VTT Policy

  • Do you support VTTs? Because it seems you want to squash them out in favor of your not-yet-existing-one.
  • Also, what’s wrong with digital games? Solasta was awesome. I’m sure BG3 is going to be great. Just make more and let others do the same. It’s only good for you. I, personally, on several occasions, while trying to get gamer friends into the hobby, told them to play Solasta as it is the most accurate depiction of the system currently available as a digital game. Play that, see its awesome, and then join a group because it’s more awesome.
  • Animation is not allowed? Let’s skip the discussion of whether showing a beam strike for Eldritch Blast, a pulsing effect for protection, or a rotating circle for shield is or isn’t. What’s wrong with that? Half the fun of playing on a VTT is that we can add cool things like music, animation, situational effects, etc… Also, your proposed VTT is going to do a lot more than that.
  • You can not demand obligations under the DMCA on a VTT creator. Not all VTT creators are owners. Foundry, for example, is offered as open. Foundry doesn’t control the game I run on my own. Once I buy and run their software, it’s completely disconnected from them as a company.
    Now, if this policy can change, change it!

Fan Content Policy

  • Really? No bad stuff? At your sole discretion? How about being specific and laying out the groundwork for contention, not slippery slope all of us into oblivion.
  • Don’t promote competitors? Well, what if I’m the One Shot podcast? What if I run D&D but also Pathfinder, Cypher, Genesis, Cortex, and many other systems? Will I get disbarred for it? That’s nonsense.
  • Keep shoutouts to a reasonable length? To who? How do I know? What if I use Level Up Dice and show my dice camera all the time so viewers can see my rolls at all times throughout my 4-hour stream? Is that an unreasonable length?

How to improve perception of D&D?

  • Be more open. Just say that you will prosecute, as you can already, anyone who misuses your brand, associates with you unlawfully, or attempt to sell your IP as a new thing.
  • State properly that you can not copyright mechanics, only the expressions of those mechanics.
    For example, Potion of Giant Strength:
    • Can’t be protected: When you drink this potion, your Strength score changes for 1 hour. The type of giant determines the score. The potion of frost giant strength and the potion of stone giant strength have the same effect. The potion has no effect on you if your Strength is equal to or greater than that score.
    • Can be protected: This potion’s transparent liquid has floating in it a sliver of fingernail from a giant of the appropriate type.
  • And stop trying to get us to agree to you having ultimate power over creators for no reason.

And, please, please, please, please(!) stop adding bad jokes and irrelevant references to what is supposed to be a straight and legible legal document. Like Mark Hulmes said, RPGs invented the term Rules Laywer and a lot of actual lawyers arose from it, lawyers who specialise in copyright law and gaming. And they have hours long videos on YouTube laughing at the juvenile language in your documents.

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