A thought on licensing (updated)

… Licenses …

Thanks to Jonathan of The Core Mechanic I read a nice link to an article of livingdice.com stating that Kenzer (Producer of Kingdom of Kalamar) is launching a frontal ass

ault at the GSL (license of the 4th edition D&D). With a copyright lawyer in the real world as president, I keep my fingers crossed that the GSL will fall before it causes any serious harm.

Besides of all things that I like and don’t like with the new edition of Dungeons and Dragons, their new license was one of the things that just make me shrug and shake-head… Honestly, I think one of the main keys to success of the 3rd edition was their open policy – the open readable SRD enabled everyone to take a look at the rules and more importantly the OGL enabled dozens of other companies to release products for the d20 system.

Maybe there is someone among you, that knows why they changed this open and (journalists would probably call it Web 2.0 approaches) friendly license to the GSL type of license that bans almost everyone from releasing new material in this regard, unless they wait for quite some time.

I really don’t get the point of this – maybe you can help me.

Update: Looks like I’m not the only one thinking about the licensing of the 4th edition lately. A few hours before this posting was online, Critical Hits put their own comprehensive posting on different companies and their licensing strategy online. It gives a general overview on different companies, whether they stay with the OGL (3rd edition), go for the 4th edition GSL or try a fair-use copyright approach – but have a read yourself.