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In 2000 the world's most popular tabletop roleplaying game, ''Dungeons & Dragons'', had its third edition released. A large chunk of the game—most of its rules and some descriptive text—was released under the Open Game License (OGL), a share-alike public copyright licence.
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In 2000 the world's most popular tabletop roleplaying game, Dungeons & Dragons, had its third edition released. A large chunk of the game—most of its rules and some descriptive text—was released under the Open Game License (OGL), a share-alike public copyright licence.
  
To my knowledge, that was the first time that a market leader adopted a public copyright licence. The OGL was hugely influential within the tabletop roleplaying game industry: many products continue to be released under the OGL, there are databases of OGL content, and ''D&D'''s main competitor—Pathfinder—is also under the OGL.
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To my knowledge, that was the first time that a market leader adopted a public copyright licence. The OGL was hugely influential within the tabletop roleplaying game industry: many products continue to be released under the OGL, there are databases of OGL content, and D&D's main competitor—Pathfinder—is also under the OGL.
  
 
The OGL is also interesting as one of the few examples of a public copyright licence drafted by a private company rather than a government organisation, activist group or individual.
 
The OGL is also interesting as one of the few examples of a public copyright licence drafted by a private company rather than a government organisation, activist group or individual.
  
Next year the fifth edition of ''D&D'' will be released. The fourth edition of ''D&D'' wasn't released under the OGL, and is widely considered to have done more poorly than ''D&D'' third edition. Given there are current discussions about whether the fifth edition should come under the OGL, it seems appropriate to discuss whether the OGL is an open knowledge licence.
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Next year the fifth edition of D&D will be released. The fourth edition of D&D wasn't released under the OGL, and is widely considered to have done more poorly than D&D third edition. Given there are current discussions about whether the fifth edition should come under the OGL, it seems appropriate to discuss whether the OGL is an open knowledge licence.
  
 
You can download the OGL as an [http://www.wizards.com/d20/files/OGLv1.0a.rtf RTF] here or [http://www.opengamingfoundation.org/ogl.html view it online].
 
You can download the OGL as an [http://www.wizards.com/d20/files/OGLv1.0a.rtf RTF] here or [http://www.opengamingfoundation.org/ogl.html view it online].

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