Friday, May 02, 2008

Another GSL Update

The folks at WotC asked for some "interview" questions from ENWorld readers on the GSL and promised answers. Those answers have arrived:

Q) Many questions have been raised since the announcement last week. I think the one question everyone wants to know is: is the limitation the GSL places on publication of OGL based products limited on a "per company" basis or a "per product" basis? That is, is the effect merely to limit re-issuing the same product, or is a company that publishes a GSL product thereafter limited in their ability to publish any OGL products?

A. The restriction is on a per product line basis.

Q) How does this pertain to a company's catalog of existing OGL-based products? For example, if Necromancer Games publishes a Tome of Horrors 4e, would they have to stop selling their existing 3e OGL products via RPGnow?

A. Publishers will be able to continue to sell their backlist under the OGL. If those products had the d20 system logo on them there will be a 6-month sell off period after which they will not be able to use the d20 system logo.

Q) Can existing OGL products be updated to the GSL and what are the restrictions, if any?

A. Existing OGL products can absolutely be converted to 4e GSL products, so long as they adhere to the terms of the GSL. In fact, we want to see publishers update their popular product lines to 4e.

There's more at the link. It's not exactly clear as day (what, for instance, constitutes a "product line"), but it does appear that there will be a GSL after all. Probably.

Maybe you should just ask me again on June 6?

1 comment:

greywulf said...

I remember back in the day when a book was just... a book.

I don't have to read and understand a license to read Tolkien. I don't need to sign an EULA. When I bought a book, it's mine; I can lend it, I can sell it, I can quote it (within reason), I can rip the pages out.... anything. It's mine.

Now, we're told what we can do with it. We're told what can be copied, and what can't. We're told that companies can or cannot add to the game - and this in a realm of Fantasy replete with Orcs, Goblins, Dragons and a whole millennia's worth of OTHER PEOPLE'S WORK. D&D wouldn't BE D&D without having been able to derive, copy and adapt from pre-existing Fantasy tropes and concepts.

The OGL revitalized the RPG/D&D game in ways we're still trying to understand. Whether the GSL (with it's strong-arm follow us or die clause) will do the same, remains to be seen. I have my doubts.


Crazy, crazy world.