Pinned Post: Looking at My Stats and Revisiting My #RPG #Copyright Posts

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The quarantine has me doing a bit of blogging lately, which means I’m also looking at my stats. With respect to my posts regarding copyright and RPGs:

The posts are broken into two separate issues. Part 1 and part 2 are about the copyrightability of RPG stat blocks, and part 3 (not relevant here) is about the OGL. As to the first issue, to date, part 1 represents ~30% of text by page count and has 17,037 hits (edit 10/20/2020: 17,667 hits), whereas part 2 (70%) has only 704 hits (edit 10/20/2020: 802 hits). Moreover, part 1 spends much of its text on going over basic copyright principles that don’t represent the actual argument. It’s clear by the stats and the basis of the criticism itself (often peppered with personal insults) that the vast majority of (non-lawyer) criticism I’ve received is from people that have read only 30% (at most) of that argument. I know it’s long, convoluted, and at times poorly written (mostly because it targets two very different audiences); and you’re under no obligation to read it (or even care about it). However, it’s all connected, and if you’re going to criticize it, you should probably understand it first.

Or not. Free speech and all that.

Endnotes:

  • Part 3 has only 703 hits (edit 10/20/2020: 849 hits), which is surprising. I thought it would be the most read post.
  • Part 3.5 provides necessary clarification and correction to Part 3.
  • Part 4 answers frequently ask questions and addresses frequently raised issues.
  • Over on a lawyers-only subreddit, the attorneys seemed to want to discuss only my side note on patentability of the Shadow of the Demon Lord initiative system. I guess it’s great that they all agree that my argument is trivially correct, but Rob Schwalb has seriously hijacked my glory. I let him have it when I saw him last February.

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4 thoughts on “Pinned Post: Looking at My Stats and Revisiting My #RPG #Copyright Posts

  1. You did incredible work putting those together!
    MAD RESPECT
    I had to teach myself civil rights litigation about 10 years ago because of local authorities being flat out criminal in their behavior— I won 4 of the 5 lawsuits i filed that year. So, i know how much of a chore it was to write all of that in a way people “might” understand, and how frustrating it is that so many are just incapable of digesting legal language.
    I was looking over the OGL and SRD because I have a massive homebrew world in its own crystal sphere that its larger than any single world setting i have seen them produce– its larger than Faerun for sure. And a module set in limbo that is designed to serve multiple goals aside from just being fun: good for new players to learn, dozens of interconnected subplots within the madhouse module that make it very repalyable (some of my players have been thru it several times in whole or in part), and gives the DM running it a good place to gauge each individual player be they knew or old heads. I quickly discovered that i apparently couldn’t use their system with my unique world setting if it is ever to be made available to other people (and I dont mind anyone having it, its ALL creative content with their mechanics modified to fix obvious failings, and revisions to their divergences from established world mythos) because the only place that allowed for use of their content if it is to be published is Dmsg…. but they refuse unique settings… and the module could be used IF i removed most of the creatures, traps, spells, and magical what-have-you that is in the big dungeon in the module…
    so i read the OGL and SRD again… and my past legal work made some phrasing stick out to me and, not remembering which title to even start with for business law, i went to bing and typed “WotC OGL violates copyright laws” which took me to you… i assume you are frylock anyway based on your claim of this post…
    I read all of them, 1,2,3,3.5,4. Then i checked your citations, knowing by the end that your argument was sound unless you were flat out lying about certain wordings, but you provided the link to check the wording so I had no doubt you had done your work and you would win, eventually.
    In fact… its 5:24pm and i started reading your stuff at around 7am and just now finished… and your citations and pacing were so well put together that I could use the find feature on the court documents to find what i needed from them to prove you correct without having to spend 20 minutes a piece reading them word for word.
    I wish you the best of luck! Keep in mind that often in law (criminal and civil rights law, anyway) it is not the initial court that you get the true verdict in, but on appeal to the higher court. This was highlighted by several of your citations as also being prevalent in copyright/patent law as several of the verdicts were remanded/reversed by the higher court which ultimately agrees with your stance.
    I may not use your statblocks n whatnot, but I am 100% a fan and will send new people your way when they ask me for DM resources cuz those statblocks really are awesome quick-references.
    as for WotC… i was going to try to find a way to post my teaching/learning/adaptive module for others to use as a resource because ive seen many new DM’s struggle to assess their players or not know how to balance for a given number of players or party composition and over a couple years had come up with it for myself so why not share….. And then i was going to compile my major world setting and see if it would sell for a couple bucks (at more than 600 unique NPC’s and counting, along with tested fix of mystic, priest class introduction, world lore spanning 5k years, and several homebrew species– i figured 1.99 would be a great value) for anyone that wanted it, and that couple bucks would get me more things to spice up the table and make my players giggle like children…
    Now that i know how mendacious they have been for so long (and one of my lawsuits was for local authorities policy that was designed to “…suppress or chill adversarial process…”) I really want to post it somewhere that they wont get ANY royalties ( I was cool with them getting 1/2 but they greedy so to hell wth them) and still give the module for free..

    Like

    • Thanks for your kind words. Unsurprisingly, I’ve heard nothing from WotC. There’s a message hidden in these posts that only IP attorneys would pick up, and makes sure they know how dangerous it would be to pursue this claim. They have bigger fish to fry. That should be their focus, not me and my helpful tools that they inexplicably refused to provide to their customers.

      Like

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