Monster Names Under Creative Commons CC-BY-4.0 #OGL #TTRPG #RPG #DnD #WotC @MikeMyler2 @ChristianLindke

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Here’s something kind of funny. As you know, Wizards of the Coast (“WotC”) has continuously laid claim to copyright over monster names (which is impossible; let me repeat: impossible) or has leveraged their legitimate copyrights to restrict their use (which is copyright misuse). However lacking in legal force as either position is, that’s been their position. Now WotC has released the SRD 5.1 using the Creative Commons licensed, CC-BY-4.0. As Mike Myler pointed out to me, in doing so, many of these names are now expressly licensed even from WotC’s warped perspective. They’re telling you that you may once again state that beauty is in the eye of the beholder because they’re now licensing you the right to use “beholder.”

Seriously. Do you not see how stupid this sounds?

All of this can be found on page 254 of the SRD 5.1. Both pages 97 and 254 include use of “mind flayer,” so that’s now eligible for use. Or is it? Christian Lindke pointed me to a United States federal trademark registration for “Mind Flayer.”

So, by WotC’s arguments that continuously blur copyright and trademark, they can’t even use mind flayer in a sentence. It belongs to a Chinese dude(tte).

Seriously. Do you not see how stupid this sounds?

WotC legal is stupid, or they think you are. Probably both.

Follow me on Twitter @gsllc
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Follow Christian Lindke @ChristianLindke

Dungeons & Dragons is a trademark of Wizards of the Coast, LLC, who neither contributed to nor endorsed the contents of this post. (Okay, jackasses?)


2 thoughts on “Monster Names Under Creative Commons CC-BY-4.0 #OGL #TTRPG #RPG #DnD #WotC @MikeMyler2 @ChristianLindke

  1. As a fellow IP attorney (NY, NJ) and gamer, thank you for your service! 🙂 I always joke to my law students, if you want to know if there are any IP attorneys within earshot, say: “I copyrighted that name and that idea.”

    The person with the popping veins is the IP practitioner. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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