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Doswelk
August 23rd, 2005, 15:47
Posted at (but not approved yet) and www.adventuresomedreams.com.

Yet another .xml file creator this time for Feats using the format used in the Complete SRD Ruleset.

After I have added all my feats to my ruleset I'll write a skill version.
======================

Please note I have rewritten the program it is version 1.2 do not bother with the first one.

The modified version allows you to add multiple paragraphs to the benefits option.

It also creates one big file called featlist.xml that cotains all the feats that you create, this will need to be pasted into the feats.xml that comes with the Complete SRD Ruleset.

It will not update the equipment.xml file to list the new feats.

Thore_Ironrock
August 23rd, 2005, 20:26
Posted at (but not approved yet) and www.adventuresomedreams.com.

Yet another .xml file creator this time for Feats using the format used in the Complete SRD Ruleset.

After I have added all my feats to my ruleset I'll write a skill version.
======================

Please note I have rewritten the program it is version 1.2 do not bother with the first one.

The modified version allows you to add multiple paragraphs to the benefits option.

It also creates one big file called featlist.xml that cotains all the feats that you create, this will need to be pasted into the feats.xml that comes with the Complete SRD Ruleset.

It will not update the equipment.xml file to list the new feats.


The Complete SRD Ruleset is copyrighted by DIGITAL ADVENTURES, LLC. You cannot alter or otherwise distribute code associated with this ruleset without my permission. Not only is it a copyright violation, but it violates the user agreement that you agreed to when you bought the product from RPGNow.

Please take this down off of Adventuresome Dreams until I have an opportunity to review the nature of this code.

I am not trying to be a jerk here Doswelk, but regardless of the fact that the information is SRD, you cannot alter or otherwise distribute different version of my code without my permission. Email me off the forums and we can talk about it.

kalmarjan
August 23rd, 2005, 22:53
Edited for content.

Kevin,

I sincerely hope that this can be resolved. For the future, if possible, I would like to see the efforts of this community in collaboration with your company, vis a vie the new NPC sheets.

What I do not want to see is the FG format split into differing rulesets based on little differences. It is fine for the OGL formats, i.e. Warhammer or such, but when we are talking about SRD material, i.e. D&D, I would like to see the efforts of people pay off in a way that benefits the whole community, as opposed to having to remeber thirteen different rulesets to accomplish the same task.

Is there a possibility that this Feat creator can be redone using the native FG format? This way, there is no concern about the infringement of copyright, and the community as a whole will gain something beneficial.

msd
August 23rd, 2005, 23:48
Without conceding liability in any manner, I have deleted the files you allege to be in violation of your copyrights.

The files were waiting to be approved on my site. To the extent they were never approved by a moderator or administrator, they were never made available to the public through Adventuresome Dreams.

In the future, everyone probably needs to be a little careful about what they post. I would hope that we would agree to err on the side of caution and, if in doubt, restrain from posting anything that might conceivably infringe someone's copyrights.

If anyone wants to discuss this any further, please contact me offline. I will not engage in a legal discussion online.

Novalith
August 24th, 2005, 00:17
Obviously I am missing something here... so if I have the complete set of Forgotten Realms books (and I do) and I add the feats listed in these books into the list already provided when I bought the complete SRD for use in my won campaign (which I did) I am committing some sort of copyright violation?

I honestly do not understand.

kalmarjan
August 24th, 2005, 00:28
Okay, not to get into any sort of IP or copyright discussion.... but here it is:

The issue is not what you do for your own use. What you do at home is your business. When it gets sticky is when you are sharing the information online. (I.E. selling it or distributing it) without the author or company's permission.

So, you can put in the feats from the FR in your own campaign, or your version of FG, but you cannot make it available for distribution without consent from WOTC.

Hope this clears this up.

Thore_Ironrock
August 24th, 2005, 01:59
Sandeman & Matt ... thank you for your understanding in this matter. While I'm not against "add-ons" to The Complete SRD, I would prefer that it go through me and be approved. I am more than willing to talk to anyone about content for FG or regarding anything produced by Digital Adventures, but at the same time I have to protect my products and the purchases of my customers.

Novalith ... as Sandeman said, when you post something online for everyone on the Internet to download, you must respect the creator's copyrights. In the RPG industry you can do whatever you want in the privacy of your own home, but you cannot alter material and post it for sale or as a free download without the author/publisher's permission.

If anyone has any questions please email me off the forums.

Thanks again guys,

msd
August 24th, 2005, 02:28
Sandeman & Matt ... thank you for your understanding in this matter.

No need to thank me and again, just to make clear, my "understanding" should not be construed by anyone as a concession on my part that either I personally, or adventuresomedreams.com, has violated your copyright rights.

Sincerely,
Matt

Thore_Ironrock
August 24th, 2005, 02:34
No need to thank me and again, just to make clear, my "understanding" should not be construed by anyone as a concession on my part that either I personally, or adventuresomedreams.com, has violated your copyright rights.

Sincerely,
Matt

Not at all, I understand perfectly that you run a clean site Matt, and that you would never violate copyrights. I don't blame the poster either, as I'm sure he didn't mean any harm. One of the hardest things to do in this industry is to educate people about industry copyrights. Like I said, I would be happy to talk to anyone about doing work for DA, all they have to do is email me. :D

Regards,

Doswelk
August 24th, 2005, 08:07
Thore_Ironrock, I had no intention of infringing on your copyright, and for that I am sorry (teach me not to read the small print!)

Matt, I had no intention in putting you in the position that you found yourself, for that I am sorry.

As had already been stated I was not altering or distributing your wonderful product for other people to use to take away the income you had earned by putting out a comprehensive ruleset.

The reason for the application was I was so impressed with how you had done the feats, that once I worked out which bits of .xml code did it. I wrote a vb.net application to allow me to add all the non-SRD feats into a personal copy of your ruleset.

I thought that other people may find this helpful.

The program which I am more than willing to send to you for evaluation creates two .xml files.

The first called featlist.xml is a list of feats that the user must add manually to your feats.xml

The second file is called addtoequipment.xml which generates the links that need to be added to equipment.xml.

This program make no changes to your code, it just creates two files that can pasted in.

================================
On a slightly different note, given that the xml code is copyrighted by yourself, does that mean each player will need to buy their own copy of the Complete SRD ruleset, before a DM can create a game where the players will download your code to their PC?

I am not trying to be "funny" here but given that I am planning to start a game soon, and may advertise across the internet for players I want to be sure.

richvalle
August 24th, 2005, 21:30
Thore,

I'm no expert... so I'm asking. :)

Given the above it sounds like doswelk is not violating your copyright as he is not touching your files but making new ones with the same format. Is that right?

This is also nice as it means it could be used to support other rulesets as long as they were made to support files of that name.

rv

kalmarjan
August 24th, 2005, 21:55
Well, unfortunately by doing so, he would violate the EULA that he agreed to when he downloaded the complete SRD ruleset. Which is why I hope that this gets resolved, as I would like to have the feat editor.
I am holding off on buying the complete SRD ruleset for the moment, pending what happens here.

Cheers,

Snikle
August 24th, 2005, 22:33
I think this came up in another discuss here, but this one is leading that way so I thought I would mention this:

How does FG handle uploads and downloads exactly? If I purchase something as a DM and load it into my FG, when my players log into the game, does FG automaticly download those to their system? For example, I purchase the afore mentioned SRD Ruleset for use in my campaign, when my players log into my game, will FG download this to their systems? Or will it only be available on my system, and how would that affect the game?
In the future, as more add-ins are created and sold, how would this affect maps and tokens? If the DM purchases a module and then his players play the game, will they be privy to any of the (possibly) copyrighted material? Is a DM allowed to share images with players (ie tokens, maps, portraits)? I am assuming he can, so long as these are not then used in some manner in a downloadable format on a website? I can see this putting a damper on the availablity of fan made downloadable modules and adventures, thoughts?

Thore_Ironrock
August 24th, 2005, 23:57
Thore_Ironrock, I had no intention of infringing on your copyright, and for that I am sorry (teach me not to read the small print!)

Matt, I had no intention in putting you in the position that you found yourself, for that I am sorry.

Dos,

No harm, no foul. I hope I didn't come off too strong, but I have to protect my products. I'm sure Matt understands as well. Hopefully we can work together and maybe come up with a cool add-on to the product, but I just wanted to make it clear that anything that has to do with the Complete SRD must be OKed by me first.



The reason for the application was I was so impressed with how you had done the feats, that once I worked out which bits of .xml code did it. I wrote a vb.net application to allow me to add all the non-SRD feats into a personal copy of your ruleset.



The program which I am more than willing to send to you for evaluation creates two .xml files.

The first called featlist.xml is a list of feats that the user must add manually to your feats.xml

The second file is called addtoequipment.xml which generates the links that need to be added to equipment.xml.

This program make no changes to your code, it just creates two files that can pasted in.

Not a problem. It sounds harmless enough. I'll have Ben (the developer) take a look at it and make sure it doesn't break anything in the base code. If that looks OK we can release it as a free download add-on.



On a slightly different note, given that the xml code is copyrighted by yourself, does that mean each player will need to buy their own copy of the Complete SRD ruleset, before a DM can create a game where the players will download your code to their PC?

Currently that issue is something I cannot get around, the downloading to client installations. I knew this going in, so for the most part I have no control of it. In the future Ville and Tero have told me they are going to make changes to that aspect of the software. What sort of changes I do not know yet, but for now it is an issue I have no control over. I would hope that everyone willing to use the software will purchase it, and if their player benefit from it that's OK too. :wink:



I am not trying to be "funny" here but given that I am planning to start a game soon, and may advertise across the internet for players I want to be sure.

Not a problem Dos ... have fun! :D

Any other issues please let me know. I will get back to everyone on having Dos' code as a free add-on for the Complete SRD.


Best Regards,

Thore_Ironrock
August 25th, 2005, 00:04
Thore,

I'm no expert... so I'm asking. :)

Given the above it sounds like doswelk is not violating your copyright as he is not touching your files but making new ones with the same format. Is that right?

This is also nice as it means it could be used to support other rulesets as long as they were made to support files of that name.

rv

Rich,

First, I am more than willing to work with anyone interested in doing what Dos did. However, in his post he did not disclose the full extent of what he was doing, so my reaction was in a broad sense.

Also, since his initial code was designed to work specifically with the Complete SRD, it does make it my issue. If he does something similar that works with the default ruleset, then that is fine. However, since Ben's code and format is pretty specific to the ruleset as a whole, i.e. it can only be used with my ruleset, then it really should be approved by me first. My big objection was that I had no idea what he was doing.

As for other rulesets, if Dos wants to change the code to work with other rulesets that's fine, but I don't think they will be compatible with the Complete SRD unless designed so.

Again, I'm not against what Dos did, I just wanted more info on it. As I've said before, I'm more than willing to work with everyone on any FG issue and/or DA product.

Hope that answers your question Rich.

Regards,

msd
August 25th, 2005, 00:06
Well, unfortunately by doing so, he would violate the EULA that he agreed to when he downloaded the complete SRD ruleset.

How? On the assumption (and that is what this is - an assumption) that the only thing he has done is to create a tool which generates content in the same format, where is the copyright violation? To the best of my knowledge, Thore is not claiming that the actual format is the subject of copyright (nor could it be if my legal education serves as it is more aptly described as a method for storing data, the province of patent law).

So where is the alleged violation?

If the tool does not:

1) Copy the work (it is generating its own file output)

2) Distribute the work (again, it is generating its own file and not touching the original work)

3) Display the work

4) Perform the work

5) Create a derivative work

then where is the copyright violation? More specifically, which specific legal right afforded by copyright protection is allegedly being violated?

I am not suggesting that there isn't a violation, but someone is going to have to educate me as to where it is. I have had two years of law school and almost a year of intellectual property and I am just not seeing it. It very well could be that I am just being dense and it is right in front of my face... :cool:

On a side note, I want to be clear about something.

There are people on this board who routinely render legal opinions about the status of copyright, what constitues an infringing act, etc. - an act which is likely to constitute the unauthorized practice of law in most jurisdictions (assuming they are not in fact attorneys).

I just mentioned that I attend law school and want to be extraordinarily clear. I am not a licensed attorney and any statements contained in this post should not be taken as legal advice. Nothing in this post should be construed as creating an implied or express attorney-client relationship.

Now back to your regularly scheduled thread...

Thore_Ironrock
August 25th, 2005, 00:09
I think this came up in another discuss here, but this one is leading that way so I thought I would mention this:

How does FG handle uploads and downloads exactly? If I purchase something as a DM and load it into my FG, when my players log into the game, does FG automaticly download those to their system? For example, I purchase the afore mentioned SRD Ruleset for use in my campaign, when my players log into my game, will FG download this to their systems? Or will it only be available on my system, and how would that affect the game?

snip



Snikle,

I think I answered that in an above post. For the moment I cannot prevent the ruleset from being shared between clients, and everything is cool with that. Some people have complained that the download did hamper play for awhile, but for the most part were happy once it was over.

In the future things may be different, but for now it is what it is. 8)



In the future, as more add-ins are created and sold, how would this affect maps and tokens? If the DM purchases a module and then his players play the game, will they be privy to any of the (possibly) copyrighted material? Is a DM allowed to share images with players (ie tokens, maps, portraits)? I am assuming he can, so long as these are not then used in some manner in a downloadable format on a website? I can see this putting a damper on the availablity of fan made downloadable modules and adventures, thoughts?

Currently, this is not an issue for the same reasons as above. For now, it is just the nature of the program.

Perhaps when Tero gets home he'll comment on their future plans for this aspect of the software. We did talk about it at Gen Con.

Regards,

Thore_Ironrock
August 25th, 2005, 01:40
Well, unfortunately by doing so, he would violate the EULA that he agreed to when he downloaded the complete SRD ruleset.

How? On the assumption (and that is what this is - an assumption) that the only thing he has done is to create a tool which generates content in the same format, where is the copyright violation? To the best of my knowledge, Thore is not claiming that the actual format is the subject of copyright (nor could it be if my legal education serves as it is more aptly described as a method for storing data, the province of patent law).

So where is the alleged violation?

::snip::


I really didn't want this to turn into a legal argument Matt. The bottom line is that in my opinion (which is consistant with that of the industry) since Dos' tool/code will *only* work with my product, it is considered to an EULA violation by the terms of the OGL and SRD. I think I've been more than understanding in this matter, and I appreciate Dos sending me the code and respecting my ownership of the property. I had hoped that the matter would be closed.

The legal stance of an RPG publisher's property has been an argued topic by law students since the days of TSR, and to be honest I really don't care to argue this here since to do so would prevent me from contributing to my business.

If you think Dos was perfectly right in his creating of the tool then you would have been within your right to post it and make me go through the legal actions to have you take it down. I had hoped that since I had approached this fairly and openly to all parties involved that we could all work together for the betterment of the FG community. If someone wants to argue your individual points then they are welcome to do so. I think I've made myself clear as to how I feel in my previous posts.

Regards,

msd
August 25th, 2005, 01:53
Well, unfortunately by doing so, he would violate the EULA that he agreed to when he downloaded the complete SRD ruleset.

How? On the assumption (and that is what this is - an assumption) that the only thing he has done is to create a tool which generates content in the same format, where is the copyright violation? To the best of my knowledge, Thore is not claiming that the actual format is the subject of copyright (nor could it be if my legal education serves as it is more aptly described as a method for storing data, the province of patent law).

So where is the alleged violation?

::snip::


I really didn't want this to turn into a legal argument Matt. The bottom line is that in my opinion (which is consistant with that of the industry) since Dos' tool/code will *only* work with my product, it is considered to an EULA violation by the terms of the OGL and SRD. I think I've been more than understanding in this matter, and I appreciate Dos sending me the code and respecting my ownership of the property. I had hoped that the matter would be closed.

The legal stance of an RPG publisher's property has been an argued topic by law students since the days of TSR, and to be honest I really don't care to argue this here since to do so would prevent me from contributing to my business.

If you think Dos was perfectly right in his creating of the tool then you would have been within your right to post it and make me go through the legal actions to have you take it down. I had hoped that since I had approached this fairly and openly to all parties involved that we could all work together for the betterment of the FG community. If someone wants to argue your individual points then they are welcome to do so. I think I've made myself clear as to how I feel in my previous posts.

Regards,

It sounds like your angry with me and I am not quite sure why. I am sorry if that is the case.

I took the tool down because I respect what you are trying to do in the community and out of an abundance of caution with respect to your rights. I felt that was more important than my own judgment and or estimate of the merit of your claims.

The point of my post was for my education and my education only. On multiple occasions, I made clear that I didn't understand the claim and that I was willing to be educated on the topic. That was not intended to bait anyone or to induce them into an argument.

Really, I had no intention of arguing with you and I am not sure what cause we would have to argue as I promptly complied with the only request you have made of me (taking down the files).

In any event, you have made your position clear on this issue (which I appreciate - thank you) and at least now I understand what you perceive to be the legal basis for your contentions.

Again, I have an immense amount of respect for what you are trying to accomplish and will always err on the side of caution so as to not be a barrier to your success.

Again, I apologize as I have clearly made you angry...

Best of lcuk personally and professionally,
Matt

Thore_Ironrock
August 25th, 2005, 02:17
It sounds like your angry with me and I am not quite sure why. I am sorry if that is the case.

Not angry Matt ... frustrated ... and not with you. I apologize if I've come off as such, some of which is probably the strain of Gen Con shining through.

I've been around the RPG industry for 23 years now, and it disappoints me that sometimes people are very uneducated by a publisher's basic copyrights -- or in some cases choose to ignore them. I know for a fact that this is not the case here, but unfortunately there are those out there that could care less, and those are the people I need to protect myself from.

It is also not just my issue today. For several months now I've tried to educate basic copyright issue to the FG community, since it is important to me and my business that FG ***not*** turn into a vehicle for copyright infringement. I guess sometimes I feel like a man on an island in this, as regardless of what I say it seems like sometimes no one is listening.

Again, I know that some of this is because some people just don't understand what the OGL, SRD, or EULA really mean, but in today's world (and this industry) you would think that responsible folks would make it a point to know these key issues -- especially in this world of torrents, file sharing, and the like.

Even this past Gen Con some of my publishing friends have said that copyright violation is bigger now than it ever was in the days when a large portion of the gaming industry thought TSR was stepping all over their 1st amendment rights. There are even some who believe that file sharing and the like are responsible for some of the recent decline in the RPG industry, which recently has caused several publishers to pack it in. In this, I tend to agree.

Like I said Matt I'm not angry, just a bit tired of feeling like I'm fighting this battle by myself on these boards. I would hope that the commitment of myself and my company to put out products to further the FG community would be enough, but it seems like sometimes people have "selective forum reading syndrome". I hope that after all of this today people will feel better about FG and copyrights, and I'm sure I will after I get some sleep and my feet stop hurting from walking the exhibit hall all weekend. ::wink::

That all said, I would love to work with you and Adventuresome Dreams down the road to better the FG community, and hopefully avoid these issues in the future.

Regards,

Zane_Marlowe
August 25th, 2005, 03:09
Hey Matt,

I'm interested to hear you're working on Law School! I'm thinking about that myself (the LSAT is coming up!). I'm not practicing law either, but it would seem that if some work requires another work in order to function, then doesn't that constitute a derivative work? I haven't the legal chops to answer that, and we're not entering a legal discussion, but if there were a copyright problem (which, let's be careful and clear, no one has alleged as yet, only the possibility of such), then that would probably be where it rests.

On a more prosaic note, go back and read the thread about the Adventure! ruleset I created. Kevin was quick to defend possible breaches in IP that wasn't his, so I sensed a good will in the discussion (I think you'll see that if you read the exchange). Written text famously carries no tone of voice, and I've heard it said that 80% of what we communicate is body language; but we've apparently invented smilies as a proxy instead.

:D

Cheers!

kalmarjan
August 25th, 2005, 03:26
Look, I did not mean to stir up any hornets nest. I appologize for this.

In summary, you answered your own question Matt,


5) Create a derivative work
Since the format of this Feat creator essentially utilized the framework (code) of the Complete SRD ruleset, it created a chance to create a derivitive work. I understand the frustration that Thore is facing, as I myself am trying to plow through what can and cannot be done with the SRD and OGL. Eventually, I would like my company to offer quality PDF downloads coupled with FG modules for a campaign path. It is frustrating, but hey, rules are rules.

I did not mean to open a can of worms, I just felt that if it were not possible to come to an amidicable solution to this matter, maybe it would be possible to have the Feat creator in question made with the standard FG format.

BTW Matt, I congratulate you on your work with Law and IP. It is a very sticky subject, riddled across many forum boards other than this one. (Dundjinni is one example.)
I just thank the gods that Smiteworks is okay with the ruleset creation and distribution, and has a less restrictive EULA than most programs.

I also love your forum boards.

I have a few questions for you Matt, and when I get a chance, I would love to PM you.

Again, sorry for opening that messy, nasty can of worms.

Cheers,

msd
August 26th, 2005, 14:59
Sorry for my delayed response to this post (real life, as always, got in the way).

First off, I really want to make a few things clear...

I really consider the people who regularly post here to be my friends. I am not interested in offending anyone here and I sincerely hope that I have not done so. Having said that, I think this is a fascinating topic and I am just as concerned (as a consumer) with protecting publishers' copyright rights as the publishers themselves. Why? Because every publisher that can't make ends meet because of rampant piracy means less gaming material for my table and I think we can all agree that is a no-win situation for anyone.

So why do I continue to dispute whether this is under copyright? A couple of reasons. Again, academically I find this to be a fascinating topic and because I sense that we are all educated and mature adults, there is no reason we can't express different points of view while being civil and courteous. The second reason is probably better explained through a bit of history.

Before going to law school, I worked at a largish consulting firm in New York City (where I wore my Red Sox hat every day thank you very little ;) ). On every project, there was always one person whose role it was to develop the worst case scenario - essentially to play the devil's advocate. In presenting the worst case scenario to the group, we were essentially performing a sort of due diligence on our project plans, reforming them and changing them as went along. Similarly, it's not necessarily that I *believe* the tool at issue is *definitely* not entitled to copyright protection, but I am making the argument that defendant's counsel would (in my estimation) make.

So, again, with the knowledge that I AM NOT A LAWYER, let me respond to some of the points raised above.

Let's agree on a standard set of facts in our hypothetical:


Consumer X creates the tool at issue (he is a software developer)
Consumer X distributes, in some fashion, the tool to other users, generally making the tool publicly available
Consumer Y downloads the tool
Consumer Y uses the tool to create a separate, independent, new file that maintains data internally structured in the same format as the files created by and used by the product
Consumer Y copies the contents of the new file into the old file used by the product
Consumer Y hosts a game so that his "new" version of the product's file is distributed to other users, his players


Again, there are five discrete rights protected by copyright (see http://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ1.html#wci). As the question of whether a "derivative work" has been created seems to be the focus, I will only really address that.

A derivative work "incorporates" the previously copyrighted work. If you download a picture from the internet, make a few changes, and then repost it, you have created a derivative work (in addition to having made a copy of the copyrighted work, distributed the copyrighted work, and publicly displayed the copyrighted work). Similarly, if I take a copyrighted novel and add a few paragraphs at the end, I have created a derivative work.

Is there incorporation of the original copyrighted work in this instance? Well, the gut reaction is no - to the extent that the file produced by the tool is a completely new file, there is in fact no incorporation of the copyrighted work whatsoever.

But, for the sake of argument, let's assume that the tool does modify the original files included by the product. Now there is clearly incorporation. But to have a derivative work which infringes on the original copyright, you must identify the part that is originally copyrighted. I doubt it can be the actual information from the SRD as that is Open Gaming Content released through the OGL (see http://www.wizards.com/d20/files/v35/Legal.rtf).

On the assumption that the only actual text (or other content) included in the product is Open Gaming content and given that the product can't claim copyright to the Open Gaming Content, where can it claim copyright protection? Perhaps to the specific manner in which the Open Gaming Content is stored (i.e. the XML structures)? But again, that is more in the realm of an idea - if you have copied anything, you have copied the manner in which the data is stored, a process, or a structure. Ideas are not the subject of copyright, but rather patent law.

If I have misunderstood the nature of the OGL, I would very much be interested in having someone correct me (I am being serious) as I think that if I am confused, it is probably the case that there are a lot of people who are confused about this.

Again, guys, we are all on the same team and I want to see everyone who contributes content to the community succeed. I bring out these issues so that we can collectively cover our backs and take the appropriate protections before someone who is decidedly not our friend exploits our weaknesses to our detriment.

Hope that helps explain what I am thinking.

-Matt

kalmarjan
August 26th, 2005, 16:07
Right on MSD!

The question here does not pertain to the copywrite of the OGL or the SRD, as WOTC owns the former. The question here pertains to the code that was written to display this format.

Let me get a little more in deatil here.

On the D20 FAQ page, it states that anyone can sell the SRD, if they can make money off of it. The amazing thing is that Thore and company have managed to do just this. So that is not a question of copywrite.

What IS in question here is the code involved. By the Feat Editors Author's own words, he stated "in the format of the Complete SRD". What proves to be troublesome in this respect is that to get his program to format the fields to match the code in the Complete SRD ruleset, he essentially had to "decompile" the code. This is at the heart of this matter. In the EULA for the Complete SRD ruleset, I imagine there is a clause forbidding this. (I cannot say for sure, I am still on the fence as to whether or not to purchase this ruleset.) If this is the case, DA has the rights to the code that is in FG, which in itself, is a derivitive work of the code that FG uses.
Quite a mess I would say.

As for rampant piracy, I agree wholeheartedly. I myself am going to embark into the PDF/FG realm for a business, and the main concern is the lifetime of a PDF or ruleset. FG has been out for 6-7 months, and already, there are people asking for the Torrent links on the internet.
How long until this ruleset becomes available from the same means?

IMHO, this is the nature of the beast, and it seems that the more we fight it, the worse it gets. Take a look at the company preceeding WOTC. They fought long and hard against even user groups posting fan information that is derivitive of the original works. Where is that company today? Thankfully, in the dust. (Otherwise I would still be trying to adjudicate the Wemic/Blademaster/Swashbuckler kits :) )

What concerns me, is that when I do do what I am planning for FG, if I read the d20 license, the OGL FAQ correctly, I cannot use anything that is outside of the SRD. Including anything to do with Greyhawk, FR, or any gods, or anything else for that matter. The good part about that is that it will force me to sell things based upon my writing, and not on old standbys, like the gods, places and things.

I guess that I will have to make it Generic enough so that the DM (Or GM) can substitute the names and places for a campaign. (If they were using FR for example.)

Thore, am I on track with this????
MSD, Thoughts?

msd
August 26th, 2005, 16:37
What IS in question here is the code involved. By the Feat Editors Author's own words, he stated "in the format of the Complete SRD". What proves to be troublesome in this respect is that to get his program to format the fields to match the code in the Complete SRD ruleset, he essentially had to "decompile" the code. This is at the heart of this matter. In the EULA for the Complete SRD ruleset, I imagine there is a clause forbidding this.

That is actually a really interesting point.

A couple of things. He probably didn't have to de-compile anything. Everything in these products is stored in human-readable plain text XML files. It is just a matter of noting the structure that the data is using and making sure that your output conforms to that.

Again, a data structure is most aptly described as a method for storing data. Methods, processes, ideas are the subject of patent. If the contention is that the data structure itself (the data format) is subject to copyright, I would be interested in hearing the argument.

The really interesting point you raise is this. The EULA for the product very well might have a clause forbidding the user to make use of the data structure. I never thought about that possibility honestly. If that in fact is the case, however, that is a licensing violation which puts us in the realm of contract law. That is a very different argument as at that point, the actual fact of distribution to a web site or to a message board is legally irrelevant to the claim of breach of contract (as the distribution occurs after the event of breach, the use of th data structure).


What concerns me, is that when I do do what I am planning for FG, if I read the d20 license, the OGL FAQ correctly, I cannot use anything that is outside of the SRD.

Probably the better (and more expansive) way to look at it is that you can use anything that is Open Game Content provided that you comply with the terms and provisions of the OGL. See, for instance, paragraph 6 of the OGL


6.Notice of License Copyright: You must update the COPYRIGHT NOTICE portion of this License to include the exact text of the COPYRIGHT NOTICE of any Open Game Content You are copying, modifying or distributing, and You must add the title, the copyright date, and the copyright holder's name to the COPYRIGHT NOTICE of any original Open Game Content you Distribute.

As to Greyhawk, FR, etc. - that is very clearly WoTC property and their product identity. Use of product identity without an existing, separate agreement is clearly forbidden by the OGL.

Go generic...your players will thank you for it when they are trying to adapt your stuff to their homebrew world ;)

-Matt

kalmarjan
August 26th, 2005, 20:54
Thanks for that MSD! I think that it will showcase the writing skills better anyway, given the fact that I have no pre-existing literary cliches to "fall back on".

In the work that I do, you will see no references to a certain double scimitar weilding drow elf, for instance. :)

I am looking forward to pushing ahead with this in September, once RL gets settled down a bit.

Thanks for the advice.

Thore_Ironrock
August 26th, 2005, 23:25
:shock: :shock: :shock:

... legal stuff hurt brain ...

... must drink beer to survive ...

.. please stop ...

:shock: :shock: :shock:


:P

msd
August 27th, 2005, 16:05
.. please stop ...

You realize you are free not to participate in this thread, right?

Thore_Ironrock
August 27th, 2005, 18:43
You realize you are free not to participate in this thread, right?

Um ... yes. Was just trying to lighten the mood some.

On another note, I did send Dos a list of comments on his feat generator/code add-on, so things are proceeding on this. Hopefully I'll hear back from him this weekend.


:D

richvalle
August 27th, 2005, 21:19
Um ... yes. Was just trying to lighten the mood some.


I thought Dwarfs had darkvision and liked the dark?


:P

rv

Thore_Ironrock
August 27th, 2005, 22:17
I thought Dwarfs had darkvision and liked the dark?

rv


Ah yes, but while that is true we also hate politics, smoothed skin females, and like our beer frosty with a foamy head. You will also notice that there are very few dwarven lawyers. This is a result of the annual Great Lawyer Hunt, in which dwarven war parties comb the countryside looking for freat meat to feed to our pet umber hulks*.

8)


* Umber Hulks are (C) by Wizards of the Coast, and they are damn ugly too!


:D

msd
August 27th, 2005, 23:42
Thread successfully derailed. Congratulations rvalle and Kevin...

:(

Thore_Ironrock
August 28th, 2005, 01:22
Thread successfully derailed. Congratulations rvalle and Kevin...

But seriously Matt ... I would love to start a thread on this boards regarding copyrights, the industry, and what people can and cannot do in Fantasy Grounds. As I've said before, I have tried to be an advocate of respecting copyrights in this community, and the more the help the merrier.

You start the thread Matt and I'll be there. In fact, I think this will be getting more attention in the future since Ville has shown and interest in this topic as well.


Regards,

msd
August 28th, 2005, 03:15
You start the thread Matt and I'll be there.

Thanks...but no thanks.

Thore_Ironrock
August 28th, 2005, 03:20
Thanks...but no thanks.

OK ... can't fault me for trying.

Novalith
August 28th, 2005, 19:45
Hi! Remember me from the first page? Ok. I think I understand now. As an owner of the material (consumer if you will) I can do whatever I want with it for the purposes of a gaming session. What I cannot do is run overto my local kinkos and make 20 copies and give them to my best buds.

I believe I understand now. This thread, has helped me understand better what I can and cannot do and I shall abide by it.

On completely different note, the link www.digitaladventures.net seems to take me to web page with a cool graphic and no content whatsoever... at least as of 2:45 EST on Sunday.

Crusader
August 28th, 2005, 20:11
But it sure is cool graphics though! At least that has to count for something! :wink:

Thore_Ironrock
August 28th, 2005, 20:46
But it sure is cool graphics though! At least that has to count for something! :wink:

Ah crap! Stupid FrontPage ....

I'll have it fixed shortly.

Thanks guys.

Crusader
August 28th, 2005, 20:53
Yeah, Frontpage is stupid. Never touch the stuff myself... :wink:

Thore_Ironrock
August 28th, 2005, 21:05
Yeah, Frontpage is stupid. Never touch the stuff myself... :wink:

It seems as if my navigation panels are out of sync. I've patched it for now, but I'll have to redo them later.

Thanks for the heads up guys.