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Licensing for iOS app development?

Paizo Licensed Products General Discussion


I am about to start the long journey of getting into iOS app development. If I am at least successful in getting things into the app store, I can see some gaps to be filled in the name of Pathfinder.

I would like some help to make sure anything I do will not infringe on anyone's licensing. Either Paizo or Wizards.

The ideas I have would make references to products within the core Pathfinder books.

So everything from specific magic items referenced by name, through to skills, feats, spells, equipment etc.

I'm looking at developing apps along the lines of character creation and maintenance.

So can anyone point me in the right direction to anything I need to read and understand to ensure I'm not going to infringe on any of the OGL?

Also any info about qualifying for the 'compatible with Pathfinder' logo?

My intent is for the apps ultimately to be paid apps, but will be setting the price point pretty cheaply.

I've had a poke around but can't seem to find anything useful.

Who knows how far I'll get? But I need to make sure of this before I even start.


I did find this, re: the usage of the compatible with PF logo:

Am I reading it correctly that I only have to comply fully if I want this logo on my app (and also have to contact Paizo directly seeing as I'm publishing something not listed)?

So am I also reading it correctly that if I choose to just not have the logo, I can not worry too much about the licensing? (making sure not to infringe the 3.5 OGL of course).

I see there are some apps with the PFRPG system reference document in the app (which is basically everything), and they don't seem to be having licensing issues.

Paizo Employee Webstore Gninja Minion

For questions about software licensing, I would send an email directly to Vic Wertz, as software is in a gray area for the Open Gaming License (and our Pathfinder Compatibility License).

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

The Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Compatibility License applies only to printed books, electronic books, and freely available websites, and is not available for use with apps.

Anything we've declared as Open Game Content in our products, though, is available under the OGL... but note that the OGL specifically restricts you from using "any ... trademark or registered trademark clearly identified as Product identity by the owner of the Product Identity", or from "indicat[ing] compatibility or co-adaptability with any Trademark or Registered Trademark in conjunction with a work containing Open Game Content except as expressly licensed in another, independent Agreement with the owner of such Trademark or Registered Trademark."

Which means you can't use trademarks like Pathfinder or Paizo in connection with your app (except for citing your sources of Open Game Content in your OGL Section 15 Copyright Notice). (Using the non-trademarked term "PFRPG" is legal.)

As far as acquiring a specific license from us, frankly, that option will only be considered for established software publishers with excellent reputations and solid business plans for their prospective apps.

Thanks for the response here.

Ok, so forgetting about the compatible with PF logo for the moment, if I'm understanding it correctly, so long as my eventual app covers the following:

1: Does not at any point reference the trademarks Pathfinder or Paizo in connection with the app. Which means I can't describe my app as "Fully compatible with the Pathfinder RPG".
2: But I could instead say "Fully compatible with the PFRPG".
3: The content of the app is ok to reference pretty much the whole rules system as long as it does not contain any product identity, which according to my copy of the PF core rule book, is any one of: All trademarks, registered trademarks, proper names (so can't reference Valeros, or Asmodeus for example), dialogue from the books, plots from the books, storylines, locations (such as Golarion), characters (again, like Valeros), artwork, and trade dress (which I assume means things like the look and feel of your pubications visually and thematically, that would make it iconically Pathfinder or Paizo).

So, correct me if I'm wrong, but given my intended app would centre around character generation and live management, all I'm concerning myself with is the actual ruleset.

So I'm thinking that all the ruleset stuff like CMD and CMBs, Feat names, descriptions and mechanics, skill names, descriptions and mechanics, spell names, descriptions and mechanics.... etc, would be considered open content and ok to include in the app?

However, according to the list in number 3, above, this would prevent me from having a mechanic that would allow a user to create a Cleric and have him be a Cleric of Erastil, or a worshiper of Torag. Is that correct?

Sorry for all the questions, but I just really want to make sure I respect your copyright on your excellent product.

Oh, and I need to include an appropriate copyright notice where I site my sources (Paizo and Wizards of the Coast as appropriate).

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Everything in the above post is correct, at least when you're talking about the Core Rulebook. (When referencing any OGL product, it's important that you check the statements of Open Game Content and Product Identity in each individual product, as they sometimes vary.)

(And I'd also note that while you can't have a worshiper of Torag, you *can* have a worshiper of the god of the forge.)

Revenant_40 wrote:
Oh, and I need to include an appropriate copyright notice where I site my sources (Paizo and Wizards of the Coast as appropriate).

You'll find the rules for how to do that are laid out in Section 6 of the OGL.

Yep, was just using the Core book as an example, but I figured once I had worked that out I could just apply the same principles to the other books, and figure out how to do each one as I incorporate it into the app.

Thanks a lot for your help, and the tip about deities.

You've been a massive help, and the Pathfinder product is awesome as always. My bookshelf bows happily with Pathfinder books :)

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