Update on Dungeons and Dragons Open Gaming License
Update on Earlier Article of Dungeons and Dragons
After more than a week of letting this controversy stew, Dungeons and Dragons maker Wizards of The Coast responds by backing off plans to change its Open Game License.
On Friday, January 13th, the Hasbro-owned company now says it will not require creators to pay royalties and that content created previously for the fifth edition of Dungeons and Dragons will remain unaffected.
Hasbro’s statement reads as follows:
“When we initially conceived of revising the OGL, it was with three major goals in mind. First, we wanted the ability to prevent the use of D&D content from being included in hateful and discriminatory products. Second, we wanted to address those attempting to use D&D in web3, blockchain games, and NFTs by making clear that OGL content is limited to tabletop roleplaying content like campaigns, modules, and supplements. And third, we wanted to ensure that the OGL is for the content creator, the homebrewer, the aspiring designer, our players, and the community — not major corporations to use for their own commercial and promotional purpose.”
“Driving these goals were two simple principles: (1) Our job is to be good stewards of the game, and (2) the OGL exists for the benefit of the fans. Nothing about those principles has wavered for a second.”
“That was why our early drafts of the new OGL included the provisions they did. That draft language was provided to content creators and publishers so their feedback could be considered before anything was finalized. In addition to language allowing us to address discriminatory and hateful conduct and clarifying what types of products the OGL covers, our drafts included royalty language designed to apply to large corporations attempting to use OGL content. It was never our intent to impact the vast majority of the community.”
Wizards would go on to say that the new OGL will only cover TTRPGs. That means other fan expressions, such as educational/charitable campaigns, live streams, and cosplay will remain unaffected by the OGL update. Furthermore, any content created based on the current OGL will remain unchanged.
Wizards will also be doing away with their proposed royalty structure:
“What [the new OGL] will not contain is any royalty structure. It also will not include the license back provision that some people were afraid was a means for us to steal work. That thought never crossed our minds. Under any new OGL, you will own the content you create. We won’t. Any language we put down will be crystal clear and unequivocal on that point. The license back language was intended to protect us and our partners from creators who incorrectly allege that we steal their work simply because of coincidental similarities. As we continue to invest in the game that we love and move forward with partnerships in film, television, and digital games, that risk is simply too great to ignore. The new OGL will contain provisions to address that risk, but we will do it without a license back and without suggesting we have rights to the content you create. Your ideas and imagination are what makes this game special, and that belongs to you.”
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