'The Open Gaming Foundation is a private organization, dedicated to supporting the ideals of the Open Gaming philosophy: That game rules and material that use those rules, should be free to copy, modify and distribute.'
-Open Gaming Foundation
The foundation was started and is soley owned by Ryan S. Dancey as a means of establishing the idea of Open Gaming, in a non-profit manner. It was Dancey that drafted the original Open Gaming License.
The Open Gaming Foundation or, OGF for short, is an initiative modelled on the principles of the GNU Public License. The OGF has created its own public license, the Open Gaming License (OGL), and while they officially align themselves with games made under this license they will support the distribution of any open gaming endevour, under the condition that the project adheres to the following premises:
- Game Rules and materials that use those rules that can be freely copied, modified and distributed.
- A system for ensuring that material contributed to the Open Gaming community will remain Open and cannot be made Closed once contributed.
The Open Gaming Foundation is still establishing itself, and when complete it aims to advocate the concept of Open Gaming, provide a source of information
for anyone interested in Open Games and acting as the hub of activity for announcements and important developments regarding Open Gaming. The foundation also maintains a number of mailing list servers dedicated to topics pertaining to various areas of the Open Gaming movement.
The Open Gaming ideology does not allow for unconditional copying, modification or distribution of material under the Open Gaming License or similar license since there may be material within such a project that is separately copyrighted or otherwise restricted.
Perhaps the most prevalent Open Gaming project is the d20 System which was developed by Wizards of the Coast, a Hasbro subsidiary, under the OGL. By publishing their games (such as Dungeons and Dragons Third Edition under an open gaming license Wizards of the Coast have allowed anyone the opportunity to produce products using the d20 System, thus vastly increasing the amount and range of source material available to people who play their games.
There is no formal relationship between Wizards of the Coast and the Open Gaming Foundation. Ryan S.Dancey is a Wizards of the Coast employee but the OGF is not one of the responsibilities that he handles in his job.
Sources and further information:
Any advice, corrections or requests are most welcome. Please /msg me