Monday, November 9, 2009

The Campaign Setting that is not Copyrighted

All my talk about being against Copyright for the good of all, and why don't I do something about it? Well, technically, I can.

I can write up a campaign setting (for d20 System, mind you, I don't trust the GSL) and sell it with the Creative Commons stamp on it. There is also a new symbol -- (e). Why do this? Well, an idea forces itself into the minds of everyone when published. Publishing an idea on my blog, and everyone reads it, the idea enters their heads.

Why not Copyright your Campaign Setting, whats wrong with Copyright?

I'm convinced that Copyright is a form of theft. You are recieving physical property that contains my ideas (hard copy or digital copy -- although software isn't really physical property until you print it). If I deny you rights on how you may use it, I am effectively committing theft.

Secondly, the Roleplaying Game is something that encourages creativity in its participants. Eventually, someone comes up with rules for that roleplaying game and will want to have it published or they self-publish the rules on the Internet. The OGL was invented to address this, and it was better for the Roleplaying Game industry as a whole. However, COPYRIGHT was still retained by the creators of such content. In fact, thanks to this little law, everyone else was afraid to use someone else's stuff. I.e. you can't use Monte Cook's spell names from The Book of Eldritch Might simply because he claimed the names of the spells for himself. The problem also comes up with Monster Names.

So, having looked over the OGL content, only three companies were forward in providing license to use the names of their stuff. Atlas Games (with the Penumbra line), Necromancer Games in association with White Wolf, and Alderac Entertainment Group, inc. (with their Rokugan d20 line and other lines). Therefore, I encourage everyone reading this blog to support these three companies where they can. Incidentally, two other companies are to be supported even though they failed, one of these is Guardians of Order. I encourage everyone to support this defunct company when they can by using their products.

So really, I am committing theft if I use the OGL in conjunction with Copyright (you can use this goodie, but you can't use this goodie).

Creative Commons

I'm placing my new campaign setting, the Known Lands, under Creative Commons. I am using the Creative Commons 3.0 Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License for the Known Lands. Under this license you are free to:

  • to Share — to copy, distribute and transmit the work
  • to Remix — to adapt the work

Under the following conditions:
AttributionYou must attribute the work in the manner specified by the author or licensor (but not in any way that suggests that they endorse you or your use of the work).
Share AlikeIf you alter, transform, or build upon this work, you may distribute the resulting work only under the same, similar or a compatible license.

With the understanding that:

  • Waiver — Any of the above conditions can be waived if you get permission from the copyright holder.
  • Other Rights — In no way are any of the following rights affected by the license:
    • Your fair dealing or fair use rights;
    • Apart from the remix rights granted under this license, the author's moral rights;
    • Rights other persons may have either in the work itself or in how the work is used, such as publicity or privacy rights.
  • Notice — For any reuse or distribution, you must make clear to others the license terms of this work. The best way to do this is with a link to this web page.
When you eventually purchase the Known Lands campaign setting, you are doing so realizing that the work is a gift from me to you. You will be free to copy, distribute, and transmit the work. You will also be free to create a derivative work on the condition that you attribute the work in the manner specified by me (i.e. give me proper credit and make sure that the claim of copyright remains mine). This means:

You can adapt the campaign setting to D&D 4.0 according to the present terms of the GSL and distribute it as such. But you will be held responsible according to the GSL, but I won't be because I have no real knowledge of D&D 4th Edition or how it works. Fair enough, WIZARDS OF THE COAST's Legal Department?

(Note: if Wizards of the Coast seeks to publish derivative works of this Campaign Setting, they must comply to the conditions of the Creative Commons license and make their derivative work AVAILABLE to all under the same conditions).

Now, isn't that fun?

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