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Open Gaming License
Version 1.0a Simplified

The following text is the complete Open Game License as seen on the Open Gaming Foundation web page.  The Links are intact as seen on the parent site.  I am posting this in compliance with the Wizards of the Coast web policy and the Open Game License Text.  Please note that all the material on my site is compliant with the OGL unless otherwise stated in the materials description.  For full information on the Open Gaming License, visit the Open Gaming Foundation main page.
OGF Main | List of Licenses | Open Game License Text



The following text is the property of Wizards of the Coast, Inc. and is Copyright 2000 Wizards of the Coast, Inc ("Wizards"). All Rights Reserved.

1. Definitions: (a)"Contributors" means the copyright and/or trademark owners who have contributed Open Game Content; (b)"Derivative Material" means copyrighted material including derivative works and translations (including into other computer languages), potation, modification, correction, addition, extension, upgrade, improvement, compilation, abridgment or other form in which an existing work may be recast, transformed or adapted; (c) "Distribute" means to reproduce, license, rent, lease, sell, broadcast, publicly display, transmit or otherwise distribute; (d)"Open Game Content" means the game mechanic and includes the methods, procedures, processes and routines to the extent such content does not embody the Product Identity and is an enhancement over the prior art and any additional content clearly identified as Open Game Content by the Contributor, and means any work covered by this License, including translations and derivative works under copyright law, but specifically excludes Product Identity. (e) "Product Identity" means product and product line names, logos and identifying marks including trade dress; artifacts; creatures characters; stories, storylines, plots, thematic elements, dialogue, incidents, language, artwork, symbols, designs, depictions, likenesses, formats, poses, concepts, themes and graphic, photographic and other visual or audio representations; names and descriptions of characters, spells, enchantments, personalities, teams, personas, likenesses and special abilities; places, locations, environments, creatures, equipment, magical or supernatural abilities or effects, logos, symbols, or graphic designs; and any other trademark or registered trademark clearly identified as Product identity by the owner of the Product Identity, and which specifically excludes the Open Game Content; (f) "Trademark" means the logos, names, mark, sign, motto, designs that are used by a Contributor to identify itself or its products or the associated products contributed to the Open Game License by the Contributor (g) "Use", "Used" or "Using" means to use, Distribute, copy, edit, format, modify, translate and otherwise create Derivative Material of Open Game Content. (h) "You" or "Your" means the licensee in terms of this agreement.

2. The License: This License applies to any Open Game Content that contains a notice indicating that the Open Game Content may only be Used under and in terms of this License. You must affix such a notice to any Open Game Content that you Use. No terms may be added to or subtracted from this License except as described by the License itself. No other terms or conditions may be applied to any Open Game Content distributed using this License.

3.Offer and Acceptance: By Using the Open Game Content You indicate Your acceptance of the terms of this License.

4. Grant and Consideration: In consideration for agreeing to use this License, the Contributors grant You a perpetual, worldwide, royalty-free, non-exclusive license with the exact terms of this License to Use, the Open Game Content.

5.Representation of Authority to Contribute: If You are contributing original material as Open Game Content, You represent that Your Contributions are Your original creation and/or You have sufficient rights to grant the rights conveyed by this License.

6.Notice of License Copyright: You must update the COPYRIGHT NOTICE portion of this License to include the exact text of the COPYRIGHT NOTICE of any Open Game Content You are copying, modifying or distributing, and You must add the title, the copyright date, and the copyright holder's name to the COPYRIGHT NOTICE of any original Open Game Content you Distribute.

7. Use of Product Identity: You agree not to Use any Product Identity, including as an indication as to compatibility, except as expressly licensed in another, independent Agreement with the owner of each element of that Product Identity. You agree not to indicate compatibility or co-adaptability with any Trademark or Registered Trademark in conjunction with a work containing Open Game Content except as expressly licensed in another, independent Agreement with the owner of such Trademark or Registered Trademark. The use of any Product Identity in Open Game Content does not constitute a challenge to the ownership of that Product Identity. The owner of any Product Identity used in Open Game Content shall retain all rights, title and interest in and to that Product Identity.

8. Identification: If you distribute Open Game Content You must clearly indicate which portions of the work that you are distributing are Open Game Content.

9. Updating the License: Wizards or its designated Agents may publish updated versions of this License. You may use any authorized version of this License to copy, modify and distribute any Open Game Content originally distributed under any version of this License.

10 Copy of this License: You MUST include a copy of this License with every copy of the Open Game Content You Distribute.

11. Use of Contributor Credits: You may not market or advertise the Open Game Content using the name of any Contributor unless You have written permission from the Contributor to do so.

12 Inability to Comply: If it is impossible for You to comply with any of the terms of this License with respect to some or all of the Open Game Content due to statute, judicial order, or governmental regulation then You may not Use any Open Game Material so affected.

13 Termination: This License will terminate automatically if You fail to comply with all terms herein and fail to cure such breach within 30 days of becoming aware of the breach. All sublicenses shall survive the termination of this License.

14 Reformation: If any provision of this License is held to be unenforceable, such provision shall be reformed only to the extent necessary to make it enforceable.

Open Game License v 1.0 Copyright 2000, Wizards of the Coast, Inc.

[ end of License ] 

A Brief Q&A:

Q: What does "Approved" mean?
A: It means that the license has been approved by the WotC legal team. WotC has agreed to support these terms for the upcoming release of Open Game Content.

Q: Who can use this license?
A: Anyone can use this license. Permission to distribute the license is now granted.

Q: Do I have to use this license with material from WotC or based on something WotC publishes?
A: Not at all. You can use this license to provide a strong copyleft to any material, including an entirely new project.

Q: How do I indicate what is "Open Game Content"?
A: The exact method is up to you. You are required to "clearly" do so. Assume a "reasonable person" standard - if a reasonable person would be able to determine what is Open Game Content, your method will be acceptable.

Q: Do you have any suggestions as to how to do that?
A: Two simple methods recognized by the Open Gaming community (but by no means the only possible methods) are to place Open Game Content in boxed text and indicate in the publication that the boxed text content is Open Game Content; or place Open Game Content in a unique font, color or style not elsewhere used in the publication and indicate that any material in that unique font, color or style is Open Game Content.

Q: What is "Product Identity"?
A: Product identity means things that might be mixed in with Open Game Content that you do not wish to apply the terms of the License to.

Q: That's not very Open then, is it?
A: The License specifically limits the Product Identity to non-Game Rule content. The Open Gaming License is primarily designed to provide a strong copyleft and an Open (meaning "freedom to copy, modify and distribute") License for Game Rules and materials that use Game Rules. Content that is not Game Rules or material that uses Game Rules that is aggregated with such content need not be subject to the terms of this License.

Q: How do I identify "Product Identity"?
A: The method that Wizards of the Coast will probably be using will be to include a list of things it considers "Product Identity" in a given publication as an enumerated list under a heading of that name.

Q: What will happen to me if I use someone else's Product Identity without permission?
A: You will be in breach of the Open Gaming License. If the owner of that Product Identity notifies you of the breach, and you fail to cure that breach as described in the License, your rights to use the Open Gaming License will terminate, and you could be sued for copyright violations and breach of contract.

Q: Just by the person who owns the Product Identity?
A: No. Once your rights have terminated, if you continue to Use Open Gaming Content without those rights, you could be sued by each and every person who has contributed to the work you are Using.

Q: Do I really have to include a copy of the entire license when I Use Open Gaming Content?
A: Technically, the answer is yes. Any time you Use Open Game Content, you should also include a copy of the license. Practically, in the case of email messages or other very short material where you do not do so, you will be in breach of the License but you are unlikely to be so notified, and even if you were, you are unlikely to be repeatedly distributing the same email message, so you can cure your breach by agreeing not to continue to distribute the offending message without the full text of the License.

One copy of the License is sufficient for each publication; you do not need to publish a copy of the License for every item of Open Game Content in a given publication. You can also use one copy of the License for content on a web site, but if any part of that web site is designed to be downloaded and used separately by a user, you need to provide for an inclusion of the License with that download.

You cannot merely refer to a web location or an offer to provide the License on request - you must actually include the full text of the License.

I'm sure there will be other questions that need to be answered. Please let me know what they are, and I will try to create an effective response, ASAP.

OGF Main