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Thread: Greyhawk

  1. #1

    Greyhawk

    Does anyone know if there is any developed interest in getting some Greyhawk (Oerth) map content available in FG. Specifically, a few good maps would help immensely with the Yawning Portal campaign I am running in FG 5e. I am very familiar with Anna B. Meyer's wonderful work, but placing that into FG is beyond me at the moment. For that matter downloading the offline material she presented is not working well for me. I can and do work around the challenge, but visual aids are beneficial in any game and some I can place the tokens on are adored by my players.

    Ideas, Suggestions, or options?

    Anna's amazing work should be presented, follow the link below...
    https://ghmaps.net/greyhawk-maps/

  2. #2
    I haven't looked into it, but I'm pretty sure that Wizards of the Coast owns all rights to the Greyhawk property and they are not allowing Smiteworks to produce anything that isn't an official 5e product. Furthermore, they are not allowing anyone to sell any content on the Dungeon Masters Guild that isn't of the Forgotten Realms or Ravenloft setting. Because of this and the fact that WotC hasn't produced any official 5e Greyhawk products, I don't believe it is legal for anyone, Smiteworks or community, to make Greyhawk-specific content (including maps) for Fantasy Grounds.
    I never claimed to be sane. Besides, it's more fun this way.

  3. #3
    LordEntrails's Avatar
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    I would disagree on the possibility of distributing original artwork of Greyhawk maps. But, that's not what you need anyway.

    It really is pretty easy to get the maps you want into FG. I'll outline the process for you and if you have anyquestions or trouble, let us know.

    1) Find the map you want (or map it yourself)
    2) If you don't have a graphic program, download and install Gimp, https://www.gimp.org/downloads/
    3) Open the image in your graphics program (or Gimp)
    4) If larger than 1800 pixels in any direction scale down to a maximum of 1800 pixels
    5) Save As (use the Export command in Gimp) to a jpg image, set quality at 70%
    6) Check the saved file size, if it is not less than 1.2mb, then repeat step 5 but use a lower quality
    7) Open the jpg file and check that you are happy with the appearance of the file
    8) Open FG, open your campaign
    9) Open Images window, change group to desired group
    10) Click folder icon in Images window
    11) Don't change or navigate in the window browser that opens
    12) Open a second windows explorer using windows command or shortcut
    13) Copy the image from this second window to the browser window opened by FG
    14) Close the FG browser window

    The images list will now update and the new image will be there. You can open it, change it's name, share it and otherwise use it just like any FG iamge.
    Last edited by damned; April 30th, 2017 at 22:33.

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  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by LordEntrails View Post
    I would disagree on the possibility of distributing original artwork of Greyhawk maps. But, that's not what you need anyway.
    If you know something about the legals that I do not, do tell.
    I never claimed to be sane. Besides, it's more fun this way.

  5. #5
    LordEntrails's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nickademus View Post
    If you know something about the legals that I do not, do tell.
    So, here's the basis of what I believe. I'll try to explain why afterwards. Note, all of this is US related, any other location I won't even try to speak about.

    My understanding is that geography, even of a fictional place, can not be copyrighted or protected. Only names can be. These are usually protected as "Product Identity". Artwork, can be protected. But, an interpretation of another's artwork can not be. Now, what is "derivative" or an original interpretation is certainly not clear. There have been various federal court cases that I've read about in the US that has left this debated and highly dependent upon the particulars. Place names, unless "product identity" or otherwise protected (which can't be done cart-blanche), can't be protected.

    So, if all that is correct (see reasons below), then that means I can make my own interpretation of a copyrighted piece of artwork (i.e. a map) and distribute without restriction it as long as I do not claim it is the original piece (i.e. a forgery). This is the basis for thinking Wrayyth's desire is not outright illegal. The only concern I would have would be using product identity names

    Now, why do I think this?
    First, I contacted DMsGuild about the Undermountain maps trying to get a license to use them. They were not in a position to address license, but said if I created my own maps I could use those.
    Second, the web is full of original artwork of Greyhawk, Middle-Earth and just about every famous RPG settings. Including original interpretive artwork done by famous artists of other artists originals. (Now maybe they have license to do such, but they have never claimed they do or needed. There are also numerous others that their is no reason to believe they might have had permission/license.)
    Third, in order to claim protection, you actually have to make an effort to enforce said protection. (This is the reason the NFL no longer allows unlicensed bars to claim to throw a "Super Bowl Party", and why all the pre-game commercials refer to it as the 'Big game' or some other euphemism.) Anna's site (and all the other fan Greyhawk sites) is/are proof that WotC has not tried to enforce any such claim to Greyhawk or it's geography, despite we know WotC does try to enforce other things (C&D letters that we have all heard of).

    So, all that said, I think its reasonable to believe that if someone has license to distribute (either by asking someone like Anna if her work can be re-packaged or by creating it yourself) an FG module of Greyhawk maps could be distributed. Which is virtually the same things as has already been done frequently on this forum, see the ten threads linked at the bottom of post one here; https://www.fantasygrounds.com/forum...r-5E-resources
    Last edited by LordEntrails; May 1st, 2017 at 02:51.

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  6. #6
    Okay, now here's my understanding; I'm not claiming to be right, it's just what I've found out by looking into the legals.

    Quote Originally Posted by LordEntrails View Post
    My understanding is that geography, even of a fictional place, can not be copyrighted or protected. Only names can be. These are usually protected as "Product Identity".
    The names of nations, cities, etc. in the Greyhawk setting are indeed product identity.
    Quote Originally Posted by LordEntrails View Post
    So, if all that is correct (see reasons below), then that means I can make my own interpretation of a copyrighted piece of artwork (i.e. a map) and distribute without restriction it as long as I do not claim it is the original piece (i.e. a forgery).
    True, but see below.
    Quote Originally Posted by LordEntrails View Post
    First, I contacted DMsGuild about the Undermountain maps trying to get a license to use them.
    Undermountain is in Forgotten Realms which is one of the allowed campaign settings. Contact them and ask to do the same with Castle Greyhawk maps...
    Quote Originally Posted by LordEntrails View Post
    Second, the web is full of original artwork of Greyhawk, Middle-Earth and just about every famous RPG settings. ... Anna's site (and all the other fan Greyhawk sites) is/are proof that WotC has not tried to enforce any such claim to Greyhawk or it's geography, despite we know WotC does try to enforce other things (C&D letters that we have all heard of).
    Most, if not all, of these are considered fan fiction and is tolerated. Just because WotC doesn't enforce its copyrights doesn't make the fan fiction legal. Normally this wouldn't be an issue, but we aren't talking about distributing maps. We are talking about distributing maps available in FG. That means an FG module being distributed that contains copyrighted material.
    Quote Originally Posted by LordEntrails View Post
    So, all that said, I think its reasonable to believe that if someone has license to distribute (either by asking someone like Anna if her work can be re-packaged or by creating it yourself) an FG module of Greyhawk maps could be distributed.
    Distributed where? It is not permitted to post modules here that contain copyrighted material; it is not permitted to post on the DMsG modules that contain content for settings other than Ravenloft or Forgotten Realms; it is not permitted for Smiteworks to sell FG material that isn't from a 5e product unless WotC gives permission specifically for that material (which I think they did for a few token packs but campaign setting maps aren't as generic). To my knowledge, Smiteworks also does not approve of distributing FG modules that contain copyrighted material on third-party sites either.

    The issue is that once you put that fan fiction into a Fantasy Grounds module, it stops being fan fiction and falls under the FG terms of use.
    I never claimed to be sane. Besides, it's more fun this way.

  7. #7
    LordEntrails's Avatar
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    Some good points. Here's what I've found/think etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nickademus View Post
    Okay, now here's my understanding; I'm not claiming to be right, it's just what I've found out by looking into the legals.

    The names of nations, cities, etc. in the Greyhawk setting are indeed product identity.
    Hmm, do you know this or think this? I know there is a database you can search, but I couldn't find it. I know the word "Greyhawk" itself isn't protected. Maybe in context, but not as a name. I know this because the neighborhood next to my is named Greyhawk. and there also happens to be what appears to be an architectural company that has copyrighted the name, see here. I have found a few sources that say that names can not be copyrighted, but as part of the name of a business they can be trademarked.

    Undermountain is in Forgotten Realms which is one of the allowed campaign settings. Contact them and ask to do the same with Castle Greyhawk maps...
    My point here wasn't about Greyhawk or UM or the DMsG specifically, but rather the notion that DMsG had validated my point that even derivative artwork could not be restricted based on the copyright of other artwork.

    Most, if not all, of these are considered fan fiction and is tolerated. Just because WotC doesn't enforce its copyrights doesn't make the fan fiction legal.
    I was wrong on this, maybe. Copyright does not need to be enforced in order to maintain it. But, trademarks do. At least according to a Google search that gave me several apparently reliable articles on this, though I did find ones that said copyrights had to be enforced as well.... I have no idea what "product identity falls under.

    Normally this wouldn't be an issue, but we aren't talking about distributing maps. We are talking about distributing maps available in FG. That means an FG module being distributed that contains copyrighted material.
    Distributed where? It is not permitted to post modules here that contain copyrighted material;
    This is the most important part to both of us, I think. And if it contained copyrighted material I would agree. But my point is that I don't think an original map of Greyhawk is copyrighted by anyone other than the artist.

    Fan fiction is different than artistic images. Fan fiction includes personalities, settings, stories and other concepts that can be protected.

    it is not permitted to post on the DMsG modules that contain content for settings other than Ravenloft or Forgotten Realms; it is not permitted for Smiteworks to sell FG material that isn't from a 5e product unless WotC gives permission specifically for that material (which I think they did for a few token packs but campaign setting maps aren't as generic). To my knowledge, Smiteworks also does not approve of distributing FG modules that contain copyrighted material on third-party sites either.
    Agreed. The area in question is who owns the copyright of an original map created depicting someone else's creation.

    The issue is that once you put that fan fiction into a Fantasy Grounds module, it stops being fan fiction and falls under the FG terms of use.
    Not fan fiction, but yes. Again, I think the key question is as mentioned above.

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  8. #8
    JohnD's Avatar
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    Just grab Anna's maps that you want and add them yourself for private use in your own game.
    "I am a Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind."

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  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by JohnD View Post
    Just grab Anna's maps that you want and add them yourself for private use in your own game.
    This is what most people would do; you can put anything in a module for personal use. But the OP is asking about others providing a module with the maps (due to technical difficulty downloading them it seems). It is good to know the boundaries of what we can put into a FG module and share.
    Quote Originally Posted by LordEntrails View Post
    Hmm, do you know this or think this? I know there is a database you can search, but I couldn't find it. I know the word "Greyhawk" itself isn't protected. Maybe in context, but not as a name. I know this because the neighborhood next to my is named Greyhawk. and there also happens to be what appears to be an architectural company that has copyrighted the name, see here. I have found a few sources that say that names can not be copyrighted, but as part of the name of a business they can be trademarked.
    I think this based on the fact that there is some issues between WotC (and formerly TSR) and Gary Gygax over the intellectual property of the Greyhawk campaign setting. The logo is trademarked obviously, but there is an amount (unknown to me) of product identity for Greyhawk that Gygax retains the rights to use. This would indicate that he holds some of the copyright and WotC holds some of it, and by extension that we do not hold the copyright. You'd have to go digging to see which parts of Greyhawk are being claimed by Gygax and by WotC, though nation names are of high probability.
    Quote Originally Posted by LordEntrails View Post
    My point here wasn't about Greyhawk or UM or the DMsG specifically, but rather the notion that DMsG had validated my point that even derivative artwork could not be restricted based on the copyright of other artwork.
    The DMsG can restricts whatever they want regardless of copyright. If you put an original map up of Hommlet, the DMsG can choose to take it down (or WotC can tell them to) based on the fact that the town was published as a part of the world of Greyhawk near Verbobonc. This isn't a copyright issue; it's a DMsG regulation issue.
    Quote Originally Posted by LordEntrails View Post
    I was wrong on this, maybe. Copyright does not need to be enforced in order to maintain it. But, trademarks do. At least according to a Google search that gave me several apparently reliable articles on this, though I did find ones that said copyrights had to be enforced as well.... I have no idea what "product identity falls under.
    The way I understand copyright and trademark is this: when a person makes a unique thing, that thing is immediately copyrighted to the person. The person can enforce that copyright on anyone that attempts to breach the copyright (but this is hard to do). The person can also pay money to register the copyright with the federal (USA) government, at which point it becomes a registered copyright which makes it a lot easier to prove copyright in court. But registering a copyright is not required.

    Trademarks are different; they must be register and can only apply to logos and phrases (maybe a couple other specific things they didn't mention to me). The item for trademark must be used on a product that is being sold before it can be registered. (I applied for a trademark not too long ago.)
    Quote Originally Posted by LordEntrails View Post
    But my point is that I don't think an original map of Greyhawk is copyrighted by anyone other than the artist. Fan fiction is different than artistic images. Fan fiction includes personalities, settings, stories and other concepts that can be protected. The area in question is who owns the copyright of an original map created depicting someone else's creation.
    I guess the term 'fan fiction' is a bit more specific than I was using it. I meant 'fan-made-content'. Indeed the big question is whether the places that appear on a Greyhawk map are copyright to WotC/Gygax. Were I to think about putting together a Greyhawk module, I'd look into this. But honestly, I'm hoping by that time WotC has expanded the DMsG to include the setting of Greyhawk and I can ignore that copyright issue altogether.
    I never claimed to be sane. Besides, it's more fun this way.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Nickademus View Post
    But honestly, I'm hoping by that time WotC has expanded the DMsG to include the setting of Greyhawk and I can ignore that copyright issue altogether.
    Looking forward to that day AND the day they also allow more than just 5e versions of the game

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