The Big Irony
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Long-Winded Collector
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Post Posted: Sat Feb 12, 2005 12:51 am 

dathon wrote:Everyone keeps talking about this ST1 PDF but no one is listing its URL.
Where is it?

Yah!! I want one too.

Games can get you through times of no money but money can not get you through times of no games!!


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Post Posted: Sat Feb 12, 2005 2:28 am 

Regarding the whole issue of the legality of pdfs and a person's oponion of them. . .  I think that you can sum up the various attitude's as follows:

1- Absolutley won't have anything to do with .pdf files
2- Would own .pdf files ONLY if an original of the item were in their collection.
3 - Doesn't mind owning a few pdf's and searching for a "free" download or trading them with friends
4- Will actively seek out and buy illegal .pdf files
5- Will actively create and illegally sell .pdf files (anything for a buck, right?)

I am sure that most of us here are in either Group 2 or 3.   Sure, there is always an uproar about illegal pdf's and rightly so. . .  when someone actively creates and sells them (on eBay for instance) they do, in fact, undermine and lower the values of collectable items.  Further, they are in competition with other sellers of legitimate items and can potentially lower the final sale price of everyone on eBay.

Yet, I don't have any moral issues with acquiring the occassional (or frequent) pdf file and downloading it.  So what if you have an ST1 pdf?  How many hundreds of mp3 files are on my computer?  How about all of you?  I bet the Acaeum membership total of illegal mp3 and pdf files is staggering. . . is it legal?  Well, no. . . . but we all do it anyway. . .

Personally, I don't have one pdf files in my possession - I absolutely HATE reading anything lenghty on a computer screen and a printed copy is just too ugly to be endured. . .

But. . .

- Should selling .pdf files on ebay be condoned?
- Should we allow forum users to post a list of all their .pdfs in the classified section for trade or sale?
- Is it right for Cougar to have pdfs of all the rare on his mailing list and sell them for profit?

In my opinion, the answer is "NO" to all the above.  A little shady dealing on the side never hurt anybody. . . but keep it cool and don't insult the rest of us by thinking that you are the "genius" who is going to make a "ton" of money on eBay by selling hundreds of CD compilations with  one day auctions and $10.00 shipping charges.

"Gleemonex makes it feel like it's seventy-two degrees in your head... all... the... time! "


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Post Posted: Sat Feb 12, 2005 2:42 am 

I've asked WOTC legal dep. on their official position on the issue and passed them the link to this thread. If I receive an answer, I will post it in the "copyright infringement" thread.

- "When the going gets weird, the Weird turn pro."

Hunter S. Thompson (July 18, 1937 - Feb 20, 2005)


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Post Posted: Mon Feb 14, 2005 5:26 pm 

red_dawn wrote:
As a "Reader" rather than a "Collector" of OOP items, Im struggling to see why I should care that the value of low-mid rarity items has come down.

Exactly. PDFs are here to stay, and the casual buyer is a winner for it. Collectors may not like the new reality, but it doesn't really matter.

PDFs are nice for printing a page or two from a perfect-bound manual that you don't want to wreck by smashing it into a scanner, but...

...printing out the entire 96-page book? That entails some cost in time, ink, and paper. And they still haven't developed a non-fatiguing computer screen on a portable, durable (as in droppable, like a book), inexpensive platform. When they do, E-books will spread like wildfire.

    Has the price for an Orange B3 dropped the last five years or so?  The PDF on the TSR/WOTC website has been available for about that long.  I've had a pdf of The Jade Hare for several years, which I got from another guy online, yet I don't see the price for these dropping. Amazing Spiderman #1 reprints don't hurt the value of the original except for the most casual of fans.  Surely PDFs or copies of rare D&D items follow the same pattern.  
   PDFs have only hurt the value of items that were drastically overpriced to being with...those of us hording multiple copies of ST1, POTVQ, whatever, need not worry that copies will drive down value.

Mike B.


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Post Posted: Mon Feb 14, 2005 6:04 pm 

IMHO, I don't think the devaluation of any item (D&D books or not) due to people stealing copyrights can ever be considered a good thing no matter what circumstance it is under. Stealing is stealing, regardless the color you want to paint it. I don't think there is a line you can straddle and say well since it is a lower value item and the market was too high for it, then its okay to steal its copyright. The market is what should place the value of the item regardless of the rarity or quality of it. If the market dictates at a given moment in time that an item is of a particular value then so be it, and loss of value due to "fakes" being produced is just flat out wrong. In the end the only ones who win with copyright theft are the thieves themselves and no one else.

"He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you." -Neitzche

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