Sad and disappointed

kaladorn

Mongoose
I'm sad to say that I feel Mongoose has left me down. I expected better, but it appears that's not what is happening.

It appears that a number of Cepheus creators are worried about WoTC recinding the OGL 1.0a which the MgT1 SRD 5.1 has been using and the plan is not to move that SRD forward.

It seems that basically will gut all the Cepheus creators and small companies that have been producing that.

I'm certain Mongoose can do this. It's convenient for them that WoTC gets to look like the bad guy in this because they are basically wanting to wipe out any products tied to the older SRD. It's another example of eliminating the competition, even if it wasn't really taking anything from MgT2.

I have heard various arguments, but the reality is anyone attached to WoTC's OGL 1.0a may end up left high and dry. Mongoose could choose to move the SRD 5.1 forward into ORC or another open license, but that does not appear to be what will happen.

I understand it from Mongoose's business this makes sense. But fresh on the following of WoTC's actions... its just not something some are going to be able to choke down.

I have literally many thousand dollars of Traveller including most of MgT1 and some of the Kickstarters. I had planned to buy most of MgT2 starting with the rules this coming year.

If the SRD 5.1 is not retained as an open license that people can develop for, I cannot continue to support Mongoose. I'm only one person and one wallet. But in the past, it has spent a fair bit of money.

I am sad and I am disappointed. These guys weren't costing anything much because the people buying Cepheus probably wouldn't buy MgT2 because of the cost. So really, not much gain. The people who wanted MgT2 and could afford it would buy it. Again, no clear reason to do this.

But I guess most big companies in any space look to monopoly and control and maximized profits. It does go with a CEO. So I'm not mad at Mongoose, just disappointed.

I hope there is a better resolution, but Mongoose is in control of how this goes down and how the public sees them forthwith.

My few hundred dollars in the next few years won't make a big dent if I put it to another publisher. It's all I, myself, can do.
 

MongooseMatt

Administrator
Staff member
Hi there,

Thank you for posting this and showing your support. We are still talking to the Cepheus publishers, but have already told them that if WotC removed OGL1.0a with immediate effect, we would support Cepheus legally and indefinitely. There is thus no time pressure and discussions continue.
 

Spenser TR

Mongoose
Hmmmm

I'm also one of those fans that spends hundreds a year in each system, with full bookshelves of hardbacks and iPads full of PDFs from both CE and Mongoose systems, and FGU material as it becomes available.

I don't own a CE-based business; Reading the above and hearing what CE publishers have to say, it seems that if this is the final position Mongoose takes... that really requires everyone involved to just trust Mongoose that they'll/you'll not bring any pressure to bear, and that you'll never never change your mind, never use that power for leverage.

Of course what may be an unthinkable or unknowable position right now might be the agenda in the coming years years. Who could say otherwise with a straight face, now thanks to WotC?

The relief you're offering right now certainly is not nothing; it seems like a real sign for today. But if I had a business, employees, a fan base, a livelihood that depended on me giving 100% trust to some external entity or person... that just seems unworkable in the long term, as we're currently seeing with WotC as they continue to blunder and stumble through losing so much. Maybe not so much help after all, when it comes down to it.

As others have said, this seems like great opportunity to demonstrate some goodwill and just set the CE folks free. If the new MgT2 community rules are to people's liking and a quality arrangement, seems like folks would flock there naturally to build material out. I know I would; I'm looking forward to learning more about that new opportunity.

Also as others have said, this seems like the one chance to ring this particular bell, to get it right. In the current atmosphere it feels like getting this one wrong - and so far "wrong" seems to be chasing perceived market share over extending goodwill and raising the tide that lifts all boats - would be a very rough time for all involved, spanners in everyone's gears and tons of ill-will all around.

If CE systems wind up dying in the vine because giving over that 100% trust isn't palatable to them, it might not be the inane path WotC is stumbling down, overtly trying to kill off the competition today, but it maybe amounts to the same thing in the longer term. I hope that's not what anyone is going for.

I continue to be hopeful that the scifi corner of this particular universe handles things better than the fantasy side. Not an easy position for anyone, and it seems many of us out here in fan-land want more options open, more goodwill from the brands we interact with, and not the greed we see in other corners.
 

apastuszak

Mongoose
What can anyone really do now? There's no new license to move to yet. It would be great of the SRD was re-licensed under the ORC License. But there is no ORC license, and the idea that you can re-license an existing SRD under a new license without making changes to it is still questionable.
 

Spenser TR

Mongoose
From what I hear, there are certainly options for existing licenses. Under Creative Commons, for example. You're definitely right in that if the goal is to write a new one from scratch, those of course wouldn't be done yet. But there certainly are options available now, to hear the CE publishers talk of it.
 

apastuszak

Mongoose
My understanding is, there is no Creative Commons license that lines up well with the OGL. I think it would be better to wait for ORC.

And @MongooseMatt is right. WoTC has not revoked OGL 1.0a, so there is no immediate need to re-license.

I understand their livelihood is at stake, but the situation is not as dire as some social media posts make it out to be.
 

Spenser TR

Mongoose
My take on it that your read of the phrase "no immediate need" means something way different to most CE publishers than it does to you.
 

kaladorn

Mongoose
Hi there,

Thank you for posting this and showing your support. We are still talking to the Cepheus publishers, but have already told them that if WotC removed OGL1.0a with immediate effect, we would support Cepheus legally and indefinitely. There is thus no time pressure and discussions continue.
One of the Cepheus creators did not feel that your 'solution' was at all workable and had a fairly clear explanation of why. I have no idea if it's true or not.

They do seem to be concerned about legal entanglements if something like the SRD 5.1 does not get moved into an open license that isn't going to evaporate.

As far as I know (and clearly I don't know all), the plan to deprecate SRD 5.1 rather than have it on another irrevocable open license means these creators feel they can't go ahead.

You can probably see as well as I as follows:

They have a catalog of product that has been developed under SRD 5.1 which itself is licensed under 1.0a OGL from WoTC.

To move to MgT SRD 5.2 would require rewrite, re-edit, re-layout and maybe re-art to be done. That's a huge cost in time and money.
Add to that, the time spent doing this would limit new product appearing. For those who have already bought their product, they'd be getting little support in that period which could have impacts. And others who might be looking to get into it would not buy much until the rejig of all prior stuff (a selling point normally to have a full range of related product) and that would impact them adversely.

Then above that, the people playing Cepheus under SRD 5.1 may not have moved to MgT and they'd be forced to do that and that is another big cost (the main rulebooks have now gotten a LOT more expensive over time). That could alienate some of their existing consumer base on that basis.

So you can see here pretty clearly why the 'just go to SRD 5.2 under ORC' as a solution that will work for them.

Now, Mongoose is not responsible for the termination of OGL 1.0a from WoTC. That's not your doing. You are also not technically responsible to deal with the issues the Cepheus producers face.

On the other hand, at the current moment, many folks are pretty stung and sensitive about anything a company does that looks like trying to squeeze the market and take out small producers. The optics at the very least is lamentable from the outside.

It's also feasible you'd like they went away. That is sensible in the amoral aspect of business, profit and thinning the competitors.

I think the only way the Cepheus crowd can afford to keep going is this: SRD 5.1 is maintained and under an irrevocable open license that isn't itself some sort of problematic license.

And there's no moral push to have you spend money to do that because the Cepheus creators are not Mongoose. But if they offered to help pay for the minimal amount of work to move the SRD 5.1 to ORC when it is available, that could remove your costs.

Barring that, the suggestion that was last discussed by the Cepheus creator I spoke with will not work for them.

And you and I both know that 'I've got your back' is a bumper sticker, not a legal agreement or even a clear plan to move forward in a way that would backup that slogan.
 

apastuszak

Mongoose
Correct me if I am wrong, but isn't SRD 5.1 the SRD that WoTC released for D&D 5E. What does that have to do with Mongoose Traveller?
 

kaladorn

Mongoose
My understanding is, there is no Creative Commons license that lines up well with the OGL. I think it would be better to wait for ORC.

And @MongooseMatt is right. WoTC has not revoked OGL 1.0a, so there is no immediate need to re-license.

I understand their livelihood is at stake, but the situation is not as dire as some social media posts make it out to be.
It has started strong arming many companies to sign onto the new OGL with short timelines (ludicrously so) and they clearly have tried to get away with claiming OGL 1.2 will be 'irrevocable' and then they went ahead and redefined the world irrevocable in a very limited way which isn't at all helpful.

Small producers are going to buckle on any C&D or other legal paperwork because they can't afford the fight. They also can't continue with any development (hiring/paying art, editors, contributors) on new products in this perhaps length period. And if they have half done projects... they probably still have to pay some people even if the project then can't go forward, so that's even worse.

Again, I don't have any info about Mongoose's real intentions and motivations. Or their plans. But 'We've got their back' isn't really enough and the way it appears to have been offered to date (as of 48 hours ago) does not work for the CE creator I talked to (and he felt the others were the same) for what seemed some pretty good reasons.

I will still hope to see a good solution for all that doesn't break anyone's bank.

I really wish that TSR/WoTC had made a clearly irrevocable document (though back then, legally, it may have been uncommon to say it as it would be assumed irrevocable by default but that appears to not be the modern understanding and it must be irrevocable) and that we had something like what the ORC might be from the start.

I do laud TSR/WoTC (I say that because I don't know dates of WoTC consumption of TSR vs. the OGL) for creating the powerful tool that OGL 1.0a was. They just didn't put it out there in a way that could last if different management came along. These things need to have stewards who are not in the sector it covers.
 

apastuszak

Mongoose
Well, as far as I know, no part of Mongoose Traveller is based on any WoTC SRD, be it 3.0. 3.5 or 5. So I think there is nothing to worry about here. Really, there is no license to move to right now. The ORC license is the obvious choice, but it's not out yet.

I know you mentioned Creative Commons. But there have been quite a few people that know more about this than I do that say none of the Creative Commons licenses cover the same use case as OGL 1.0a. I am not a content creator, so I don't have any financial skin the game here.

But I think it would be better for the ORC license to come out than to try to find a Creative Commons license that might be a close fit, but isn't quite right.
 
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