How IP Law and Technology Led to the Renaissance of Dungeons & Dragons

Get Your Nerd On: How IP Law and Technology Led to the Renaissance of Dungeons & Dragons

Dungeons & Dragons: a group of people sitting around a table, surrounded by piles of paper, weirdly-shaped dice and muttering about slaying goblins and collecting loot.  That was D&D in the 1970s and ‘80s.  In the 2010s, however, innovative legal concepts like the Open Gaming License and technological advances like print-on-demand, .pdfs and social media have fueled a DYI rebellion in the role-playing game (RPG) world, leading to a renaissance of traditional tabletop RPGs.  (Other than that, though, D&D is still pretty much about a group of people sitting around a table, surrounded by piles of paper, weirdly-shaped dice, etc.)

Topics to be discussed will include:

  • Copyright Principles
  • Copyright in Games
  • Copyright Licensing Schemes e.g. The Open Game License, Creative Commons, d20system
  • Crowd-funding
  • Social media as community-creators

Bob Tarantino is a partner in the Entertainment Law and IP Law groups at Heenan Blaikie LLP, who frequently presents and writes about the interface between intellectual property law and the entertainment industries.  He owns an impressive collection of old school D&D material which is a source of constant consternation for his wife.

Sundeep Chauhan is designated by the Law Society of Upper Canada as a Certified Specialist (Intellectual Property: Copyright), and has spent over a decade working on copyright-related matters. Sundeep has been involved with copyright-related proceedings before the Supreme Court of Canada, Federal Court of Appeal, the Copyright Board of Canada and has appeared before Parliamentary Committees with respect to Copyright. Sundeep is also Adjunct Faculty at Osgoode Hall Law School where he teaches an intellectual property law seminar on copyright and music.

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