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The maker of D&D still wants to revoke earlier versions of the “open” game license

The maker of D&D still wants to revoke earlier versions of the “open” game license

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D&D Wizards of the Coast, which is trying to destroy its original Open Fire Games license.”/>
Zoom in / Artist’s concept of D&D-maker Wizards of the Coast is trying to destroy its original license for open fire games.

Dungeons and Dragons (D&DThe Wizards of the Coast (WotC) maker’s latest attempt to update its decade-old Open Gaming License (OGL) still includes the controversial statement that “License Open Game 1.0a is no longer an authorized license.” The news comes after the company’s first attempt to produce an OGL update with similar language (and other controversial changes) was met with widespread fan outrage and alienation from the creative community.

WotC says this proposed “deauthorization” of OGL v1.0a will not affect any original content that has been published under this earlier license since its debut in early 2000, and that such content will not need to be updated or re-licensed to comply with any new OGL language. But any published content after the proposed OGL v1.2 goes into effect, it will not be able to simply choose the earlier license instead, according to the update as drafted.

in explanatory blog post on D&D Beyond, WotC executive producer Kyle Brink said that WotC realizes that this planned deauthorization is a “great concern” for the community. But he added that it was a necessary move to enforce the new OGL’s restrictions on illegal and/or hateful content, including “conduct that is harmful, discriminatory, illegal, indecent or harassing,” as defined by WotC.

“We cannot use the protection options in 1.2 if someone can simply choose to post harmful, discriminatory, or illegal content under 1.0a,” Brink wrote. Providing an “inclusive gaming experience” in this way was a “deeply important” goal that was not included in the original OGL, he added.

Whether WotC actually has the legal authority to completely override the earlier version of the OGL is still an open question. This is because the original OGL contains a clause that clearly states that players may “use any authorized version of this License to copy, modify and distribute any Open Game Content originally distributed under any version of this License.”

The original OGL contained no specific language that said it was irrevocable. But in FAQ posted when the original OGL was postedWotC directly stated that “even if Wizards made a change [to the license] with which you do not agree, you may continue to use an earlier, acceptable version of your choice.” And in recent interview with board game site En Worldoriginal OGL architect and former WotC VP Ryan Dancy said the company “does not have the authority to deauthorize a version of OGL. If this was a power we wanted to keep for Hasbro, we would have listed it in the license. “

I’m coming to the Commons

In addition to the deauthorization of OGL v1.0a, the new draft language cuts many of the most controversial parts of the original leaked update, including plans to require revenue reporting, collect royalties for top content creators, and force a license return to WotC for original content. The new draft language also specifically notes that the new license is “perpetual, non-exclusive and irrevocable,” with only a few technical sections subject to modification in the future.

D&D community over proposed OGL updates.” rel=”noopener”>Концепцията на художника за предстоящата дискусия между Wizards of the Coast и общността <em>D&D</em> regarding proposed OGL updates.” src=”https://cdn.arstechnica.net/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/dnddiscuss-640×447.jpg” width=”640″ height=”447″ srcset=”https ://cdn.arstechnica.net/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/dnddiscuss-1280×895.jpg 2x”/></a><figcaption class=
Zoom in / Artist’s concept of the upcoming discussion between Wizards of the Coast and D&D community over proposed OGL updates.

D&Dthe core mechanics of will be able to be licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0), which WotC says “does not place any restrictions on how you use this content.” While this is not absolutely true, this license grants a “worldwide, royalty-free, non-sublicensable, non-exclusive, irrevocable license” to the content of this rule, provided the licensor gives proper credit to WotC for its creation.

For “typical D&D content” published by WotC (eg classes, spells, monsters and other creative content made by the company), the new license will allow use, modification and distribution with several restrictions. In addition to restrictions on illegal and/or hateful content, such as discussed above, the draft language prohibits anything that infringes on third-party IP or implies official approval by WotC.

A survey allowing members of the public to comment on this new OGL language project will go public sometime on Friday, WotC said, and will be available until February 3. Additional updates based on that feedback will be released on or before February 17, according to the company, and this kind of feedback iteration “will continue for as long as it takes… until we get it right,” Brink wrote.


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