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Thread: GSL Released

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    GSL Released


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    Ehrshegh of Spelling Thelandrin's Avatar
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    I just ran through the new GSL. Apparently by agreeing to this, you waive your right to have any legal issue with this if Wizards decide to do anything to do about it...

    Also, said books cannot contain any sexual references, excessive gore (the word "excessive" can be used to mean anything you disagree with) or any material that is illegal or condones illegal behaviour.

    It's a shame really that the core 4E books have a skill actually called Thievery. Do Wizards shut themselves down now or just acknowledge that they are either hypocrites or simply have crazy lawyers?

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    Site Moderator kgauck's Avatar
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    References to this generally mean discussing how to commit actual crimes, cook actual meth, hack actual computers, and calling it game material. Not describing criminal action so vaguely that reproduction is impossible.

    Take poisons. We need a DC for creation, a DC for the victim, and the game effect of the poison on a character with and without save. We don't need a precise set of ingredients with accurate proportions, preparation instructions, and a guide to use. In such game materials there is such a thing as too much information.

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    I imagine 3e had similar clauses. Well except perhaps the sexual one, considering some book or other I heard about that was entirely based on D&D rules for sex. Talk about an obsession!


    Since you've looked it over already, was there anything in there about "official" fan sites dedicated to trademark names like Birthright?

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    Fansites aren't covered by the GSL, they will be covered in an upcoming document.

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    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vicente View Post
    Fansites aren't covered by the GSL, they will be covered in an upcoming document.

    Arjan (and those at Athas.org) had already received notice that WotC is dropping the "official" from all fan sites.

    So that is something else to consider.
    Duane Eggert

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    Site Moderator Sorontar's Avatar
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    From the GSL FAQ:
    "describing character creation is prohibited under the GSL."

    So how do you add things like bloodlines etc if you can't describe how to create the character?

    Without limiting the foregoing, Licensed Products will not contain any content that is unlawful, defamatory, harassing, threatening, abusive, inflammatory, fraudulent or otherwise objectionable or that would infringe upon or violate the rights of any third party or constitute, encourage, or provide instructions for a criminal offense.
    19. Choice of Law; Jurisdiction. This License will be governed by the laws of the State of Washington, USA, without reference to its choice of law rules. Licensee irrevocably consent to the exclusive jurisdiction and venue of the federal and state courts located at King County, Washington with respect to any claim or suit brought by Licensee arising out of or related to this License, and Licensee agrees not to commence or prosecute any such claim or suit other than in the aforementioned courts. LICENSEE EXPRESSLY WAIVES ITS RIGHT TO A JURY TRIAL OF ANY DISPUTE, CLAIM OR CAUSE OF ACTION RELATED TO OR ARISING OUT OF THIS LICENSE.
    So what defines a "criminal offense"? Washington state law? How can they expect a game developer in Europe to know whether elves and dwarves holding hands is illegal in Washington?

    Sorontar.

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    Site Moderator kgauck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sorontar View Post
    So how do you add things like bloodlines etc if you can't describe how to create the character?
    Refer them to the core rules and presume they know it already when describing bloodlines.

    So what defines a "criminal offense"? Washington state law? How can they expect a game developer in Europe to know whether elves and dwarves holding hands is illegal in Washington?
    The protections of the 1st Amendment are nearly absolute and include only the following content restrictions:
    • Slander and Libel are not protected
    • Obscenity is not protected, but the definition of obscenity is very narrow
    • Violations of copywrite
    • Incitement to crime (see my earlier post, which was about the less restrictive case of description of crime)


    All other speech is held to be unrestricted on content grounds. Such previously restricted cases, such as fighting words and sedition are no longer restricted. The final case of causing a panic still is valid, but I have trouble seeing how one could cause a panic with a game product. One of the elements required is immediacy, and the classic case is yelling "fire" in a crowded theater.

    So unless the game material libels some private citizen (public figures are basically not protected), is obscene (the sexual references clause would kick in way before obscenity would), incites criminal behavior (directly, its a hard standard to meet), or, and here is the criminal offense I believe that they are referring to, violation of copywrite.

    So, if you produce a game material that describes character creation, and they choose to sue over it, you have agreed that the venue is King County, Washington.

    Almost anything else you can think of is not criminal. Its not constitutional for governments in the United States to regulate the content of speech, barring the exceptions I have mentioned.

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    Senior Member Elton Robb's Avatar
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    Anything else about it?
    Regent of Medoere

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    ENWorld linked a good "normal-speech" translation of the GSL on their main page. Not sure how accurate it is regarding to laws, but it's easy to read.

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