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  1. #1

    Who holds the copyright to Birthrigth?

    I have a book I wrote based on a Birthright campaign me and my friends played in that I really want to get published, but I'm not sure of who I'd have to get copyright permission from. I know it was created by Rich Baker and Colin McComb which means TSR owned the copyrights original, but then they were bought by Wizards of the Coast, which was bought by Hasbro, and lastly I heard the Knights of the Dinner Table comic held the copyrights to all things 2nd edition D&D. So I not sure of who has (or still has) the copyrights to Birthright. Please if anyone knows I could really use the help!

  2. #2
    Site Moderator Sorontar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kasbar View Post
    I have a book I wrote based on a Birthright campaign me and my friends played in that I really want to get published, but I'm not sure of who I'd have to get copyright permission from. I know it was created by Rich Baker and Colin McComb which means TSR owned the copyrights original, but then they were bought by Wizards of the Coast, which was bought by Hasbro, and lastly I heard the Knights of the Dinner Table comic held the copyrights to all things 2nd edition D&D. So I not sure of who has (or still has) the copyrights to Birthright. Please if anyone knows I could really use the help!
    Wizards of the Coast holds the copyright to all published Birthright material. So far, this site has been the only external body that I am aware of that has ever been given permission to use and adapt the copyright material. See http://www.birthright.net/forums/sho...ense_agreement for details. This license has not been renewed for future versions of D&D beyond 3.5. However, all work done on this site is copyrighted to both WotC and the site community.

    So commercial publishing of material based on the original published material needs WotC's permission. Commercial publishing of material based on stuff from this site needs permission from WotC and us. Since one of the conditions for the original agreement with TSR/WotC was that commercial usage of the published material was not allowed and given the resistance of WotC to granting further licenses, I don't like your chances.

    If you just want to publish for free as fan fiction, then good luck!

    Sorontar

  3. #3

    Thanks

    Quote Originally Posted by Sorontar View Post
    Wizards of the Coast holds the copyright to all published Birthright material. So far, this site has been the only external body that I am aware of that has ever been given permission to use and adapt the copyright material. See http://www.birthright.net/forums/sho...ense_agreement for details. This license has not been renewed for future versions of D&D beyond 3.5. However, all work done on this site is copyrighted to both WotC and the site community.

    So commercial publishing of material based on the original published material needs WotC's permission. Commercial publishing of material based on stuff from this site needs permission from WotC and us. Since one of the conditions for the original agreement with TSR/WotC was that commercial usage of the published material was not allowed and given the resistance of WotC to granting further licenses, I don't like your chances.

    If you just want to publish for free as fan fiction, then good luck!

    Sorontar


    Thanks for the heads up, I guess it could be worst, I could be dealing with Hasbro.

  4. #4
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    I don't mean to discourage you from writing (I'm a writer), but wizards has no interest in publishing fan fiction or in publishing outside of their marketed campaigns (Eberron, FR, Dark Sun).

    If you're passionate about the work, go back and change the names and some of the details and then just hit up every editor/publisher you can get your hands on. You're much better off doing this independently than begging at the feet of Wizards ... after the debacle of 4E, Essentials, and D&D Next, they have no idea what they're doing.

  5. #5
    Member TheChamberlain's Avatar
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    To give you some encouragement, Raymond E Feist famous 'Magician' was based on events during his RP campaign. Good Luck!
    The Anuirean Empire will rise again........

  6. #6
    Junior Member bigmac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lucky View Post
    If you're passionate about the work, go back and change the names and some of the details and then just hit up every editor/publisher you can get your hands on. You're much better off doing this independently than begging at the feet of Wizards ... after the debacle of 4E, Essentials, and D&D Next, they have no idea what they're doing.
    This is great advice, but people need to be careful to make sure they remove all the Intellectual Property when rebooting stuff from their D&D campaign.

    A bad example would be Tracey Alley's novels, where she used a modified version of the Mystara map (and even had stolen TSR and Paizo artwork on her book covers).

    A good example would be a homebrew Arabian city, called Parsantium, which a guy called Rich Green designed for his Al-Qadim game and then rebooted to turn into a RPG book called Parsantium: City at the Crossroads. Rich Green was very careful to make sure that there were no Al-Qadim elements in his finished product (but he actually had AQ designer Wolfgang Baur plugging his book to Al-Qadim fans).

    The individual ideas in Birthright are not copyrightable. It is the execution of them that WotC owns. So if someone was careful, there is no reason why they could not create a new world that worked in a very similar way to how Birthright works. But if they start off with Birthright and try to rename things, they could get into trouble if they leave some other recognisable Birthright elements in their product.
    Last edited by bigmac; 06-14-2014 at 09:54 AM.
    David "Big Mac" Shepheard
    Visit my Yahoo links for: Birthright websites
    (If I am not here, you can find me at the Birthright forum at The Piazza.)

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