Regarding the question "Who owns OpenD6?" from a previous post. I've included this edit there as well, but also want to post it here to make sure everyone sees it.
Thanks to everyone who has contacted me or provided guidance concerning ownership of OpenD6. The short answer is that Nocturnal Media is still the owner of WEG/D6/OpenD6. I'm not seeking any more information on the matter but publicly urge the owner to consider releasing OpenD6 under a Creative Commons license (or something similar) in the event that the OGL drama creates ambiguities or ends the current 1.0a license.
Please do not reach out to anyone or send any messages on my behalf. I respect the privacy of all involved and don't want to annoy anyone. I'm happy to receive any news regarding the status of OpenD6 from the owner or anyone authorized to speak for them should they choose to communicate publicly or privately.
It's obvious that until things become official and clear regarding WotC's position, there's no way anyone can definitively say what should be done.
Disclaimer: I'm not a lawyer. Everyone says that in this kind of post, and I mean it. Just take the following as the opinions of a random internet stranger. Nothing here is advice or necessarily objective fact.
Some text from a proposed future version of Wizards of the Coast's Open Gaming License, supposedly version 1.1, has been leaked. Gizmodo wrote an article about it.
The thing about a leak is, who knows if what's proposed will come to pass? I don't, you don't, and no one else does except for the executives at Wizards of the Coast or Hasbro.
But these leaks have the appearance of truth, and they're concerning. We may find out in the coming week because the date January 13th, 2023 is mentioned.
The largest community affected by this are the folks who publish material under the OGL for third and fifth editions of Dungeons and Dragons. Then you have the folks in the OSR who aren't publishing for those editions specifically, but their work leverages the OGL 1.0a. Finally, there is the smallest group of all - folks like myself who rely on the OpenD6 license via OGL 1.0a. I don't know if there are any other non-D&D style games that also rely on it, but it would affect them as well.
The issue is that some language in the partially leaked OGL 1.1 can be interpreted that Wizards of the Coast, who owns the copyright to OGL1.0a, can de-authorize that earlier version.
OGL1.0a is the license that OpenD6 was released under. Without guidance from the current owner of OpenD6, this leaves publishers like me in limbo. I believe that upgrading to the OGL 1.1 is not a remedy for those that rely on OpenD6.
For the OGL 1.1 to be of any use to OpenD6 publishers, the owner of OpenD6 would need to first update the version of the OGL attached to OpenD6 to that version. Our licenses have to match.
If WotC does release 1.1 and deauthorize 1.0a (which appears to be coming by Friday, January 13th of next week), then OpenD6 looks to me like it will also become deauthorized, the byproduct of (surely) unintended consequences.
Three Possible Futures for OpenD6
1. Do nothing. OpenD6 would effectively expire. The D6 system itself is unaffected by this drama and OpenD6 does nothing to generate income for them directly. One could argue that OpenD6 stimulates some interest in the D6 system, and that goodwill has a value, but the net value of that goodwill is a matter of opinion. The publisher might simply not care or think that resolving this issue is a bother and skip it.
2. Update OpenD6 to the OGL 1.1. This is a bad idea in my opinion because of course there is a wrinkle. If the leak is accurate, 1.1 includes stipulations that are bothersome for anyone releasing commercially. It wouldn't affect the owner of OpenD6, but folks like myself would have to be sure we do whatever is required to remain in compliance with WotC. There are a few other issues as well, but the biggest one is that 1.1 allegedly contains a section that stipulates that WotC can terminate the license with only a 30-day notice, without cause. Adopting 1.1 would just carry us from being at WotC's mercy to another contract that leaves us at their mercy. The pro side of this solution (for only the owner) is that it would be fairly simple.
3. Release OpenD6 under an entirely new license. A Creative Commons license like CC-BY or CC-BY-SA would solve this issue for OpenD6 publishers entirely. Noncommercial CC licenses would protect fans, but would effectively end OpenD6 publishing. The Open Gaming Foundation lists a few other licenses which could be used. (It also lists the OGL, but that would defeat the purpose.)
Who owns OpenD6?
As far as I can tell, the owner of the trademarks to OpenD6, the D6 system, and West End Games remains Nocturnal Media. Their website is gone. I haven't been able to find a direct line of communication to anyone in authority, though I have a few leads, and I haven't seen any recent activity from them.
Nocturnal Media acquired West End Games and its remaining intellectual property including the D6 system and OpenD6, in the spring of 2016. Sadly, the founder, Stewart Wieck, passed away in June 2017.
Nocturnal has continued in some form though because they have run Kickstarter campaigns since that date.
Edit: I think I found a way to reach Alan Bahr, who may be associated with Nocturnal. I've reached out but I don't expect an immediate response.
The Strange State of OpenD6 and the OGL
Yeah my public opinion is that Hasbro does not have the power to deauthorize a version of the OGL. If that had been a power that we wanted to reserve for Hasbro, we would have enumerated it in the license. I am on record numerous places in email and blogs and interviews saying that the license could never be revoked.
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