Wednesday, September 28, 2011

OSRIC Player's Reference - RETRACTION

EDITED TO ADD:  Looks like editor/creator of this project did not know the art was not PD and has taken down the copies.  I guess the lesson here is unless you know for sure, err on the side of caution.

So this morning I posted my endorsement of the new OSRIC Players Reference.

Only after did I learn of the drama behind it (which I am not getting into here, but you can read about it on your own here, here and here).

What really struck me was the cover art.
How cool it was and much better it was than anything else produced by the OSR (yes, present company included).  Soon I discovered why.  I wasn't produced by the OSR at all, but an old AD&D 2nd ed cover.

Well the painting is by Bruce Eagle and was owned at one point by Pat Wilshire.
The interior cover of the OPG book claims that the cover is public domain.  That, and the fact that cover is very pixilated made me curious.  So I contacted Pat Wilshire.

Turns out that the art is definitely not in the Public Domain at all. Pat is still friends with Bruce and contacted him about it.  It looks every bit like this art was stolen for use of this book.

This is exactly why companies pay for art. They say don't judge a book by it's cover, but on the net that is often all we have and this cover looked awesome, so I got the book.  Turns out the Editior, Vincent Florio didn't even pay to use this cover.

The more digging I did the less I like this product.  All of it is copied right out of OSRIC.  Which in and of itself is not a huge deal.  But it is tacky.

Here are the pages that detail it.  Click to enlarge.

The page on the left is the OSRIC Players Reference. The right is OSRIC (2.2) version.
The page has been copied with the new information added in, in a different font no less.

The thing that sticks out of course is the "Cover/Back artwork is Public Domain".
Well not according to the owner of the art in question.

I wanted to like this product.  But I can not in good conscious recommend it.

Please instead download OSRIC proper and just use the pages you need.

Next time I'll put a little more research into a product before letting you all know.


netherwerks said...

Yikes! We had this on our list of things to look into as we're seriously considering doing some stuff for OSRIC...but this is completely off the table now. Thanks for posting this.

Unknown said...

The heavy pixellation was not a good sign.

Jay said...

"Next time I'll put a little more research into a product before letting you all know."

Not your fault Tim for getting excited about something that looks awesome. It's too bad the editor made such a poor decision to mislead people.

Hopefully the hub-bub doesn't taint OSRIC as a whole.

John Matthew Stater said...

I wonder if the creator knows what "public domain" actually means.

Jay said...

After re-re-reading the posts, it does look like the editor made a mistake rather than intentionally tried to mislead people. However, I don't know that I'd put something up on LuLu if I didn't personally secure the rights to the content (in this case, the cover art). But that's just me. :)

Hanley Tucks said...

Oh noes, a product which is a copy of something else also has art which is a copy of something else. I totally would never have expected that!