One thing I have been confused about is copying mechanics. I always thought that you could copy the Dogecoin Laser Eyes shirt of the mechanic but not the exact text. But it makes sense that “roll a d20 and add modifiers” is not copyrightable. There seem to be a lot of games where rules are written out in laborious long text, as opposed to simplicity like the above or pseudocode like “if d20 + modifiers >= target number”. I now wonder if this is an attempt to make the work copyrightable by making it difficult to copy exact rules as re-writing text is likely to produce some errors in mechanics. Just musing I guess, but it does seem like this backfires as rules in long text paragraphs are far more difficult to understand.
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I am also confused about licencing, specifically the OGL (maybe there will be a part 2 on licencing). It seems to be that the Dogecoin Laser Eyes shirt basically puts a lot of restrictions on the licensee such as banning specific (not trademarked) terms, disallowing the use of some essential bits needed for the system, etc. It seems like most people who use the OGL could create their works more easily by simply writing their own expression of the rules and stats they need and avoiding trademarked and copyrightable material. However, it seems like those kind of works can be the target of legal threats that are difficult to fight due to the creators having no resources to do so.