Sunday, November 8, 2009

The Open Game License

Was it good? Was it bad? Did it succeed?

To tell the truth, it DID NOT succeed. The Open Game License didn't succeed perfectly. The Open Game License was the best idea for gaming, but people didn't use it the way it was meant to be used. They all created derivatives of Wizards of the Coast's stuff; and not derivatives of each other's stuff.

So, why is this bad? Its bad because people are timid of Copyright lawsuits. (Here we go again, Elton is going to talk about the Libertarian Case Against Copyright!). Here is how copyright works:

"I claim what ever I create as my property, therefore only I have the right to print it! Anyone else who prints it without my permission and me getting a cut of the action is considered stealing!"

Stealing one's intellectual property is considered bad form in today's society. But it has been taken too far by companies such as Walt Disney for instance. Or Estates, like the Tolkien estate. If you steal someone's intellectual property and pass it off as yours and sell it, you are stealing it. Their can be damages: you can be civilly sued, you can face Federal Prosecution. But lets take a look at this from a different angle.

The Open Game License is meant for a way for everyone to SHARE and SHARE ALIKE. A better way for the OGL to work is that it works like Creative Commons. It provides you with the power to make derivative works without threat of being SUED!

However, every gaming company is nervous of the other guy. As a result, you got thousands of splat books or Campaign Settings but not enough adventures utilizing the materials. People were just too scared to use the other guy's stuff. Added to the fact that Wizards of the Coast did not share all of its best toys to adventure makers. So most of the market share went to Wizards of Coast. Good one guys.

So what is to be done?

You could show your support by joining the Libertarian Case Against Copyrights. As for myself, I do believe I'll make an intention. I intend to buy Alderac Entertainment Group and its most profitable property: Legend of the Five Rings. After I buy the Company, I'm going to put all of L5R's RPG materials under the Creative Commons and make sure everyone has the right to make derivative works of the RPG. After all, Roleplaying Games' best and most wonderful strength is that they appeal to creative gamers. Give the Creative Gamer the power to CREATE A DERIVATIVE WORK and you will see growth beyond your wildest dreams.


greywulf said...

Good luck with buying AEG :D

I'm going to wade into the whole OGL debate in a day or two. Watch this space!

Elton said...

It's going to take a while, Greywulf, but my intention is clear. But it will happen.

I can't wait until you have something about the OGL. I really don't think it worked the way it was intended.

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