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  1. #1

    A cautionary tale to FG .mod developers

    May have missed this but I think it should be a post as users and developers of 5E FG modules should be aware. Should really be known by any developer of FG .mod data deliverables, so the same mistakes are not repeated.

    Smiteworks recently determined that a number of 5E .mod data files have been copying WOTC .mod data to such an extent that they could actually be used in place of those modules. As that is a violation of license agreements all .mod files that do this have been instructed to change. In most cases, this involves supplying reference links to the WOTC .mod data (not copied text descriptions). From the user's perspective this means that these .mod files will be redelivered at some point soon with data links in place of actual text descriptions (originally copied from WOTC mods). Basically, where you used to see a spell description, npc other tab text, or item descriptions immediately when you click on their links for those supplemental module data - you will now have another link you will need to click (leading to WOTC mod data) to see the text. This way WOTC mods will be required to be loaded with the .mods that are supplemental to them and can't be replaced by them. And if unloaded the links will give the FG module not loaded message.

    Evidently, this has been going on for a long time so it kind of built on itself as other .mod developers saw what previous .mod developers had done, and assumed it was OK to do that. It never was.

    So, you may have noticed a bunch of .mods being updated, but no clear explanation about why they were changing.

    I know the ones I use will be updated within the week - but this should be a cautionary tale to FG .mod developers, you can't make a supplement to proprietary data that can work without that proprietary .mod loaded. Even if its been done that way in other .mods for years. The crackdown has occurred, changes are in progress.

    Now you know why.
    Last edited by SilentRuin; May 1st, 2021 at 19:38.

  2. #2
    EDIT: Yeah - made its own thread in the Extension section.

    I agree, modules should not contain copyright material from WOTC or any other company inside them, they are supposed to be support, not replacement.
    Last edited by Jiminimonka; May 3rd, 2021 at 17:20.

  3. #3
    Did I misinterpret the Smiteworks directive about referenced WOTC data not being copied but being only referenced by data links? So that the WOTC modules had to be actively loaded?

    I ask as I went to a lot of trouble to make sure the translated text was only display only and not in the DB so that the WOTC modules had to be loaded to ever see them.

    But I just saw another extension that replaces the data link with the WOTC text and puts it in the DB. I think I did overkill if that is the way to go

  4. #4
    ddavison's Avatar
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    The module should only include a link so your module does not distribute copyrighted content. DMsGuild has an allowance for some copying of small amounts of data from books.

    What extension are you seeing that copies the content?

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by ddavison View Post
    The module should only include a link so your module does not distribute copyrighted content. DMsGuild has an allowance for some copying of small amounts of data from books.

    What extension are you seeing that copies the content?
    This was based on something I was told about that checked if module was there then replaced the link. I have no first hand knowledge of it and was more interested in clarification about if we had to insure module was loaded to use data. As that is the approach I took - which I now suspect was overkill.

  6. #6
    No, it just needs to link to the original in the purchased source material.

    Regards,
    JPG

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Moon Wizard View Post
    No, it just needs to link to the original in the purchased source material.

    Regards,
    JPG
    Thanks for clarification! At least I now know if I do ever need to translate the .mod data link into DB (not just display only) I can now.

  8. #8
    I don't understand your statement.

    The issue was that people were including the full records for spells, abilities, etc.; such that the purchased books were not needed other than fluff/images. The clarification is that descriptions of spells, abilities, etc. can not be included; and can only be referenced by a link to the original record in the purchased material.

    Regards,
    JPG

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Moon Wizard View Post
    I don't understand your statement.

    The issue was that people were including the full records for spells, abilities, etc.; such that the purchased books were not needed other than fluff/images. The clarification is that descriptions of spells, abilities, etc. can not be included; and can only be referenced by a link to the original record in the purchased material.

    Regards,
    JPG
    I’m stating it’s clear that .mod files have links. I’m asking if I did overkill where my extension provides the full link description to user automatically in display only form (never in DB) to insure WOTC data linked module has to be loaded to see it. I asked for clarification because I heard that some provide that translation into DB directly and wanted to know if I ever needed to do that in future it was OK.

    I remain confused on that clarification after your last reply - as your first one I took as yes you can do that (ie my solution was overkill).

  10. #10
    If you include a record (such as a spell), then instead of including the full description in the formatted text field (usually denoted as "description" in the database); you can only include a link to the official record in the purchased module.

    Regards,
    JPG

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