Licensing

Larp Library is designed to provide a set of freely-available larps for anyone to run. Our philosophy is that we don't want GMs to be surprised by strange licensing requirements on the larps they would like to run. Therefore, we've chosen a set of licenses that we think balance authors' control over their work with GMs' ability to run a free game unencumbered:

These copyright licenses are chosen deliberately, and reflect a range of rights grants. Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike is the most restrictive: it requires licensees to give credit to authors and, if they make modifications to the larp, to make those modifications publicly available under the same license. Creative Commons Attribution, by contrast, allows licensees to make modifications without publishing their version at all, or to relicense the work under a different license (but they still must give credit to the authors). The other choices have no attribution requirement and allow relicensing.

If you want to publish a larp on Larp Library, you must do so under one of our approved licenses. This means you must be the copyright holder of the entirety of your larp, including any media distributed with it, or you must have the copyright holder's permission to release the work under the license you choose.

The "Why not [THIS LICENSE?]" section

Creative Commons Non-Commercial variants are good licenses, but probably not for larps. A conservative reading of the license would prohibit running a larp at a convention for which there is a registration fee, which would be a surprising requirement for most GMs. We do allow CC Non-Commercial because many existing larps are licensed under it, but we highly encourage you to consider a different CC variant.

The LARPA and ILF GameBank Licenses are, in our opinion, bad licenses in general. They are fairly obviously not written by lawyers, and fail to grant some very important rights, namely: the right to modify the work (almost everyone modifies larps at least a little when running them) and the right to redistribute the work. They also impose fairly onerous accounting requirements on GMs by requiring them not to make a profit, but allowing them to charge for materials. (If you run a game under one of these licenses, be sure to save your receipts!)

The GNU General Public License is designed for software, not written materials, and imposes a great deal of requirements that are specific to software and would be hard to meet for larps. (For example, it's hard to figure out what "source code" means in the context of a larp written in Microsoft Word.) The MIT License, which we do allow, is also written for software, but imposes no such requirements. If you want a GPL-like set of restrictions for a written work, the closest thing is probably a Creative Commons ShareAlike variant.

The GNU Free Documentation License is designed for written works, but imposes an onerous set of change-tracking requirements we feel would be much more difficult to meet for larp than for documentation (the intended use of that license).

Custom licenses are, in general, not a great idea unless you have a lawyer to draft or consult on it. If you have a license that's been drafted and/or approved by a legal professional, and you think it meets our goals, please contact us to discuss adding it.