moose o death wrote:my rule of thumb is
not yours then no.
i wouldn't use erfworld characters or story aspects without express written permission from both creators . no matter what the webcomics license for the non tools says. the tools h-ires licenses are very much copyright.
and honestly what right do you have to erfworld anyway? i'm sure more than a little effort has been invested into erfworld over the years. i fail to see why you should be allowed to capitalise off that hardwork for no cost to yourself.
Having created significant material, and having released it under exactly that license (Creative Commons Non-Commercial Attribution Sharealike 3.0), I think I can say with some confidence you're entirely, utterly, 100% wrong.
There's no need to release material under any particular license; in the USA, it's automagically copyrighted, all rights reserved, simply by being published. Anyone who goes to the effort of researching CC licenses, and releases something under such a license, is offering that material. Speaking for myself, I don't need persons to ask - but I do appreciate knowing what persons have done with that material (and I like to make sure that the license is complied with ... something I have had to request politely once). By publishing under that license, they're saying 'here. we think this is cool. do cool stuff with it, as long as you don't charge, and offer your efforts in a similar spirit, and let everyone know it's derived from our original cool stuff.' So, to answer your question about what 'right' I (or anyone) has to Erfworld - well, none. We do have a Noncommerical Attribution Sharealike license, however, and that's intensely cool.
Your next question was about daring to capitalize on the creative efforts that went into Erfworld. The license in question grants no monetary rights whatsoever ('noncommercial'). In a wider sense, of course, almost all creative efforts rely on the creative efforts that come before them. I can't speak to Rob's or Jamie's motivations, of course, but I was painfully aware of the corpus of work I'd enjoyed - and drawn on to create my work. Releasing it under that license was my way of trying not to give back, but to give forward. I've benefited from Tolkien, from Tim Burton, from Shakespeare ... the list is extremely long. I would think that Rob's and Jamie's motivations are similar.
As far as not using Erfworld, or Erfworld references, or Erfworld characters - don't use them. Actively pooh-poohing their use, though, under the CC license the creators have used ... well, again, I will not presume to speak for them. But I myself would be unhappy to hear one of my fans (yes, I have them) denigrate the use of what I'd made - not publicly, but freely - available for use. I put my stuff under that license not because I thought anyone would use it (I didn't) but I was nevertheless delighted when it got used ... that was honestly pretty thrilling
So although I appreciate very much the respect you have for Rob's and Jamie's creative efforts, I cannot help but see these comments about licensing as fundamentally disrespectful to their motivations and their hopes for their creative efforts. I don't think any author, artist, or creator says 'hey! here's cool stuff! maybe you'd like to do something with it ...' and then not truly want for that to happen. In a very real sense, that kind of extension and reuse is a powerful and intense form of positive reward.