Thoughts on creating a Creative Commons culture in the DW community

Thoughts on creating a Creative Commons culture in the DW community

Thoughts on creating a Creative Commons culture in the DW community

Hey folks, 

I thought G+ might be a good place to start a discussion on the role Creative Commons licences (specifically CC Attribution) play in the DW community. I’ve already made a post on Barf Forth Apocalyptica about CC, but it’s more a ‘how to license your creations’ post than a ‘why don’t more people license their creations?’ post. (Read it here:

I would love to see members of the DW community using the CC Attribution licence as a default. I think everyone benefits from it: creators see their work shared and built-upon, users can distribute their house rules, small press publishers can publish supplements for existing content and archivists are safe to store content that others have created. 

Some people have been using CC Attribution: the three Take on Rules ebooks, the Number Appearing backer reward, and of course Adam and Sage. I’m surprised that more don’t, however.

I was hoping that we could talk here about why people aren’t widely using CC Attribution for their works. If you’re a creator, I’d love to know why you used or didn’t use CC Attribution. What might encourage you to use CC Attribution? If you’re a user, would you change your purchasing decisions based on whether a work was open licensed.

Thanks folks!

10 thoughts on “Thoughts on creating a Creative Commons culture in the DW community”

  1. To be honest, I think a lot of it comes from not seeing the importance of licensing. I know it’s something that I as a designer am only now starting to realize the importance of.

  2. The Planarch Codex isn’t currently “open” because I wanted to make sure backers had sole access to it before everyone else, since I think Sage + Adam implied that in the Kickstarter instructions. The final version of the PDF will have specific instructions for folks who want to make derivative works based on it, likely using CC-BY.

  3. Josh Mannon’s Within the Devil’s Reach is licensed as “Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License”

    Personally I lean towards having the core rules (SRD if you will) released in the plain text version as Creative Commons then having a “bookshelf” edition be what you pay for.

    I completely bought Spirit of the Century after having used the SRD for a Diaspora reference.

  4. Jonathan Walton, I hope you do end up picking CC BY! I think that’s a reasonable approach to take, and I’m hoping that other backer rewards end up CC BY licensed when they’re slowly released to the public too.

    Brandon Schmelz, that’s great to hear, and I just bought the Funhaver playbooks I didn’t have because of it. I haven’t been able to find a reference to the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (Unported) licence in the PDFs – is there somewhere else that you’ve stated that they’re under that licence?

    (Also, I’ve added them to the DW Index on the SG Codex:

  5. I haven’t created anything for DW, but have for AW, so I’ll feel free to chip my opinion in.  I don’t see anything to gain by adopting a license.  I assume that whoever wants my stuff will take it.  And they’ll do whatever they want to with it.  How does putting a CC logo on the work change that?  I guess I feel like everything is in the “creative commons” and available for use.

  6. Personally, I feel like licensing isn’t a huge deal either way. The most complicated part, unfortunately, is that the various open licenses tend to be not fully compatible, which complicates things. DW, for example, is CC-BY but the d20 SRDs are OGL, and that makes it somewhat hard to combine materials from both sources. Then again, DW didn’t need to draw on the SRDs to exist, so (as Christopher Weeks says) there’s lots you can do just through fair use. The big advantage of open licensing is when you produce something that people will want to copy large sections of text from, verbatim. Like if people want to make stand-alone hacks of DW that still use the same core moves or other elements. Otherwise, it’s mostly just (in my opinion) an indication that the creators are happy for people to build on and adapt their work.

  7. I think using an open license allows for more collaboration, if DW wasn’t CC we wouldn’t have the adventures and classes / playbooks we have on drivethru right now, they would be posted and shared somewhere on the net, granted, but not polished and put together as they are. 

    Using CC in DW was an act of love, for both the game and the community that likes it. If I ever do anything for DW I would make sure to put it under the same CC license originally used for DW, because if the creators can share their work so freely, there is no reason i should cling to mine.

  8. Christopher Weeks, my post about this in the forums was actually prompted by a bit of controversy about whether it was right to develop someone else’s playbook and sell it on RPGNow. I thought it would be useful to avoid conflicts in the future if people made it clear that they were happy with such re-use through the CC Attribution licence. Copyright law is so overreaching that re-users are reluctant to depend on liberal attitudes like your own.

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