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Wizards Of The Coast Has Made A U-Turn on New Licensing Rules

Wizards Of The Coast Has Made A U-Turn on New Licensing Rules

by Aiman MaulanaJanuary 17, 2023
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After the recent controversy and a mountain of complaints from the community, Wizards Of The Coast has made a U-turn on new licensing rules.

Wizards Of The Coast Taking A Step Back

Wizards of the Coast, the publisher of Dungeons & Dragons, released a statement regarding its Open Game License (OGL) following backlash from the community and third-party publishers over its strict legal protections. The Hasbro subsidiary has decided to back away from restrictions included in its original OGL, which included a royalty payout for revenue over $750,000 and a copyright clause giving ownership of content to Wizards of the Coast.

The D&D community viewed these changes as a violation of the spirit of the OGL and Pathfinder creator Paizo even released a new, more publisher-friendly version. Wizards of the Coast stated that they still plan to create a new OGL for its intellectual property but will not include a royalty structure that benefits itself at the expense of third-party creators.

The next OGL will contain the provisions that allow us to protect and cultivate the inclusive environment we are trying to build and specify that it covers only content for TTRPGs. That means that other expressions, such as educational and charitable campaigns, livestreams, cosplay, VTT-uses, etc., will remain unaffected by any OGL update.

Wizards of the Coast

Wizards Of The Coast Has Made A U-Turn on New Licensing Rules 25

Art by Irine Nordsol

Wizards of the Coast clarified that their new Open Game License (OGL) will not include license back provisions, which had led some in the community to believe that the company would take ownership of third-party creators’ work. They emphasized that creators will own the content they create and that any language in the new OGL will be “crystal clear and unequivocal” on this point.

The publisher also explained the reasons behind the controversial provisions in their original draft of the OGL. They had intended to prevent the use of D&D content in hateful and discriminatory products, address attempts to use D&D content in blockchain or NFT projects and ensure that the OGL was for content creators and not for major corporations’ commercial and promotional purposes.

However, due to the community backlash, they realized that it was no longer possible to achieve these goals while staying true to the spirit of the OGL. It is currently unknown when the new OGL will be released.


Pokdepinion: While I had an idea that it was bad, I didn’t the full extent of how bad it was until I saw Penguinz0 made a full-blown rant about it. One thing’s for sure, the damage has already been done, and some recovery efforts need to be made.

About The Author
Aiman Maulana
Jack of all trades, master of none, but oftentimes better than a master of one. YouTuber, video editor, tech head, and a wizard of gaming. What's up? :)

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