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Rules concerning non-commercial independent adventure publication


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#1 LethalDose

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Posted 09 September 2012 - 06:49 AM

What restrictions do individuals face if we want to share (publish on the web free of charge) Star Wars adventures.

Under other systems (e.g. D&D, HERO, etc), there seems to be enough laxity for distribution of independent creation (OGL, player built settings, etc.), but Star Wars is another beast entirely.  Does the creation of an adventure using a proprietary game system, and its subsequent non-commercial electronic distribution, fall under fair use guidelines (similar to the legal grey area of fan fiction, which is the most similar instance I can think of), or are there other other restrictions we should be aware of if we are interested in posting or otherwise sharing adventures we've created using the EotE system.

I think this one's gonna need a response from FFG officials (or even LucasArts) to be reliable, but maybe some experienced gamers may have some insight. I hope a lot of people are wondering about this, I'd like to see robust community support for the game after it launches.

Thanks for your responses.

 

-WJL



#2 Donovan Morningfire

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Posted 09 September 2012 - 08:45 AM

 There have been a bunch of free web adventures published on the web for all versions of the Star Wars RPG over the years, and not one cease & desist letter from either LFL or WotC or even WEG.

I'd imagine the situation would be similar under FFG, as free fan-published adventures amounts to free advertising for their product.


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#3 LethalDose

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Posted 09 September 2012 - 11:18 AM

Do you have links?



#4 Donovan Morningfire

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Posted 09 September 2012 - 02:15 PM

LethalDose said:

Do you have links?

Search in Google (or your preferred search engine of choice) and you'll find plenty of Star Wars adventures for download across numerous sites.

Heck, one of the better introductory adventures for Saga Edition, "A Much Larger Galaxy" was referenced quite a bit on the WotC forums.  If that's not an endorsement of fans to create and web-publish their own free adventures, not sure what is.  There's also the rather substantial collection of adventures and minis scenarios to be found in the Downloads section of the D20 Radio Network main site (the link is on the "become a member" page), which WotC, or at least Rodney Thompson, knew full well about since the O66 boys weren't exactly bashful about the downloads section.


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#5 Kallabecca

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 12:26 PM

WEG ceased to have the license before the Net really got huge. They published the game from 1987 until around 1997. The Net started getting a lot more commercial traffic in 1995, but it wasn't until the turn of the millennium that it really got going, heheh. So, makes sense that they didn't send out any C&D to fans :)



#6 Donovan Morningfire

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 01:25 PM

Kallabecca said:

WEG ceased to have the license before the Net really got huge. They published the game from 1987 until around 1997. The Net started getting a lot more commercial traffic in 1995, but it wasn't until the turn of the millennium that it really got going, heheh. So, makes sense that they didn't send out any C&D to fans :)

Very true.  But then neither did WotC, and they had the license from 2000 (circa Phantom Menace) to 2010.  And to the best of my knowledge, the only C&D they issued was to a chap that had created a program that vastly simplified character creation for the RCR, but did so by including a lot of material from the books, including prestige classes, feat descriptions, the works.  Which, given that he was using a lot of copyrighted material and making it widely available, is pretty understandable.  Supposedly there had been some thoughts by the RCR lead developer J.D. Wiker of seeing about contacting the guy to make it an official product (pretty much, WotC would buy the rights), but he left WotC before any progress could be made in that direction.


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#7 BrashFink

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 04:19 PM

Yeah I asked a similar question in a different thread. I am more curious for doing complete conversions. I am interested in eventually doing a western game and a Gamma World-esque game using the same mechanics and was wondering about published a free PDF that references the SW book from FFG. Obviously I would not be published sections of the rules, and would reference their book and say you have to own that book or these rules will not make sense.

 



#8 Callidon

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 04:28 PM

If stuff like Liber Fanatica can exist for WFRP…I'd hope that something equally as awesome could be put together for Star Wars since there have been fan-made efforts for previous versions of the Star Wars rpgs.  I doubt FFG could necessarily give anyone a thumbs up to do it, but as long as care was taken to make it fall into the Fair Use category I think it'd be a groovy project.  Most game companies have allowed free fanzines.  No reason we all couldn't band together and churn out something for this version of Star Wars…well other than my lack of time and writing skills anyway :-)


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#9 Kallabecca

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 04:35 PM

Donovan Morningfire said:

Kallabecca said:

 

WEG ceased to have the license before the Net really got huge. They published the game from 1987 until around 1997. The Net started getting a lot more commercial traffic in 1995, but it wasn't until the turn of the millennium that it really got going, heheh. So, makes sense that they didn't send out any C&D to fans :)

 

 

Very true.  But then neither did WotC, and they had the license from 2000 (circa Phantom Menace) to 2010.  And to the best of my knowledge, the only C&D they issued was to a chap that had created a program that vastly simplified character creation for the RCR, but did so by including a lot of material from the books, including prestige classes, feat descriptions, the works.  Which, given that he was using a lot of copyrighted material and making it widely available, is pretty understandable.  Supposedly there had been some thoughts by the RCR lead developer J.D. Wiker of seeing about contacting the guy to make it an official product (pretty much, WotC would buy the rights), but he left WotC before any progress could be made in that direction.

That wasn't one guy, that was an entire project, PCGen.



#10 Donovan Morningfire

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 03:21 AM

Kallabecca said:

Donovan Morningfire said:

 

Very true.  But then neither did WotC, and they had the license from 2000 (circa Phantom Menace) to 2010.  And to the best of my knowledge, the only C&D they issued was to a chap that had created a program that vastly simplified character creation for the RCR, but did so by including a lot of material from the books, including prestige classes, feat descriptions, the works.  Which, given that he was using a lot of copyrighted material and making it widely available, is pretty understandable.  Supposedly there had been some thoughts by the RCR lead developer J.D. Wiker of seeing about contacting the guy to make it an official product (pretty much, WotC would buy the rights), but he left WotC before any progress could be made in that direction.

 

 

That wasn't one guy, that was an entire project, PCGen.

Looks we're talking about two entirely different applications.  The one I'm referring to goes by the handle of "nameless blessing" to those in the know, and was only ever intended for the OCR/RCR versions of Star Wars.


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#11 Kallabecca

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 05:21 AM

Donovan Morningfire said:

Donovan Morningfire said:

Looks we're talking about two entirely different applications.  The one I'm referring to goes by the handle of "nameless blessing" to those in the know, and was only ever intended for the OCR/RCR versions of Star Wars.

Wasn't ever aware of that app. Just the PCGen one that handled almost all things D20 (D&D, Modern, Spycraft, etc…)



#12 LethalDose

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 10:07 AM

 Well, I'm just happy that there's previous precedent for LucasArts and FFG being chill about player-generated content on the web.  I'll be sure to stick to fair use exceptions and it should be fine.

DeviantArt recently posted an enlightening panel video with Josh Wattles on fanart and fair use here.  Basically keep it non-commercial and non-defamatory.

I'll interpret a lack of moderator responses as 'implicit consent'.

 

-WJL



#13 MILLANDSON

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 01:46 PM

LethalDose said:

 Well, I'm just happy that there's previous precedent for LucasArts and FFG being chill about player-generated content on the web.  I'll be sure to stick to fair use exceptions and it should be fine.

DeviantArt recently posted an enlightening panel video with Josh Wattles on fanart and fair use here.  Basically keep it non-commercial and non-defamatory.

I'll interpret a lack of moderator responses as 'implicit consent'.

 

-WJL

I'd not accept a lack of response as anything other than a lack of response. The devs generally, as a rule, don't respond to posts on the forum, and a lack of response usually cannot be accepted as an affirmative, in regards to contracts, licences, etc.

I'd suggest e-mailing them and asking as to whether it's alright before posting anything up - that way you can be sure as to whether you have their consent or not.


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#14 LethalDose

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Posted 16 September 2012 - 06:26 PM

MILLANDSON said:

LethalDose said:

 

[,…]

I'll interpret a lack of moderator responses as 'implicit consent'.

 -WJL

[…]

 

 

I'd not accept a lack of response as anything other than a lack of response. 

… that was intended as a joke related to the video I linked, ffs.



#15 MILLANDSON

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Posted 16 September 2012 - 10:31 PM

Sorry, I didn't see the link - no need to get so angry, I was just giving a suggestion based on my knowledge of the legalities involved.


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