In part two, Nick explains why there are multiple printings of Deities & Demigods, as described by RPGGeek.com:
The 1st and 2nd printings of this manual contained the Cthulhu and Elric Mythos. Later editions did not include these. What happened was that Chaosium held the rights to both of these properties. Chaosium actually granted TSR these rights retroactively and are thanked in the second printing of the book on page 4. However, the Blume brothers did not like thanking Chaosium in print so had the two offending chapters removed for the third printing. However, the thank you wasn't removed until the fifth printing. According to Frank Mentzer at GenCon SoCal 2003, the printings of this book were referred to internally at TSR as follows:
- 1st: Squids, no thanks!
- 2nd: Squids with thanks!
- 3rd and 4th: No squids with thanks! (3rd has wizard logo, 4th has face logo)
- 5th: No squids, no thanks!
- 6th and later: Legends & Lore (ok, so Frank didn't mention this part, but the 6th printing is when it changed titles)
My understanding with regard to the Melnibonean material is that Gygax et al had been given permission by Michael Moorcock to reference his work. Moorcock may have considered it quite flattering that his creations were being incorporated into the Dungeons & Dragons game, and he apparently wasn’t all that concerned about the ins and outs of copyright (things were much more informal in those halcyon days of yore, before everything was bought up by bloodsucking mega-corporations). Unfortunately, he had extended the same courtesy to the folks at Chaosium Games, who had their own Melnibone-based material in the works, and they did care a little bit more that their big competitor was drawing on the same source material. They also were launching their own Lovecraftian game, the famous Call of Cthulhu, for which they had secured legal rights from Lovecraft’s estate. So here was TSR horning in on their licensed products.
Lawrence Schick, editor of Deities & Demigods explained how the confusion came about in Black Gate's comments section:
As the editor of the book, I can clear up a couple of points about the Melnibonean and Cthulhu Mythos clusterfrogs. I had, in fact, gotten permission directly from Michael Moorcock to use the Elric material in DDG, which was a naive, n00b mistake: I should have gone through his agent, as Chaosium did, when they made the arrangements for “Stormbringer.” When it comes to rights, agent > author. Meanwhile, Gary had written to someone he knew at Arkham House (the name escapes me) for permission to use the Cthulhu Mythos. They said yes, largely because even then that mythos was an open-source setting, and they didn’t really have the right to say no. However, Chaosium felt they had acquired the exclusive right to do Lovecraft games, and were willing to fight for it. TSR was not, because they figured the book would sell with or without the squids.