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Mongoose RuneQuest I - Original Files


Nerun

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Hi there,

Researching in Internet Archive, i have found the original Mongoose RuneQuest I (MRQ I) SRDs for download. Browse down to Free Downloads section and look for SRD.

https://web.archive.org/web/20090413001742/http://www.mongoosepublishing.com:80/home/series.php?qsSeries=39

Internet Archive is a magical and important tool these days. One can browse back to the past and read / download old stuff...

___________________________________________________

--- ALERT -- ACHTUNG -- ALERT -- ACHTUNG ---

After a long discussion (and some unnecessary words), we realize that MRQ-I SRD (2006) is no longer legally valid, since both text/rules and trademark belonged to Issaries at that time (now Chaosium). And since OGL grants perpetual rights, and Mongoose was not capable to ensure perpetuity because she was not entitled to do so, this SRD SHOULD NOT BE USED in public (commercially or not). But you can use in private, for study or gaming.

Moon Design bought RQ rights from Issaries. Moon Design bought Chaosium and transfered rights back to Chaosium.

From Chaosium FAQ:

Q: Can I rely on the Mongoose RQ SRD to publish material?

A: No. Mongoose’s license for RuneQuest was terminated in April 2011. At that point, Mongoose lost all rights to continue using the RuneQuest trademark, or to create and publish material derivative from the previous copywritten material, or to issue any sublicenses based on that agreement. Since Mongoose no longer had any rights to RuneQuest, it has no ability to issue a third-party license to that material (which is all an OGL is). 

Edited by Nerun
LEGAL NOTICE
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9 hours ago, Nerun said:

Hi there,

Researching in Internet Archive, i have found the original Mongoose RuneQuest I (MRQ I) SRDs for download. Browse down to Free Downloads section and look for SRD.

https://web.archive.org/web/20090413001742/http://www.mongoosepublishing.com:80/home/series.php?qsSeries=39

Internet Archive is a magical and import tool these days. One can browse back to the past and read / download old stuff...

Note however that Mongoose was just a licensee, not the owner of the product.
They were not legally entitled to SRD the product; just like you cannot sell or donate a car that you rent from Hertz.

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9 hours ago, g33k said:

Note however that Mongoose was just a licensee, not the owner of the product.
They were not legally entitled to SRD the product; just like you cannot sell or donate a car that you rent from Hertz.

I partially agree.

They were a licensee of RuneQuest trademark, but I believe the text/rules belong to them. Since they have lost rights to use RuneQuest trademark, the MRQI SRD would need to be republished under another name (done with Legend). They respected the agreement by removing MRQ-I SRD from their site.

However, a trademark is not a car. In fact they could not sell the RuneQuest trademark, but they had the legal right to affix the trademark to the SRD in order to distribute it. Because when they did, they were entitled to do so. Because a trademark license authorizes the licensee to use the trademark to advertise their product. Otherwise, trademark licensing would lose its raison d'être. The function of a trademark is to expose and promote a product. And it was used for that purpose.

They didn't sell, nor gave away the trademark. Incidentally, nowhere in the MRQ-I SRD license does it say that the trademark is Open Content. By logic, if it's not Open Content then it's automatically Product Identity (closed). So, everything was right with MRQ-I SRD.

Yes, i am a lawyer.

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Posted (edited)

I have remembered a recent problem i am having with DriveThruRPG. Back in 2014/15 i have translated MRQ-I SRD (Core Rules plus few chapters from Companion). I have shared this in Brazil and it's allright here. I have published this in a brazilian site like DriveThruRPG called Dungeonist. And i never had a problem.

But, these days i decided to share this in DriveThruRPG... Well, a "Creator Relations Representative" have reviewed my Demanda das Runas SRD and said that it's ok, but i should provide "a license from whomever is the current copyright holder of the product".

I send him those SRD files from Mongoose, i told him it's OGL, i told that OGL articles says clearly:

  • 1(b) - defines translations as Derivative Material.
  • 1(g) - defines Derivative Material as a kind of Use.
  • 4 - grants a perpetual, worldwide, royalty-free, non-exclusive license with the exact terms of OGL to Use, the Open Game Content.

So, i don't need authorization.

He answered me:

Quote

 

Open Gaming License is for creating new products that use the Wizards of the Coast rule system, so RuneQuest was created under the OGL but it is still copyrighted by the creator, so to create a direct translation of that product you would need the creator of RuneQuest's permission to use their material.

For example, Pathfinder is created using the Open Gaming License, but I cannot create a translation of that product and sell it as my own without permission from Paizo.

 

My answer:

Quote

 

I disagree completely! I am lawyer, and i can tell you are confusing some concepts:

1) "Open Gaming License is for creating new products that use the Wizards of the Coast rule system"
No, sorry, not really. Do not confuse the license as a contractual document (legal text) with Open Game Content that is distributed using this license. OGL can be used for ANY system that was SHARED with this license attached to it. OGL is a PUBLIC LICENSE, the same way as CREATIVE COMMONS. One person can use OGL to share your own work with others. Many kinds of work. So we have d20 SRD, RuneQuest SRD, FATE SRD etc.

2) "Pathfinder is created using the Open Gaming License, but I cannot create a translation of that product and sell it as my own without permission from Paizo."

Let's see Pathfinder SRD here: <https://pathfinder.d20srd.org/>. As you can read in the license (https://pathfinder.d20srd.org/openGameLicense.html), all text is open game, BUT trademarks are not. So yes, i can translate it and publish a new Core Rulebook, in ALL identical to Pathfinder, BUT i can't say it is identical, i can't use Pathfinder trademark, but the content can be exactly the same... I can not translate Pathfinder book and publish a Pathfinder book, but if i remove the cover, all artwork, all trademarks and any reference to Paizo put another name like "Seekers of Adventure", but the text of the rules are exactly the same... So yes, i can translate Pathfinder without authorization, because all of it's text was released under OGL. Remember what i have written before, articles 1(d), 1(g) and 4th.

By the same logic, i can translate Mongoose's RuneQuest I, what i can't do is to use RuneQuest name, trademark, tradedress, Mongoose name etc. Note that my product is "Demanda das Runas", not RuneQuest...

Anyway, if you insist, i will not discuss with you anymore. In case you disagree i will just remove that content.

 

I am waiting to see what gonna happen.

Edited by Nerun
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5 minutes ago, Nerun said:

I have remembered a recent problem i am having with DriveThruRPG. Back in 2014/15 i have translated MRQ-I SRD (Core Rules plus few chapters from Companion). I have shared this in Brazil and it's allright here. I have published this in a brazilian site like DriveThruRPG called Dungeonist. And i never had a problem.

But, these days i decided to share this in DriveThruRPG... Well, a "Creator Relations Representative" have reviewed my Demanda das Runas SRD and said that it's ok, but i should provide "a license from whomever is the current copyright holder of the product".

I'd be careful, as translations are quite often excluded.

Actually, looking at the SRD, translations look to be OK, as they come under Derivative Material, Open Game Content, and Use/Used/Using, in Clause 1.

However, DTRPG can withhold permission to sell on their site if they think there is a danger of a licence being misused.

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Simon Phipp - Caldmore Chameleon - Wallowing in my elitism since 1982. Many Systems, One Family. Just a fanboy. 

www.soltakss.com/index.html

Jonstown Compendium author. Find my contributions here

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Just now, soltakss said:

I'd be careful, as translations are quite often excluded.

Actually, looking at the SRD, translations look to be OK, as they come under Derivative Material, Open Game Content, and Use/Used/Using, in Clause 1.

However, DTRPG can withhold permission to sell on their site if they think there is a danger of a licence being misused.

Hmm thank you. Didn't knowed that. They are in their right of course. And if they are acting this way, it even makes sense, since it would be difficult to inspect so many different languages.

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6 hours ago, Nerun said:

...

However, a trademark is not a car. In fact they could not sell the RuneQuest trademark, but they had the legal right to affix the trademark to the SRD in order to distribute it. Because when they did, they were entitled to do so. Because a trademark license authorizes the licensee to use the trademark to advertise their product. Otherwise, trademark licensing would lose its raison d'être. The function of a trademark is to expose and promote a product. And it was used for that purpose.

...

I think your key mistake is severing the "trademark" from the product itself.

The trademark exists to mark a *product*, and they did not own the entire product they issued under the SRD -- that product included licensed elements.  Just as some cars use licensed tech, tech they do not own.  They can sell individual cars (or even give them away, for free) like Mongoose sells individual books (and could choose to give them away); but the automakers cannot "SRD" the licensed tech.

As you noted, Mongoose was easily able to strip the "product identity" elements from MRQ.  THAT product was eligible to be SRD'ed.  The MRQ1 product itself was not.

If Ford Motors, for example, wanted to "SRD" one of their cars -- publish full blueprints, engineering spec's, production-line processes -- and say to the world "this is free, use it how you will" ... they could do that;  but NOT with a gas/electric hybrid, because their hybrid uses licensed tech from PaiceLLC.  Ford cannot give away what they do not own.

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Posted (edited)
20 minutes ago, g33k said:

I think your key mistake is severing the "trademark" from the product itself.

The trademark exists to mark a *product*, and they did not own the entire product they issued under the SRD -- that product included licensed elements.  Just as some cars use licensed tech, tech they do not own.  They can sell individual cars (or even give them away, for free) like Mongoose sells individual books (and could choose to give them away); but the automakers cannot "SRD" the licensed tech.

As you noted, Mongoose was easily able to strip the "product identity" elements from MRQ.  THAT product was eligible to be SRD'ed.  The MRQ1 product itself was not.

If Ford Motors, for example, wanted to "SRD" one of their cars -- publish full blueprints, engineering spec's, production-line processes -- and say to the world "this is free, use it how you will" ... they could do that;  but NOT with a gas/electric hybrid, because their hybrid uses licensed tech from PaiceLLC.  Ford cannot give away what they do not own.

Still disagree. The problem with your point is that trademark WAS NOT licensed under OGL. Just the rules. As i have explained before:

They didn't sell, nor gave away the trademark. Incidentally, nowhere in the MRQ-I SRD license does it say that the trademark is Open Content. By logic, if it's not Open Content then it's automatically Product Identity (closed). So, everything was right with MRQ-I SRD.

In your example -- Ford Motors and gas/eletric hybrid -- Ford have licensed just their own blueprints, engineering, processes etc. NOT the hybrid tech. There are not any portion of licensed tech in the text rules.

So MRQI SRD is still valid (if you find a way to put your hands on it). Otherwise, OpenQuest, Revolution D100, GORE and many others are illegal now.

Edited by Nerun
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Posted (edited)

Other relevant observation: go to the link i have shared above. Look for RuneQuest SRD. Download it. 

The file name is rqsrd.zip, just it. Now unzip the file. Inside there are 10 files, all them are named RQ_SRD_Something.doc.

Now open ANY of those documents. NONE of them use the word RuneQuest. NONE. Except by one: RQ_OGL.doc, with OGL text itself.

At the end of that file, article 15, very last line:

RuneQuest System Reference Document Copyright 2006, Mongoose Publishing; Author Matthew Sprange, based on original material by Greg Stafford.

In ALL the SRDs released -- Core Rules, Companion and Monsters -- this is the unique place where the word "RuneQuest" appears. Note that "RQ" is not a trademark and probably is not registrable.

They needed to update article 15 because of article 6 of the license.

Would be better if they had used RQ instead of RuneQuest, like this:

RQ System Reference Document Copyright 2006, Mongoose Publishing; Author Matthew Sprange, based on original material by Greg Stafford.

Like Wizards did. They didn't said their SRD was D&D, they wrote this:

System Reference Document Copyright 2000–2003, Wizards of the Coast, Inc.; Authors Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, Skip Williams, Rich baker, Andy Collins, David Noonan, Rich Redman, Bruce R. Cordell, based on original material by E. Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson.

But i see no problem at all, because:

1. They had the right to do that in 2006. When they lost the right, files were removed. BUT, if you find these files and make use of them, its ok for you. Because of 2.

2. Article 15 is like a bibliography. It's doesn't really expose the trademark, nor authorize potential lincensee to use RuneQuest brand. Remember that word "RuneQuest" was not classified as Open Content.

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Posted (edited)

Anyway, really doesn't matter now. It's an old and bugged game mechanics. Legend is much better. And, if you really like Mythras, make use of 17 USC 102, plus US Copyright Office Circular 33 and the old flier 108. Copy Mythras changes to the rules, copy the rules, not the text of Mythras rules, and release this as an update to Legend, a "Lengend Companion", and you got Open Mythras, but dont use this name of course.

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7 hours ago, Nerun said:

They were a licensee of RuneQuest trademark, but I believe the text/rules belong to them.

No, Mogoose licensed the RQ from Greg Stafford’s company Issarries, which derived them from Chaosium, for MRQI. 

Moreover, Chaosium’s FAQ explains (emphasis added):

“Mongoose’s license for RuneQuest was terminated in April 2011. At that point, Mongoose lost all rights to continue using the RuneQuest trademark, or to create and publish material derivative from the previous copywritten material, or to issue any sublicenses based on that agreement. Since Mongoose no longer had any rights to RuneQuest, it has no ability to issue a third-party license to that material (which is all an OGL is).”

(And the OGL requires the ability to grant rights in perpetuity, which Mongoose never had.)

7 hours ago, Nerun said:

They didn't sell, nor gave away the trademark. Incidentally, nowhere in the MRQ-I SRD license does it say that the trademark is Open Content. By logic, if it's not Open Content then it's automatically Product Identity (closed). So, everything was right with MRQ-I SRD.

The trademark is a separate issue from the copyright to the RQ rules. Product Identity is irrelevant, as is the governing language in the WotC OGL boilerplate.

43 minutes ago, Nerun said:

So MRQI SRD is still valid (if you find a way to put your hands on it). Otherwise, OpenQuest, Revolution D100, GORE and many others are illegal now.

The MRQI SRD—which is emphatically not valid for new games—is different from Legends, which is a separate, original d100 rules system created by Mongoose (and which started out as Mongoose’s RuneQuest II system, not MRQI).

Because of this, the new edition of OpenQuest was able to switched from the deprecated MRQI to Legend for its basis. The old edition of OpenQuest is out of print and a dead end for OGL game design because of the copyright issues with the MRQI SRD, as the author has made clear.

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12 minutes ago, Nerun said:

But i see no problem at all, because:

1. They had the right to do that in 2006. When they lost the right, files were removed. BUT, if you find these files and make use of them, its ok for you. Because of 2.

2. Article 15 is like a bibliography. It's doesn't really expose the trademark, nor authorize potential lincensee to use RuneQuest brand. Remember that word "RuneQuest" was not classified as Open Content.

An example:

Mongoose have published many books under RuneQuest trademark. They can not publish or sell them anymore. BUT, you can buy them from second hand. And they are still legal. But they were legal when published. 

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2 minutes ago, Nerun said:

An example:

Mongoose have published many books under RuneQuest trademark. They can not publish or sell them anymore. BUT, you can buy them from second hand. And they are still legal. But they were legal when published. 

uhhh... this is incredibly poorly-thought out.

Individual books are objects that can be bought and sold.  Owning such an object gives you no "rights" to use, re-sell, or re-license others to use the contents in other products.  I own a copy of JRRT's Lord of the Rings books, and I own the movies.  I cannot issue an OGL for ANY of that content.

 

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11 minutes ago, Travern said:

Moreover, Chaosium’s FAQ explains (emphasis added):

“Mongoose’s license for RuneQuest was terminated in April 2011. At that point, Mongoose lost all rights to continue using the RuneQuest trademark, or to create and publish material derivative from the previous copywritten material, or to issue any sublicenses based on that agreement. Since Mongoose no longer had any rights to RuneQuest, it has no ability to issue a third-party license to that material (which is all an OGL is).”

Excelent explanation! This FAQ let clear that not only trademark, but the text/ rules belonged to Issaries too. And that was all the reason of my mistake, because i belived text was not copyrighted to Issaries, just the brand.

So ok, discussion is over. Thank you very much.

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6 minutes ago, g33k said:

uhhh... this is incredibly poorly-thought out.

Individual books are objects that can be bought and sold.  Owning such an object gives you no "rights" to use, re-sell, or re-license others to use the contents in other products.  I own a copy of JRRT's Lord of the Rings books, and I own the movies.  I cannot issue an OGL for ANY of that content.

 

No, no.  Poor is yours logical-argumentative and abstraction capacity.

It's a metaphor: refers to one thing by mentioning another. The problems about metaphor it that "one thing" will never be "another". When an interlocutor use metaphor only the characteristic similar is considerated, the others not.

Of course a book can not be re-licensed or re-published or have it's contents used by others. But sorry, you can use the book (for reading, research etc) and you can re-sell it. Look at eBay and old book sellers.

The characteristic I was highlighting with this metaphor is that, despite being out of catalog, both the book and the SRD preserve the inherent characteristic of their USABILITY.  The usability of the book is to read, resell.  The usability of an SRD would be to be able to create derivative works with that material.

The problem with your metaphor (Ford/hybrid tech) was that Ford didn't licensed hybrid tech. But the the thinking was not wrong. Ford could not license hybrid tech, as Mongoose could not too. And they didn't licensed trademark... IF i was right and the text belonged to Mongoose. BUT i was wrong, the entire SRD didn't belonged to them. They haven't the right to do so.

Since MY ENTIRE ARGUMENTATION was based in the belief that Mongoose owned text/rules and Issaries the trademark, it doesn't matter now. If the foundation of the house crumbles, the whole house falls with it. Even if it was a good house (this is another good metaphor to say that my argumentation was very good, but the foundation of my argumentation was not).

 

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Posted (edited)

Hey g33k

My apologies.

Look, sometimes we are not capable to see the person in the other side, and since we just see words and words don't convey emotions properly, and they can't convey every nuance we think we are not offending the other person.

Forgive me if you were offended by the way I argued with you.  Not my intention, except for the last post, it was intentional, sorry about that too. I didn't liked that "incredibly poorly-thought", was not ok. 

Let's forget all this?

Cheers, good night.

Nerun.

Edited by Nerun
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1 hour ago, soltakss said:

You are probably better off using the Legend SRD, to be honest.

It is a better game and is on a slightly better legal footing, I believe.

Surely. I have started translating Legend. And declined to publish my MRQ-I translation in DriveThruRPG. In addition, i have removed my translation from other sites too.

Thank you all of you for all clarifications! 

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 4/10/2022 at 1:04 AM, Nerun said:

Excelent explanation! This FAQ let clear that not only trademark, but the text/ rules belonged to Issaries too. And that was all the reason of my mistake, because i belived text was not copyrighted to Issaries, just the brand.

Except that it is not true.

The copyright statement in all MRQ products states that the text is copyright Mongoose publishing, and the trademark is owned by Issaries. In no place whatsoever of any books of the original MRQ product line does a copyright note saying "(C) Issaries Inc." appear. 

Copyright is a very simple thing. You write the thing, you publish it with your copyright note, it belongs to the guy or legal entity mentioned in the note. And the note says Mongoose Publishing Ltd. It is certainly a better idea to use the Legend SRD (the rules are better), but usage of the original Mongoose SRD is legit. 

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All my conversations with Matthew Sprange basically says, "all text in Legend is open licence. Copy and change anything you like, but ensure you put the OGL in. Images, other than the logo, are off limits."

 

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