Question on Copywrite

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I noticed that when i save the monster as an image it fills out some copyright notices on the bottom.

(c) 2009 Wizards of the Coast LLC, a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc. All rights reserved. This monster statistics block has been generated using the D&D Adventure Tools.

Can i get some more information on this? What is the extend of this?

If i am creating monsters for a an adventure i plan on selling and the monster has all custom powers (nothing duplicated in the system) then who ownes the monster?

My assumption is this copyright is for the icons and the powers used by the system.

If i add a new language called qwerty am i now prohibited from using it because its under WotC's Copyright?

I would just like to see a bit more detail under there and allow my creations to fall under the creative commons licence.
I kinda doubt they'll give you any firm answer on this one, you'll have to personally take it up with their legal department, I for one think that anything you'll like to consider your own IP, don't make it up in the monster builder.
Or just cut that part of the image off and add your own creative commons license at the bottom.
Or just cut that part of the image off and add your own creative commons license at the bottom.

I am not a lawyer, but that seems like a bad idea. If you made it with the Monster Builder, it is subject to the Terms that you accepted when you installed the Monster Builder. If the ToS states that the output is (c) WotC (blahblahblah), then the output is (C) WotC. Simply removing that tag does not change the status and could be a violation of the ToS.

@DND_Brantford - Your best bet is to dig through the EULA/ToS for the Monster Builder and read what is included. That will tell you what rights you have towards the monsters you build/modify, and what rights WotC has.
Mudbunny SVCL for DDI Before you post, think of the Monkeysphere
2. Grant of License; Intellectual Property Rights. Subject to your compliance with this License, during the license term Wizards grants you a non-exclusive, non-transferable, non-assignable limited license to personally use the Software on one (1) computer which you own or is under your personal control.

Except as provided by this License, you may not modify, copy, distribute, transmit, display, perform, reproduce, publish, license, or create derivative works from any information, software, images, products or services obtained from the Software. The Software is made available solely for use by end users according to the terms of this License. You may not use the intellectual property contained in the Software to create or provide any other means through which others may use the Software, such as through server emulators. You may not take any action that imposes an unreasonable or disproportionately large load on Wizards’ infrastructure. Wizards may update the Software at any time and in doing so incurs no obligation to furnish such updates.

All title, ownership and intellectual property rights in and to the Software are owned by Wizards or its suppliers. The Software is protected by the copyright laws of the United States, international copyright treaties and conventions and other laws. The Software is licensed, not sold. All rights are reserved.

Play whatever the **** you want. Never Point a loaded party at a plot you are not willing to shoot. Arcane Rhetoric. My Blog.

Not the right part. You would need to find a part that talks more about the output of the program or something like that.

That part deals mostly with the program itself and only tangentially mentions the output:

[indent]Except as provided by this License, you may not modify, copy, distribute, transmit, display, perform, reproduce, publish, license, or create derivative works from any information, software, images, products or services obtained from the Software.[/indent]
Mudbunny SVCL for DDI Before you post, think of the Monkeysphere
That's to cover their IP. Anythign we create with Monster Builder can be created just as easily by anyone halfway competent with a graphics program like photoshop or inkscape or gimp.
The "derivative works" thing is what confuses me. Is a completely custom monster a "derivative work"? What if you grab a single power from another creature and edit it? Is the whole monster then a "derivative work"?
Planes Wanderer
That's to cover their IP. Anythign we create with Monster Builder can be created just as easily by anyone halfway competent with a graphics program like photoshop or inkscape or gimp.

There is a *very* good chance that the image output of the monster builder is considered part of their IP as well. The format of the statblocks for monsters (colour, layout, etc) is certainly part of the IP associated with 4E, so the images output by the Monster builder would be part of that IP as well.
Mudbunny SVCL for DDI Before you post, think of the Monkeysphere
The "derivative works" thing is what confuses me. Is a completely custom monster a "derivative work"? What if you grab a single power from another creature and edit it? Is the whole monster then a "derivative work"?

I have poked some people to see if we can get some sort of answer on this. It being friday, and the fact that tjis probably has to go though the legal department, it *might* take a day or two (ie, not until next week) until we see an answer from WotC.
Mudbunny SVCL for DDI Before you post, think of the Monkeysphere
That layout is covered under the GSL, no? 3rd party publishers use it, right?

Personally this whole thing is a non-issue for me because I only intend to use the Monster Builder for my personal games. However, for people aspiring to be 3rd party publishers, it's pretty significant. If the output is already covered under the GSL, maybe there isn't a problem.
Planes Wanderer
Yes, the Monster Template layout is covered by the GSL.

However, that does not necessarily cover monsters using that template, created by the monster builder.

I would really like to get a solid answer on this myself, and I would like to post my created monsters to the web to share with people.
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There's plenty of people posting monsters left and right and WotC even stickied a thread linking to a Wiki on an outside site created solely to share monsters. I think that's answer enough.
There's plenty of people posting monsters left and right and WotC even stickied a thread linking to a Wiki on an outside site created solely to share monsters. I think that's answer enough.

Assumed rights are not rights. If you read the posts they are stickying it in the absence of another answer.

Over the weekend it could be fine and then bam on monday we find out that the legal dept says otherwise. You can be patient for the time being i would think.

Until we get a firm answer i dont see anything wrong with it.

Play whatever the **** you want. Never Point a loaded party at a plot you are not willing to shoot. Arcane Rhetoric. My Blog.

Assumed rights are not rights. If you read the posts they are stickying it in the absence of another answer.

Over the weekend it could be fine and then bam on monday we find out that the legal dept says otherwise. You can be patient for the time being i would think.

Until we get a firm answer i dont see anything wrong with it.

It's clear enough to me that they meant for people to share their monstrous creations.
It's clear enough to me that they meant for people to share their monstrous creations.

Alright, and I agree with you. But posting that you should just cut off the Copyright information and saying "Just because everyone is doing it makes it alright." Is not the best way to handle things.

Play whatever the **** you want. Never Point a loaded party at a plot you are not willing to shoot. Arcane Rhetoric. My Blog.

If you leave it, then WotC can claim copyright on your intellectual property. If I create custom monsters for my campaign, they will fall under a creative commons license that allows for credited distribution, but not modification or commercial applications. I refuse to let WotC stick some blanket copyright on every monster I create and claim it for their own if I post it online somewhere.
If you leave it, then WotC can claim copyright on your intellectual property. If I create custom monsters for my campaign, they will fall under a creative commons license that allows for credited distribution, but not modification or commercial applications. I refuse to let WotC stick some blanket copyright on every monster I create and claim it for their own if I post it online somewhere.

Well the thing is then if they can "claim" everything generated out of the MB (which we have no official word on as of yet.) You shouldnt be using it. When you click okay to the EULA that almost no one reads you are actually signing a contract and if the Contract states that any material created using this Tool is the IP of WotC then you have agreed to it.

Programs like the Profantasy software line of products include in their EULA that you can commercially sell generated maps and items. Now WotC probably wont extend that ability unless its through GSL, and even then its more then just an Implied right.

Now I am not just making a fuss out of it, come soon we might find out that indeed there are really no limitations. But until then we dont know.

Play whatever the **** you want. Never Point a loaded party at a plot you are not willing to shoot. Arcane Rhetoric. My Blog.

I am not a lawyer

I dug through the ToS for use of the Monster Builder.

There is no mention, other than the passage posted above, which I will post again below, of who holds the righhts to things created with the monster builder.

[indent]2. Grant of License; Intellectual Property Rights. Subject to your compliance with this License, during the license term Wizards grants you a non-exclusive, non-transferable, non-assignable limited license to personally use the Software on one (1) computer which you own or is under your personal control.

Except as provided by this License, you may not modify, copy, distribute, transmit, display, perform, reproduce, publish, license, or create derivative works from any information, software, images, products or services obtained from the Software. The Software is made available solely for use by end users according to the terms of this License. You may not use the intellectual property contained in the Software to create or provide any other means through which others may use the Software, such as through server emulators. You may not take any action that imposes an unreasonable or disproportionately large load on Wizards’ infrastructure. Wizards may update the Software at any time and in doing so incurs no obligation to furnish such updates. [/indent]

I have bolded the important part. What that basically says, according to my layman's interpretation, is that anything we create with the Monster Builder, we are not allowed to copy, distribute, transmit, etc, whether you stick your own license on it or not. If you make it via other means, go for it. But according to the Service Agreement, if you make it through the Monster Builder, you are not permitted to do so.

Now that being said, It is in WotCs best interest to allow people to share the monsters they create with others, as it will drive interest in the game. For the time being, WotC hasn't quite decided what to do, and there are currently discussions being held amongst the various departments at WotC. As long as access is being provided to the created monsters for free, and that there is no infringement of WotC IP, I suspect that little will be done.


Note, as I said above, I am not a lawyer, this is my best interpretation. My words are not intended to be binding on WotC or its employees.
Mudbunny SVCL for DDI Before you post, think of the Monkeysphere
I don't care what WotC's lawyers say. When Adobe claims they own the copyright of anything created with Photoshop, I might pay attention. Until then, creating monsters with the MB is no different than creating them in GIMP or Photoshop or any other graphics/document program.

The end product is my intellectual property and WotC can't do crap about it as long as everything I create is my creation only.
I don't care what WotC's lawyers say. When Adobe claims they own the copyright of anything created with Photoshop, I might pay attention. Until then, creating monsters with the MB is no different than creating them in GIMP or Photoshop or any other graphics/document program.

The end product is my intellectual property and WotC can't do crap about it as long as everything I create is my creation only.

Show me: http://www.adobe.com/products/eulas/pdfs/Gen_WWCombined-combined-20080623_1026.pdf

Play whatever the **** you want. Never Point a loaded party at a plot you are not willing to shoot. Arcane Rhetoric. My Blog.

The end product is my intellectual property and WotC can't do crap about it as long as everything I create is my creation only.

Incorrect. Legally you have signed a contract that (may or may not as yet to be determined) any product you create using the Monster Builder is WotC's Property.

You have to remember that you are using a TOOL to help you spurn your intellectual creativity and as such the creators of that tool have partial rights to your created end product. Most companies obviously wave that right in order to actually sell their product (as for example adobe does) however that does not mean it does not exist.

The assumption that "WotC cannot do crap about it" is foolish at best. A company with resources of the likes of Hasboro has enough lawyers to bury you in paperwork for the rest of your life. (and as a result you never getting to sell your product.)

The likelihood of WotC caring about you sharing your monster online is minimal. The likelihood of them caring about you SELLING it, is a different matter.
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Show me: http://www.adobe.com/products/eulas/pdfs/Gen_WWCombined-combined-20080623_1026.pdf

Show you what? I said if Adobe claimed they had copyrights over anything created by Photoshop. They don't, because they know no one would ever buy their software if they tried to pull that crap. The same thing here. If WotC tries to claim they own and have copyright over all monsters created with the Monster Builder, no one but idiots will buy/use the software and the community will be worse off because there won't be any sharing of interesting monsters.

You have to remember that you are using a TOOL to help you spurn your intellectual creativity and as such the creators of that tool have partial rights to your created end product.

No, they don't. If I build a table with a hammer and saw, the manufacturer of the tools do not have any rights at all to the end product. It's the same thing here. A tool is just a tool and no one in their right mind would use a tool if it gave the creator of the tool any kind of copyright or ownership over the end product. WotC would shoot itself in the foot if they tried to pull that crap.

The assumption that "WotC cannot do crap about it" is foolish at best. A company with resources of the likes of Hasboro has enough lawyers to bury you in paperwork for the rest of your life. (and as a result you never getting to sell your product.)

They should be happy to sell their tool and DDI subscriptions and have people create a product to sell with them, providing no existing IP is infringed. It promotes their game, their product and creates more revenue for them than if they went around squashing every person that tries to sell an adventure with a D&D monster created using the MonsterBuilder.

The likelihood of WotC caring about you sharing your monster online is minimal. The likelihood of them caring about you SELLING it, is a different matter.

Monster Builder is a tool. What I do with the end product, as long as it is wholly created from my own intellectual property is of no business to WotC.
Outside the GSL, only WotC has the right to use the text of the powers contained in the Monster Manual (and, therefore, the Compendium and Monster Builder).

The Monster Builder will create monsters by a process which will often include the use of the text of powers contained in the Monster Manual, and copyright Wizards of the Coast.

Those monsters are almost certainly derivative works: they are sufficiently 'original' to be copyrightable, and they contain a 'substantial' amount of material which is copyright Wizards of the Coast.

Creating those derivative works is, absent a license, a copyright violation. The MB clearly alows and encourages (and licences) you to create those monsters, but it doesn't give you the right to distribute them. Monsters created by the MB which contain power-text from other monsters, then, are copyright Wizards of the Coast, at least in part - or are a infringement if distributed.

A monster created by the MB where all of the powers are written by the creator is less clear. I do not believe that individual words or phrases, such as 'insubstantial' or 'AC' are copyrightable. The format may be copyrightable, though, so again the direct output from the MB may indeed be copyright WotC, at least in part.

Now, I'm not an IP lawyer, but it looks to me that people arguing that monsters they create are 'their' IP are perhaps overlooking the copyright in the text of powers copied from WotC.

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No, they don't. If I build a table with a hammer and saw, the manufacturer of the tools do not have any rights at all to the end product. It's the same thing here. A tool is just a tool and no one in their right mind would use a tool if it gave the creator of the tool any kind of copyright or ownership over the end product. WotC would shoot itself in the foot if they tried to pull that crap.

That doesn't seem a very apt comparison. Now, if someone created a "tool" where you drop in the wood in a hopper, fiddle with some dials for dimensions and how many legs to add, press a button and out pops a finished table, then it might be more appropriate to compare the two. And in the case that anyone ever created such a device, I think there would be some severe restrictions on whether you could sell the tables from the machine without some fairly strict guidelines or royalties to the creators.

With the Monster Builder, the "heavy lifting" is being done for you, you just "fiddle with the dials" to add your creative design.
The parts of the TOS that were posted here say (in my opinion) that wotc does claim (c) for the images or text blocks.

Any Eula or TOS is valid until a judge says otherwise. For europe (i guess) that would happen pretty quick, but until than i will happyly delete the (c) block from the images and wait.
This is a silly thread. Tool makers have no rights to a work accomplished using them. There are companies that try to claim that ********, but none have been tested in court to my knowledge.

As far as created monsters with this tool go it's a non-issue. Don't use the images it generates directly (though IMO that shouldn't be an issue either).

Once you've used the tool as a very specific calculator, layout your own stat block using the info. As long as one of the following holds you are clear:

a) You are distributing under the GSL and you are following the rules laid out within the GSL.

b) You are distributing via 'raw' copyright law and you are only doing what is allowed under those circumstances.
I'd like to re-iterate what mudbunny said - specifically that there are assorted departments within WotC that are discussing the details of this at the moment, and that we'll get an answer when they come to a conclusion about the specifics.

Until then, there's nothing wrong with assuming that restrictions are in place, as that's the safest (most non-infringing) path to take.

for my personal two cents? As per the TOS what you make belongs to WotC - which is more a "Cover Your Butt" clause than anything else for WotC. Otherwise they run the risk of publishing a monster like the "WolfStar Beholder" that's very similar to one I made - and having me try to sue them for stealing from me.

Given the lead time for publishing a hardcover book, and the lack of lead time for, say, posting in the EN World forums, this is a legit cause for concern - even if its an overly-protective/worried/paranoid concern.

In the long run? I doubt WotC is going to REALLY lay claim to my "WolfStar Beholder" - but that they have to have their own protections in place first, just in case.
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That doesn't seem a very apt comparison. Now, if someone created a "tool" where you drop in the wood in a hopper, fiddle with some dials for dimensions and how many legs to add, press a button and out pops a finished table, then it might be more appropriate to compare the two. And in the case that anyone ever created such a device, I think there would be some severe restrictions on whether you could sell the tables from the machine without some fairly strict guidelines or royalties to the creators.

With the Monster Builder, the "heavy lifting" is being done for you, you just "fiddle with the dials" to add your creative design.

Ok, so how about a rapid prototyping machine where you enter some numbers, fiddle with the dials, and push a button and out pops a plastic 3d model? The company that builds the rapid prototyping machine absolutely cannot claim any kind of ownership or copyright on what is produced by that machine. Programs are no different.

WotC needs to hire some young, internet savvy lawyers that understand the modern day and age of publishing, instead of the stone age dinosaurs they have now.
They are discussing it now.

Just play it safe until official word comes out. Once it does, if you don't agree with their policy either 1) don't use the tool or 2) hire a lawyer and take them on.

I am sure we will hear about it soon enough considering the popularity of the wiki and what not. Just don't do anything foolish before then.
I don't like the fact that WotC is slapping that piece of crap copyright ******** on every single monster. WotC will not ever own any of my intellectual property I create, no matter how many stupid arsed EULA's or copyrights or licences they try to cram into their products. My IP is MY IP.
I think the reason for the copyright is so you can't take THEIR IP, modify it, and claim it as YOUR IP.
I don't like the fact that WotC is slapping that piece of crap copyright ******** on every single monster. WotC will not ever own any of my intellectual property I create, no matter how many stupid arsed EULA's or copyrights or licences they try to cram into their products. My IP is MY IP.

You are not being a reasonable person, and seem intent on ignoring the valid reasons WotC would have for including these things you hate so much.

Consider, in the future, being less spiteful and perhaps more understanding. Knee-jerk reactions do not help anything, at all.
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There's absolutely no reason for WotC to include that copyright ******** on 100% custom monsters with no connection to any of their products aside from being created for use with D&D 4th edition rules. It's there because their draconian byzantine lawyers made them put it there because they think it will give them ownership of any monsters made using the MonsterBuilder.

They're wrong. My IP. My copyright. I will continue to chop off that copyright notice.
There's absolutely no reason for WotC to include that copyright ******** on 100% custom monsters with no connection to any of their products aside from being created for use with D&D 4th edition rules. It's there because their draconian byzantine lawyers made them put it there because they think it will give them ownership of any monsters made using the MonsterBuilder.

They're wrong. My IP. My copyright. I will continue to chop off that copyright notice.

You are using their formatting which i believe is their IP.

Why is WotC the Evil Evil Company for trying to protect their IP and you are the righteous paladin of light because you want to rip them off?

Play whatever the **** you want. Never Point a loaded party at a plot you are not willing to shoot. Arcane Rhetoric. My Blog.

There's absolutely no reason for WotC to include that copyright ******** on 100% custom monsters with no connection to any of their products aside from being created for use with D&D 4th edition rules.

That's actually exactly why they need it. Let's look at it from a commonplace standpoint.

I make a really great game system (My Intellectual Property). You want to make monsters for my system (Your Intellectual Property). I say ok, and show you how to do it. So you go off an make a ton of monsters using My IP. Then you sell them for a profit as your IP, and not give me a cut of the profit earned when, clearly, I did half of the work by making the system you created monsters for in the first place. If I didn't make sure that I had a right to that money by saying that you need to include a copyright for the system with your monsters, I'd be losing a lot of money that should rightfully be mine.

Wizards has every right to tag that copyright on there, because you're using their work to create your own. Even if they don't own your monster, they own the system, formatting, and general guidelines by which you made said monster.
If I make a ton of great monsters for your IP and it helps you sell even more core rulebooks, you're profiting as well. And no, they don't have any right to stick a copyright on anything I create.

Finally, you can't copyright formatting. That's all a statblock is. It doesn't matter how it's formatted. It's the content that matters. How well do you think it would go over if I could somehow claim copyright over the novel format? Everyone would laugh their ass off at such a claim.
Think what you want, but don't blame anyone but yourself when you end up having to eat your own words...
Oh you guys. You are being too serious about this.

1. I seriously doubt that WoTC is interested in stealing your monster ideas. Considering they probably have MM3 close to ready to go, and MM4 outlined and started, they are ahead of the game.

2. Most of the time, when I see player generated content, I don't like it. I include myself in this category as well. Generally, in most cases, what works for an individual is to customized to their specific needs over general usefulness. And then there is the whole segment of just god awful ideas.

3. If you are really worried that WoTC is going to claim your monster are theirs, then build them, but don't save them. Take a screen shot, or whatever. If your paranoia runs that strong, don't do stuff that you feel is risky.

4. Get some education about the subject. PLEASE.
Fewberry, You can do whatever you want, but please dont tell others to do what you want them to do.

You wouldnt post on here "hey guys you can get all the 4e books for free from X site!" Why are you posting "Hey guys just take the copyright symbol off the generated formatting?"

The Character Sheet has a copyright on it. Do you blank that out when you create a character? Does WotC want your characters as well?

Play whatever the **** you want. Never Point a loaded party at a plot you are not willing to shoot. Arcane Rhetoric. My Blog.

I want to know who is useing this program as a a publishing software???

I mean really it is for personal home use, not buisness use, how hard is that to get???

And if they claim copywrite, let them, as others have said just copy and paste to a new word doc, then use publishing software to make your book.


I think this is soo insane that people like trevor and the rouse are going to read it, then go and read some dilbert and some alien consparacyies, then go back to the office saying this thread is both funnier and sader then the most crazy of the other two...

Before posting, ask yourself WWWS: What Would Wrecan Say?

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