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The Ghost
9 September 2003, 02:39 AM
apparently, Hasbro has flipped their lid.

the ongoing saga plays out on wizards.community now.

but read the change for yourself:

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From the d20 System Trademark License:
4. Quality Standards
The nature of all material You use or distribute that incorporates the Licensed Articles must comply with all applicable laws and regulations, as well as community standards of decency, as further described in the d20 System Guide. You must use Your best efforts to preserve the high standard and goodwill of the Licensed Trademarks. In order to assure the foregoing standard and quality requirements, Wizards of the Coast shall have the right, upon notice to You, to review and inspect all material released by You that uses the Licensed Articles. You shall fully cooperate with Wizards of the Coast to facilitate such review and inspection, including timely provision of copies of all such materials to Wizards of the Coast. Wizards of the Coast may terminate this License immediately upon attempted notice to you if it deems, in its sole discretion, that your use of the Licensed Articles does not meet the above standards.

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From the Trademark Logo Guide:
Quality Standards

In determining whether a product complies with community standards of decency, Wizards of the Coast uses, but is not limited to the following. Notwithstanding the foregoing, Wizards of the Coast reserves the right to determine, in its sole discretion, whether a product complies with community standards of decency.

Violence and Gore – Descriptions of combat are acceptable in a Covered Product. However art or text depicting excessively graphic violence or gore is not acceptable.

Sexual Themes - Sexual situations—including abuse and pornography—may not appear graphically in art or text. When depicting the human form—or creatures possessing humaniform features—gratuitous nudity, the depiction of genitalia, bare female nipples, and sexual or bathroom activity is not acceptable. While sensuality and sexuality may appear in a Covered Product, it must not be the focus nor can it be salacious in nature.

Prejudice - Covered Products can not depict existing real-world minorities, nationalities, social castes, religious groups, genders, lifestyle preferences, or people with disabilities as a group inferior to any other group. Current, real-world religions and religious groups and/or practices will not be portrayed in any way that promotes disrespect for these religions or their participants. A Covered Product can not endorse or promote any specific religion or religious practice.
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Obviously this affects anyone who is looking to slap a d20 symbol on their work, heads up people.

The Ghost
9 September 2003, 02:40 AM
From: ogf-d20-l-admin@opengamingfoundation.org on behalf of Ryan S. Dancey [ryand@organizedplay.com]
Sent: Sunday, September 07, 2003 1:03 PM
To: ogf-d20-l@opengamingfoundation.org
Subject: [Ogf-d20-l] Ryan Dancey Comments on Changes to D20 System Trademark License

I'm pretty unhappy with the decision to alter the d20 System Trademark License to include post-publication content limitations.

In my opinion, the current version of the d20 STL is not a license I would be comfortable using in a commercial work unless I was able to secure a release from Wizards prior to publication exempting me from the content clauses. The potential for abuse (accidential or intentional) of the new clauses renders the "safe harbor" established by the D20 System Trademark License moot.

By altering the risk equation that must be considered by each party to the D20 System Trademark License in such a manner, in my opinion, it may now be more risky for a publisher to publish with the D20STL than without it. Thus the changes severely undermine the value proposition of the license as a whole.

Prior to these changes Wizards of the Coast was insulated from the contents of 3rd party d20 products through its inability to assert a review or approval right over such contents. By insisting on such a right, Wizards of the Coast has just made themselves liable for defamation, slander, trade secret, copyright, patent, and trademark litigation which would otherwise have been limited to the original publisher.

In addition, they've put themselves into a terrible PR position. Prior to these changes, Wizards of the Coast could refuse public comment on the contents of any product using the D20STL, claiming no prior knowledge nor approval responsibility for distasteful work. Now they will be forced to explain either a) why they support a work containing distasteful content, or b) when they'll be forcing the publisher to institute a recall of that work.

The net result of this change will be more work for Wizards of the Coast (with no related revenue), more danger of a public communications nightmare, less D20-logoed product, and an increase in the effort devoted to creating (and the value of) a publisher-sponsored D20 trademark replacement not controlled by Wizards of the Coast .

All those problems have been incurred to gain the ability to stop one product from commercial distribution to a limited audience. And in the end, Wizards of the Coast probably won't stop the release of that product. All they'll stop is the publisher's use of the words "Dungeons & Dragons" and a logo the size of a postage stamp.

Essentially, Wizards gets nothing for this change but heartache.

This is what happens when emotion gets in front of rational business management. And, in my opinion, it is an extremely unfortunate choice.

I hope you'll join me in asking Wizards of the Coast to reconsider its stance on this matter and retract this change to the d20 System Trademark License.

Ryan S. Dancey
Founder, Open Gaming Foundation

This article may be copied and republished provided the entire contents remain intact.

Ardent
9 September 2003, 08:53 AM
This is sad news, frankly, as most of the best-selling d20 supplements and systems violate at least one, if not all, of these new stipulations. Hopefully Wizards will turn their stance around before they collapse the market on themselves.