I’m thinking about this because Mike Mearls has mentioned a few times that Wizards is targeting to announce the plans for their licensing in the next couple of months, with the actual licensing for D&D products to be released next year. I’m guessing they are discussing what that license looks like now.
What do you think about my proposed features for the upcoming Wizards D&D license? Anything missing? Anything you would change? I’m hoping it has several components:
- Commercial License that is not overly burdensome. A license that allows third parties to publish D&D products without great burden, but with a consistent quality and look and feel. Doesn’t have to be an OGL.1
- Fan License that is short and easy to understand. Allow fans to publish non-profit work with a clear understanding of what they can and can’t do.2
- Trade Dress for Fan work to include some sort of logo, free fonts and templates (like word docs) so fan works can have a consistent ‘feel’ to them (even if it is made distinct from commercial products).
- Community Use Art Package with graphics like a map of the Forgotten Realms, representative iconic art from the PHB, DMG and MM, etc. Assets which the community is licensed to use within restrictions on fan based sites and personal use like blogs and game store advertisements (basically, adopting Paizo’s Community Use art package approach).
- Direction for Fan Add-Ons to Commercial Products which would be clear license options for people who want to create free supplemental content for commercial WOTC products (for example, an extended NPC roster for HotDQ, an area map for some scene where the commercial product did not include a map, etc.).
- License For Fan Conversions such converting older edition modules to 5e (e.g. converting 1e ‘Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh’ module to 5e stats), with guidance on what assets (such as using a thumbnail image of the module cover art) can be included in the fan work.
- Remix Clause for Fan Works as a possible option for the fan license. Like the ‘BY-NC-SA 3.0 - Creative Commons’ license, I’d love to see the option to be able to adapt, remix, transform, and build upon other fan’s material, so long as I give the original author credit.
- Fan Work Repository such as a section of the Wizards web site or a special forum where fans can post their fan works such as free add-ons for commercial products, module conversions, fan produced adventures using standardized fan trade dress, etc. Should be one, official place so that consumers have one place to look for all the resources they need. Participation in the repository is optional (i.e. a fan can post a fan work to their blog and never post it to the repository) but I suspect many would use the repository.
What do you think? I’d love to get your feedback.