Sellers who infringed upon copyrights; reported.
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Post Posted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 11:19 am 
 

CHARACTER GENERATOR EULA:  Same thing you can transfer it freely provided you destroy all copies on your systems.

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Post Posted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 11:22 am 
 


** expired eBay auction **


Hear is the new Correct Listing.   For anybody that might be interested.   Thanks for pointing out the issues.

  

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Post Posted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 11:31 am 
 

i dont think it was the character generator per se, that everyone was going on about. it was the adventures and the actual handbooks, such as the monster manual.



  


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Post Posted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 11:35 am 
 

Fair enough, I assumed that most of you guys were experts on DND 1st and 2nd edition.   It didn't sound like you were familar with ETOOLS and PCGEN for 3.0/3.5.  

Hopefully I have explained the product sufficiently so people realize that it is not electronic reproductions of the books but rather the statistical information incorporated into the program.

  

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Post Posted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 11:49 am 
 

er...

so.

going by what you are saying then. just actual data. so like, the data is exactly the same as it would be in a book?

your listing states:

This Bundle set contains the following:
Complete Adventurer
Complete Arcane
Complete Divine
Complete Warrior

Book of Exalted Deeds
Draconomicon
Dragonlance Campaign Setting

blah blah blah.


so if i was to use your "e-tool" and i say selected the draconomicon book to look at for instance. the data that then is shown, is the same as it would be if i went on ebay and bought the book itself and read the information therein?



  


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Post Posted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 12:08 pm 
 

No not at all:

To go through a charcter generation process:

You first choose a race:   In the standard program it would only list the races from verion 3.0 books.   Becuase data sets are loaded you would see a list of all races from all of the loaded books.

The only thing that is displayed is the name of the race no detailed information.

The same thing for class no detailed infromation:

So for examply I select an Elaine from the PSIONICS HANDBOOK AND CHOOSE SORCERER CLASS I GET THIS:

Elaine, Female PsiHB, Aberration, Temporal Filcher Aberration8/Sor1: CR 4;Large Aberration ; HD 8d8+24(Aberration), 1d4+3(Sorcerer); hp 73; Init +9; Spd 40; AC:14 (Flatfooted:9 Touch:14); Atk +5 base melee, +10 base ranged; +5/+0 (1d6, 4 Claw; 2d6, Bite); SA: Psionics (Sp) Chameleon 15 At Will Dimension Door 15 At Will Distract 15 At Will Id Insinuation -1 At Will Intellect Fortress -1 At Will Mental Barrier -1 At Will ; SQ: Time Filch (Su), Psionics (Sp); AL N; SV Fort +5, Ref +7, Will +10; STR 10, DEX 20, CON 17, INT 6, WIS 14, CHA 15.
Skills: Bluff +4, Concentration +7, Jump +4, Knowledge (Arcana) +1, Spellcraft +1.

Feats: Combat Casting, Improved Initiative, Simple Weapon Proficiency, Spell Focus: Evocation.
Spells Known (Sor 5/4): 0 -- Arcane Mark, Ray of Frost, Read Magic, Touch of Fatigue; 1st -- Cause Fear, Feather Fall.
Possessions:
Weapons: Dagger (2 gp); Crossbow, light, Masterwork (335 gp).
Goods: Coin: gp (36000) (NaN gp).
Cyrill, Male Animal, Cat : CR 1/4;Tiny Animal ; HD 9d8 (Animal); hp 36; Init +2; Spd 30; AC 15; Atk -2 base melee, +4 base ranged; +4/-1 (1d2-4, 2 Claw; 1d3-4, Bite); SQ: Low-light Vision (Ex), Scent (Ex); AL N; SV Fort +2, Ref +4, Will +3; STR 3, DEX 15, CON 10, INT 6, WIS 12, CHA 7.
Skills: Balance +10, Bluff +4, Climb +6, Concentration +7, Hide +14, Jump +10, Listen +3, Spot +3.
Feats: Weapon Finesse.

IF I DO CHARACTER CREATION:
I get a list of Class and Humans with a little more info:

Swashbuckler from the Complete Warrier would display this:
The swashbuckler combines skill and finesse with sheer combat prowess. (CW11)

As I select feets and skills I would see similarly listings of the feats and skills with brief descriptions not complete ones.

The magic items from a module is listed in a simlar way.   Sometimes you can get enough out of the short description but you cannot read the entire one in any way they don't exist.  

I believe you could hand edit each individual description if you so chose but that is not what the program is intented for.

It simply knows that if you take SKILL X, and FEAT Y you character abilities change in a certain way and it properly adjusts your character sheet accoringly.

  


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Post Posted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 12:15 pm 
 

In Short: By adding a book you add the abiltiy to create a character, monster, treasur, table from the books.   You in no way can simply access a book or the descriptions.   Code Monkey was very careful with WOTC to ensure that the person using the dataset for the most part needed the book.  

You cannot simply say I want to view the Complete Adventurer book.   Without the book loaded you can't create a character or monster that utilizes information from the book.   With it loaded you can.  

The problem with PCGEN and ETOOLS was you could only initially create the core characters from the 3.0 DMG, PHB, and MM.   If you wanted to do anything else you needed to hand edit the program.   The Licence allowed for Code Monkey to create the datasets, but these are not books they just allow for the proper structure so you can create a character electronically without having to type anything in, write on your character sheet or make a mistake in applying the effect of whatever you take to your characters ability scores, skill checks etc.

  

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Post Posted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 2:06 pm 
 

Why are modules part of the dataset?


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Post Posted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 2:15 pm 
 

Because code monkey in its initial creation of the 3.0 datasets included all of the 3.0 material that WOTC created.   That included the small run of modules that were produced.    WOTC didn't produce Adventures for a while after the initial module run in 3.0.    

Code Monkey was also more interested in producing datasets for books and the remaining modules were never gotten to before the license was pulled.

Again, the modules contained new magic items, spells, equipment.   These items were included so if you played the module you could thus equip your character with the item / spell without having to create it yourself.  

They were only sold as parts of megasets I believe.   I purchased the converted megaset for $150.00~ that included them.  

Code Monkey could turn them around very quickly becuase some module might only contain a few new magic items, equipment, etc.

I don't recall if any new races / feats / skill appeared in those early modules, I don't think I ever looked.

Code monkey took all of this 3.0 info and converted into the 3.5 rule system.   You cannot utilize this info for 3.0 rules that was a different dataset purchase.

  

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Post Posted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 4:06 pm 
 

I'm actually bored now...

Who actually cares anyway if someone is running illegal WOTC 3E?  Let them do their own work and stop the guy if they want.  WOTC hasn't done anything for me lately.

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Post Posted: Wed Jul 09, 2008 12:27 am 
 

I give Stephen credit for dotting his i's and crossing his t's to make sure his auction is on the level.

  

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Post Posted: Wed Jul 09, 2008 12:50 pm 
 

uh.oh:


** expired eBay auction **


who's gonna look after him?  :roll:


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Post Posted: Wed Jul 09, 2008 1:52 pm 
 

While there is an active group looking for TSR / WOTC listings on Ebay.   I notice that their is a huge amount of pirated Avalon Hill stuff for sale.   Is WOTC / HASBRO doing nothing tto protect their IP property for these titles?  

With the sale of these things going on for at least a year when do they enter the public domain by WOTC / HASBRO not defending them.

In particular:  

Avalon Hill | The General Magazine Project These guys have been selling .pdf's of the general saying that:

Public Domain:

The Avalon Hill General magazine was published from 1964 to 1998. Any of these magazines printed before January 1, 1978 have already fallen into the public domain. The purchase of Avalon Hill in 1998 by Wizards of the Coast and Hasbro, resulted in the return of many of the copyrights to the original designers. We have determined, after repeated contact with Avalon Hill, Wizards of the Coast, and Hasbro, that the copyrights for all these magazines are now in the public domain.

Fair Use:
Due to the fact that these magazines have been out of print and unavailable to the public for so long, the 'fair use' clause of the copyright act clearly applies for all of these magazines. It is also noteworthy that Avalon Hill authorized reproduction of General magazine articles for a nominal fee, back in the days when they were still being printed. Also, since we have changed the format of these magazines to electronic PDF and have enhanced them with a text search ability, the 'fair use' clause clearly applies.

Donations:
There has been a considerable amount money and time spent on this project. Should you wish to make a monitary donation to our project please contact us. We have spent over $3500.00 acquiring the original magazines, and they take about an hour per 10 pages to scan, clean up, PDF, and OCR.

Just wondering if this has been discussed somewhere.   Copyright enforcement seems to be much tighter on the RPG side where the wargame side is ignored.

  


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Post Posted: Wed Jul 09, 2008 3:37 pm 
 

GreyM wrote:Now as to whether he has ability to resale their software....now thats a whole other ball game, and without viewing the EULA's(End User Licensing Agreement) that came with it, none of us are in a position to answer that truthfully.

A EULA cannot negate the US Code, but I suppose the licenser (WotC or Code Monkey?) might grant further licence in that manner.  

I'm not going to comment on stephenf's particular case but as far as selling a single, unmodified, legally produced copy of a product is concerned, that's permitted according to Title 17, at least as of October 2007.  I am not a lawyer, but I don't find this stuff all that difficult to read.  I'll strip out the irrelevant bits to make it easier for others.

Section 109:
a) ...the owner of a particular copy...lawfully made under this title, or any person authorized by such owner, is entitled, without the authority of the copyright owner, to sell or otherwise dispose of the possession of that copy...

In English, that means you can sell, or authorize eBay to sell, your copy if it was legally produced in the first place.

Section 117:
a)  ...it is not an infringement for the owner of a copy of a computer program to make or authorize the making of another copy or adaptation of that computer program provided

 1) that such a new copy or adaptation is created as an essential step in the utilization of the computer program in conjunction with a machine and that it is used in no other manner, or

 2) that such new copy or adaptation is for archival purposes only and that all archival copies are destroyed in the event that continued possession of the computer program should cease to be rightful.

In English, that means you can legally create a copy for installation or backup purposes.  When you dispose of the original by any means, you can't keep that installation or backup.

(b)  ...Any exact copies prepared in accordance with the provisions of this section may...transferred, along with the copy from which such copies were prepared, only as part of the...transfer of all rights in the program. Adaptations so prepared may be transferred only with the authorization of the copyright owner.

In English, that means you must dispose* of any backup copies along with the original.  If you wish to transfer an adaptation (a modified version of the original), you must have permission from the copyright holder.  They might grant you license to transfer some such an adaption in a EULA, but I find that doubtful.

Finally, if there is any sort of copy-protection on said product, you cannot legally circumvent it, thanks to the DMCA.

Hopefully that helps someone.

* In the sense of "you no longer have it", not necessarily "throw out".

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Post Posted: Sun Jul 13, 2008 4:45 pm 
 

stephenf wrote:Public Domain:

The Avalon Hill General magazine was published from 1964 to 1998. Any of these magazines printed before January 1, 1978 have already fallen into the public domain. The purchase of Avalon Hill in 1998 by Wizards of the Coast and Hasbro, resulted in the return of many of the copyrights to the original designers. We have determined, after repeated contact with Avalon Hill, Wizards of the Coast, and Hasbro, that the copyrights for all these magazines are now in the public domain.

Very questionable. I'm a bit of a General collector myself, and I wouldn't touch these with an 11-foot pole.

At this point, all we've got is this guy's word that what he says is true; I've certainly never heard of this "reversion of copyright" tale. And, frankly, for sellers of digital items, their word is hardly enough.

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Post Posted: Sun Jul 13, 2008 5:02 pm 
 

stephenf wrote:Public Domain


I think this is a pile of crap.  Copyright is a tough thing to follow but after the magazine folds and the copyright holders relinquish the rights, they go back to the authors of individual articles.  The copyright then does not enter the public domain until 25 years after the author dies.  Copyright laws in the US basically follow Disney and that is the case there.

Also, if they are now offering the magazines in PDF format, legally then need to have the authorization from every single author/artist for the magazine for the change of format from print to electronic (unless they had the foresight to include this in the initial contracts).  When Dragon magazine was released on CDs TSR/WotC had to pay out half a million dollars to the authors of articles.

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Post Posted: Sun Jul 13, 2008 7:40 pm 
 

i will never agree its a legit thing whatever gets said......it just doesnt ring right.



  


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Post Posted: Sun Jul 13, 2008 8:18 pm 
 

killjoy32 wrote:i will never agree its a legit thing whatever gets said......it just doesnt ring right.


Tha Avalon Hill thing is not legit but there's no one contesting it (yet).

  


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Post Posted: Sun Jul 13, 2008 9:05 pm 
 

I completely agree having looked at copyright law on the net that they don't have a leg to stand on.   From a purely acedemic standpoint however, if a company doesn't defend its intelectual property rights as in this case for at least 1 or 2 years, what constitues making it public domain by lack of defense?

I was just wondering if anybody had any experience in this area.   I haven't read any actual articles about a product becomming public domain because of lack of defense of the IP.   I realize that IP law allows for items to fall into the public domain by lack of defeding it.

In the case of AH Products, HASBRO/WOTC has done a awful job in communication in regards to what exactly they hold title to / what's been sold to other companies / and finally what they aren't sure about as in the case of the General Magazine I believe.

I don't defend these guys at all.   I think they are violating copyright law.   Hasbro would have a great product if they actually sold the magazine run electronically.

  


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Post Posted: Sun Jul 13, 2008 9:18 pm 
 

Bruce Monnin the creater of the replacement magazine for the General / The Boardgamer Magazine also supports these guys at ahgeneral.org.    He is the current editor of operations magazine at MMP.  

I don't know what his relationship to ahgeneral.org is but he did/does have contact with Avolon Hill issues more than most people.  

His website is at:

The BOARDGAMER

Perhaps they did try and contact HASBRO.   I don't know.  I have a good friend that knows him I'll have him ask him while he's at the World Boardgaming Championships.

  
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