PDFs vs originals and their impact on collecting...
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Post Posted: Fri Jan 06, 2006 8:54 pm 
 

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killjoy32 wrote:that said tho - i DO like the titan classified postings now. they are short - "acaeum" related and thats also fine, as they are a quick scan over to read now - well done that man.

Dragons #13 & #15 actually look like a half-decent price, too... :)

  


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Post Posted: Fri Jan 06, 2006 8:59 pm 
 

deimos3428 wrote:I wouldn't buy software that way, or music, and I certainly won't pay good money for what is essentially a poor-quality photocopy.


Okay, at the risk of getting totally off-topic ... I'm trying to wrap my head around the concept of a tech-savvy guy who has never downloaded an MP3. I'm not judging one way or the other ... it just seems odd. Or is it a Canadian thing? :wink:

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Note the friendly smiley, indicating either good-natured ribbing or some form of inside joke. I love Canadians, really. They gave us hockey.

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Post Posted: Fri Jan 06, 2006 9:42 pm 
 

Xaxaxe wrote: And, Brian ... come on, man ... I'm not trying to change (nor do I really expect to change) anyone's opinion on the PDF issue. In fact, forget the stupid PDFs, I have a more important question: why do some newcomers here — Titan and RPGnow are two that come to mind — introduce themselves with perfectly friendly, totally harmless posts** ... and then get the torches-and-pitchforks treatment?

The rolling eyes and calling someone's main product line a piece of shit? It just seems unnecessary to me ... but, hey, what the hell do I know?

+++++

** in the freaking CLASSIFIEDS section, no less.


I found the fact that selling copies of the items that the folks around here spend lots and lots of money to collect to be rather ironic.  I never stated though that he didn't have the right to post here, I just pointed out the irony of the fact.  IMO, copies and fakes of anything are pieces of shit.  As far as Titan goes, I actually supported your setiments when people started to flame the hell out of old_sardul because even though I believe that Titan certainly has some serious service issues that needed to be addressed, I thought that people where starting to go beyond the issues and were just being mean.  I also think that they were going after the wrong person anyways.


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Post Posted: Fri Jan 06, 2006 10:25 pm 
 

Xaxaxe wrote:Okay, at the risk of getting totally off-topic ... I'm trying to wrap my head around the concept of a tech-savvy guy who has never downloaded an MP3. I'm not judging one way or the other ... it just seems odd. Or is it a Canadian thing? :wink:

I've never downloaded an MP3 because I'm a Type II "tech-savvy" guy.  As you may or may not know, there are two general types of techies:

Type I -- This type has every gadget imaginable, as soon as possible, sometimes sooner.  They typically have an several cutting edge gaming consoles, four or more varieties of iPod/Blackberry/cell/Tricorder, and a 10Gbps wireless broadband connection to their brain implant.

Type II -- This type never, ever throws out existing technology, at any cost.  They typically have several ancient computers, an AM/FM radio, and an internet connection made from a piece of string.  Still, it's faster than yours, somehow...

(Perhaps DL36 can work out some stats)

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Post Posted: Sat Jan 07, 2006 10:02 am 
 

dathon wrote:And one more thing I forgot to mention, I have met quite a few wealthy people who have bought well-done fakes of Rolexs, Gucci, diamond jewelry, etc. even though they could afford the real thing. Their reasoning is simple, "Why waste all that money for the real thing when I can buy a fake and nobody can tell the difference anyway?" It's smarter financially to buy the well-made fake, and prevents one from taking a big financial hit if one is the victim of a mugging, robbery, burglary, etc. Interestingly many of those people are "old money" and not nouveau riche.


I'm sorry but this statement ( IMHO ) makes little/no sense if your a "true" collector/appreciator of something. I own 3 first generation Firebirds and the gem of the collection is a 1969 Trans Am. If you looked at it today you would think it was a planter or some rusted peice of farm equipment as it needs a full restoration.

I Paid $8K for that car in 1996 ( yes that was a bargain ) and it will cost me another 25-30K to bring it back to life....if I'm lucky 8O . The same parts that cost 1K in 1996 are 4-5X's that and by time I get around to starting the restoration who knows what they will be. Yup, I could go online right now and get a reproduction ( a.k.a. copy ) hood, spoiler and fender extractors in a kit for $1250 but nobody, and I mean nobody who truly collects these cars would do that.

Reproduction parts ( like copies ) have been out for  almost 20 years ( For Firebirds anyways...we always got second best to the Camaro  :evil:  )  and they have in no way, shape, or form negatively effected the price of OEM stuff . The reason being...because anyone who is "truely" a collector will always seek the original form of what they collect, no matter what that item is.

  

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Post Posted: Sat Jan 07, 2006 10:05 am 
 

deimos3428 wrote:Type II -- This type never, ever throws out existing technology, at any cost. They typically have several ancient computers.


Had to chuckle when I saw this. among a host of old comps I have my original 20-inch monitor from 1991, sitting just begging to be used. When I think what that freaking thing cost me........ 8O

  

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Post Posted: Sat Jan 07, 2006 10:24 am 
 

Daimajin wrote:
deimos3428 wrote:Type II -- This type never, ever throws out existing technology, at any cost. They typically have several ancient computers.


Had to chuckle when I saw this. among a host of old comps I have my original 20-inch monitor from 1991, sitting just begging to be used. When I think what that freaking thing cost me........ 8O


I can not even imagine what a 20" monitor cost in 91. Can you remember and let us know?


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Post Posted: Sat Jan 07, 2006 10:45 am 
 

As a major advocate for PDF files, I think that anyone who produces low quality crap (even under lisence) is doing PDF files a bad service, and damaging what is a very good system. If, like RPGNow do, you go on to sell that crap, you are damaging the industry.

As regards privately manufactured 'illegal' PDFs go, the sole responsibility for maintaining the market value of products lies with those who own and choose to distribute those PDFs.

If I own a PDF but do not distribute it, there is no supply, and that does not affect demand. Once that PDF is distributed and becomes available easily, the demand for it is met and the value of the hard copy falls. If those who own PDFs do not distribute them, we do not damage the market.


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Post Posted: Sat Jan 07, 2006 11:20 am 
 

Achizar wrote:*snicker* RPGNow is the 666th member of the Acaeum.

I tell ya, you can't make this stuff up.


ROTFLMAO  Too Funny

John :lol:


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Post Posted: Sat Jan 07, 2006 11:27 am 
 

Daimajin wrote:
dathon wrote:And one more thing I forgot to mention, I have met quite a few wealthy people who have bought well-done fakes of Rolexs, Gucci, diamond jewelry, etc. even though they could afford the real thing. Their reasoning is simple, "Why waste all that money for the real thing when I can buy a fake and nobody can tell the difference anyway?" It's smarter financially to buy the well-made fake, and prevents one from taking a big financial hit if one is the victim of a mugging, robbery, burglary, etc. Interestingly many of those people are "old money" and not nouveau riche.


I'm sorry but this statement ( IMHO ) makes little/no sense if your a "true" collector/appreciator of something.


The operative part of your statement is "if you're a 'true' collector of something."  If you are not a 'true' collector, then the fake/copy will do just fine and save you a bunch of money.  

Daimajin wrote:Reproduction parts ( like copies ) have been out for almost 20 years ( For Firebirds anyways...we always got second best to the Camaro :evil: ) and they have in no way, shape, or form negatively effected the price of OEM stuff . The reason being...because anyone who is "truely" a collector will always seek the original form of what they collect, no matter what that item is.


There is no way to prove that copies have not affected the OEM stuff because there is no way to know what the market would be if they did not exist; perhaps if the copies did not exist then the OEM stuff would go for even more money since there would be no choice.  
Again it comes down to supply and demand.  If the supply is being flooded with fakes/copies, even of inferior quality, then demand has a choice to buy something besides OEM stuff which will affect demand for OEM and hence, potentially, drive the price down.  
How many 1,000s of MP3s (which are inferior compressed audio tracks) do people download for free when they would have paid for at least some of them if they had no other choice?

  

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Post Posted: Sat Jan 07, 2006 12:45 pm 
 

Is this impact of copies on the D&D market peculiar to D&D, or would all the copies and prints of the Mona Lisa be having an impact on the value of the painting?

In either case, it is not the copy that depreciates the value of the original. It is the distribution and multiplication of the copy that depreciates the original.


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Post Posted: Mon Jan 09, 2006 9:32 pm 
 

zhowar1 wrote:However, Paizo.com is now selling the same AD&D 1E/2E, OD&D, etc pdfs (under license):

http://paizo.com/store/downloads/wizardsOfTheCoast ... [clipped] ... The pdfs are apparently watermarked with the purchaser's name to reduce aftersale distribution.


I just bought my first PDF from Paizo ... and, coincidentally I just bought my final PDF from them, too.

The watermarking is just ridiculous. I mean, there's watermarking and then there's going totally overboard. I am now the proud owner of a useless A1 (I didn't need another A1, BTW, it just came up first alphabetically) with my name, e-mail address, and a date of purchase across the top and bottom of every page. On many pages, the text — and, worse, the art — is partially obscured. I'm probably just going to trash it and write it off as being a failed experiment ...

Any future PDFs I purchase (and I'm not looking to re-kindle the entire debate here) will be from RPGnow. On average, I'll pay 95 cents more per download; on the other hand, I'll be left with a product I can actually enjoy.

I don't know if any Paizo people other than Erik lurk here, but if so, I have a simple message: your PDF watermarking is an abomination. I heartily recommend that any Acaeum folks who do the PDF thing do so with another vendor.

+++++

Image <<<--- this is me after receiving my Paizo download ...

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Post Posted: Mon Jan 09, 2006 9:38 pm 
 

Yikes! Now I'm sorry I posted the link. Unfortunately, I hadn't actually purchased any myself. (For some reason, I thought the watermark would only be on the first page.) Thanks for the warning.

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Post Posted: Mon Jan 09, 2006 9:42 pm 
 

No, no, I think posting that info. was a good thing — the more knowledge, the better. Plus, as disappointed as I am, it's still just one man's opinion — it's quite possible some Acaeum members won't be bothered by this sort of watermarking.

My criticism was reserved for Paizo, not for you ... I'm hoping that comes across clearly.

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Post Posted: Mon Jan 09, 2006 9:49 pm 
 

**Thread hijack!**

And, BTW, Zach, I'm loving the Dragon Archive. Thanks again. :wink:

** We now return you to your thread **

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Post Posted: Mon Jan 09, 2006 11:12 pm 
 

Xaxaxe wrote:No, no, I think posting that info. was a good thing — the more knowledge, the better. Plus, as disappointed as I am, it's still just one man's opinion — it's quite possible some Acaeum members won't be bothered by this sort of watermarking.

My criticism was reserved for Paizo, not for you ... I'm hoping that comes across clearly.

I'm pretty sure a decent hex editor should be able to clear that up for you nicely...try hunting for your name as a text string and replace it with ASCII nulls... ;)

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Post Posted: Tue Jan 10, 2006 12:30 am 
 

I believe .PDF files are stored as images, so there won't be any text strings.  You need OCR software to convert PDFs to Word documents, for instance (and it usually doesn't do a good job).

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Post Posted: Tue Jan 10, 2006 12:40 am 
 

FoulFoot wrote:I believe .PDF files are stored as images, so there won't be any text strings. You need OCR software to convert PDFs to Word documents, for instance (and it usually doesn't do a good job).

Foul


I have tried doing this with OCR software.  Items need extensive proofreading to fix the huge amount of errors.  Almost better off to handtype in the whole deal.

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Post Posted: Tue Jan 10, 2006 2:26 am 
 

Have you tried Adobe Acrobat Professional?  I'm sure that since the watermarks are unique to your copy, they would not be in the image of each page itself, but just a graphic element included on each page....

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Post Posted: Tue Jan 10, 2006 5:12 am 
 

Xaxaxe wrote: there is no substitute for owning the actual item.


If i can tell my useless opinion, that is an interesting point.
From my perspective, for a collector, nothing can take the place of a specific item, rare or not.
If I want that item for collection, a pdf version cannot stand for the original, even if it is a B2 or an X1 (unless I collect PDFs but that's another story  :wink: ).
But this doesn't mean that pdfs are crap ... it's the same thing if I want a SW module (or a boxed set): the PDF version cannot fulfill my desire but original-mint-but-not-SW copy cannot, too.
That's all.

But, if I understand him, Brian is trying to underline that, in any case, the presence of a potential substitute for a product (every kind of product) more or less affects the market.

bclarkie wrote:if there is one person out there, just 1, that decides not to buy an item becuase it freely available on pdf, then the item in question has lost value


For example, if there was only one kind of car in the world, it would have a price; since there are many different possibilities (in terms of quality, shape, etc ) the price are certainly lowered ...

That's simple and true.
At that point, the problem is "What does it mean "potential substitute"? 8O
That question, IMO, is closely related to the reason why people buy something, so the point become: "Are we speaking about collector's market or about "normal" people's market?"

A normal is a person who buys a little Opel/Vahxall (like me) or a FIAT instead of a Posche or a Ferrari because they are cheaper or because he has to use the car, not only to own it. In the same way, he buys a module to read it and to play it: if a cheaper PDF is available, why not?  :wink:
On the other hand, a collector wants to get an item just to own it.

(I bought a SW OB3 from Frank and I'll never open it. But I've never read that module (nor downloaded it): I don't care about the text or the adventure, I wanted the module (just like now I want a ST1). I bought a coverless Jade Hare from Mike. It is not SW but I've never opened or read it. I have it: that's enough.)  :D  :D

The difference is between the reason why I buy cars (I have to use them, I'm normal) and why I buy D&D items (I want to own them, I'm a collector).

So I don't think PDFs have an impact on collector's market (strictly speaking) because they can't replace an original, while they do have an impact (I don't know how deep) on the normal market, generally speaking (gamers etc).

And I think that sellers are interested to market generally speaking ... not only collector's one. Isn't it? :wink:

The last point is that the line between collectors and normal people isn't so precise. Everyone of you (of us) are at the same time and for the same products (every kind of product) a little bit "collectors" and a little bit "normal people" ...  

That's why the discussion can be "neverending"  :D  
I love discussions  8)  8)

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