Posting of Copyrighted materials in the Races forum

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Posting of Copyrighted materials in the Races forum

Postby Kelemvor » Sun Oct 04, 2009 8:19 am

Apologies to Lysha's player as I should have spotted this when she first began posting excerpts from Races of Faerun.

But...

Can you please all be aware that any source books carrying this disclaimer:

This Wizards of the Coast game product contains no Open Game Content. No portion of this work may be reproduced in any form without written permission.
To learn more about the Open Gaming License and the d20 System License, please visit www.wizards.com/d20.


MAY NOT be posted onto the forums as that would be a breach of copyright and something for which we would be liable (to hordes of undead WotC lawyers probably)
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Re: Posting of Copyrighted materials in the Races forum

Postby Lysha » Sun Oct 04, 2009 3:47 pm

I wouldn't want to get myself or anyone else in trouble, so please delete my posts in regards to this as you see fit. I don't mean to cause trouble. I was hoping that saying that it was from the book would be good enough, but when in doubt, better safe than sorry.

I'm sorry.
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Re: Posting of Copyrighted materials in the Races forum

Postby Kallias » Sun Oct 04, 2009 8:32 pm

Don't worry about it Lysha - Candlekeep has been doing it for 15 years and they've never gotten in trouble (with a reader base 100 times higher than here). When it comes to venues that go after copyright infringements, rpg pnp industry doesn't really do it, since their already incredibly small demographic is shrinking as it is.

But yeah, it was totally illegal...felon.
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Re: Posting of Copyrighted materials in the Races forum

Postby Solaghar » Mon Oct 05, 2009 2:57 pm

Yeah, companies tend to go after people profiting from the usage of their materials, not people who just share it. Besides the fact that every D&D sourcebook is available in scanned form on torrent sites, etc... they are plugging their fingers into the walls of a dike and FK is the last thing they are worried about
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Re: Posting of Copyrighted materials in the Races forum

Postby Lea » Sat Oct 10, 2009 8:38 pm

It is better to be safe because there are several of us that come from another MUD that was shut down because they thought they were being infringed upon.
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Re: Posting of Copyrighted materials in the Races forum

Postby Gwain » Sun Oct 11, 2009 8:24 pm

http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0032.html

Everyone is careful about copyrights if they can help it.
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Re: Posting of Copyrighted materials in the Races forum

Postby Isaldur » Tue Oct 13, 2009 6:31 pm

Not posting this to cause any issues, just curious.

Can anyone answer me what constitutes fair use and open source in regards to WoTC products?

I ask because from my plebian standpoint I cannot see a difference between Forgotten Kingdoms the MUD using copyrighted locales, npcs, items, etc in the MUD/Helpfiles compared to the posting of information from source books owned by the posters.

I know many of the modules that were designed and released for 2nd Edition AD&D are free for download from the WoTC site. If they are fair use, is anything in later versions like 3e or 3.5e that ALSO mention said anythings (I.E. Elminster) still considered material that cannot be used anywhere other than in direct fair use through education, parody, etc?

Did FK get explicit permission to use the setting from WoTC? Should it be looked into if Copyright infringement is that big of a worry?
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Re: Posting of Copyrighted materials in the Races forum

Postby Kallias » Tue Oct 13, 2009 9:16 pm

There isn't a legal difference. The big difference would be individual author infringement from WotC products. Like if some WotC contractor got a hair up their ass and searched for entire strings of their material. The likelihood such a thing happening is nuts, as long as we show we're not only non-profit but are an entirely nonrevenue generating entity who takes people who never cared about WotC products and foster an interest.

I think the big thing would be precedent. If someone did start using fulls strings of text material for profit, and they got in trouble by WotC, if they can reasonably show that they knew we were doing so as well it causes a problem...but we're so so small.

The real point is, we're already infringing a bunch, and to focus on continuing to represent their product in a nonrevenue generating fashion and true to product. I can promise you if we started doing weird loose house rule stuff with canon materials, it'd be much more likely to become a problem...real weird, like Waterdeep becoming an allegory for Sodom and Elminstir winds up to be exactly like Josef Fritzl.

It probably also wouldn't hurt if we were able to set up some sort of direct link from Marty's space to purchasable online material.
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Re: Posting of Copyrighted materials in the Races forum

Postby Isaldur » Tue Oct 13, 2009 9:27 pm

Kallias wrote:It probably also wouldn't hurt if we were able to set up some sort of direct link from Marty's space to purchasable online material.


I think we used to have that years ago as I vaguely remember a setup on the forums and FK Site listing resource materials for sale from different websites.
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Re: Posting of Copyrighted materials in the Races forum

Postby Raona » Wed Oct 14, 2009 2:52 am

I'm not a lawyer and I can't address the legal question, but I am an author and I can tell you that verbatim text introduces a hazard that far exceeds that posed by other use. Authors who find their exact words, without attribution, where they didn't put them tend to get quite miffed. They worked hard sweating out those words and thoughts. Most everything in D&D isn't truly original, it's derived from or at least based on popular myth, history, and legend. Short of literal transcription, it is hard to claim those concepts infringe on anything. The names and structure of Faerun, however, are certainly original and our use of them falls into the "fan use" category, which is not fair use but is usually tolerated by the copyright holder provided it doesn't clearly threaten their earnings potential.

In the helpfiles, as best I can tell, we have gone out of their way to put things into our own words, even if that means we mess things up now and again...and we certainly aren't as capable authors as most of the folks who wrote at least the 1st and 2nd Ed series (the only ones I read in depth).
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Re: Posting of Copyrighted materials in the Races forum

Postby Harroghty » Tue May 08, 2012 9:26 pm

I have consulted with my legal counsel (my wife) about this issue. The policy to which Kelemvor referred specifically applies to fourth edition materials ("...is limited to use solely to refer to 4E and the Core Rulebooks"). Remember that, depending on the date of publishing, the source to which you are referring could be the intellectual property of TSR, WOTC, Paizo, the venerable Sage himself, or another loremaster (Steven Schend, Dave Arneson, etc.).

I always cite my source and, at least, give a layman's nod to the creator in the form of a disclaimer of my own making. This generally suffices because no one here is making money from this site; it is a game run by fans for the sake of fans, much as any game you played at home. It's a lot like if your buddy Bob had a copy of the Player's Handbook and read you something out of it. That being said, it always pays to check to see if there is any specific guidance for the material you mean to cite and, if there is, adhere to that guidance.

No wants to put our very generous game designer in an actionable position, or steal work from the creative men and women who have framed our imaginations in their ideas. The staff will censure any material believed to hazard that. Thanks!
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