Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Help Free RPG Authors by voting "Truly Free" at the Ennies

Three out of the five games in the Free RPG Category of the Ennies are Quick Start versions of commercial games. Although technically free, quick start games should not win this category because they:
  • Are not complete roleplaying games
  • Have the backing of major corporations [recinded, thanks to the commenters, this was a hasty assumption]
  • Are at best advertising materials
Let's show our solidarity by voting for the two games that really are free, complete games and not marketing tools for a commercial ones. Please vote for either Swords & Wizardry or Trial & Terror in the Ennies Best Free RPG category. Every vote really does count, so mobilise your friends and family to assist!

Got a website? You can help!

Let's spread the word together and get people voting for truly free RPGs. I did make some logos but Ennies felt they were infringement of copyright. Surrounded as I am by lawyers quoting fair use chapter and verse, I don't want this crusade to be about the Ennies logo or law.

Thanks for the support!






22 comments:

Jeramy Ware said...

Wow, that's awesome. Fantastic work.

Allen Varney said...

"Major corporations." I'll bet Chris Pramas and Nicole Lindroos will be excited to learn Green Ronin, which they run out of their living room and garage, has become a faceless corporate entity, enemy of the true indie spirit.

Denise Robinson, said...

While I respect your enthusiasm for the Awards I need to point out that your use of the logo is unauthorized and must be ceased immediately please and thank you.

Denise Robinson,
Business Manager, The Annual Gen Con EN World RPG Awards (The ENnies)

Mark said...

....right. Calling Catalyst a major corporation is somewhat laughable. Calling Green Ronin one is just simply insulting in this context.

user@example.com said...

I personally don't have a problem with Battlerun being on the list, despite wanting to vote for Swords & Wizardry. It's not a quickstart, and while it is a "big name" thing, at least it's a separate product. It's also an April Fool's joke taken far, far too far, wrapping around from So Bad It's Good to Don't These People Have Work To Do to... well, brilliance.

Quickstarts, though, wtf? Really? That's absurd, and I hope there's time to do something about it.

Anonymous said...

Fair Use. Commentary/Criticism, I think. Anyone want to offer a better opinion on that?

I support Swords n' Wizardry! I'll make sure to spread the word on the old-school/OD&D forums.

-Rich

David Macauley said...

Denise Robinson might be better off actually paying attention to the message of this post, rather than publically play the corporate bully. Shame, shame, shame.

Rob Lang said...

Denise,
Thanks for the comment. I am actually using the logo under critique/criticism in an attempt to drive more traffic to the Ennies. I am not trying to profit from the use of the Logo. As you can tell from the lack of adverts and the point of this Blog.

http://fairuse.stanford.edu/Copyright_and_Fair_Use_Overview/chapter9/9-a.html

If you are still upset that I am driving traffic to your site then please do let me know and I will create a parody logo - which is unlikely to shed the Ennies is a good light.

Also, I will expect you to post cease and desist messages on all the other blogs using the logo freely advertising the Ennies. If you do not do this, I'll assume that it's ok to continue. After all, why pick on me?

Rob Lang said...

Thanks for the comments, I appreciate that major corporation was hyperbole but I stand by the rest of my remarks.

Anonymous said...

I think you're ok, Rob Lang. I was reading the same criticism/commentary link. Very "internet lawyer" of me, but I'd say you're fine. I'd ignore it. Shame that has to take away from a great idea.

-Rich

mxyzplk said...

I'm in, I thought that was lame too.

77IM said...

I kind of think the entries should be judged on their own merits, regardless of whether they have corporate-funded art or are part of a marketing campaign. They're still technically free, and if people want to vote based on production values, maybe that is a lesson for the Free RPG community (team up with the Free Art community?). On the other hand, if these are not complete games, just samples, they should probably not qualify. You can't really run a campaign of "Hunter: The Quickstart."


(Also, IANAL, but I don't think the Fair Use doctrine applies to trademarks. Trademark law is very different than copyright law, with its own weird set of rules. The holder of a trademark is required to enforce it or they may lose it, which may be why the Ennies people jumped on this so rapidly.)

Rob Lang said...

77IM, I agree that the source of the game doesn't matter. If R. Talisorian's Fuzion ruleset was in there, I would consider it equally.

Tony Law said...

I love the new logo! :D

Rob Lang said...

LOL, at 30 seconds, you're quick off the mark, Tony!

Many thanks. :)

Tony Law said...

@Rob - I've been hitting refresh all day. My fingers are quite sore. ;)

Matt Finch said...

I really appreciate this campaign (I'm Swords & Wizardry) - I'm torn, because I want to win based purely on quality ... but on the other hand, I'm in the same corner because I'm in favor of real, free, games.

Maybe it's naive to think I can win an ENnie against a company like White Wolf, I don't know.

Dyson Logos said...

@ Matt Finch: That's not naive. Remember that someone with an electronic product won that category against a nominated Wizards of the Coast product one year.

Tony Law said...

@Matt Finch - An ENnie Award always has been, and always will be, based upon the vote of the fan. Campaign hard enough, get your name out there, and people will vote for you. For example, in 2006, Shadowrun 4E beat out both Green Ronin and Paizo for Best Product. Don't think you can't win; you can. :)

Badelaire said...

Banner ad is now up on my blog.

Glad to support it!

Matt Finch said...

Well ...

I'm not entirely sure how to campaign hard enough and get my name out there. :D

Suggestions are definitely welcome on that one.

m.s. jackson said...

Will be up on my blog in minutes...my vote goes to S&W!
I also have reviews on Whitebox coming out here in a day or so.