Intellectual Property, Formatting, and GSL/Fansite Stuff

Gloomshroud
Gloomshroud
edited August 2010 in General Discussion
Soooo....I am going to post a D&D 4E Dark Sun campaign setting. I wondered if using the Dark Sun graphics were a violation of the fansite/GSL stuff?

Comments

  • JimTriche
    JimTriche
    Posts: 483
    Disclaimers are your friends, most of the campaigns use some artwork or images that belong to someone else, just make it known that if WotC has issue with you using the graphics that you will remove them if asked. I doubt they'll make that kind of a bad PR decision though. That being said, it's nice to make sure you're polite about it.
  • Gloomshroud
    Gloomshroud
    Posts: 12
    Well, I called WotC customer service, and they said such things are handled on a case-by-case basis. So I'll find out more when I put together an email. There seems to be an issue with their account creation form, however. So much for an easy answer...
  • Gloomshroud
    Gloomshroud
    Posts: 12
    Totally shot down. Unbelievable. I see TONS of users here shamelessly using imagery from the original products without due credit or disclaimer. I attempt to approach this the "right" way, and get short shrifted. Just goes to show, no good deed goes unpunished.
  • JimTriche
    JimTriche
    Posts: 483
    That's odd behavior for a games company...

    I can see why people shift to Paizo.

    That's just my personal view of course, but wow. Catalyst/Fanpro/Wizkids and even FASA encouraged the use of their things as long as the use wasn't derogatory to the company of course. I think Paizo has a boilerplate text they want you to put on websites or materials you make, but other than that they're pretty open.

    Still, I'm sorry they did that. I mean you could probably do so anyway, just try to find early 2nd Edition Dark Sun material for images, WotC owns the setting and rights, but as the graphic material is copyrighted as TSR, and it's a couple decades old, there might be a little squeeze room there.
  • Gloomshroud
    Gloomshroud
    Posts: 12
    Thank you for your sympathy, I appreciate it. However, regarding the 2nd Ed. stuff, they shot THAT down too, as I asked about it in rebuttal of their first denial. From what they said, they own ALL rights to ANYTHING D&D related. Ever.
  • JimTriche
    JimTriche
    Posts: 483
    Hmph. Well, I never had much love for their legal department, apparently a wiki about a game in their universe will steal profits somehow.
  • FrankSirmarco
    FrankSirmarco
    Posts: 250
    Gwuddion23, did you try making a bluff check, or using an NPC with a high charisma score? Perhaps that might work.

    WotC seem to be a bunch of tool-bags...
  • ChainsawXIV
    ChainsawXIV
    Posts: 530 edited August 2010
    They're just being a business. The principle of the thing is simple: if they knowingly allow anyone to use their stuff for free, then it sets a precedent that someone else in the future can exploit. In some cases, they may also have arrangements with the original artists that call for per-use payments or the like, which presents obvious issues. For the most part, they're not going to spend the time trolling the internet for people using the stuff - taking the time to find it and ask people to take it down only _costs_ them money, after all - but if you actually ask them, all they can offer is the company line.

    Companies that explicitly make materials available to their customers have gone out of their way to make that happen, and it truly is an extra service they provide, not the default state of things. Wizards does do that to some extent, with things like "fan site kits":http://www.wizards.com/fankit/fantoolkitdnd.html, but as is often the case, being a bigger company comes with more legal hassles and higher costs, so their offerings will almost always be more specific and limited.
    Post edited by ChainsawXIV on
  • JimTriche
    JimTriche
    Posts: 483
    Then again, there's always their bottom line. Obsidian Portal's TOU says they aren't responsible for what you put on there, so WotC won't have a case against them if you just do it anyway, though they would have one against you. Bottom line is, are you rich enough for them to bother with a lawsuit that will cost them money?
  • JimTriche
    JimTriche
    Posts: 483
    Worst case scenario being that WotC threatens OP, and OP takes your wiki down. Dick move, but I see that being a quite remote possibility, especially considering the insane number of campaigns on here, and the negative PR they'd get. Negative PR is tantamount to smaller profit margins. If someone likes your game, they'll generally buy things for it. If they like your game and don't like you, there's always the internet.

    It's not a nice way to do things, but it's a reality and WotC knows it.

    I think everyone on 4chan had the 4th Edition books a month before they hit the printers.
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