- May 3, 2018
- Reaction score
This get stated by many classic D&D hobbyists as well in regards to the OSR.Especially as we'd been doing all of this at least since the early nineties:
I think most involved in the OSR including myself were too busy to tell other people how to do their thing.We really didn't need the new kids on the block to teach us how to do our thing.
The larger issue is that been various accusation thrown at the OSR over the years none of which are substantiated when you look at what those involved have done in regards to classic editions of D&D.
Unlike what available to fans of many other older RPGs, the OSR lucked out in that much what one needed to support a classic edition could be found in the D20 SRD provided you pare away the newer mechanics. There so only so far one can go with supporting and drumming interest in something like Dragonquest before you run afoul of the rights of holder of the IP (WoTC). It sucks but that the reality when there is no open content or public domain to build off of. Sure you can build something like the older system. But unless the author hits a sweet spot (rare but it happens) it will not be the same as the original.
Well that the downside of overly long copyright terms. It already effected the preservation of film and music from the 20s and 30s. If the work predates 1978 you may want to look at whether the work has a copyright notice which was required then. If it didn't then I would talk to a IP attorney to see if it is in the public domain.If anything, the main concern some of us are having now is that several full rulesets have disappeared into the ether and more are likely to follow unless some kind of preservation project happens.
From time to time people call me out about my advocacy of open content but what you wrote above it one of the reasons why I keep bringing it up. Authors should enjoy the right to their work for a time. But even if I didn't open up Blackmarsh already, I still would think it is ridiculous that if I die tomorrow it would not be public domain until the year 2115.
I published Blackmarsh back in 2010 and I would be find if the old terms of 28 + 28 renewed was in force. If it just sat there then Blackmarsh would be public domain in 2038. If bothered to renew it it would be public domain in 2066. More than enough time for me and my heirs to earn the bucks if it amounted to something.