Original Dungeons & Dragons Open Gaming License architect Ryan Dancey’s petition to Hasbro and subsidiary Wizards of the Coast, demanding that they make a public statement that they will not pursue any plans to deauthorize or revoke OGL v1.0a, is nearing 25,000 signatures on Change.org.
The petition was initiated shortly after OGL 1.1 was leaked (see “OGL 1.1 Furor“). In this petition, Dancey eloquently makes the case that millions of people have invested time and resources into building up OGL v1.0a, and revoking it would damage the community built around it as well as cause damage to properties beyond the RPG creator world (such as digital games, platforms, etc). Additionally, the revocation of the license would also likely damage Hasbro’s customer base for D&D and 5E products, as it would fragment it into different groups supporting different 5E products.
After WotC partially backed off the original OGL 1.1 document (see “Backs Down on OGL“) and later issued a new OGL draft (see “Creative Commons License“), Dancey issued an update to the petition to respond to their statements on D&D Beyond. He argued that while Hasbro had moved from its original “brutal positions,” they still hadn’t met the petition’s demands, and that instead, their three statements regarding OGL “attempted to change their grievances.”
The statement on D&D Beyond by senior Wizards of the Coast executive Kyle Brink, which prompted the Dancey update to his petition, had a reassuring tone. “Nothing will impact any content you have published under OGL 1.0a,” he wrote. “That will always be licensed under OGL 1.0a.”
But Dancey is looking for more, including a statement that Hasbro will not attempt to deauthorize OGL 1.0a, noting that the D&D content that Wizards of the Coast published under the OGL cannot be unlicensed. He laid out his position, which relies on what he says was the intent and effect of the original OGL, in three main points:
“Let me be clear, as the person who was the architect of the OGL:
- The Dungeons & Dragons IP is completely protected by v1.0a of the OGL. No person or company can make anything that uses the D&D brands or trademarks without Hasbro’s explicit permission; which is not provided by the OGL.
- The OGL is not about tabletop roleplaying games. It is a general purpose license designed to be used in any kind of project whatsoever that can use Open Game Content: on tabletops; in the digital realm; in books; in software; or in audiovisual media.
- Your rights to use Open Game Content – meaning your right to copy, modify and distribute it, including the System Reference Documents published by Hasbro and licensed to you including the rules of the 3.0, 3.5, 5.0 and 5.1 releases CANNOT BE DEAUTHORIZED OR REVOKED.”
He concluded the update by urging the community impacted by the OGL changes to continue to keep pressure on Hasbro and WotC until they acquiesce, and “state plainly that they do not have the right to deauthorize or revoke v1.0a of the OGL.”
As of this writing, the petition on Change.org has 23,788 signatures.