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General Forge Forums => Independent Publishing => Topic started by: JackConrad on February 17, 2008, 05:11:47 PM

Title: Open License...
Post by: JackConrad on February 17, 2008, 05:11:47 PM
I am curious how many independent artists and/or publishers out there have tried to produce and release work under an open license; that is, how many of said individuals released there work under an open license (ex. CC) and not released work under the open licensed work of another company (ex OGL)? If artists have released there work in this manner, what have been the general results?

Title: Re: Open License...
Post by: Clinton R. Nixon on February 17, 2008, 06:24:49 PM

Lots of RPG authors have released their game under an open license of some sort. I like to think of myself as the local expert in that: my games have all been released under some sort of open license, with my most successful game, The Shadow of Yesterday (, being released under a completely open license, the CC-Attribution license, where anyone can reuse the content anyway they like.

As for me, it's been very successful. One major benefit is increased sales through using openness as a marketing strategy. It is a really good marketing strategy. People share your game freely with others, and goodwill is created.

The other major benefit is community contribution. Most people who create new content for TSOY release it under a similar license, letting me or others reuse it. With the CC-Attribution license, they are under no condition to do so, but the example set tends to encourage people.

Feel free to ask me any more specific questions you might have.

Title: Re: Open License...
Post by: JackConrad on February 18, 2008, 10:00:47 AM

Thank you for sharing your personal experience. After browsing your sight briefly, I admire you for donating the proceeds from one of your games to charity. Additionally, I like how you developed a wiki for TSOY; has this become common among independent designers?

I will take you up on your offer to ask more questions; as I do have several. By most successful, do you mean financially? or most popular? May I ask you why you went with CC-Attribution and not, say, CC-Attribution-Noncommercial? or CC-Attribution-Noncommercial with exceptions?

(If you feel any of this is to personal to discuss on an open forum, feel free to email me. My email should be publicly viewable.)

Title: Re: Open License...
Post by: Clinton R. Nixon on February 18, 2008, 01:24:50 PM

I used to use CC-Attribution-ShareAlike, but moved away from it. CC-Attribution-Noncommercial isn't open or free at all, which is why I don't use it. It restricts usage to non-commercial ventures. CC-Attribution-ShareAlike is free in a way, but it requires derivative works to also be under the same license, which moves the act of releasing TSOY from a gift to a gift with strings, which is morally unacceptable to me, but I understand the reasons for using it.

By "successful," I mean "played by others and enjoyed," but TSOY is quite financially profitable as well.

- Clinton