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Penny Arcade - Comic - I HAVE NO MOUTH AND I MUST BING

DogDog Registered User, Administrator, Vanilla Staff admin

I HAVE NO MOUTH AND I MUST BING !

**Penny Arcade - Comic - I HAVE NO MOUTH AND I MUST BING **

Videogaming-related online strip by Mike Krahulik and Jerry Holkins. Includes news and commentary.

Read the full story here

furlionRingo

Posts

  • oh3fiftyoneoh3fiftyone Registered User regular
    Okay, this is funny and all but, we need to hear Jerry and Mike say something about what massive cunts WoTC are being.

    sullijo
  • V1mV1m Registered User regular
    What the hell have wotc done now?

    silence1186
  • PyrianPyrian Registered User regular
    Modified the Open Gaming License.

  • ArmsForPeace84ArmsForPeace84 Your Partner In Freedom Registered User regular
    "It looks like you're having an existential crisis. Would you like some help with that?"

    Nothing personal. It's just business.
  • dennisdennis aka bingley Registered User regular
    "It looks like you're having an existential crisis. Would you like some help with that?"

    "It looks like you're not having an existential crisis. Would you like some help with that?"

    BloodySloth
  • E.CoyoteE.Coyote Registered User regular
    By reading this comic your default search engine has been set to Bing.

    Ringo
  • Rhesus PositiveRhesus Positive GNU Terry Pratchett Registered User regular
    E.Coyote wrote: »
    By reading this comic your default search engine has been set to Bing.

    Mine... already is :(

    [Muffled sounds of gorilla violence]
  • PALaxxPALaxx Registered User regular
    V1m wrote: »
    What the hell have wotc done now?

    Essentially changed their OGL agreement to include a clause that lets them use any character/module you create that they become aware exists, royalty- and permission-free for all eternity in any capacity they choose. Including, but not limited to, packaging your character/party/campaign into one they can sell and profit off of.

    The original clause before this update simply stated that anything you create with the game rules was your own thing to use as much as you want, whenever/wherever you want. You can still do that, but now WotC has decided they get to take your creation and use it/sell it too without giving you anything for it.

  • Elric4985Elric4985 Registered User regular
    Isn't that what Blizzard did with the Warcraft 3 remaster?

  • PALaxxPALaxx Registered User regular
    Elric4985 wrote: »
    Isn't that what Blizzard did with the Warcraft 3 remaster?

    Yes, more or less. I've also discovered that WotC also added additional clauses stating that if you profit from a 3rd Party addition to DnD (such as selling an unofficial source book or, say, run a YouTube channel featuring DnD) and you make 750k or more dollars with it, WotC is entitled to 20-25% of that revenue.

    They're, uh, not looking so good to fans currently.

  • V1mV1m Registered User regular
    edited January 10
    PALaxx wrote: »
    V1m wrote: »
    What the hell have wotc done now?

    Essentially changed their OGL agreement to include a clause that lets them use any character/module you create that they become aware exists, royalty- and permission-free for all eternity in any capacity they choose. Including, but not limited to, packaging your character/party/campaign into one they can sell and profit off of.

    The original clause before this update simply stated that anything you create with the game rules was your own thing to use as much as you want, whenever/wherever you want. You can still do that, but now WotC has decided they get to take your creation and use it/sell it too without giving you anything for it.

    This?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WXTdoUW8nxo

    Yeah I can see that granting an irrevocable license to decide at any time how much money you owe them might put slightly people off from trying to make any kind of living (or even cover costs) from creating or providing D&D based products.

    V1m on
  • YoungFreyYoungFrey Registered User regular
    edited January 10
    PALaxx wrote: »
    Elric4985 wrote: »
    Isn't that what Blizzard did with the Warcraft 3 remaster?

    Yes, more or less. I've also discovered that WotC also added additional clauses stating that if you profit from a 3rd Party addition to DnD (such as selling an unofficial source book or, say, run a YouTube channel featuring DnD) and you make 750k or more dollars with it, WotC is entitled to 20-25% of that revenue.

    They're, uh, not looking so good to fans currently.

    I read that it's 20-25% of the revenue over $750K. So if you take in $1M, you owe them a percentage of $250K. But it's also revenue, not profit. So if you have a $1M Kickstarter that isn't actually profitable, you still owe WotC its share of that $250K despite not having actually earned any money for yourself.

    YoungFrey on
  • PALaxxPALaxx Registered User regular
    V1m wrote: »
    Yeah I can see that granting an irrevocable license to decide at any time how much money you owe them might put slightly people off from trying to make any kind of living (or even cover costs) from creating or providing D&D based products.

    They're really shooting themselves in the foot just to wring more nickles out their customers' pockets.
    YoungFrey wrote: »
    I read that it's 20-25% of the revenue over $750K. So if you take in $1M, you owe them a percentage of $250K. But it's also revenue, not profit. So if you have a $1M Kickstarter that isn't actually profitable, you still owe WotC its share of that $250K despite not having actually earned any money for yourself.

    I'm not sure if that first part is accurate, but the second part sounds right.

    Something else I forgot to mention, as well, is that the update to the OGL is retroactive, meaning that anything created under the old agreement is subject to the new terms. That campaign you hosted on a website 20 years ago is now fair game to them, if they so choose.

  • dennisdennis aka bingley Registered User regular
    edited January 10
    ____
    PALaxx wrote: »
    Something else I forgot to mention, as well, is that the update to the OGL is retroactive, meaning that anything created under the old agreement is subject to the new terms. That campaign you hosted on a website 20 years ago is now fair game to them, if they so choose.

    I question the legality of such a clause, if you're saying they'd have to go back and pay WoTC a share of money they made 20 years ago. If such a thing were possible, then I think there's be a lot more problems than just with D&D. I'd need to see someone with actual legal bona fides saying that such a thing is a) legal and b) what's actually in the new OGL.

    Now, I don't doubt they can keep you from reprinting that very same material today, once they revoke the previous license. But revoking a previous license is not the same thing as retroactively forcing someone to use a license that didn't exist when they produced their product. And, honestly, that doesn't even seem that weird to me, since you're essentially producing new product, even if the content of the product is old. Shitty, but not weird.

    Otherwise, Microsoft could put out its next license for Office saying anything you made for it 20 years ago is now "fair game".

    dennis on
  • GrendusGrendus Registered User regular
    It's generally agreed that that clause is probably unenforceable and will almost certainly not hold up in court. Especially since KotOR was released under the OGL... you don't fuck with The Mouse's IP, and Disney would strike preemptively if they thought there was a threat.

    But it's a little different than "retroactively changing the license". Essentially, the OGL 1.0 said you can use "any authorized version" of the license. The OGL 1.1 says "the 1.0 license is no longer authorized." Hasbro would argue that the statement "any authorized version" means they can de-authorize old versions and, at worst, people can no longer release new content under the old license. There's a lot of discussion about ambiguity, about whether or not you have to agree to the new license, etc. But the point is that everyone is aflutter about an $8 billion dollar company who think they can retroactively change the license. Everyone agrees that they almost certainly can't do that, but if the courts let them get away with it a lot of people are going to be far past fucked.

    I kind of suspect that part of why Penny Arcade hasn't commented yet is because they're also on the hook with this - the C-Team would be affected by the license change. They probably want to avoid making any statements, real or implied, that might come back to haunt them if they wind up in a legal battle. Probably won't happen, but we do live in the dumbest timeline, you never know.

    V1m
  • dennisdennis aka bingley Registered User regular
    Grendus wrote: »
    Everyone agrees that they almost certainly can't do that, but if the courts let them get away with it a lot of people are going to be far past fucked.

    I don't know that I agree that "everyone" agrees (I know you don't literally mean 100%, but I'm saying not even like 90%). From what I've read about people saying "yes, I am a lawyer, and..." unless a license says it's irrevocable, it's not strictly irrevocable (there are some many untested caveats, often depending on the specific situation).

    Note that licenses like GPL, MIT, Apache, etc. specifically state that it is irrevocable.

    Also, they say that licenses in general aren't nearly as well court-tested as general contracts. So that makes it harder to say.

    But it's also worth pointing out that revoking a license doesn't make you accept a new license. It simply means you don't have a license anymore. It means you can't make new copies, start a new kickstarter, etc. But it doesn't invalidate the existing works you have out there in people's hands. Just like Fantasy Flight Games losing the Warhammer license didn't mean suddenly those old copies have to be destroyed or something. It just meant FFG can't make more copies and sell them, or make new stuff.

    Also - again, from the analysis I've read - it's not going to give WotC the rights to the stuff you made under previous licenses. That happens only if you accept the new license. Otherwise, that old stuff just winds up in limbo. Or, at least the stuff that specifically pertained to WotC IP. If you had a (I'm just throwing stuff together for example - please don't get pedantic) 5th level Modron Purple Dragon Knight from Mechanus that became a Lord of Waterdeep and is being vexed by an Illithid-made clone of Elminster, that will need to become something like a Robot Knight from the Land of the Robots that became a City Councilmember in East Wizardon being vexed by a Ghoul-made clone of Merlin. You just can't use their copyrightable/trademarkable stuff anymore.

    Granted, to a lot of people that's the end of their character/storyline and that's understandable. But for a lot of stuff that just involves wizards and warriors and goblin kings - those serial numbers come off pretty easily.
    I kind of suspect that part of why Penny Arcade hasn't commented yet is because they're also on the hook with this - the C-Team would be affected by the license change. They probably want to avoid making any statements, real or implied, that might come back to haunt them if they wind up in a legal battle. Probably won't happen, but we do live in the dumbest timeline, you never know.

    I suspect PA isn't operating under the OGL, and have a very specific and well-defined contract with WotC. You don't perform at the level that they do and just give your IP away to another company.

    I mean, not anymore. They learned that lesson with the comic long ago.

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