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Author Topic: Woot. More Dragon Lance books....oh, maybe not....  (Read 2129 times)

Armchair Gamer

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Re: Woot. More Dragon Lance books....oh, maybe not....
« Reply #15 on: October 19, 2020, 04:43:58 PM »
Here ...

(attached rather than inline because inline insertion doesn't seem to be working)

  I stand corrected. I still suspect that it's WotC that really wants to push this stuff, and Hasbro wants to take it more easily. Hasbro is older, bigger, and has been around the block a lot more and dealt with family concerns; WotC, by contrast, is still the edgy teenager. :)

   Although I must admit, it's a moot point. I burned out on Dragonlance about a decade back after a long and tumultuous relationship, and personally, I think Dragons of the Hourglass Mage is a pitch-perfect summary of what Dragonlance became: a recapitulation of the W&H works with sloppy worldbuilding and general silliness, culminating in a paean to the glory of Raistlin Majere. :)
« Last Edit: October 19, 2020, 04:45:41 PM by Armchair Gamer »

Tyndale

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Re: Woot. More Dragon Lance books....oh, maybe not....
« Reply #16 on: October 19, 2020, 05:28:13 PM »
I just don't see how this move on WOTC's part helps anyone.  Now we have an internal IP fight +  looming public RPG culture feud + a frustrated consumer base.  I am just hoping that Hickman/Weis prevail and the books get published despite the shenanigans.
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Spinachcat

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Re: Woot. More Dragon Lance books....oh, maybe not....
« Reply #17 on: October 19, 2020, 05:48:58 PM »
Anything that harms WotC is good news.

However, the most likely scenario is a secret settlement, not a court case.

My guess for an outcome would be Weis & Hickman get the Dragonlance rights back as settlement because Woke of the Coast have already milked it for millions and have no need for a nostalgia brand for their new beloved freakjob audience.

Then W&H can continue their relationship with Random House, no need for WotC to be involved moving ahead.

Jaeger

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Re: Woot. More Dragon Lance books....oh, maybe not....
« Reply #18 on: October 19, 2020, 09:39:29 PM »
...
My guess for an outcome would be Weis & Hickman get the Dragonlance rights back as settlement because Woke of the Coast have already milked it for millions and have no need for a nostalgia brand for their new beloved freakjob audience.

...

IMHO IP changing hands is highly unlikely. (It would be cool though...)

WOTC would rather pay out big cash and sit on the DL IP rather than see someone else profit from it.

I could much more easily see a scenario where Hickman and Weis get their NDA payday; Then a year later WOTC turns out a WOKE as fuck LGBTQP ram that ideology down you throat: "definiative edition of the DragonLance Campaign Setting".

Where every character even remotely liked by DL fandom is changed to a gay gender-flipped person of color.

Why? Because fuck you Hickman and Weis. Fuck. You.

That shit, I would believe.
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Snowman0147

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Re: Woot. More Dragon Lance books....oh, maybe not....
« Reply #19 on: October 19, 2020, 10:16:02 PM »
Every day Raging Golden Eagle is proven right.

It is smarter to just own your IPs and never sell out.  Don't trust any companies with your IPs.

Jaeger

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Re: Woot. More Dragon Lance books....oh, maybe not....
« Reply #20 on: October 19, 2020, 10:27:06 PM »
Every day Raging Golden Eagle is proven right.

It is smarter to just own your IPs and never sell out.  Don't trust any companies with your IPs.

In fairness to WOTC, Hickman and Weis never owned the DL IP.

They were given the green light to produce setting material for a pitch Hickman and his wife gave TSR.

They were absolutely the main creative force behind the DL success.

But it was always TSR/WOTC's IP.

And DL would never have had the success it had without TSR's initial bankrolling of the project.
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Mistwell

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Re: Woot. More Dragon Lance books....oh, maybe not....
« Reply #21 on: October 19, 2020, 10:46:05 PM »
WOTC could be in a bit of trouble with the publisher as well.

According to the filing, Penguin Random House did pay out an advance, of which WOTC got a part of.

WOTC killed the deal, and still has the advance money...


They tried to treat Hickman and Weis like they were 5 cent-a-word contract writers. Not millionaires with fuck you money that can take the fight to WOTC.

So stupid.

That is not what the complaint says. 1) No advance has been paid to anyone yet, 2) an advance was going to be given to Hickman and Weiss, not to WOTC.  Paragraphs 20 and 36.

Thanks to Pemerton for highlighting that for me.

Spinachcat

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Re: Woot. More Dragon Lance books....oh, maybe not....
« Reply #22 on: October 19, 2020, 10:51:29 PM »
I had previously understood DL as an IP was owned by W&H, but TSR had bought the rights to use the IP. But that was based on late night convention bar chatter. Does the lawsuit explain who exactly owns what?

If the DragonLance IP is owned by WotC, then all W&H are getting is some cash, unless the goal is a negotiated buy-out of the IP.

What exactly is the lawsuit asking as settlement?

Mishihari

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Re: Woot. More Dragon Lance books....oh, maybe not....
« Reply #23 on: October 19, 2020, 10:54:55 PM »

What exactly is the lawsuit asking as settlement?

At least $10M

Spinachcat

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Re: Woot. More Dragon Lance books....oh, maybe not....
« Reply #24 on: October 19, 2020, 10:56:40 PM »
It is smarter to just own your IPs and never sell out.  Don't trust any companies with your IPs.

There's only two paths:

1) Sellout for a giant pile of money, walk away and never look back.

2) Never sell your IP.

The "trust" part doesn't work ever because companies change over time. You might have great owners, great creative partners and great distribution channels...and that can all go to shit leaving your IP stuck and drowning in a cesspool of imbeciles.

Jaeger

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Re: Woot. More Dragon Lance books....oh, maybe not....
« Reply #25 on: October 20, 2020, 12:16:20 AM »
...

That is not what the complaint says. 1) No advance has been paid to anyone yet, 2) an advance was going to be given to Hickman and Weiss, not to WOTC.  Paragraphs 20 and 36.

Thanks to Pemerton for highlighting that for me.


I'm reading something wrong then:

Page 8:25:
...
25.On March 29, 2019, Plaintiff-Creators and PRH entered into the Publishing Agreement. PRH remitted the signing payment due under the Publishing Agreement to Plaintiff Creators in April 2019. Per the terms of the License Agreement, Plaintiff-Creators in turn remitted a portion of the signing payment to Defendant%u2014an amount Defendant continues to retain despite having effectively terminated the License Agreement.

I'm no expert. So if a "signing payment" is not the same as an advance. OK. I stand corrected.

Doesn't change the fact that PRH PAID Hickman and Wise some cash based on potential return of investment. Some of this money went  to WOTC.

Who killed the deal.

Then kept their part of the "signing bonus" even though they have now made it impossible for PRH to recoup that money in future DL book sales. Now there may very well be clauses that once the signing bonus is paid - it's paid. No takebacks. Still a bit of a dick move though.

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Jaeger

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Re: Woot. More Dragon Lance books....oh, maybe not....
« Reply #26 on: October 20, 2020, 12:19:22 AM »
...
If the DragonLance IP is owned by WotC, then all W&H are getting is some cash, unless the goal is a negotiated buy-out of the IP.


I would love it if this was possible.

But I think given the current state of the industry, they will take the money and run.

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BronzeDragon

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Re: Woot. More Dragon Lance books....oh, maybe not....
« Reply #27 on: October 20, 2020, 12:45:35 AM »
I hope they win a sizeable settlement and use it to self publish their original vision.

Except they can't.

The magicians that live near the ocean own the copyrights for essentially all that you would actually recognize as Dragonlance. That's the reason no new Dragonlance novels from W&H came for the longest time, there was no licensing agreement.

Even if they win (or get the desired settlement) they still won't be able to publish anything as Dragonlance without the say-so of the magicians that live near the ocean (which will not be forthcoming, as you might imagine).

Note that the first novel is totally done, the second one was already submitted as a draft...but those books will never see the light of day.

unless the goal is a negotiated buy-out of the IP.

I consulted a highly sophisticated future-divining machine (pictured here https://cdn.webshopapp.com/shops/38765/files/240458996/geeek-mystic-magic-8-ball-future-prediction-ball.jpg), and I asked the likelihood of such a result.

After some time, the machine returned the following answer:

"Fuck no."

I had previously understood DL as an IP was owned by W&H, but TSR had bought the rights to use the IP.

It's the exact opposite. The Magicians own the IP, W&H licensed it whenever they wrote for it.

Part of the language of the filing is exactly explaining that the nature of the deal was such that whatever time and effort W&H dedicated to the project (time and effort which they obviously did dedicate, since they fully wrote one book and drafted the second) was essentially "locked-in" with the Magicians, since it's all Dragonlance material which W&H CANNOT publish under any other guise than an official Magicians publication.

The fact that the Magicians knew this, and knew that W&H's contract with their publisher was also completely dependant on this licensing is what gives rise to the tortious interference claim. The Magicians knowingly fucked over W&H's contract with their publisher by having them write a set of novels that they could only ever publish with consent from the Magicians. Once the Magicians refused any further drafts, they boned (proper legalese here) both W&H AND their publisher.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2020, 01:09:10 AM by BronzeDragon »
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BronzeDragon

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Re: Woot. More Dragon Lance books....oh, maybe not....
« Reply #28 on: October 20, 2020, 12:52:23 AM »
This hit way too close to the bone.

My first direct experience with D&D (though not with RPGs in general) was DMing a Dragonlance campaign in 1989. It remains one of my favorite settings, and I've read quite a few of the novels and anthologies related to the setting.

So, the whole thing has a special place in my heart and seeing W&H get trampled on by those fucktards is quite irritating. I hope they get all the settlement they deserve.

Fuck the Magicians that Live Near the Ocean.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2020, 01:00:04 AM by BronzeDragon »
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Darrin Kelley

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Re: Woot. More Dragon Lance books....oh, maybe not....
« Reply #29 on: October 20, 2020, 01:07:30 AM »
I'm not a fan of Dragonlance. For the same reason, I am not a fan of The Dragonriders Of Pern. Dragons would not lower themselves to having an inferior lifeform use them as a mount. Dragons have too much ego to ever degrade themselves in such a manner.

As for what is happening between WH and WotC. Well, it sucks for Hasbro. Who is the real entity left holding the purse in this mess.

But look at it this way. Hasbro is going to see the losses to their bottom line because of this. Which will likely cause Hasbro to give greater scrutiny to WotC and their policies. This is a flashpoint. And Hasbro doesn't take mismanagement of their properties well. So the axe is invariably going to fall.

This could be the start of the change that Pundit and others have been crying out for. We will just have to watch and see how it all unfolds.