Re: Rules for submitting licenses for review
On 22 Aug 2005, MJ Ray wrote:
> > I was hoping to review the Open Game License. Although not a
> > software license, it has been used in the popular PCGen software
> > application which could, hypothetically, be added to Debian at some
> > point.
> >  http://www.opengamingfoundation.org/ogl.html
> I think there's a small risk in the COPYRIGHT NOTICE wording
> if someone adds adverts in it and there's a half-implementation
> of trademark law in it, but I'm not sure it's enough to block a
> work under that licence. I don't understand why it needed a new
> licence for this.
I've complained about the OGL from almost the moment it was introduced.
The problem is that the GPL says "if you obey this license, you can do these
things that you otherwise can't do".
The OGL says "if you obey this license, you can do these things that are
otherwise legal anyway, we just promise not to bankrupt you with baseless
lawsuits that we know you can't afford to defend against". Game rules can't
be copyrighted (though their specific text can), but the OGL is based around
TSR's/WotC's attempt to assert copyright in its game rules and claim that
nobody can use them without a license.
Something which purports to license you to use game rules can't be DFSG-free.
It's like a license to write critical articles, or a license to allow fair
use, or a license to breathe air.
Part 7 also seems to be unfree because it forbids you from using trademarks
in legal ways, but that isn't the biggest problem.