Unlike most other OSR games you won't find a page full of fine print legalese included in the Weird West Roleplaying Game Basic Rulebook. We had an interesting discussion about that on Twitter today and I'd like to spend a moment talking about my decision to publish with regular copyright, and the alternative to the OGL I've used for other OSR material.
The OGL was published 11 years ago in the days before Twitter, Blogger, Facebook, or even MySpace. The goal of the OGL was to extend the network of people producing 3rd party material for the D20 system while simultaneously stopping them from claiming their products were compatible with Dungeons & Dragons. While the OGL let you cut-and-paste from, or even reprint the text from the D20 System Reference Document, most publishers didn't do that and either reworded the text describing the game mechanics, or simply created new material that was compatible with the D20 system.
That was something you could do under regular copyright law, so the small press publishers didn't get as much from the deal as they perhaps thought. The OGL benefits the company that authored it much more than it does anyone else. The small press guys weren't quite as worried about frivolous lawsuits though, like the ones that were popular in the heady days of T$R.
Intimidation was certainly something that made the OGL popular. Most companies in the RPG industry are only in fact one or two people in size at most. They usually don't have much access to expensive legal counsel unless they're somehow involved in the legal profession themselves. The OGL FAQ mentions the threat of being sued 9 times, and pre-emptively rebuffs requests for a "plain english" version of the license, saying you should consult your legal counsel. That's sharply contrasted with Creative Commons which has detailed "legalese" versions and "plain english" versions as well as information about how the licenses work that doesn't include threatening language.
Once something is published under the OGL license, derivative works must also be published under that license - it's non-optional. That's similar to Creative Commons in some ways as many CC licenses include a "Share Alike" clause which has similar requirements. The difference is that a CC license includes the clause that any CC requirements can be waived if you get permission from the copyright holder. That's exactly like regular copyright as well - if you ask permission from the copyright holder you can negotiate the specific licensing agreement both parties want.
Weird West does not using any material from an OGL product. In addition to the other project goals I've talked about already, making something free from the OGL was a design goal. It's "clean" and the idea of now voluntarily applying the OGL to it instead of regular copyright (or even CC) like what some other companies are considering seems like a silly idea. Not to mention having to include all that legalese with the product (would I make a separate PocketMod for that?). In the forthcoming Weird Fantasy where I won't be limited by space I certainly don't have any plans to add it. I don't think the OGL offers anything that regular copyright or creative commons wouldn't do better. And without the threatening language.
I think some other publishers know the OGL may not a very good deal for them either... but they're worried about what will happen without the 'protection'.