Wizards Shutdown Web Site

Wizards have sent a Cease & Desist order to Emass-web.com and the site now reads

I’m sorry to inform you that this site is no more.
Wizards of the Coast asked me to take it down, and I complied.

I’m sorry for all the fans who will miss it – I will miss it, too – but it was the right thing to do.

Time to move on…

Ema.

The site had a range of character sheets that were effectively character generators for a number of different games systems so why did Wizards go after them?

Why?

It is not clear exactly why the site was shutdown but this discussion on the Candlekeep forums suggests several reasons.

Firstly, the site mixed 3rd edition and 4th edition materials. The GSL used to license 4th Edition products specifically forbids a company supplying both 3rd & 4th edition material.

Secondly, some of the character sheets available from the site may of been copyrighted.

Thirdly, material from books not covered by the GSL or OGL (e.g. PHB II) was included.

There are theories that it was seen as a competitor to D&DI but that is unlikely. The real reason is this:

The site was selling its services

Once money starts changing hands then a site moves from being a fan site where Wizards can ignore copyright infringements to being a business profiting from intellectual property (IP) owned by Wizards. If you want to run a site that charges money then you need to respect other peoples IP and play by the rules.

Anyone of the reasons above is potentially enough to get a site shutdown but it is the making money aspect that will get Wizards sending cease & desist notices out.

2 comments

  1. I used Ema’s sheets throughout my 3e play, loved them. I even donated a couple times. I had not been there in some time, did he start charging for character sheets or ‘membership’? If so, I can certainly understand Wizards going after the site, although, if most gamers are like me, it would take something pretty remarkable to make me pay for character sheets with so many free resources out there, including the ability to make your own if you can’t find something to suit you. I probably would not pay for the DDI character builder as a standalone, but then a significant part of its functionality is it being tied to the Compendium and updated with new material as it comes out.

  2. It wasn’t that he was charging to download. You could still download char sheets, spell lists, etc for free. But he had a character management program and was charging people to download that. I would think he would have a right to do that as, I believe, he wrote the program himself.

    I think, by becoming a member to his site, you also got access to the “old” stuff. Earlier versions of character sheets, that sort of thing. But I used his site just to reference 3.5 spells.

    Do you know of an alternate online resource I could use to get complete spell lists? There are just too many books to buy them all and search through them.

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