BR.net's agreement with WOTC
This agreement between Wizards of the Coast and any fansite like birthright.net is the basis on what the BRCS for D&D 3e/d20 was built. However, Wizards do not support there being a similar agreement for any fan-based development of D&D 4e. However they have produced a version of the SRD for D&D 4e. This has its own agreements as to its usage.
Official Homepage Requirements
Wizards of the Coast values its intellectual property a great deal, and it also values its customers who make purchase decisions based on their love of the IP. As sales dwindle on certain worlds that we create, we make the decision to no longer produce printed materials for these worlds. As Wizards of the Coast desires to keep previous customers happy with the investment they have made with our products, we allow select websites to take over the duties of providing new materials for retired intellectual properties.
In order to be considered an official website, the site must:
- Portray the intellectual property in a manner consistent with its positioning. This information can be found in the Brand Positioning documents. In lieu of these documents, work with the Brand Manager of D&D Worlds on an approved look.
- Retain the iconic heroes, locations, magical items, and artifacts. Official sites are not allowed to kill off major PCs, destroy well-known artifacts, and similar activities.
- Official sites must have links back to the Wizards of the Coast website that tie to:
- Official sites must not create their own community sections that duplicate those services and features offered by the Wizards of the Coast website.
- Provide new content for fans within the guidelines in sections A and B. While there is a great deal of latitude granted in this regard, official websites should remain in close contact with the Brand Manager of D&D Worlds (email@example.com).
- Keep Wizards of the Coast related materials separate from other non-game sections of the website. This means we don’t want to see other business ventures mixed in with our intellectual property, such as pornographic offerings, get-rich-quick schemes, etc.
- Conduct its activities in a professional and businesslike manner. This means that all actions on the part of visitors to the website should conform to generally accepted business standards. Sites should never sell visitor information records to other firms for the purpose of marketing, for instance.
- Refer players to the Other Worlds section of the Wizards of the Coast page instead of their own URL. While many fans will bookmark your own page anyway, it’s important that fans receive the other information presented at the Other Worlds section.
- Make the material available for free. You’re not allowed to charge for access to official products.
We encourage fan sites to begin making updates to their content to bring it in-line with 3rd Edition Dungeons & Dragons as soon as possible. We will begin phasing out web pages that do not offer 3rd Edition Dungeons & Dragons content soon after the launch of the new game system in August 2000.
In exchange for providing all of the official new material for an intellectual property, Wizards of the Coast agrees to:
- Provide prizes and other support materials at a level established by the D&D Worlds Brand Manager.
- Establish a direct link from the Wizards of the Coast web page to the official fan site.
- Have only a single source for all official content, that being your site. Other sites that wish to be listed as part of the IP will be directed to the official website.
This agreement will change as business necessities force us to alter the manner in which we do business. Should the intellectual property currently being supported by the official website be brought back into print, the official status of the web site will be removed and Wizards of the Coast will begin creating new content to support the relaunch of the game (or work with the current official site to migrate content over).
Content created on the official website is considered to be derivative work (as it is based on the intellectual property owned by Wizards of the Coast). This means that fan-created add-ons (such as new net books, adventures, etc.) are jointly owned by both Wizards of the Coast and the creator; neither can do anything outside the official website without the permission of the other.
Jim Butler, Brand Manager D&D Worlds Wizards of the Coast, Inc.
Usage of copyrighted material
And an email by David Wise explaining more on the development of new and usage of copyrighted material....
This email was written by David Wise, our former contact. It covers most of what we can use and how.
- DW: Okay. Hope all goes smoothly for you.
BRnet:' but before we go and write all the D20 modules i would like to know what we can do/use etc.
- DW: For starters, visit www.wizards.com/d20 and carefully read the license.
- You'll find invaluable information there, which you should fully understand before committing pen to paper.
- Do I correctly assume that this is a fan-generated, non-profit endeavor?
- You may not derive revenues of any sort from this activity without a license. The rest of my responses in this post assume that this is the case.
BRnet:' for example, can we use registered name (birthright related ofcourse)like all the Domain names and characters? Ofcourse we will keep the current touch and feel of Birthright, so we wont kill any major NPC's etc.
- DW: Yes, you may use all of the BR content. Please be sure to acknowledge WotC trademarks and copyrights with the following statement, posted clearly on your BR home page:
- BIRTHRIGHT, DUNGEONS & DRAGONS, D&D, the BIRTHRIGHT logo, and the D&D logo are trademarks owned by Wizards of the Coast, Inc., a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc., and are used by permission. ©2002-2007 Wizards of the Coast, Inc.
- If you use images from the BR setting, please embed the statement "©2002-2007 Wizards of the Coast, Inc." directly on the image, or directly below it.
- That should cover you legally when using our IPs.
BRnet:' and under what circumstances can we publish it on birthright.net? Do you guys at wizards have to proof-read and approve it before we do?
- DW: No need for us to review and approve, although we're certainly curious and would love to see what you've done. :As a friendly reminder, you may derive no revenues, directly or indirectly, from this activity. If you are charging for anything on the site, then you need a license from us to display BR materials, as you are theoretically using BR to attract people to your site and make money from it. What allows you the freedom to create and post materials is your willingness to earn nothing from it.
BRnet:' Is there any hope we will get support from wizards in any way ?
- DW: Unlikely, although individual employees are, for the most part, free to contribute if they like, on their own time. We refrain from official involvement because there are a number of fan sites, supporting various old lines, and it would be a slippery slope to formally engage with any of them, as they'd all soon be clamoring for our involvement. Thanks for the invitation, but we're all working 50+-hour weeks already. . . . ;-)
- DW (David Wise)