It is with a heavy heart, I make this post. I don’t like to show when I am nervous, but here goes. Recently White Wolf, now under ownership of Paradox Plaza, has published new guidelines on what they permit fansites to include that White Wolf hold the copyright for. One can review their guidelines here: http://www.white-wolf.com/community/.
If you have followed Planet Vampire since it’s beginning, you will know that it has grown up from a very different era in 1999, when most people had dial-up modems. VTMR, a game that still holds a cult following to this day in online multiplayer, was launched and PV continues to host what is left of user-generated content to allow fellow RP’ers to live in the World Of Darkness in their own imaginations. However, one important part of the new Dark Pack guidelines (under Intellectual Property; Ownership and License) is the following:
Subject to your compliance with the terms and conditions of this Agreement, White Wolf hereby grants you a personal, non-sub licensable, royalty-free, revocable right and license to use the White Wolf IP for: (1) the presentation of World Wide Web pages; (2) non-graphical online games such as: MUSHes, MUDs, MOOs, IRC and all similar chat environments; and (3) printed material (“Your Material”).
Note where it says ‘non-graphical’. PV indeed *does* contain this kind of content, as it continues to host such for an online game! In fairness however, this game is a fully licensed White Wolf property, and one has to actually purchase the game in order to use any content we host here. Also worth noting here is that many RP’ers record their stories and place them onto Youtube in order to share their stories. This is certainly also graphical content for online games! This puts PV in a bit of a awkward situation, but I am confident that the wording of these guidelines is not intended to actually put us afoul. I believe the wording is there to prevent people from creating completely new games with White Wolf’s copyrighted imagery and lore without any respect for the intellectual property rights. Nonetheless, I have decided to approach White Wolf, explain some of the long-winded history of this site and it’s current state, with the hope of clarification, and with a view to come to an understanding it at all possible. I would love for PV to start wearing White Wolf’s new Dark Pack logo with pride, of course that will also involve including the following footer on each page which I am more than happy to do: “Portions of the materials are the copyrights and trademarks of White Wolf Publishing AB, and are used with permission. All rights reserved. For more information please visit white-wolf.com.” I can’t imagine White Wolf deciding against the existence of PV, as we actively promote their IP and encourage people to buy their books and games and am more than happy to work to bring PV into compliance by including their copyright notices (while at the same time of course, ensuring that it is still permissible to host user-generated graphical content that VTMR was designed to allow for!) This website does not run advertisements (except of course to link to places where White Wolf’s content can be purchased legitimately, which we receive no commission for) and we do not take donations. Indeed this site is, and always has been, for fans of the WOD universe and to provide a valuable resource for people all over the globe. I will update once I hear back from White Wolf with what will (hopefully) be good news. In the unlikely event that they do not approve of this website, I will do whatever I can to bring the site into compliance in order to begin displaying the Dark Pack logo. Expect a few changes however, very soon!