After the publication of the Gizmodo article detailing the changes made in a leaked draft version of the Wizards of the Coast’s (WotC) Open Gaming License (OGL) 1.1, the D&D world has been up in arms. I’ve read the article, the draft OGL 1.1, and WotC’s responses. I’ve also listened to the recent episode of the Opening Arguments Podcast that covers the topic thoroughly. I believe the changes are, for the most part, not as big of a deal as they have been made to seem. This is especially true for the DungeonSports Coliseum and creators who are similarly positioned. That said, there is one major issue that we need to address with WotC.
That said, there is one major issue that we need to address with WotC. The draft of OGL 1.1 carves out the same niche that we already exist in. In my current understanding, there will be no impact to the way I run the Coliseum. The draft does raise concerns for the future of the content I develop. In a nutshell, it would give WotC the right to use any content I create without any limitations:
B. You own the new and original content You create. You agree to give Us a nonexclusive, perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, sub-licensable, royalty-free license to use that content for any purpose.Draft OGL 1.1 Section XII, Subsection B
If I, or any other content creator makes something so popular that D&D would like to use that content, the creator should have the right to control the use of that content. The current draft of the OGL 1.1 would give WotC the right to use it any way they want, for free, forever. I think the intent here is mostly to protect them in case they independently create content that is similar to another creators. I don’t think they intend to use it to steal content. That said, it could happen.
OGL 1.1: What Can You Do?
WotC has said they will be taking public comment from the community. When they do, I’ll be submitting feedback. We should ask for this section to be struck from the OGL 1.1. Otherwise, it should be substantially changed to give creators more control over how their content is used. If you’re a fan of the DungeonSports Coliseum or other small content creators, I hope you’ll do the same!