Leaked details on Wizards of the Coast plans to change Dungeons and Dragons licensing are extremely badly received.
Dungeons and Dragons Fans have cast doubt on Wizards of the Coast’s apparent efforts to expand its control over licensed content through a revised contract. Wizards of the Coast has long used its Open Gaming License to allow content creators to create Dungeons and Dragons Products retain full ownership and generate significant profits independently. However, the revised OGL appears to give Wizards of the Coast significant powers to claim these creations as their own.
Rumors of an OGL change began to circulate in December, leading to an official response from Wizards of the Coast. However, the rumor at the time implied that the OGL was abolished entirely. Wizards of the Coast responded by confirming that the OGL would remain, including through the forthcoming release of One D&D, Dungeons and Dragons‘ next iteration. While Wizards of the Coast confirmed at the time that it had plans to update the OGL, it said the changes were intended to avoid things like third-party “D&D NFTs” and exploitation by large corporations.
However, a leaked report revealing what Wizards of the Coast’s specific changes to the OGL could be appears to do a lot more than the company claims. A specific change draws significant wrath. It states: “You own the new and original content that you create. You agree to grant us a nonexclusive, perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, sublicensable, royalty-free license to use such content for any purpose.” In other words, the new OGL gives Wizards of the Coast free rein to use the work of others , to sublicense and benefit from it. It does not directly grant Wizards of the Coast ownership of the work of others, nor does it have to.
Another section of the updated OGL is proving to be a scarier possibility. It gives Wizards of the Coast the ability to “terminate” the license agreement with anyone, anywhere, for any reason. If Wizards of the Coast elects to terminate a license, the licensee is required not only to cease use of Licensed Materials, but also to “destroy all inventory and marketing materials bearing the compatibility logo.” In other words, licensed products Dungeons and Dragons Branding must be destroyed when the license is terminated. Again, Wizards of the Coast can do this for any reason.
These leaked changes are already drawing countless reactions from within Dungeons and Dragons creator community. Some believe it’s all just legal talk and nothing will change. Others go so far as to threaten legal action if the OGL update is officially released. The danger of Wizards of the Coast using a creator’s products for itself or forcing a partner to destroy all of their work is far more real than the threat of “D&D NFTs”.
Given at will Dungeons and Dragons Player knows how important the third market is. Because OGL, which has existed for over 20 years, has allowed the third-party market to flourish. Any significant change to the OGL, whether with positive intent or not, poses an existential threat to this economy and community. Whether Wizards of the Coast will listen Dungeons and Dragons The outcry of the players remains to be seen.
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