Wednesday, July 16, 2014

OGL Help?

It was pointed out to me yesterday that I haven't quite got the OGL thing figured out properly.  At my job I spend a reasonable amount of time looking over and creating Mechanical Licensing contracts, record contracts, etc.  However the OGL is difficult to read and understand.  So not that I am looking for any lawyerly advice here, but exactly what needs to be put on my blog & any of my products to sorta cover my ass.  last thing I need is a lawsuit from wotc.  Any suggestions would be genius! Here is a quote from Jeremy from my post from yesterday, I have revised the OGL slightly in that post, but I still don't think I got it quite right.  I know that S&W has a really good section on how to do it properly which i will need to re-read shortly.

"You have to actually update Section 15. I realize many companies don't do this to the day (cough, Barrel Rider Games), but you have to include the Section 15 of every work you used, which at least would be the SRD and Labyrinth Lord (and the most recent versions of that have a few other things in Section 15), and then the name of your work, like say, "3 Toadstools Assassin. Copyright 2014"

UPDATED OGL! 

http://3toadstools.blogspot.ca/p/ogl.html


12 comments:

  1. You also have to list items under section 8 that are deemed "Open Game Content" (things that you don't hold the copyright to, and are shared freely). I usually list them with bullet points. Your original text is not OGC, but anything that you borrowed from the system is. You can usually put in a blanket description like "All references to the Original Rules are Open Game Content." That sort of thing.

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  2. What both Jeremy and Tom have said. Section 8 was news to me as well recently.

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  3. I actually just emailed a bunch of assistance regarding Sections 6 and 15, but here's my bit on Section 8.

    Section 8 actually says OGC has to be "clearly indicated". While some publishers have used the "all references to..." that is far from clearly indicated, as it is difficult to tell what parts are and what parts aren't.

    A much easier declaration of OGC is that all rules content is OGC. After all, anything in any way derived from OGC has to be released as OGC. So a new character class HAS TO BE OGC because it uses class levels, XP totals, hit dice, etc that are all derived from the source material. However you could indicate that the NAME of the class and the descriptive text is all Product Identity and thus not OGC, but the rules and mechanics would have to be released as OGC.

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    1. Yeah, that's probably a better description of the requirements.

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  4. here is the updated ogl

    UPDATED OGL!

    http://3toadstools.blogspot.ca/p/ogl.html

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  5. Nirvana comes to mind in this case "Just because your paranoid doesn't mean there not after you". Obviously any references that you are using must be indicated within the OGL to cover your butt. ie any monster stat, where you got it from. While working on the assassins post (which I just deleted) I was referencing Lab lords thief rules, page 15, that of course should have been within the license. Which begs the question, that this is not a blog post material, but should have been a free download with the OGL attached to it. In the mean time, my plan going forward is to throw away the OGL at this point, and make anything I write system agnostic. That being said, if I am writing stats, its going to be as follows "3 goblins", rather than 3 goblins stat block etc. As far as I am concerned this will cover my butt per se. If I plan to sell anything, then those references, will either have to be corrected, or deleted. I think I may go and re do "caverns of ugard" sans any references to game content, stat blocks etc.

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  6. Actually, I took a page out of Purple Duck Games' book - they indicate the open content separately after the license. Because the license does not require it to be listed in the license itself. It's the cleanest version OGC declaration. This way only Article 15 has to be updated, and except for your own copyright that's identical for every DCC book one releases.

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  7. DerKastellan has it right - the declaration requirement in Section 8 doesn't say to do so in the license. Declarations of OGC and PI are usually done at the beginning of the book or immediately before or after the OGL.

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  8. By my understanding, your updated OGL still isn't quite right. Section 15 has to include all the Sec 15 text of the preceding works, so since you have Lab Lord in there, you should also list that long list of monsters in the LL Sec 15, even if you aren't ever referencing any of them in your product. Since they are in the OGL text from LL, they need to be in yours too.

    Below if the link to the OGL on my blog (if you can call it that) - which covers my pulling things from LL (Core, AEC and OEC), Mutant Future, and all three flavors of Swords & Wizardry. With all those covered, I can then safely use any spell, monster or mechanic from any of them on my blog under the blanket of my "Kingdoms in Trevail Supplemental Rules".

    http://kingdomsintrevail.blogspot.com/p/open-game-license-ogl.html

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  9. Yeah, the S15 posted above is deficient. I sent an email with a "fixed" section 15, but I think that Shane is giving up on the OGL and going systemless after this encounter with the contract requirements.

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    1. Thanks for all the comments guys :) I wholeheartedly appreciate it. Dyson you hit the nail on the head, my brain is spinning. It is however a very interesting conversation, one that is helping me to make decisions, and to really understand how the whole thing works. I appreciate the pros at this.

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  10. It can be a pain to figure out, that's for sure. you always want to make sure your butt is properly covered! I still think it's worth taking a bit of time, asking for advice as he has, and getting set up right, so I'd advise Shane to do just that.

    System-agnostic is fine, and can be easy to write for (see the one-page dungeons as the perfect example of that philosophy) but for me as a consumer, it just means I have to do some work before I can use it - at least looking up some monster stats. If it's statted for _any_ OGL system, I can grab and go, doing minor conversions in my head. Just my 2 coppers.

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