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The 4e SRD and GSL

   
The 4e SRD and GSL

So both of these documents have been released, and they seem to me to be bad news for those used to the SRD and OGL from 3e. The 4e SRD contains no rules text whatsoever. It is just a list of titles that one can reference by name. For example, one can write:

In the room is an Eladrin wizard (See the D&D 4E PLAYER’S HANDBOOK).

You can't even put a page number, and definitely no description of the rules, etc. Yeah, it pretty much sucks. Wizards has gotten very stingy.

Oh yeah, and drow doesn't even appear in the SRD, so drow can't be used by anyone but WOTC.

Did drow appear in the 3rd ed. SRD? If so, couldn't people still use them?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SocraticCoaster View Post
Did drow appear in the 3rd ed. SRD? If so, couldn't people still use them?
Drow did, and you can still use it if you are referencing a 3e product. But if you are creating or referencing a 4e game or product, then the 4e GSL is the only thing that applies, so no, no drow.

And drow is just one small example.

I'm going to have to beg to differ. The drow name and concept falls under the 3rd edition OGL. Any new 4e specific rules or flavour falls under the new rules, but if you want to reference the drow and their association with Llolth, or any of the other stuff that has previously been open content, you should be able to, whether or not you are playing in a 3rd edition game or a 4th. In other words fluff should be open content, and numbery stuff, not. Since they have released very little fluff in 4e, that shouldn't be onerous.

That's my reading of it anyway.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Firkraag View Post
I'm going to have to beg to differ. The drow name and concept falls under the 3rd edition OGL. Any new 4e specific rules or flavour falls under the new rules, but if you want to reference the drow and their association with Llolth, or any of the other stuff that has previously been open content, you should be able to, whether or not you are playing in a 3rd edition game or a 4th. In other words fluff should be open content, and numbery stuff, not. Since they have released very little fluff in 4e, that shouldn't be onerous.

That's my reading of it anyway.
I'm not sure you're right. If you are producing 4e content, then that is completely separate from the 3e OGL. In fact, WOTC specifies that if you chose to create a 4e product based on or similar to a product you created for 3e, then you must cease sale of the 3e product. In other words, you can't produce 3e and 4e versions of the same thing. So that seems to me to cut out your argument.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GSL
Licensee may reprint the proprietary 4E reference terms, tables, and templates (each, a “4E Reference”) described in the 4E System Reference Document as presented in the file “SRD.pdf” that is available for download at http://www.wizards.com/d20 (“SRD”), incorporated herein by reference.
Drow is not in the SRD and as such cannot be reprinted:

Quote:
5.5 Licensed Products. This License applies solely to Licensed Products as defined in Section 3 and to the specified uses set forth in Section 4. For the avoidance of doubt, and by way of example only, no Licensed Product will (a) include web sites, interactive products, miniatures, or character creators; (b) describe a process for creating a character or applying the effects of experience to a character; (c) use the terms “Core Rules” or “Core Rulebook” or variations thereof on its cover or title, in self-reference or in advertising or marketing thereof; (d) refer to any artwork, imagery or other depiction contained in a Core Rulebook; (e) reprint any material contained in a Core Rulebook except as explicitly provided in Section 4...
Now I could be wrong. I'd appreciate having it specifically pointed out to me if I am, though.

It may say that, but I'm pretty sure they don't have a leg to stand on. I'm not a lawyer, so please don't take my word as legal advice, but in my profession I have been asked to sign non-disclosure terms several times and the issue of public vs. proprietary has come up. From my understanding, you can't put the genie back in the bottle.

Is anyone here actually a lawyer?

I'm sure they consulted their lawyers before publishing the GSL, so since you and I are not lawyers, it seems to me that we might want to consider their GSL as being within the law.

Plus, it's a moot point. Are you willing to be sued by WOTC for violating their GSL? I'm not.

Companies often put things in writing that are unenforceable in order to attempt to gain some control. It's not illegal in the sense that the claim is illegal, it just won't stand up to in court.

That said, I usually am quite cautious about copywrite and I agree that the risk is usually not worth it. My problem in this particular case is whether they have the right to tell the gaming world at large to cease and desist using intellectual properties that they have purchased or been given access to without limitation in good faith.

It seems rather bogus.

I'm not espousing a bunch of people to flout the law, but I would suggest that one might not take this at face value but should investigate further.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Firkraag View Post
Companies often put things in writing that are unenforceable in order to attempt to gain some control. It's not illegal in the sense that the claim is illegal, it just won't stand up to in court.

That said, I usually am quite cautious about copywrite and I agree that the risk is usually not worth it. My problem in this particular case is whether they have the right to tell the gaming world at large to cease and desist using intellectual properties that they have purchased or been given access to without limitation in good faith.

It seems rather bogus.

I'm not espousing a bunch of people to flout the law, but I would suggest that one might not take this at face value but should investigate further.
Well, of course I hope you're right but fear you're wrong.

If you are right it would appear to make our SRD tags redundant. Personally I think they are tremendously useful and will be a great loss to the MW community.




 

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