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l33t_fl33t
2010-02-27, 04:43 PM
I vaguely remember that WOTC banned 3rd party D&D software with its new policy and/or licenses when 4ed came out. I also remember a site with character sheets getting closed over it.

Does anyone have any more info? Specifically, is creating D&D software now illegal?

The Dark Fiddler
2010-02-27, 04:44 PM
The only thing of the sort I remember is hearing that publisher's can't publish for 3.5 and 4 simultaneously.

oxybe
2010-02-27, 05:31 PM
I vaguely remember that WOTC banned 3rd party D&D software with its new policy and/or licenses when 4ed came out. I also remember a site with character sheets getting closed over it.

Does anyone have any more info? Specifically, is creating D&D software now illegal?

you can create compatible software, it's just that those sites had some information printed out wholesale from book that people could freely download.

for example: i don't think you would run into troulble if you create software to create power cards in .jpg format for 4th ed, but you cannot have the PHB powers already pre-created & ready to print (i think this is what happened to one of those sites actually).

Mando Knight
2010-02-27, 06:13 PM
The only thing of the sort I remember is hearing that publisher's can't publish for 3.5 and 4 simultaneously.

They axed that phrase in the OGL as well, IIRC.

PinkysBrain
2010-02-27, 11:19 PM
IANAL ... that said AFAIK you can't copyright rules, only the specific wording of them. So basically if you want to for instance explain powers in your own software you will have to rephrase them.

Knaight
2010-02-27, 11:31 PM
And of course, there is still fair use. You can make software for personal use to your hearts delight, and can even share it with friends. Just don't take stuff whole cloth and put it online, but then, you knew that already.

Mark Hall
2010-02-28, 02:56 PM
I vaguely remember that WOTC banned 3rd party D&D software with its new policy and/or licenses when 4ed came out. I also remember a site with character sheets getting closed over it.

Does anyone have any more info? Specifically, is creating D&D software now illegal?

Kinda.

For one thing, you can release stuff under ANY version of the OGL that you like... once something like that is out there, they can't take it back. However, the GSL (Game System License) that 4e is released under is much more restrictive, including not being allowed to release GSL stuff if you're also releasing OGL stuff. Companies that do both generally form a subsidiary company to release one or the other, or have some other legal footwork.

SoC175
2010-02-28, 04:44 PM
IIRC D&D software was one of the things that even the 3.x SRD/OGL didn't allow for.

PinkysBrain
2010-02-28, 05:03 PM
Only the D20 license had some restrictions for software ... not the OGL. See the FAQ :

http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=d20/oglfaq/20040123i

Swordgleam
2010-02-28, 05:10 PM
Companies that do both generally form a subsidiary company to release one or the other, or have some other legal footwork.

That was changed after publishers threw fits and Wizards came to its senses. You can publish OGL (3.x) and GSL (4e) at the same time, you just can't have stat blocks for both in the same product.

Even some publishers didn't get the memo, so please, do what you can to spread this information. I want to see more cool stuff out there for both systems, without small presses thinking they have to choose!