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D&D SRD Public question for Roll20 team

1452633727
DM Cody
Pro
Marketplace Creator
Hey guys, I have a question I would like to ask publicly to the Roll20 team. And then I will go into a little further explanation.  With the D&D 5e srd out, may users now create a public game to create and share 'pre-built' monsters for our bestiaries? Previously, there were issues regarding copyright that no longer exist. I personally feel we should be good to go, but I do not wish to have my 830+ hour account lost due to any breach of the CoC. Further explanation: If we receive the blessing from the Roll20 team, we as a community could create (or advertise) games that people can duplicate a template with fully loaded macros, a help create the entirety of the monster manual. These would be completely portable to anyone's private game. With my current setup, improvisation is a snap as I can simply pull a monster onto the field and I have everything completely done. All attacks, all traits, all immunities, all special abilities ready to go, and with the 5e NPC sheet filled out correctly, I can even correctly randomize the life of any monster token with one click. This could be huge for the community since it no longer causes issues with copyright due to the release of the SRD. The key to this is, once someone from the community creates a monster from the SRD, and adds it to a public game, no one would ever have to create that token again. Ever. As long as you are playing 5e on Roll20, you would have that monster for your game. Depending on the monster I can usually make one in about 5-9 minutes depending on how big the stat block is. There are a few further points I could make in favor of this proposal, but since they may not even be needed, I will conclude my post here. Thank you Roll20 team for clarification. Regards, Cody
1452639751
B Simon Smith
Marketplace Creator
You still need to use original or licensed artwork.
1452640574
Nolan T. J.
Roll20 Team
Legal talk is tough (this from someone married to a lawyer). For example... Cody C. Lewis said: Previously, there were issues regarding copyright that no longer exist. I personally feel we should be good to go, but I do not wish to have my 830+ hour account lost due to any breach of the CoC. So, there are many issues that do  still exist, in terms of what Wizards of the Coast calls Product Identity . An  excerpt from the 5SRD: ...product and product line names, logos and identifying marks including trade dress; artifacts; creatures characters... That's a part of what Wizards still lays claim to, and would violate our  Terms of Service (violating our  Code of Conduct is a separate thing which can also include piracy). Because the lines are as complex as they are, I think we're going to proceed pretty carefully (as we have with the 3.5 SRD and the Pathfinder SRD ). What that generally means is: Expect some official Roll20 items in 2016. Some sooner than other (like... really soon). Where we're able to, we'll be looking at things like character sheets and the Roll20 Compendium to implement the parts of 5th Edition that we're confident fall under this new license. I think it's also worth pointing out to expect some of these items will be free  and some of them will be priced  depending on what we think is best for the long term development of the platform. Expect professional-level 3rd party creators to utilize this new 5 SRD. I think the sort of monster stats you're talking about are going to be worked on by folks on the Marketplace in the like in the coming months. BUT realize that we're probably going to be restricting to folks that can pull off the professionalism. Why? In your own question you say, "the entirety of the monster manual"-- the very title of which falls under Product Identity . By working with people that sign off on them understanding these rules (which everyone who works on the Marketplace signs an agreement with us saying they are responsible for the proper copyright of their products), it helps us do these things cleanly. I realize this probably isn't the answer you were hoping for, but in many ways the SRD actually makes our job HARDER-- a week ago most folk assumed they couldn't do anything with 5th Edition because of copyright, and now many people assume they can do ANYTHING with 5th Edition when the truth is they can do some cool-yet-limited things under a complex legal guideline.
1452646650
DM Cody
Pro
Marketplace Creator
Thank you for answering my question Nolan in regards to having a game asking people to join to help fill out the monster blocks. I understand. Nolan T. J. said: Expect some official Roll20 items in 2016. Some sooner than other (like... really soon). Where we're able to, we'll be looking at things like character sheets and the Roll20 Compendium to implement the parts of 5th Edition that we're confident fall under this new license. I think it's also worth pointing out to expect some of these items will be free  and some of them will be priced  depending on what we think is best for the long term development of the platform. Expect professional-level 3rd party creators to utilize this new 5 SRD. I think the sort of monster stats you're talking about are going to be worked on by folks on the Marketplace in the like in the coming months. BUT realize that we're probably going to be restricting to folks that can pull off the professionalism. Why? In your own question you say, "the entirety of the monster manual"-- the very title of which falls under Product Identity . By working with people that sign off on them understanding these rules (which everyone who works on the Marketplace signs an agreement with us saying they are responsible for the proper copyright of their products), it helps us do these things cleanly. I realize this probably isn't the answer you were hoping for... This next part is not intended to be sarcastic or read in any context that might be considered either disrespectful or angry towards any individual on the Roll20 Team. But that is absolutely true. I am just frustrated. It is very frustrating.  Owning every 5e book printed including two phbs, I have no desire to pay for content twice. Additionally, the entire concept seems silly to me. If a person owns the material, or even if they do not own material and are instead just using the new srd, they can move the material to their chosen playing media, Roll20, and game as much as they want. If that same person shares that information with a friend, again, no one cares. The person can enter in every single word ever printed by WotC into Roll20. No problems. Who would know or care? But if that person asks a stranger to help him/her, problem. It is certainly to no fault of Roll20. But my lord does it seem trivial and silly. If I pull up the Ettin and enter it's stats into the Roll20 5e character sheet, no problem, but the second someone else joins the same game and enters in information for the goblin.. whoah now! Please, I understand the business side, and I have the ability to see something from more than one point of view, I do not fault Roll20 for any decision they make to protect their interests. How could I? But man.... just crazy silly that 1 person entering info... that's fine, 2 people... legal trouble. I am done venting my frustrations. I obviously will continue to sub...
1452653795
Nolan T. J.
Roll20 Team
Essentially it becomes the difference between "personal use" and "distribution," which is something content creators have to take seriously in order to keep making content. That said, there's absolutely no doubt that there will be some benefits that come to EVERYONE without payment in the future due to this licensing opportunity. Hang in there, and we'll see what's what.
1452658054

Edited 1452658359
The other part of all of is this is that the SRD doesn't exactly have EVERYTHING in it so there's that whole can of worms to be careful with. Edit: And I apologize if that took it into an off-topic territory.  I just think that's an important thing to remember when it comes to putting the entire Monster Manual into Roll20 as a public distribution model.
1452658982
Nolan T. J.
Roll20 Team
Within the context of "how does this effect Roll20" this is all pretty on-topic. It's nothing we want to overwhelm our focus, but it's undeniably connected to what we'll see happening down the line. And you're absolutely right-- it doesn't have everything, and there are folks who will assume it does and make mistakes. We can't afford those sorts of mistakes, so we'll be taking the time to do it right.  Good news is we just added  two more people to Roll20's staff, which means we've got more folks to tackle this (and a few things we're planning in 2016 that have nothing to do with this :) more efficiently than we've previously been able.
1452659797
DM Cody
Pro
Marketplace Creator
Just to be clear as I want to clearly separate Roll20 from a user created game. This is a functionality users already have, and some already do.  My question pertained to if I or someone else posted a LFG that said something along the lines of "We share monsters" would that break the ToS?  Additionally, am I correct in saying I would be free and clear of breaking any ToS if I posted a LFG that said "We share USER created monsters for the 5th edition of the world's most popular roleplaying game"? To me this is fair play.  This is from Roll20's ToS "You are solely and entirely responsible for all of your user materials that you post or otherwise submit via Roll20. You shall assume all risks associated with the use of your user materials including any reliance on the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of your user materials. Orr Group does not guarantee the accuracy, integrity or quality of your user materials." Again, thank you Roll20 team for clarifying.
1452683702
Brian
Sheet Author
API Scripter
I'm a little bit lost on what you're actually trying to achieve, personally. You say "we as a community could create (or advertise) games that people can duplicate a template with fully loaded macros", but it's not possible to copy someone else's campaign.
1452693418
DM Cody
Pro
Marketplace Creator
Brian, it is currently possible. I will not go into the specifics based on Nolan's feedback. I will say it is a method not available to free players. But it is 100% possible, and I know for a fact I have seen a mod comment on the method previously. Sorry for the vague answer, it's not like we're peddling drugs or providing entire PDF books on a torrent site-- we're just talking about stuff that has been publicly released by WotC-- but I have spent too much of time on Roll20 to risk my account. Now again with the previous question of creating a group to handle USER monsters, I cannot see a single issue of copyright or Roll20 ToS that should arise. That may be another story.
1452699670
Nolan T. J.
Roll20 Team
Copying and sharing games that the creator is not planning on taking part in is against our Terms of Service for a great many reasons-- not just piracy. Particularly in the case of subscribers, where games with enables special features actually cost more for us to host. That's something that wouldn't be changed by the top ten publishers announcing their content is open source. If you share games you are not taking part in, your account can be removed and it is something we have acted on previously.