This week in alleged WotC digi-fail: D&D fan site policy (not) unveiled

Long story short, said policy – actually a fan site kit policy for a kit of approved fan site content – is unclear in spots and totally forgets to talk about what happens when you go outside the content contained in the kit. Because it’s a policy for a kit, not fan sites in general. This analysis is pretty good, but confuses that latter point and seems to think this is all 100% malicious on the part of WotC legal. Me, I’m disinclined to ascribe to malice what can be fully explained by incompetence. Looks like they’d better put a rush on that wider fan site policy statement, because if they think they’re gonna weasel out of this by providing an approved kit, they’re doomed.


  1. A lot of these moves tend to be ascribed to malice instead of incompetence, usually by those who have an axe to grind against the system itself as well… but incompetence is by far the most likely explanation given the track record (but on what corporate level it’s happening on is tough to tell).

  2. Yeah, that’s an issue too – although I can see why WotC wouldn’t want to be transparent about process decisions that cast the parent company in a bad light, more transparency (around digital policy stuff especially) is sorely needed up there.

  3. Looks like WotC’s ready to shut down more fansites at a moment’s notice. Says here:

    […] we cannot allow Wizards Materials be used on any Fan Site that […] makes disparaging, libelous or dishonest statements about Wizards and/or its products, employees and agents.

    Libelous or dishonest statements, I can understand – but “disparaging”? So, if someone’s site says D&D4e isn’t all that, WotC can revoke the fan site kit? Wow.

    Then again, it seems like the kit only really grants limited use of some images, anyway. No biggie.

    That was disparaging, wasn’t it? Oops…

  4. Thanks for the link and kind words.

    Yeah, I’m jumping to the conclusion that the conflation of “policy” with “license” is deliberate, because I figure WotC lawyers would know better. But, you’ve got a point that it could be incompetence since it’s entirely possible WotC legal is completely clueless about the industry they’re in and what a “fan site policy” is for. Not that saying “incompetent” instead of “malicious” is much better or woudl make me more popular. 😉

    I’m just glad more people are talking about this. The biggest thing I wanted to accomplish was to get everyone to recognise that this thing is a license and not a policy. Everything else is gravy.

  5. I am beginning to be inclined towards malice because of incompetence. Somebody knows better and needs to remove the ignorance and incompetence, and failure to do so, must be malice.

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