51

I don't offer a position on the ethics or legality of linking to "D&D Tools" – that's amply covered already, and (despite my frequent writing about the legal issues of copyright) my personal feelings about what should be the ethics and legality are complicated and aren't relevant. There is a practical reason we shouldn't link to that site though. It ...


24

Just FYI, a normal user was the one who revised your post using their edit privilege. “Site mods” usually refers to the diamond moderators, none of which have revised your post prior to this meta. Each of the diamond moderators will always have a diamond (♦) appear after their names. On Fair Use in this situation Stanford University has an excellent ...


23

D&D Tools.eu has been taken down. They received a cease & desist letter from Wizards of the Coast. That pretty well settles the debate: we shouldn't link to it, because there's nothing there now. SevenSidedDie's predictions came true. There's some parting words from the owner on the homepage, and an explanation of the situation: http://dndtools.eu/ ...


22

It's a bad look to openly talk about using pirated materials here, and so easily avoided. As a poster, one should studiously avoid it. As stewards of the site we should actively discourage it. This is primarily a matter of who we want to attract as our audience. If we wink and nod and look away from overt piracy, we signal to the large pirate community that ...


20

It's not necessary for us to police copyright law to this degree. In this instance you're even policing Blizzard's copyright harder than Blizzard itself does. The comments were removed and not acted on by moderators because the concern you were bringing up is actually something we'd prefer not be worried about. Let's talk briefly about fansites and card ...


17

I think my answer regarding the (now defunct) DndTools.eu site is relevant. It goes something like this: The legality of linking to infringing material is unclear, with conflicting legal precedents, and different ones in different countries. It's legal in the US though, so long as DMCA takedowns are processed in a timely fashion (which SE does). Regardless ...


16

You may link to non-official sites. It's fine. We have for a long time facilitated links to d20srd, d20pfsrd, Fate SRD, dandwiki and so on, where none of those are official. There's no problem here. The exception is if the site is basically a piracy database. Our stance is to not link to such sites: What's our stance on Piracy? Links to "D&D ...


16

No we shouldn't. It doesn't look like the restoration was deliberate though, but instead just an edit conflict while the OP was only trying to add a new paragraph. (I've noticed the automatic edit conflict detection doesn't seem to be as sensitive as it used to be.) I've re-removed the image and added a note for where they are taking the stats from.


15

You'll notice, if you look around the site, that most of your concerns aren't reflected in our answers. Rules are discussed, quotes are posted, and knowledge is transferred. Copyright-enforcing mods don't regularly jump out and discourage answering. This example is an exception, for reasons which I hope will become clear by the end of this post. Current ...


14

Answers that are in clear violation of copyright should be deleted. (or flagged if you cannot vote to delete) A lot of the material we share on this site is copyrighted in some way that limits reproduction. A lot of the excerpts we source to improve the quality of our answers could be seen in breach of that copyright given the amount we source, however our ...


14

The fast way Content on RPG.se is already licensed for reuse. You can immediately reuse anything on RPG.se so long as you follow the license conditions. If after reading that you’re not sure how to integrate a piece of Creative Commons content into a larger work, consult CreativeCommons.org and, if necessary (read: is recommended), your lawyer or your ...


13

Recommending an online generator is OK. There's nothing inherently wrong with recommending a tool. Keep in mind, though, that link-only answers are bad: you should be explaining in your answer post why the sort of resource you recommend is the best solution, such that a future reader who found your link had rotted would still know what they're looking for ...


12

The bottom of every page has a licensing/copyright notice: user contributions licensed under cc-wiki with attribution required But that's just for straight-up copying of text… (I am not a lawyer, this isn't legal advice, retain a lawyer if you're unsure, etc., etc., ad nauseum.) For fair-use quoting (research, critique, etc.), such as is ...


11

About Fair Use, as I understand matters I am not a lawyer, and I am certainly not your lawyer. This represents my understanding of the issue, not specific legal advice. The Fair Use doctrine, which is a concept in US intellectual property law but other nations have broadly-similar ideas in their laws, allows for “nonprofit educational purposes” as a fair ...


10

Downvotes happen A question or answer can be downvoted for any reason. In a perfect world, it should not be, but taking the risk of asking or answering means that sometimes voters dislike a question or answer for whatever reason and that reason doesn't matter. The reason can't actually matter: even if the voter gives a tasteless or counterintuitive reason ...


9

The most universally convincing argument I've heard for not pasting into tag wikis is simply that tag wikis have a pretty specific purpose (clarifying the sort of question they should be attached to), and it's next to impossible that any text from another source will be written with that purpose in mind. We could debate legal exceptions until the Sun burns ...


8

Copy pasta: Creative Commons License allows for redistribution of content. In this case, the content could be copied wholesale as it's CC-BY-SA. That wouldn't direct traffic to the pirate site, and would preserve the content being inquired about. Attribution In this case the creator has not supplied their name, so we wouldn't even have to include an ...


8

I am not a lawyer, but I have been dealing with Fair Use and its local variations in the media a few times. You are correct that there is no fundamental reason a full spell definition couldn't be Fair Use. RPG.stackexchange doesn't have a policy in place that full stat blocks, spell descriptions or such should be necessarily removed from the site. However, ...


8

So, we have some material which is not legally available in electronic format and it is thus impossible to ctrl+f search it unless a lot of scanning and turning the images into text is done. That is surely a lot of work, but I don't feel it is tied to the effort as we mean it when casting downvotes. Basically, the problem is not "how long it takes" but "how ...


8

Option 1: It's your copyright Contact Stack Exchange. Except the link about notifying copyright infringement goes to the terms of service which don't tell you how to do it. So I would contact their legal team. Option 2: It's not your copyright If you are a law enforcement officer specifically charged with seeking out and prosecuting copyright infringement:...


7

Looking at legal: US Laws and international treaties. All materials displayed or performed on the Network, including, but not limited to text, graphics, logos, tools, photographs, images, illustrations, software or source code, audio and video, and animations (collectively, “Content”) (other than Content posted by Subscriber (“Subscriber Content”)) are the ...


7

Up front: I am not a lawyer; my knowledge comes solely from reading about this topic in for-a-lay-audience sources. The following is my understanding, and in any event I think a reasonable way to handle things here. Fair Use protects certain forms of copyright infringement, for particular purposes. One of those is educational, which this site can reasonably ...


7

Very probably not copied I took a look at the two icons, zoomed to 1600%. I looked especially at the edges of the lines to see if there were matching aliasing patterns. An icon can be recoloured, but matching gradients in the semi-transparent aliasing pixels would be a likely result even after a recolour. It doesn’t look like they’re derived one from the ...


6

Yes, but Your stipulations as to the use of the material in positing this question essentially leads to you asking if the use of images specifically permitted as Fair Use is permitted by site policy. It should be, since we already allow the use of copyrighted material under Fair Use in other, non-image, contexts, and (as you have pointed out) other stacks ...


6

They are not necessarily the same. RPG.SE meta's favicon is a gray d20 outline. I'm not able to upload the .ico file here, but it has a MD5 hash c7f81da9029121051950ae912546a092. The engl DND5 wikia's favicon is a black d20 outline. The .ico file has a MD5 hash 82f5514407b95ad867762108f1e02953. This means it's a different file. (For those who want to ...


6

Yes, it's fair to downvote a post — period, full stop. Anyone can downvote for whatever reason they like. Why are “wrong” votes allowed though? It's a necessary feature of the site's functioning. To make the site work, we need accurate scores beside posts. To get accurate scores for posts, we need as much data as possible. To get that, the site's design ...


6

I contend yes, addressing it would be worthwhile. Even though posting a link doesn't violate copyrights, the posting of a link does endorse a site. This endorsement flows through to copyright violation (even if not by the letter of the law, I'm no lawyer). Begin rant. Legally (again, I'm no lawyer but I do know a tiny bit about copyright) I believe it's ...


5

The Stack Exchange Network Terms of Service, section 3 and 15 are particularly relevant. I believe that most things said here are covered under CC although it is worth checking. If you are really concern, I would consult a lawyer. If you have a publisher/agent, they can advise you as it's part of their job.


4

As usual, this is being made way more complicated than it needs to be. As already cited, What's our policy with answers advocating piracy (accidentally or not)? Links to "D&D Tools" / dndtools.eu and similar sites Which means RPG.SE doesn't want to be associated with illegal activity (pirating). So we prefer not to have links to ...


4

While probably the site won't be closed soon (Wotc have moved on from 3.5 and, as far as I can tell, they are not striking any of the new dndtools clones), I think, for coherence at least, we shouldn't make use of the site.


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