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I saw there are some files in drivethru called Genesys Foundry. Seems 3rd party authors can finally sell stuff they made. But is there any information about foundry? I don't find any license or at least a text on the ffg website, that really says "yes, create stuff and sell it". Is there any further information about the foundry other than just the files?

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Ah okay. Would be nice, currently writing a campaign setting. Originally wanted to write it for genesys, but due to the lack of a commercial license I'm writing it for Open Legend. Now I can offer it for both maybe..

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Well there seems to be a community guideline and a styleguide at drivethru:
https://support.drivethrurpg.com/hc/en-us/articles/360031042772-Genesys-Foundry-Content-Guidelines
https://support.drivethrurpg.com/hc/en-us/articles/360031097832-Genesys-Foundry-Style-Guide

Both of them don't mention, where you are allowed to offer your products. Is it limited to drivethru? Does the license cover financing the creation of content via crowdfunding?

I wonder how there can already be so much published content with only so many information available what you really are allowed to do and what you are not allowed.

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Posted (edited)
1 minute ago, MasterZelgadis said:

Both of them don't mention, where you are allowed to offer your products. Is it limited to drivethru? Does the license cover financing the creation of content via crowdfunding?

Section 4(b) of the agreement you sign says: 

"Except for short promotional excerpts used to promote your Work, you may not display, recreate, publish, distribute or sell your Work (or derivatives thereof) outside of the Program administered on OBS websites or through other platforms or channels authorized or offered by The Owner."

Section 8(f):
"You will not engage in crowdfunding in direct relation to the Work."

Edited by c__beck

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Where can I find that agreement? Or is it still for a limited, chosen number of content creators?

Section 8(f) could indeed be a showstopper for me. I really want to hire an illustrator for the book I'm writing, but I absolutely can't pay him in advance, not knowing whether my book sales will cover these costs..

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@MasterZelgadis if you have a seller account on DTRPG, go to your account. Under the "My Content" section, click on "Enter New Community Created Title" link. The very first option is "select program". Genesys is at the bottom of the list.

Once you select that, scroll down to the bottom of the page and you'll find the Community Content Agreement section. it's all there.

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After watching the video on YouTube about this where the guy breaks down the license agreement there is absolutely no way I'd use the Foundry as its currently worded. 

Its a video by the Complex Games Apologist. 

Apparently if you use this you pretty much lose all rights to your Work. 

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2 hours ago, Stacie_GmrGrl said:

Its a video by the Complex Games Apologist. 

I watched the video, and it makes some bold statements about the Liscencing agreement that directly contradict what Sam Gregor-Stewart said in his interview on The Forge Podcast that aired earlier today. He specifically said that one would retain rights to independently created IP. Two examples he gave were publishing the setting with different game mechanics, and writing a novel in the setting.

It would be nice to have some clarity on this.

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What Sam Gregor-Stewart said doesn't matter. He's not a lawyer and people who sign the Licensing Agreement are bound to the terms of the current contract. The Licensing Agreement is what is going to be held and enforced. If they decide to change it moving forward than that's great. If not the current agreement is going to be what is held. 

It will be interesting to see what will happen to the Licensing Agreement and what will happen for people who already published.

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15 minutes ago, Imbasel said:

What Sam Gregor-Stewart said doesn't matter. He's not a lawyer and people who sign the Licensing Agreement are bound to the terms of the current contract. The Licensing Agreement is what is going to be held and enforced. If they decide to change it moving forward than that's great. If not the current agreement is going to be what is held. 

It will be interesting to see what will happen to the Licensing Agreement and what will happen for people who already published.

True. I really, really hope they revise their community agreement (contract) to reflect his statements. As it is written it looks like you forfeit all rights to your IP by publishing through this agreement.

All quotes below are from the Community Content Agreement on DTRPG:

Quote

 

2. Intellectual Property Definitions

(a) Fantasy Flight Games (collectively, the “Owner”) has granted OBS the right to use elements of Owner’s Genesys game (“Owner’s IP”) and sublicense certain limited rights to you under the terms of this Agreement.

Owner’s IP includes any and all Genesys tabletop roleplaying materials and content made available to you through the Program including, but not limited to:

  • Genesys rule sets
  • Portions and elements of Genesys campaign setting(s)
  • Artwork and other graphic templates and materials

Owner’s IP may be amended at any time and for any reason whatsoever without liability to you. However, any Work published in the Program prior to the removal of Owner’s IP will not require the removal or amendment of that Work.

(b) “Program IP” shall be defined as any User Generated Content (defined, below) distributed by the Program.

(c) “User Generated Content” shall be defined as the copyrightable elements included in your Work, such as original characters, scenes, locations and events. User Generated Content shall not include the illustrations, photographs, or cartographic artwork included in your work. Per the terms of this Agreement, you expressly agree that your User Generated Content, once submitted to the Program will become Program IP and useable by other members of the Program as well as The Owner as described in this Agreement.

 

I'm no lawyer, but part 2C reads to me that anyone has free reign to use your IP in their own products without compensating you.

Quote

 

5. Rights You Grant to OBS and The Owner

(a) No Reversion. Due to our licensing arrangement with the The Owner and the collaborative nature of the Program, you are granting us broad licenses in your Work and your User Generated Content included in your Work, and the rights to your Work will not be reverted once it is published in the Program. You will have the ability through online tools at OBS websites to stop further public sale of your Work on OBS marketplaces (though customers who already purchased digital download copies will continue to have access to the purchased Work), but not to stop the sale of works of other authors in the Program even when such works use your User Generated Content that you originally created in your Work and thereby became part of the Program IP for other authors to use.

 

I read this as "once you publish, you can't revoke rights for anyone else to make anything based on your IP."

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It's good to see Genesys finally getting the marketplace it needs to thrive as a product. However, this contract that's attached with it is a total no-go for me when it comes to my own custom settings. Since it's been only 24 hours I will give them the benefit of the doubt, although part of me is a bit indignant that this kind of error could happen, or worse, that they were honestly trying to pull this on us. Let's keep our pitchforks and torches handy, but unlit and stowed at the moment.

Now that isn't to say this license isn't completely bad in every situation. This is the perfect license for publishing in a FFG Setting. The messy thing about publishing in someone else's setting is who owns what. You publish in Android/Terrinoth and introduce story elements, but if those rights aren't shared then everyone else is either barred from using your ideas (or anything even similar) or at worse has to actively write around them. This license allows everyone to write in a big shared setting and exchange ideas freely. Which is great, because before you simply could not 'legally' use any part of the IP in any way, shape, or form, at best you could dump something 'for free' on the internet and hope that the corporate overlords wouldn't slap you with a Cease and Desist.

You loose nothing under this questionable license when publishing in FFG Settings because there was no way to capitalize on the 'original' bits you injected into the setting, due to not having the rights to the overall property. All the publishing and creation avenues mentioned in other posts were things you couldn't do anyways.  And it's a pretty even exchange, you get to use New Angeles and Jackson Howard, FFG and the community get to use what you bring to the table. The 'no attribution' clause is probably legalese to make sure someone can't raise a stink over some similarity between their idea and something FFG makes ("Well gee, they didn't attribute me, I said in my supplement there was an orange cat in the city, and look, here's an orange cat briefly mentioned in this book! Clearly my name needs to be in this product"). I would really, really hope that official releases have the courtesy to attribute people from who they directly pulled content from.

It's also a pretty good license for people publishing setting agnostic "genre guides" or "rules supplements". These don't have characters, locations, ect, ect to worry about, except maybe some sample NPCs. Just don't give them names you plan on using for other projects, or just generic descriptors (like "The Investigator"). These products cannot exist outside of the Genesys frame work, so there is no application of their use outside of this marketplace. The legalese also is understandable here, preventing squabbles from happening if two people somehow put out something that overlaps or has similarities in terms of content.

And this is all well and good, unless you want to do work in your own setting, in which case, there needs to be a second license available. The first one can stay for setting agnostic content and user made supplements for FFG settings, it's perfect for that! But there needs to be a comprehensive auxiliary license available to those who want to make custom setting content. There's no way you can expect people to sign away their darling settings under such an agreement.

Also, less of a need and more of a "want that boarders on need", let us do kickstarters and promotional campaigns and give us options to print on demand. I can understand not wanting people to run a kickstarter of "My Original SotB Adventure" on kickstarter. But for my stuff? Artists and editors aren't free and I can't get a loan from my parents for several grand to 'make it happen'. But this gripe really only applies to the custom settings content.

tl;dr This license is great for FFG/generic content. This license is terrible for user generated settings. Keep the discussion going, but keep your sanity.

Also, I'm really excited to see what Android custom adventures come out of all this, I've seen a few on the Foundry! I've already purchased the Unarmed Fighter splat, and I'm thinking of picking up some of the other launch titles (which all look really exciting!)

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Posted (edited)

You make some great points, @dresdinseven, and I wonder if that’s where the disconnect stems from: the written contract worded to account for playing with FFG’s toys but not being worded properly to accommodate the intended spirit of letting us own our personally-created settings.

Edited by Nytwyng
Stupid autocorrect seemed to think I meant “event” when typing “great” for some reason.

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I think the charitable explanation - and the one I’m choosing to believe until proven wrong - is that this is the result of rushing the paperwork to get the announcement out in time for GenCon so it could drive sales there. That’s kind of embarrassing, but not malicious, and they’d hardly be the first ones to make a gaffe while scrambling during con season.

I’m optimistically looking forward to seeing them straighten this out, and really hope that optimism is rewarded.

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Posted (edited)

I do sort of understand the prohibition against crowdfunding, just because of logistics. Using Kickstarter as an example, it’s a given that a backer will receive a copy of the product in exchange for their contribution. The Foundry distribution through DriveThru ensures that FFG gets their designated cut, which is eliminated with the rewards distributed through Kickstarter.

Yeah, it’s a major impediment for those of us without immediately available resources to commission artwork, etc. but I can understand the business decision behind it.

I honestly don’t know how other systems that grant similar license for sale of third-party content manage that aspect, as I’ve never been involved in it.

Edited by Nytwyng

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Posted (edited)

In terms of crowdfunding, DriveThruRPG already has an entire system in place for fulfilling Kickstarter/ect campaigns. I'm sure something could be worked out where they are still the exclusive distributor of the end product. The corporate 'cut' would be factored into the campaign (probably as 'licencing fees'), the 'at cost' price would be the creator setting their own cut to $0 for orders placed via crowdfunding. What about using Patreon to generate a general slush fund to pay editors/artists, but not explicitly for any particular project?

Edit: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/crowdsource.php (service I mentioned)

Edited by dresdinseven

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Thanks again, @dresdinseven. Not having participated in such endeavors before, I wasn’t aware of those logistics. (And, being at work as these thoughts occur, my posting time is limited and research time non-existent. 😏)

Patreon is a good question, and a thought that would probably have occurred to me sooner or later. My Star Wars GM has floated the idea of setting up a campaign specifically to film and webcast, with a Patreon likely attached. With the announcement of Foundry (prior to this deeper dive into the terms), it’s been suggested to make that instead a custom Genesys setting in order to offer the setting materials for sale. Would such a Patreon account violate the crowdfunding conditions? (And if DriveThru already has mechanisms in place for Kickstarter campaigns, why not allow us to take advantage of them?)

I’d say that @Cannibal Halfling might be onto something regarding hasty assembly of the terms to meet a Gen Con launch, but there’s been enough lead time that some of the better-known members of the fan and freelancer community with existing relationships to FFG were able to have content available for the launch, not to mention a podcast interview/announcement ready to go on day one. So these must be aspects that have been discussed...just with answers that aren’t ideal for the community.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, dresdinseven said:

There's no way you can expect people to sign away their darling settings under such an agreement.

[Note: I'm using the general "you" here and not trying to refer to dresdinseven specifically. Your (dresdinseven) comment is very reasonable.]

This point is likely the crux of most of the apprehension and negative feelings from the community. Every gamer who has a detailed custom setting thinks that setting is precious (it is to him) and commercially valuable (it is more than likely not). Could FFG provide an alternate license for custom settings with IP that the creator loves so-much and wants to keep to herself? Sure. Do they need to? No, and the present situation will probably help prevent cluttering the Foundry with 100 largely similar weird war complete-in-the-box settings that have everything specified down to the last millimeter. I'd rather see 10 good weird war modules designed to be broadly compatible with each other.

Ultimately, generic content is more useful to gamemasters. A super detailed, IP-heavy setting is like a screen or stage play with extensive parenthetical stage directions. The director will do what he wants with his actors on the stage or screen so, beyond entrances and exits, the author is wasting his time thinking about which character will move where, when, and how. What the director needs to work with are lines of dialogue. So too is it with settings. Gamemasters won't read pages upon pages of fluff text about the 10,000 year history of a deeply political space opera or fantasy setting. On the other hand, they might gobble up a system that lets them quickly generate royal houses for a political intrigue game and works in either fantasy or space opera. And pay for it, too.

There's a second crux of apprehension, and that's the use of the word "Exclusive" in Section 5.b. I'm used to seeing blanket grants of rights for all manner of re-transmission and transformation of content. Google and Apple have similar language in their app store developer agreements. Amazon has similar language in its publishing agreements for independent authors. The point isn't to functionally change the app or substantially edit the novel. The point is that recompiling an app for a new processor or changing to a new ebook file format technically counts as a derived work for archaic legal reasons, so a broad grant of rights is needed for the company providing the marketplace to work flexibly (obligatory I-am-not-a-lawyer, I have just seen these kind of terms many times before).

The word "Exclusive," as implied above, makes the blanket grant of rights a bit different from the other companies I mentioned. Most of them seek a non-exclusive grant of rights. But, in those markets, the assumption is that you'll publish your app or novel on other platforms also. The assumption when working with FFG's Genesys IP (symbols, terminology, or official settings) is that you're only allowed to charge money for it here, on the Foundry. So "Exclusive" shouldn't be terribly frighting. It should just provide you with the knowledge: if you want to publish your FFG-IP-laden project elsewhere, don't publish it here and don't charge money for it. As much has been the status quo for Genesys for some time (as specified in their preexisting IP Policy).

This is the point at which common sense should be applied. FFG isn't going to pillage your work and turn it into a hardcover without your permission. Their publishing schedule looks something like: one Genesys book a year (maybe two), mostly direct adaptions of FFG's own IP-heavy settings. They're already paying the people they want to pay to make that content. They don't need to steal it from you. They never will. Edit: If your content is really good enough, they're more likely to approach you with an offer to pay for you writing more content, which is what other companies have done with the best creators in their community programs.

Edited by sfRattan

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@sfRattan I wish not to be too terse in this reply, as politeness should be answered with politeness. The answer to this situation is not to tell FFG that they get a pass, or even that they are making the right call, by saying that all of our content is going to be trash anyways, so we should be gracious we have any allowances at all. So what if it's trash, it's our trash. Some of it is trash that has had years of work put into it. Yes, they are very gracious to make this platform in the first place, but it's a two way street since we are generating the content. You make a good point about giving GMs the rules without being overburdened, but I actually like IP laden work (for example, Pugmire and Mau). But ultimately what you or I like in a book is irrelevant. A creator can, and should, put into their work what they feel the work needs. As far as updates and such, if the agreement was meant to cover file format or hostling updates, it wouldn't explicitly grab up "characters, locations, scenes, names," ect. 

But the real rub is this. Sure, FFG is never going to take our crummy work and put to print. But the way the agreement is worded, neither can we. You can't toss up a map pack on your personal website or later publish a system agnostic setting guide. You can't even write a self publish a novel on Amazon. Because you don't own it any more, "everyone does", but only FFG really does, since they are the only ones who can use it outside of the Foundry. Does being relegated to a fanfic site to write in your own setting sound okay to you? It doesn't to me. Let me repeat, no one is worried FFG is going to 'steal' our stuff, what people are worried about is being locked out of our own IP.

Now I know, FFG isn't going to do that, their designers and execs didn't intend this, and have said they intended for the exact opposite, I'm sure this is simply a legal goof with all the GenCon confusion going on. But.. But! Any change, even change that's wanted by those up top, often comes about only when the consumers push for it. And if it doesn't change, then status quo is what we will have to work with.

And ultimately, no one is beholden to anyone else. FFG isn't entitled anyone's work until they click the button, and creators have no entitlement to use the Genesys system until they consent to click the button. Right now, I'm not clicking that button. I'm going to wait to see if the license gets updated, and if it doesn't, then I'll retool my work to be non-Genesys. But if it does get changed, I will pound the pavement like a madman to get something ready for this platform.

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  1. It looks like FFG has updated the Genesys Foundry Content Guidelines today. I don't have a copy of the original to compare it with. Did anyone catch the specifics?
  2. As of this time, there have been no changes to the contract on DTRPG (The changelog reads: "No changes yet") that you sign to add your content. This is where the problematic clauses are, and will probably take at least a few days for the changes to trickle down.

Still, this is a good sign that FFG intends to bring the contract more in line with their talking points.

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