WW released Dark Pack guidelines



  • Not that it super-matters, but...

    http://www.white-wolf.com/community/

    New Dark Pack guidelines. I think it's funny they reference MU*s in particular.


  • Admin

    @Bobotron I think it matters to the degree we are at least... acknowledged. That's something. :) And it makes a gray area a tad less gray.

    The only issue here has ever been whether their copyright was weakened. No MUSH has ever tried to make claims on WW's trademarks, so if they feel more comfortable dealing with our merry community this way maybe in the future there can be more opportunities.

    Or, even better, other content creators might follow their lead.


  • Coder

    Please note: This is for Storyteller only...as far as I can tell. WoD Classic, V20, etc. As far as I can tell, it does not cover Storytelling; nWoD, Chronicles of Darkness, etc.

    IANAL. I have asked @Ganymede to read it in case he has other opinions or inputs.


  • Politics

    @Thenomain said in WW released Dark Pack guidelines:

    IANAL. I have asked @Ganymede to read it in case he has other opinions or inputs.

    It looks like a standard revocable license to me. The language is pretty straight-forward. If there are specific issues or questions, you can raise them here or with me, and I'll try to spit out a reasonable opinion.



  • @Ganymede
    There's a tizzy in the LARP world over the reading of it and the fact it implies you can't take donations or charge a site fee. My reading of the text explicitly relates to the 'your material' term, at which point charging a site fee is charging for the communal access to hotel space, not 'your material' (IE: the game). Your thoughts?


  • Politics

    @Bobotron said in WW released Dark Pack guidelines:

    There's a tizzy in the LARP world over the reading of it and the fact it implies you can't take donations or charge a site fee. My reading of the text explicitly relates to the 'your material' term, at which point charging a site fee is charging for the communal access to hotel space, not 'your material' (IE: the game). Your thoughts?

    The thrust of the provision is to ensure that the licensee does not commercially benefit from White Wolf's IP. At the very least, White Wolf is saying: if you use our shit you can't profit from it. This is important, as White Wolf needs to be able to demonstrate, in the event it gets into an actual IP legal battle, that it took reasonable, appropriate steps to protect its IP.

    If you take donations to operate the site? I can't see White Wolf taking issue with that. But there has to be a nexus between the site fee charged and the actual cost to operate the site. Charging a site fee of $25 may be inappropriate where there are 100 members, and the LARP is generally run through player volunteers.


  • Coder

    @Ganymede

    I had someone ask me if it allows for using book text on, say, a Mu*. I think the concern here was how much leniency does the word "use" give?


  • Politics

    @Thenomain said in WW released Dark Pack guidelines:

    I had someone ask me if it allows for using book text on, say, a Mu*. I think the concern here was how much leniency does the word "use" give?

    A lot, really. Again, the intent of the license is the important part. You could probably copy, word for word, what is in a book, so long as you credit the work (much like a citation for a paper). But if you're profiting off of that page somehow, you may get dinged for it.



  • @Ganymede
    Yeah, that's my reading of it to. You're not paying for access to the material, and the 'material' is always the crux of what they're talking about in there.


  • Admin

    @Ganymede IANAL (you you are ANAL) but my impression has always been that fair use of printed material consisted of these two things.

    • Don't make money from their work
    • Don't violate copyrights of their work

    Sometimes I feel MU* have been really pushing the envelope on the latter with their super detailed wikis, going as far as to copy verbatim the texts, effects and of course rolls of every power or special ability, for instance.


  • Politics

    @Arkandel said in WW released Dark Pack guidelines:

    Sometimes I feel MU* have been really pushing the envelope on the latter with their super detailed wikis, going as far as to copy verbatim the texts, effects and of course rolls of every power or special ability, for instance.

    I guess so? I mean, people need to be fucking sensible.



  • @Arkandel said in WW released Dark Pack guidelines:

    Sometimes I feel MU* have been really pushing the envelope on the latter with their super detailed wikis, going as far as to copy verbatim the texts, effects and of course rolls of every power or special ability, for instance.

    This is partly why I'm heading away from WoD/CoD/etc. and to something original. I am really, really uncomfortable with the amount of data that gets reproduced.

    Even if the worst that happens is 'the game needs to be shut down' and nobody gets sued for cash or whatever, putting a game together is a lot of work, and that's a lot of hours and effort and such wasted, even if nobody's out a buck at the end of the day.


  • Coder

    @Arkandel said in WW released Dark Pack guidelines:

    Sometimes I feel MU* have been really pushing the envelope on the latter with their super detailed wikis, going as far as to copy verbatim the texts, effects and of course rolls of every power or special ability, for instance.

    This is why I asked about the text. The rule for Onyx Path is no more than 50 words copied from the text (last I checked). I know games that use far more than 200.

    The interpretation I'm taking now is "don't make us care", where "care" is largely about making money. It is a huge amount of leeway that they are giving us, and I am frankly impressed.


  • Admin

    @Thenomain Yeah. I think an index (with book/page numbers) is more than enough. I.e. "here's the list of all Werewolf Gifts". I'm not sure but it's probably okay for staff to use their own words for a super short description about what each of them does.

    But not to sound cynical, yet it's quite possible WW/Onyx realize people talking about and using their product lines keeps them relevant. They're already not in gaming stores, their material is only printed on demand, so having an online community still cranking out MU* gives them a bit extra word of mouth.

    I won't bring up the piracyelephant in the room though.



  • Typical SRD type thinking says their precise descriptions and names of things are to be protected, but ways of rolling dice, counting results, and so on etc can't be copyrighted.



  • I read over the Dark Pack a few times and it really reads to me like they're aware of just how much of their material is being reproduced without authorization by the gaming community.

    I've been seeing some websites (that I once used as a resource site) shut off their content stating they'd been contacted by WW/Onyx. It does definitely seem that they are moving on this, at least to some degree. There's evidence of it, at least.

    Fact of the matter is almost any of the WoD MU*s out there don't require a constant book/PDF open to play due to a shitload of content having been ported into the code. This Dark Pack reads a lot like: if you're not with the Dark Pack, we will shut you down for using our IP without authorization, and in joining the Dark Pack, you will have to identify yourself to us. In identifying yourself to us, we will get a better idea of how much of our stuff you're reproducing without approval, and potentially cease/desist you.

    If I were a betting man, I'd put some money on that a lot of these MUs are gonna be getting visitors soon.


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