Following weeks of widespread backlash against the leaked OGL 1.1 document, which reportedly saw so many D&D Beyond cancellations that the virtual tabletop couldn’t keep up with the traffic, Wizards of the Coast have seemingly backtracked on most of the most egregious changes to the document.
Kyle Brink, the Executive Producer on D&D has issued an official statement over on D&D Beyond’s website. Kyle opens the statement with an apology for the both the tone and content of the original OGL leak, stating:
“First, though, let me start with an apology. We are sorry. We got it wrong.
Our language and requirements in the draft OGL were disruptive to creators and not in support of our core goals of protecting and cultivating an inclusive play environment and limiting the OGL to TTRPGs. Then we compounded things by being silent for too long. We hurt fans and creators, when more frequent and clear communications could have prevented so much of this.
Starting now, we’re going to do this a better way: more open and transparent, with our entire community of creators. With the time to iterate, to get feedback, to improve.”
Kyle’s statement also promises a draft version of the new OGL would go live on Friday the 20th January 2023. This draft will be available for “at least two weeks” and comes complete with an Unearthed Arcana style survey asking for public feedback on the new license. This feedback, Wizards of the Coast promise, will be taken into account.
That’s not all though, as Wizards have laid out some promises regarding what will not change in the new document.
“Your video content. Whether you are a commentator, streamer, podcaster, liveplay cast member, or other video creator on platforms like YouTube and Twitch and TikTok, you have always been covered by the Wizards Fan Content Policy. The OGL doesn’t (and won’t) touch any of this.
- Your accessories for your owned content. No changes to the OGL will affect your ability to sell minis, novels, apparel, dice, and other items related to your creations, characters, and worlds.
- Non-published works, for instance contracted services. You use the OGL if you want to publish your works that reference fifth edition content through the SRD. That means commissioned work, paid DM services, consulting, and so on aren’t affected by the OGL.
- VTT content. Any updates to the OGL will still allow any creator to publish content on VTTs and will still allow VTT publishers to use OGL content on their platform.
- DMs Guild content. The content you release on DMs Guild is published under a Community Content Agreement with Dungeon Masters Guild. This is not changing.
- Your OGL 1.0a content. Nothing will impact any content you have published under OGL 1.0a. That will always be licensed under OGL 1.0a.
- Your revenue. There will be no royalty or financial reporting requirements.
- Your ownership of your content. You will continue to own your content with no license-back requirements.”
It remains to be seen what the new OGL will look like, or if Wizards will honour their word, but it doesn’t seem that we will have long to wait and find out.
About the author
Robert Marriner-Dodds is a tabletop RPG designer who has worked in the industry since 2016. He has written several third party D&D 5e content and created Carbon 2185 | A Cyberpunk RPG. Currently, he runs Dragon Turtle Games, an indie TTRPG publisher.
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