Section 15 OGL and Exhibit B items


Product Discussion

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Founder, Legendary Games & Publisher, Necromancer Games

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You need to cut out the middle man. DON'T use the section 15 from the books, just use the SRD.

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4; Contributor; Publisher, Legendary Games

R. Hyrum Savage wrote:

Richard, since you're on a budget (and who isn't?) I recommend looking at the various stock art compilations for sale. Most can be had at *very* low prices (10+ images for under $10) and should help you get more products sold.

Stock art is the only reason we've been able to release a PDF a week now for nearly 3 years running.

Hyrum.

Art-wrangling is definitely one of the challenges for a publisher, and it can cause products to slip off schedule if you're not careful, or even if you ARE careful and things just don't happen the way you plan them to. Reliable artists are just as important as reliable writers, so treat them well!

Founder, Legendary Games & Publisher, Necromancer Games

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Matthew Morris wrote:

*wanders through, wondering how much Clark (and others) should be charging for advice.* :-)

Matt, good question. But the answer is I support open gaming 1000% and have always helped everyone who needed it for nothing.

The OGL is a wonderful thing. Use it properly and you never need to worry about lawyers.

Shadow Lodge

Clark Peterson wrote:
Matthew Morris wrote:

*wanders through, wondering how much Clark (and others) should be charging for advice.* :-)

Matt, good question. But the answer is I support open gaming 1000% and have always helped everyone who needed it for nothing.

The OGL is a wonderful thing. Use it properly and you never need to worry about lawyers.

The problem is that the average lay-person/potential publisher is not a lawyer/judge, and as such may need a bit of help interpreting exactly how to "use it properly."


Clark Peterson wrote:
richard develyn wrote:
Pathfinder has a number of core rule books which you can freely cite in your own product,
I am not sure how to get this across to you. You don't cite to the rule books in your products. You use content from the SRD. The fact that same content is in the core books is great, but you are not using the core books in your product, you are using content from those books that has been released as open content in the SRD.

Clark, I do not believe this is accurate for Paizo/Pathfinder.

In 3E/3.5, the core rulebooks stated "No Open Game Content" or something similar, but this is NOT the case for Paizo/Pathfinder.

I just checked several books and APs, and they quite clearly state that content like mechanics and what not IS open content.

In fact, I think the independent-from-Paizo website www.d20pfsrd.com pretty regularly updates their website from new product releases, rather than waiting until Paizo updates their "official" SRD.

Dark Archive

w.r.t. Artwork

The decision I took was to pay for an artist (Bradley McDevitt - because I really like his work) to create a cover picture for me, in full colour.

In fact, this is the main expense I want to be able to recoup via sales. It may be a bit of vanity I know, but I have *loved* having a professional artist create an illustration for my adventure. What I actually did was send him a copy of the text and let him come up with the picture, which has the added benefit of telling you what a very visual person feels stands out about what you've done. I recommend both him and the approach.

For interior art, I've used a couple more of his pictures in black and white which I bought through RPG now. I know there are plenty of people selling stock art like this, and I think the price is very reasonable.

w.r.t. OGL and section 15 and the original question that I asked on this thread and which I thought I had an answer for I am now, once again, unsure.

I think I'm right in saying that the OGL was written with the WOTC SRD in mind. When it comes to Pathfinder products and their compatibility licence, does SRD now mean this:

http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/

- what we call the PRD?

And have I understood Clark correctly that this means that if what you cite is simply cut and pasted from the PRD, that you don't have to worry with the relevant Section 15 citations?

Richard


On a tangent, how can a disclaimer override reality?

For example, when someone clearly provides legal advice, how does including "this is not legal advice" make it not legal advice?


How is it clearly legal advice? I believe one needs to be licensed to lawfully provide legal advice, hence those disclaimers.

It's just friendly advice, unless someone represents themselves as licensed to practice law. Then it's legal advice (and perhaps illegal legal advice, if one isn't actually licensed).

:)

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Uninvited Ghost wrote:

On a tangent, how can a disclaimer override reality?

For example, when someone clearly provides legal advice, how does including "this is not legal advice" make it not legal advice?

Because: law > reality.

I know, but that's how this planet works. Carry on, and if you have a problem, go back in time to medieval England (if you're from a common law country) or to ancient Rome (if you're from elsewhere) and good luck there.

Founder, Legendary Games & Publisher, Necromancer Games

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Brian E. Harris wrote:

Clark, I do not believe this is accurate for Paizo/Pathfinder.

In 3E/3.5, the core rulebooks stated "No Open Game Content" or something similar, but this is NOT the case for Paizo/Pathfinder.

I just checked several books and APs, and they quite clearly state that content like mechanics and what not IS open content.

In fact, I think the independent-from-Paizo website www.d20pfsrd.com pretty regularly updates their website from new product releases, rather than waiting until Paizo updates their "official" SRD.

True. You COULD cite to the rule books, but why would you? The 15 designation would be big. Just use the PFSRD. That is the point he is missing, I think. Or use d20pfsrd, which I think is great.

Founder, Legendary Games & Publisher, Necromancer Games

richard develyn wrote:

And have I understood Clark correctly that this means that if what you cite is simply cut and pasted from the PRD, that you don't have to worry with the relevant Section 15 citations?

Richard

Well, that's why you might consider using the SRD if it is also there because the PRD has a huge 15.

Founder, Legendary Games & Publisher, Necromancer Games

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But I think we have all taken a practical approach that you cite what you use, not just mimicing reuse.

For instance, lets say I just use general stuff from the PRD (not stuff from Tome or other things) which is found in the core rules and bestiary, I'd just put:

Section 15

[my product info]

System Reference Document. Copyright 2000, Wizards of the Coast, Inc.; Authors Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, Skip Williams, based on material by E. Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson.

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Reference Document. © 2011, Paizo Publishing, LLC; Author: Paizo Publishing, LLC.

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Core Rulebook. © 2009, Paizo Publishing, LLC; Author: Jason Bulmahn, based on material by Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, and Skip Williams.

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Bestiary. © 2009, Paizo Publishing, LLC; Author: Jason Bulmahn, based on material by Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, and Skip Williams.

The Exchange

Clark Peterson wrote:
Or use d20pfsrd, which I think is great.

Marked as favorite. Ok, carry on. :D


Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Maps Subscriber
Clark Peterson wrote:

But I think we have all taken a practical approach that you cite what you use, not just mimicing reuse.

For instance, lets say I just use general stuff from the PRD (not stuff from Tome or other things) which is found in the core rules and bestiary, I'd just put:

Section 15

[my product info]

System Reference Document. Copyright 2000, Wizards of the Coast, Inc.; Authors Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, Skip Williams, based on material by E. Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson.

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Reference Document. © 2011, Paizo Publishing, LLC; Author: Paizo Publishing, LLC.

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Core Rulebook. © 2009, Paizo Publishing, LLC; Author: Jason Bulmahn, based on material by Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, and Skip Williams.

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Bestiary. © 2009, Paizo Publishing, LLC; Author: Jason Bulmahn, based on material by Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, and Skip Williams.

This makes perfect sense to me - have I misunderstood what you meant by the OGL being recursive?

I thought what you meant by recursive was that, given you're citing the core rules, you'd also need to include the book of experimental might (since that's listed in its section 15) even if you didn't directly reference that material.

The approach you describe here is very straightforward, but doesn't seem "recursive" to me. I don't understand, given recursive, how the PF core rules can ever be listed without the book of experimental might. :/

Dark Archive

Clark Peterson wrote:
richard develyn wrote:

And have I understood Clark correctly that this means that if what you cite is simply cut and pasted from the PRD, that you don't have to worry with the relevant Section 15 citations?

Richard

Well, that's why you might consider using the SRD if it is also there because the PRD has a huge 15.

Yes, but I can't imagine anyone writing Pathfinder Compatible material ever citing the SRD. The PRD has re-written most of it.

Richard

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Brian E. Harris wrote:


In fact, I think the independent-from-Paizo website www.d20pfsrd.com pretty regularly updates their website from new product releases, rather than waiting until Paizo updates their "official" SRD.

They do however as a courtesy to Paizo, wait a fair amount of time after release of such material before posting it.


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Clark Peterson wrote:

But I think we have all taken a practical approach that you cite what you use, not just mimicing reuse.

For instance, lets say I just use general stuff from the PRD (not stuff from Tome or other things) which is found in the core rules and bestiary, I'd just put:

Section 15

[my product info]

System Reference Document. Copyright 2000, Wizards of the Coast, Inc.; Authors Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, Skip Williams, based on material by E. Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson.

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Reference Document. © 2011, Paizo Publishing, LLC; Author: Paizo Publishing, LLC.

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Core Rulebook. © 2009, Paizo Publishing, LLC; Author: Jason Bulmahn, based on material by Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, and Skip Williams.

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Bestiary. © 2009, Paizo Publishing, LLC; Author: Jason Bulmahn, based on material by Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, and Skip Williams.

Wouldn't you then be in violation of the OGL yourself for not citing the exact text (as required in Section 6) of the PRD's Section 15?

Because it's a heck of a lot longer than the above:

http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/openGameLicense.html


Clark Peterson wrote:
True. You COULD cite to the rule books, but why would you? The 15 designation would be big. Just use the PFSRD. That is the point he is missing, I think. Or use d20pfsrd, which I think is great.

Is it longer than the PRD's Section 15?

Because, to use the example of the Caryatid Column that's been mentioned in this thread, the Bestiary 3 Section 15 is far shorter than the PRD's Section 15.

Founder, Legendary Games & Publisher, Necromancer Games

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Brian E. Harris wrote:


Because, to use the example of the Caryatid Column that's been mentioned in this thread, the Bestiary 3 Section 15 is far shorter than the PRD's Section 15.

Hehe, true. Pathfinder introduces a level of complexity different from the original SRD in that there is not this "pure source" like the SRD was.

But the PRD is a compilation from many sources. It is an interesting issue.

If I was using a monster from the bestiary that come from Tome of Horrors, I would use the Bestiarys section 15 designation but only the entry from Tome for the monster that I used.

This goes back I cant remember how many years. This was a discussion way back on teh d20 listserve. Of course, there was no pathfinder then and we didnt discuss this squarely but the community essentially agreed to that approach. I think even Ryan agreed.


richard, wouldn't it be easier for you to find an already established publisher, and come to an agreement with them to publish your work?

Silver Crusade

Some of us are waiting for the right time and the right place to do so.

I recently converted d20 Rokugan and d20 OA to Pathfinder really sloppily and now I'm running an L5R campaign using pathfinder. I'd love to write the Pathfinder conversion book for L5R. However, I am waiting for the right time and the resources to do so. :)

Uhm . . .
Greifers can go jump in the lake. :)


The Paizo Core Rulebooks also feature changes from the 3.5 SRD if you are not using the 3.5 version from the SRD and are using the Pathfinder version from the Core Rulebook, then would you not need to cite the Paizo Core Rulebook in your SRD. Also, you don't want to cite d20pfsrd.com if you can avoid it (or the Paizo PRD) because since they draw from a variety of sources, and the fact that the OGL Section 15 requirements are recursive, you end up having to deal with a Section 15 that features dozens or hundreds of other products.


Clark Peterson wrote:
Brian E. Harris wrote:


Because, to use the example of the Caryatid Column that's been mentioned in this thread, the Bestiary 3 Section 15 is far shorter than the PRD's Section 15.

Hehe, true. Pathfinder introduces a level of complexity different from the original SRD in that there is not this "pure source" like the SRD was.

But the PRD is a compilation from many sources. It is an interesting issue.

If I was using a monster from the bestiary that come from Tome of Horrors, I would use the Bestiarys section 15 designation but only the entry from Tome for the monster that I used.

This goes back I cant remember how many years. This was a discussion way back on teh d20 listserve. Of course, there was no pathfinder then and we didnt discuss this squarely but the community essentially agreed to that approach. I think even Ryan agreed.

The thing is, according to the text of the OGL you aren't allowed to do this. If you are using the Bestiary 2/3 version of a monster that came from the Tome of Horrors, you need to cite the entire Section 15 from the bestiary 2/3 and not just the parts you want to target. I can't see how the wording of the license allows any other interpretation while still remaining compliant.


And that seems to contradict what Richard was being told he was required to do - i.e. being required to cite a bunch of monsters from the ToH that he's not actually using, simply because he used one monster from Bestiary 3.

Clark Peterson wrote:
Alzrius wrote:


Hold on, Clark, are you saying that when copying the Section 15 of a product you cite into your own product, you have to keep the citations in the same order listed, or you'll be in violation of the License?
What does the OGL say you have to do?

That's kinda what we're after.

On the one hand, you've told (or insinuated to) Richard that he's not allowed to organize his Section 15 in alphabetical order, but rather that he needs to maintain the order it's in from the sources he's cited.

On the other hand, you're saying that it's acceptable for you to pick-and-choose from a Section 15 what you're going to cite, since you're not using a bunch of the stuff specifically mentioned in that Section 15 (which, if I've read correctly, was Richard's entire point to this thread - specifically, he wanted to use something from Bestiary 3, but didn't want to cite all the ToH or other stuff that he's not actually using).

Clark Peterson wrote:
This goes back I cant remember how many years. This was a discussion way back on teh d20 listserve. Of course, there was no pathfinder then and we didnt discuss this squarely but the community essentially agreed to that approach. I think even Ryan agreed.

Did Ryan Dancey's agreement amount to any kind of official addendum to the most recent version of the OGL that folks today can use?

Otherwise, it sounds like another "gentlemen's agreement" amongst folks to not hammer each other for not abiding by the terms of the license, and certainly doesn't seem to be a defensible position when someone decides to take offense at an alleged violation of that license.


This is from Rite publishing's point of view. It comes from my experience over the last 7 years as a publisher/freelancer and as someone who has been playing around with the OGL.

I like using all kinds of open gaming content from multiple sources (take a look at Book of Monster Templates, any of the Faces of the Tarnished Souk, 101 renegade class feats, or Adventure Quarterly #2.

What we have found though is Customers want to know where a a piece of Open Gaming Content came from originaly even if I printed the whole statblock. So I spend my time getting permission from the original source (ala a 3rd party agreement which is allowed by the OGL)

So I have been able to tell folks, this class came The Genius Guide to the Time thief by Owen K.C. Stephnes for Super Genius Games, or that this monster came from Forgotten Foes by Mark Gedak and Stefen Styrsky for Tricky Owlber Publishing,

We have done this with books from Super Genius Games, Forgotten Foes, Kobold Press, 0one games, Frog God Games, 4 Winds Fantasy Games and Green Ronin Publishing, an I expect one for TPK games soon.

Section
There are two schools of use when it comes to the SRD total copy paste citation from the section 15 of every book, or selective citation of the original book (especially when it comes to not using specific monsters from Tome of Horrors. I am not saying which one is right, I am not a lawyer I would assume that in the world of law total citation would be safest. In the working world I have seen even Paizo quote only selective portions of books that reflect the relevant OGC they used. I do my best to stay as close to the first school of use as possible.

Dark Archive

blope wrote:
richard, wouldn't it be easier for you to find an already established publisher, and come to an agreement with them to publish your work?

That would require me to produce the sort of products that they like to publish.

This isn't to do with quality control, it's about publishers wanting to (and needing to) maintain their image in the marketplace.

The reason I bought Slumbering Tsar from Frog God Games, for example, had nothing to do with Greg Vaughan (!). No disrespect to Greg - he's an excellent writer - but that's not why I bought it; it was the name of the publisher that sold it to me.

I have bought numerous Goodman Games adventures (Dungeon Crawl Classics) and I have absolutely no idea who wrote them.

I'm sure publishers will leap in on this fork of the discussion but I believe that for publishers to be successful they have to produce what their established following expects; and as their business succeeds, and their following grows, these constraints narrow. IMVHO, of course.

It's up to amateur self-publishers to experiment with new ideas (or try to rediscover old ideas) - even if these ideas are actually quite small variations on the established ones. As with all lines of business, you can take more risks when you're little.

Richard


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richard develyn wrote:
I'm sure publishers will leap in on this fork of the discussion but I believe that for publishers to be successful they have to produce what their established following expects; and as their business succeeds, and their following grows, these constraints narrow. IMVHO, of course.

Here is something that might surprise you, the public in general, says they want one thing then ask for/buys the complete opposite. Product you think will appeal to everyone doesn't and things you think will have small have mass appeal.

Dark Archive

LMPjr007 wrote:
richard develyn wrote:
I'm sure publishers will leap in on this fork of the discussion but I believe that for publishers to be successful they have to produce what their established following expects; and as their business succeeds, and their following grows, these constraints narrow. IMVHO, of course.
Here is something that might surprise you, the public in general, says they want one thing then ask for/buys the complete opposite. Product you think will appeal to everyone doesn't and things you think will have small have mass appeal.

You have my sympathy.

We live in interesting times. I think the internet has had a massive effect on the dynamics of the writer/artist <-> publisher/producer <-> end-consumer relationship. My guess is that it's all going pluralistic, but even that might just be a phase. Couldn't predict it.

Richard


Many of these 3rd party publishers ARE really small, and willing to take the risks you are talking about. What would it hurt to send several of them a proposal for what you want to do? They will either accept(and you can write it the way you want), or not. If the answer you get is no, you are no worse off than you are now. If someone says yes, then they will take care of the OGL statement, the art/maps etc. and save you a lot of grief. If you do it all yourself, you are essentially starting up a publishing business. In my opinion, take advantage of those who have already jumped that particular hurdle.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Rite Publishing wrote:

I like using all kinds of open gaming content from multiple sources (take a look at Book of Monster Templates, any of the Faces of the Tarnished Souk, 101 renegade class feats, or Adventure Quarterly #2.

What we have found though is Customers want to know where a a piece of Open Gaming Content came from originaly even if I printed the whole statblock. So I spend my time getting permission from the original source (ala a 3rd party agreement which is allowed by the OGL)

So I have been able to tell folks, this class came The Genius Guide to the Time thief by Owen K.C. Stephnes for Super Genius Games, or that this monster came from Forgotten Foes by Mark Gedak and Stefen Styrsky for Tricky Owlber Publishing,

We have done this with books from Super Genius Games, Forgotten Foes, Kobold Press, 0one games, Frog God Games, 4 Winds Fantasy Games and Green Ronin Publishing, an I expect one for TPK games soon.

You know, the idea that you have to make a third-party agreement just to list the original source of reproduced OGC in your book (notwithstanding the Section 15) always seemed wrong to me. The reason for this is that Paizo does it all the time - in their adventure paths, they'll list monsters from other sources, and in the stat blocks list the source title and page numbers.

The basis for this ideas seems to come from section 7 of the OGL (emphasis mine):

Quote:
7. Use of Product Identity: You agree not to Use any Product Identity, including as an indication as to compatibility, except as expressly licensed in another, independent Agreement with the owner of each element of that Product Identity. You agree not to indicate 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. The use of any Product Identity in Open Game Content does not constitute a challenge to the ownership of that Product Identity. The owner of any Product Identity used in Open Game Content shall retain all rights, title and interest in and to that Product Identity.

Since the name of the original publication is always Product Identity, that seems fairly clear. However, I don't think that just listing the name of the source necessarily means that you're making "an indication as to compatibility."

Of course, I'm not a lawyer, so I decided to ask someone with more knowledge on this topic than me: Erik Mona.

I doubt he remembers now, but I asked Erik Mona about this after a seminar at Gen Con in 2011. He indicated that no, Paizo didn't have any special agreement with Green Ronin or Necromancer Games that he was aware of, despite having listed the names of various products they've made in the OGC stat blocks of monsters they've reprinted.

I'm no publisher, but that's my take on the situation, anyway.


Richard, I'm going to take a different tack from some of the recent advice you've been given:

Self-publish.

Definitely, listen to the advice about layout/design and don't release something that looks like a middle-school desktop publishing project, but don't be dissuaded from being your own publisher.

I don't think that there's anything wrong with submitting work to an established publisher, but I completely understand the desire to be your own publisher, and, honestly, while I'm not going to say it's "easy" to be a publisher, if the number of 3PP publishers for Paizo/Pathfinder are any indication, it's not an insurmountable task to become another.

Best of luck to you with that avenue of this discussion.

Shadow Lodge

I think one of the reasons that people were advising him not to self-publish is that his only real stated goal is for his materials to "exist." Which is really quite an odd goal, in my view. A dungeon that I create and type/draw up is no less in existence than is anything published by Paizo. Less widespread? Of course. But that doesn't negate the entire existence of my dungeon.

Also, since my dungeon never has any intention of being published, I can use open content, closed content, product identity, and any other copyrighted material I so desire, and not worry about any of it, AND completely ignore the OGL and Section 15.


Alzrius wrote:


I'm no publisher, but that's my take on the situation, anyway.

Yeah I have had the same reaction from publishers. Yet when I ask them, every single one of them was thankful that I bothered to ask. Just call it the way I like to do things.

Its not just that it is wrong, or feels wrong to me, its that it could even appear to be wrong.

Dark Archive

I'm not anti-publisher, I just don't want to involve somebody else at this stage.

If after I've published my adventures someone approaches me with a deal of some sort, I'll definitely listen and maybe we'll team up. I expect that what I'm writing will have limited appeal - based on the fact that I've been in the RPG world since 1980 and I've seen the way things have moved. I might be wrong, but for now I have to have free reign even if that means being non-populist, which I'm sure is where a publisher's concerns are going to be (as well as their own product identity, as I said earlier).

Over the years I've brought many adventures into "existence" simply with pen, paper and graph paper. I've also run a lot of published adventures as well. This little venture, which I'm enjoying tremendously, by the way, is about bringing those two things together as much as possible. I want to hold, in my hand, an adventure which I have written and which looks, as much as my budget will allow me, like a professional product. I cannot justify, financially, writing these forever, though creatively that is what I would like to do, so I need to try to see if there is some sort of a market for them that will allow them to pay for themselves (by way of costs). If I make extra money out of this, then that will be a bonus.

A bit of soul-searching is suggesting to me that there are other reasons for doing this as well (vanity has to be in there). Like all writers, though, I want to communicate, and there is certainly a trend in the RPG world (about which I've written on these forums in the past) with regards to dis-intermediating the GM which I would like to try to reverse. In my opinion the best way to have this debate, and the best way to have any debate about adventure writing, is to write the adventure you would like to see written. In the end, though, this is just my hobby, and there will be plenty of people out there who could do a better job of it. If I can persuade some of them to "go my way" so to speak, I will have won doubly!

Richard

Founder, Legendary Games & Publisher, Necromancer Games

Caedwyr wrote:


The thing is, according to the text of the OGL you aren't allowed to do this. If you are using the Bestiary 2/3 version of a monster that came from the Tome of Horrors, you need to cite the entire Section 15 from the bestiary 2/3 and not just the parts you want to target. I can't see how the wording of the license allows any other interpretation while still remaining compliant.

We struggled with this as a community early on. The consensus and the practice of compliance with the license, which included comments from Ryan Dancey in his capacity at Wizards, thus giving approval, was that you only need reference the content you used. Granted, Pathfinder wasnt out so the idea of a full new game's own SRD wasnt really fully discussed, but there certainly were other games more close to d20 at the time, such as Spycraft that were stand alone games that used the srd but then made their own extra content.

In other words, the community of persons interested with compliance championed a practice of citing used content despite the conflict with the license. and Ryan Dancey agreed.

Now, if you want to have no questions you are in compliance, you are right. Do it as you say. You can never be wrong doing it right :)

I, however, have always adopted the practice we discussed in the discussion community.

Part of a way to interpret the requirements of a license is the history of its use and the practice in the industry. I'm just sharing with you what the insiders talked about way back then. And sharing my practices.

Clark

Founder, Legendary Games & Publisher, Necromancer Games

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richard develyn wrote:

I want to hold, in my hand, an adventure which I have written and which looks, as much as my budget will allow me, like a professional product. ...

A bit of soul-searching is suggesting to me that there are other reasons for doing this as well (vanity has to be in there).

In the end, though, this is just my hobby, and there will be plenty of people out there who could do a better job of it. If I can persuade some of them to "go my way" so to speak, I will have won...

Great stuff. Listen, when I started Necromancer I had no idea who would like it or what would happen. I got my buddy Bill involved (and he now runs it). And things just exploded.

So you have my full support. Just do it! And do it your way. I'm 100% in support of you. Give it a shot. And best of luck.

Clark


Clark Peterson wrote:
Caedwyr wrote:


The thing is, according to the text of the OGL you aren't allowed to do this. If you are using the Bestiary 2/3 version of a monster that came from the Tome of Horrors, you need to cite the entire Section 15 from the bestiary 2/3 and not just the parts you want to target. I can't see how the wording of the license allows any other interpretation while still remaining compliant.

We struggled with this as a community early on. The consensus and the practice of compliance with the license, which included comments from Ryan Dancey in his capacity at Wizards, thus giving approval, was that you only need reference the content you used. Granted, Pathfinder wasnt out so the idea of a full new game's own SRD wasnt really fully discussed, but there certainly were other games more close to d20 at the time, such as Spycraft that were stand alone games that used the srd but then made their own extra content.

In other words, the community of persons interested with compliance championed a practice of citing used content despite the conflict with the license. and Ryan Dancey agreed.

Now, if you want to have no questions you are in compliance, you are right. Do it as you say. You can never be wrong doing it right :)

I, however, have always adopted the practice we discussed in the discussion community.

Part of a way to interpret the requirements of a license is the history of its use and the practice in the industry. I'm just sharing with you what the insiders talked about way back then. And sharing my practices.

Clark

It's a useful perspective, and if there appears to have been no issue with it in the past I am definitely all for it. For one, it makes using conversions of OGL content done by a site like d20pfsrd.com much more practical, as you only need to cite a limited number of section 15 entries rather than the hundreds in the site's complete Section 15 database.

Dark Archive

Clark Peterson wrote:

In other words, the community of persons interested with compliance championed a practice of citing used content despite the conflict with the license. and Ryan Dancey agreed.

Now, if you want to have no questions you are in compliance, you are right. Do it as you say. You can never be wrong doing it right :)

Clark

The community has moved on, though.

Just over a week ago I received the following PM (I wont say who from):

Quote:

If you use the OGL incorrectly, it is not going to be Wizards or Paizo suing you over this. It is going to be us Pathfinder Compatible Publishers, as in the people you failed to cite correctly. If you do not use the OGL correctly, you are plagiarizing us. The OGL is literally the only thing that protects you from a plagiarism law suit. Fail to use it correctly at your own peril.

Consider this a warning from someone who could sue you if you cite my works incorrectly.

You informed all us publishers to watch you. We are watching.

Quote frightening, IMO.

With people like this on the prowl, you have to go the extra mile to make sure you are squeaky clean.

Richard

P.S. Clark - thank you for the encouragement.


Classy.

Please, do post the name of the dickish sender of that PM, so we know which products to avoid.

Churls like this should not be protected.

Scarab Sages

I applaud Richard for having far more class than whoever sent that threat (let's not mince words here). Undoubtedly, it was from someone who insisted he must "talk to a lawyer". Well Mr. Unknown 3PP, you might want to consult a PR specialist.

If the sender lacks the courage of their convictions to identify themselves, it would be a service to the gaming community if other 3PP following this thread could let us know that they did not send it.


Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Maps Subscriber
Caedwyr wrote:
Clark Peterson wrote:
Caedwyr wrote:


The thing is, according to the text of the OGL you aren't allowed to do this. If you are using the Bestiary 2/3 version of a monster that came from the Tome of Horrors, you need to cite the entire Section 15 from the bestiary 2/3 and not just the parts you want to target. I can't see how the wording of the license allows any other interpretation while still remaining compliant.

We struggled with this as a community early on. The consensus and the practice of compliance with the license, which included comments from Ryan Dancey in his capacity at Wizards, thus giving approval, was that you only need reference the content you used. Granted, Pathfinder wasnt out so the idea of a full new game's own SRD wasnt really fully discussed, but there certainly were other games more close to d20 at the time, such as Spycraft that were stand alone games that used the srd but then made their own extra content.

In other words, the community of persons interested with compliance championed a practice of citing used content despite the conflict with the license. and Ryan Dancey agreed.

Now, if you want to have no questions you are in compliance, you are right. Do it as you say. You can never be wrong doing it right :)

I, however, have always adopted the practice we discussed in the discussion community.

Part of a way to interpret the requirements of a license is the history of its use and the practice in the industry. I'm just sharing with you what the insiders talked about way back then. And sharing my practices.

Clark

It's a useful perspective, and if there appears to have been no issue with it in the past I am definitely all for it. For one, it makes using conversions of OGL content done by a site like d20pfsrd.com much more practical, as you only need to cite a limited number of section 15 entries rather than the hundreds in the site's complete Section 15 database.

I agree this is useful and (in my view anyway) it's both more reasonable and a more relevant method of citation than cutting and pasting ever more exhaustive OGLs.

I'm very confused though - nearly everyone with knowledge said "it's recursive" up thread. I don't know how to reconcile that with this comment. (Although it always appeared nonrecursive to me based on what people actually did).


It seems to be a case of "the license says one thing, but almost everyone does it a slightly different way and no one has complained".

Dark Archive

I did ask Paizo Customer Service to look into the PM, so I don't want to interfere with that process now. The only reason I posted up the body of the PM was because of the direction the discussion was taking. I've no idea whether the threat has substance, but I think that any discussion we have on licence flexibility has to be made in the light of the knowledge that threats such as these exist.

Richard

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4; Contributor; Publisher, Legendary Games

richard develyn wrote:
Clark Peterson wrote:

In other words, the community of persons interested with compliance championed a practice of citing used content despite the conflict with the license. and Ryan Dancey agreed.

Now, if you want to have no questions you are in compliance, you are right. Do it as you say. You can never be wrong doing it right :)

Clark

The community has moved on, though.

Just over a week ago I received the following PM (I wont say who from):

Quote:

If you use the OGL incorrectly, it is not going to be Wizards or Paizo suing you over this. It is going to be us Pathfinder Compatible Publishers, as in the people you failed to cite correctly. If you do not use the OGL correctly, you are plagiarizing us. The OGL is literally the only thing that protects you from a plagiarism law suit. Fail to use it correctly at your own peril.

Consider this a warning from someone who could sue you if you cite my works incorrectly.

You informed all us publishers to watch you. We are watching.

Quote frightening, IMO.

With people like this on the prowl, you have to go the extra mile to make sure you are squeaky clean.

Richard

P.S. Clark - thank you for the encouragement.

Nice.

I'll certainly throw in my support to pursue your vision as far as you want to do it. My advice was more about *how* you pursue it - not skimping on art (which you haven't, bravo), being sure what you want to get out of it vs. what you put into it, and it being worthwhile to ask for advice on how to do it right. As to what you do with it in the end, best of luck. You're taking a dive into the deep end of the pool, so beware of sharks and just keep swimming.

President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

richard develyn wrote:

Just over a week ago I received the following PM (I wont say who from):

Quote:

If you use the OGL incorrectly, it is not going to be Wizards or Paizo suing you over this. It is going to be us Pathfinder Compatible Publishers, as in the people you failed to cite correctly. If you do not use the OGL correctly, you are plagiarizing us. The OGL is literally the only thing that protects you from a plagiarism law suit. Fail to use it correctly at your own peril.

Consider this a warning from someone who could sue you if you cite my works incorrectly.

You informed all us publishers to watch you. We are watching.

Quote frightening, IMO.

I'll out myself. It was me. Mind you, I hit the send button and 5 seconds later I was like, "DUH! I really could have said that ALOT better." So for the way I said it, I apologize.

But the fact of the matter is everything I said is completely true. It is not just true about Richard. It is true for every publisher about all of us. I said pretty much exactly the say thing (albeit much nicer) publicly the next day.

Dale McCoy Jr wrote:

Even more than that, citing someone incorrectly opens you up to a plagiarism lawsuit. For example, if I cite one of LPJ Design's works incorrectly. I could hear from his lawyers. It doesn't matter that he and I have have helped each other in the past. If I cited his work incorrectly, I would be leaving myself open to a law suit and he would be perfectly within in his rights to sue me. Because outright copying someone else's work and reproducing it in your own is plagiarism. Correct use of the OGL is the only thing that stops those kinds of law suits from happening. (That and Louis is a good guy who would never sue me. Right Louis?)

The OGL makes plagiarism legal when used with other OGL works. It was designed to prevent another T$R situation when TSR was suing companies for making material compatible with AD&D 2E. Its a safe harbor as long as you play within its mildly constrained waters. Leave those waters and you can end up in a hurricane.

To give you an example of what goes on behind the scenes to avoid a lawsuit, before I considered supporting SGG's Time Warden/Time Thief classes, I emailed Owen and got his permission. I didn't have to but it is polite and it shows that I am laying all my cards on the table. I did the same for TPK Games for the Malefactor class and Dreamscared Press for their psionic classes. Later I sent both Dreamscarred, TPK and SGG advanced copies of that product. I asked them if they were ok with what I was doing with their material and the way it was referenced. To spell that out a little clearer, I gave three companies editorial control over one of my products. Plus I also sent them free copies of the final product.

I did the exact same thing before I published the first Book of the River Nations. It was a reprint of the exploration and kingdom building rules from the Kingmaker adventure paths. I copies all the text, removed all references to the Pathfinder Campaign Setting, modified a few sentences to fill the removed text and then I sent it off to Paizo for approval. I even said that I would be willing to scrap the project if they were uncomfortable with it. I knew that it was legal, but that doesn't mean that if Paizo didn't like what I was doing that I couldn't find myself in legal trouble. So I allowed an entirely other company the option to scrap a product that I had put work and effort into if they chose to. And let me tell you, I breathed a big sigh of relief when they said it was ok.

Does the OGL require any of that? No. Not at all. I did it, however, to insure that there would be no problems in the future from these companies and to maintain good relations with my fellow publishers. And because I know that if I hadn't done that and if there had been a problem, I could see the inside of a court room in another part of the country, paying for a hotel bill to find a lawyer, paying for the lawyer, paying the hotel bill during the trial, and not spending time at my day job where I'd otherwise be earning the money needed to pay for the court battle that my hobby got me into.

So yes, I admit I was harsh. However, I was responding to someone that said

richard develyn wrote:
I really can't imagine anyone taking me to court over this, and the last thing I'd ever do is talk to a lawyer (they have enough money as it is!)
richard develyn wrote:

I have every intention of complying with the legal requirements of the industry I want to participate in. All I said was that I didn't want to speak to a lawyer.

As for needing good luck to not get sued, I will not get into that situation because everything I do will be indisputably legal.

richard develyn wrote:
If you overstep the mark legally, you wont get some Mafioso at your door demanding your wife's wedding ring, you'll get a letter, which you'll be able to answer, and then if it looks like you're losing the argument you'll have to desist, and all it'll cost you is the price of a few stamps.
richard develyn wrote:
(And I bet they [Paizo] didn't pay a lawyer a penny before they did it ;-) ).

I was trying to help him understand the full gravity of the situation. Like I said, I could have done so nicer. But it is still true.


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Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Maps Subscriber

FWIW, I didn't take the pm as intimidatory, just blunt. Though blunt over the Internet is probably something to avoid. :p

It's regularly a feature of the various discussions about IP on the forums that the owner of copyright is obligated to protect their IP - even if one specific instance is something they'd be happy to let slide, they can't in case it removes their right to defend themselves from future, more malicious actions.

Liberty's Edge

Steve Geddes wrote:
It's regularly a feature of the various discussions about IP on the forums that the owner of copyright is obligated to protect their IP - even if one specific instance is something they'd be happy to let slide, they can't in case it removes their right to defend themselves from future, more malicious actions.

But that's not true. That's true for trademark, but not for other forms of IP. LZW was used in GIF encoders for 6 years before Unisys asserted their patent over it. For a copyright example, for over 15 years, everyone and their brother acted like It's a Wonderful Life was public domain, but in 1993, Republic Pictures showed that they had copyright over it and stopped all unauthorized use of it.

Liberty's Edge

LazarX wrote:

The artwork included in a roleplaying product isn't just a cost tax, and it shouldn't be considered just fluff. Art is an important part of establishing the feel and personality of a game product, and the artwork in Paizo's products is far from a trivial part of Pathfinder's overall success. As any master chef would tell you, presentation is an important part of presenting a meal. Artwork is a major key of setting the tone. Take the game Paranoia for instance. Would it be half the fun it was, if all of the artwork had been stripped from the product?

The industry for all it's tiny and niche size has matured considerably since it's beginnings. The old standards of mimeograph and typesetting just don't cut it any longer.

I think there's more room at the bottom then you think. The Monster Geographica is a series of monster books illustrated only on the cover and title page, and I believe they were fairly successful. Yes, they would have been better books with custom art, but illustrating all 200 monsters or even 100 monsters couldn't be done in a $10 book with their expected print run, and I don't think increasing the price of the books would have covered the cost of the art.

Dark Archive

I think it's best if we keep these discussions out in the open.

Although the way these forums work it tends to look like a small number of people are having a private debate, I wouldn't be surprised if there's an audience of at least a few hundred reading this (typically 10 readers to 1 contributor, I'm told, but probably more given the subject matter and the presence of a few famous people).

I would like to think that when the dust settles anyone who's been following this debate or who comes to this thread in the future will feel that they've learned something useful from reading all the different viewpoints that have been presented.

Richard


Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Maps Subscriber
prosfilaes wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
It's regularly a feature of the various discussions about IP on the forums that the owner of copyright is obligated to protect their IP - even if one specific instance is something they'd be happy to let slide, they can't in case it removes their right to defend themselves from future, more malicious actions.
But that's not true. That's true for trademark, but not for other forms of IP. LZW was used in GIF encoders for 6 years before Unisys asserted their patent over it. For a copyright example, for over 15 years, everyone and their brother acted like It's a Wonderful Life was public domain, but in 1993, Republic Pictures showed that they had copyright over it and stopped all unauthorized use of it.

It doesn't matter if its true (i dont know if youre right or wrong).

It's still often said.

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