Comments on 2012-04-26 OGL vs CC BY SA

I’ve always thought the OGL easy to work with, it has allowed me to create derivitive works done by others and still protect the things I’ve created myself, plus there is literally a lifetimes worth of material that the OGL created based on the 3.x rules.

I checked my Tome of Horrors and it states on page 449 that monster descriptions are open game content. (I’ve been hoping to use the Tome for my own material) About the only headache is listing each monster taken from the Tome in the OGL of the content created.

Crose87420 2012-04-26 12:43 UTC

It’s true that page 669 (”Legal Appendix”) of the Swords & Wizardry edition of the Tome of Horrors Complete says:

Designation of Open Game Content: […] including monster names, stats, and description

But below it also says:

Designation of Product Identity: […] proper names, personality, descriptions

When I mentioned this on the Necromancer Games forum, Matt Finch felt the designation of Product Identity took precedence over the designation of Open Game Content:

My opinion only, but I think it is the definition of Product Identity which trumps. The definition of Open Game Content includes: ““Open Game Content” means the game mechanic and includes the methods, procedures, processes and routines to the extent such content does not embody the Product Identity...”

I think the way it’s worded means that if you’ve got a specific designation of Product Identity, then whatever your definition of Open Game Content is, it’s still limited by the way that Product Identity was defined, rather than the other way around.

– Matt Finch (thread)

He’s referring to this part of the OGL:

Definitions: […] “Open Game Content” […] to the extent that such content does not embody the Product Identity […] “Product Identity” […] clearly identified as Product Identity by the owner of the Product Identity, and which specifically excludes the Open Game Content

As for the use of the OGL: I’m sure some uses are made much easier than they used to be in earlier days. My problem is exactly the use of derivative works: they mix the Open Content available to all and protect the things they created themselves (or do so at least partially). It makes it harder for me to distinguish what I can take as soon as I’m looking at works other than the main System Reference Document.

I’d like it better if those that benefit from the Open Content available were to give back as well.

I’d love to import the S&W ed. Tome of Horrors monsters into the wiki. I had practically everything ready to go before getting this reply. I was frustrated, and I still am.

AlexSchroeder 2012-04-26 22:05 UTC

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