I finally got a response from Wizards of the Coast's legal representation, and it's not the response I or anyone else wanted to hear.
The important information is provided below:
Dear Mr. Flor,
Thank you for your patience and persistence in this matter. Our letter of July 13, 2011 clearly lays out Wizards' position regarding your unauthorized and infringing "Fire from the Sky: A Gamma World 4e Adventure" module. Your follow up questions appear to stem from your misreading of Wizards' D&D 4E Game System License ("GSL"), System Reference Document ("SRD") and other supporting documents, and also some incorrect information that you received from customer service, for which Wizards apologizes.
The above apology is in response to my initial inquiries through the Wizards of the Coast customer service site, because at the time there was no other means of asking the questions in the first place. The customer service representative answered "Gamma World is covered by the 4e GSL", but now it's clear that he was mistaken. I accept that... A customer service representative is no place to go to for legal advice.
As you know, the GSL documents are available at http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=d20/welcome. In a nutshell, the GSL permits you to use the game system (rules) underlying the D&D game to create your own original content, provided that you first file a Statement of Acceptance (www.wizards.com/d20/files/SOA.pdf) that Wizards accepts before you publish your work. The GSL does not permit you, however, to copy or use the D&D content, such as any Gamma World trademark, copyrighted artwork, themes, settings or characters. Under the GSL, only materials listed in the SRD (rules, tables, terms, and templates) are available for you to use after the Statement of Acceptance is accepted. Gamma World is not included in the materials offered in the SRD.
We hope this clarifies the situation for you. Once you have submitted a Statement of Acceptance that is accepted by Wizards, you may use the game system rules under the GSL to create and publish your own original content. Under no circumstances, however, may you use Gamma World, or other D&D content, as part of your module. If you have any further questions, you should consult the comprehensive SRD (http://www.wizards.com/d20/files/4E_SRD.pdf) and/or your own attorney and proceed on her or his advice.
For the record, I have filed the Statement of Acceptance. I'm tempted to file it again, to be honest...
What is not clear is how WotC "accepts" the Statement of Acceptance. Has anyone out there who's filed an SOA received written confirmation that WotC accepts your submission?
While Wizards' appreciates your enthusiasm for the game, it cannot expend any further time or resources on your queries and will not respond to any further communications by you whether they are made to sales personnel, r&d, PR, legal, brand or anyone else at Wizards. You are on notice by Wizards and its attorneys that what you are doing and propose to do violates the terms of the limited GSL license and infringes Wizards' copyrights and trademarks. To proceed further in the face of this makes your infringement willful. We strongly encourage you to consult your own attorney for advice before proceeding further.
OK, so they say "leave us alone" in a nice way. Maybe they didn't like the GenCon cover I made... No matter. I get the message.
So here is my response...
For the record, I have filed a statement of acceptance as far back as March of this year. I am considering re-filing it just in case the original did not get through.
As per your request, I will discontinue any further use of Gamma World material, and will abide by the guidelines set forth in the 4e GSL and the SRD for my future products.
On a related note, I really do wish your client would consider amending the SRD; the last time it was updated was February 2009, and there has been a significant amount of content since then.
I appreciate your attention on this matter.
...and let's call that the end of the conversation.
Note that none of the above makes reference to my actually selling the module. Whether I tried to make a profit is irrelevant; based on their statements, I'm not allowed to create it at all in the first place. Using Gamma World in any way, shape or form is right out.
So based on the above, at least until Wizards of the Coast decides to amend the 4e SRD to include Gamma World and newer content, I am not going to create any further content for Gamma World 4e. I'm sure there are ways around the above restrictions, but I am now in a situation ("on notice", as they call it) where I cannot honestly risk doing anything inappropriate or risky.
So my Gamma World development ends here and now, at least until something dramatic happens. I might create stuff privately, or continue to submit Gamma World content to Dragon/Dungeon in the hope that a miracle might happen and they accept it, but don't be expecting Gamma World modules on Drive Thru RPG from me or anyone else.
Furthermore, I hope I've been a good enough example for any of you out there who are considering making Gamma World content. Put simply... Don't.
I'm hoping that the
Warriors Warlords of the Apocalypse (thank you for correcting me, Jeff K.!) supplemental for Pathfinder comes out soon; that may be a viable alternative, and Paizo seems to be a lot more forgiving than Wizards of the Coast is.