Sellers who infringed upon copyrights; reported.
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Post Posted: Sat Mar 04, 2006 11:06 am 
 

Here is what he sent me:

Frank --

I have ended all auctions early as I have the ability to look at bids and interest in items, and you would have won the following items anyway (based on current statistics). I am not offering these sets to "fleece" anyone, so I have chosen to offer them to you at the prices you have already bid b/c of the significant amount of money you are investing in the already completed auctions. If you want the items that I ended (by canceling bids), I can offer them to you outside of eBay-Bay for a fixed price in the future -- lower than what you would have paid between item cost and shipping and handling on eBay-Bay. Please remember that all of these sets are in .PDF (digital) format and burned on CD-R's for your reading/printing use in free Adobe Acrobat Reader format as expressly advertised .

The following is not meant as a threat but, please pay via PaylPal or money order ASAP within the next couple of days, or else I will have no choice but to report your account for negative feedback and lack of payment, which will result in both a deletion of your account and a blockage of your individual ISP(s) from eBay. I have already been charged final value fees based upon the amount of your bids, therefore, if I am not paid, I will lose a significant amount of money on your refusal to pay for the items in the invoice. I have a 100% feedback rating, and I intend to keep it that way -- therefore you will receive the high quality items in the format I advertised and you paid for when the payment is completed. You have 100% feedback as well, and I do not want to be the first to end the good reputation you are building on eBay. I always leave positive feedback for the buyers and sellers I deal with, so I will do the same for you if/when the auctions are completed with full payment. I will ship the items if not on the day that payment is received, then no later than the day after.

Thanks,
Chris S.



Time to send this off to eBay. I'm sure they'll be VERY interested in the attempt to dodge eBay fees.

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Post Posted: Sat Mar 04, 2006 11:47 am 
 

You have got to love the him basically saying, "You better not pork me, but if you are not then I can sell you some others if you want". Talk about speaking out of both sides of your mouth. :roll:   For posterity here is the reponse that he sent to me and my question:

Copyright Thief Seller wrote:This is totally not meant to be antagonistic at all... I was not referring to you at all as this is the first contact you have ever made. However, consider what you propose first: Did you know that in 2007 Wizards/Hasbro will be releasing D&D version 4.0? Also, did you know that in 2007 the OGL license (when 4.0 is released) will be stripped and made moot? That means no independent d20 publishers ever again.... Wizards will essentially have a monopoly on the RPG market putting good publishers (whose items I do not offer such as Green Ronin, White Wolf, etc. essentially out of business)? So when you threatent to report my sales for low prices, often 1/10 of what Wizards makes you pay on RPG Now for these OOP items, you are actually enabling them to do what they are going to do in 2007... Just a thought. When you consider writing a letter to Andrew Smith of Wizards -- and besides, I am selling single sets, it's not like I am offering hundreds of sets and robbing Hasbro of millions of dol(sic)


Oh, and here is my question that I asked:

bclarkie wrote:Dear seller, you may not be aware of this but every single auction that you are currently running is illegal as you are selling illegally copied copyrighted material. I would hate to have to report you to Andrew Smith of the Wizards of the Coast legal department for stealing thier copyrighted material. It might be a good idea if you stopped selling these illegal pdfs. And no I don't have any negative feedback in the last 12 months either.


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Post Posted: Sat Mar 04, 2006 1:12 pm 
 

Brian, what is Smith's e-mail address?

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Post Posted: Sat Mar 04, 2006 1:17 pm 
 

Deadlord39 wrote:Brian, what is Smith's e-mail address?


[email protected]


Good Luck, I have emailed him before with no repsonse.  I just like to use that threat as it sounds more serious. It actually should be, but so far it hasn't been. :roll:


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Post Posted: Sat Mar 04, 2006 3:50 pm 
 

bclarkie wrote:
Deadlord39 wrote:Brian, what is Smith's e-mail address?


[email protected]


Good Luck, I have emailed him before with no repsonse.  I just like to use that threat as it sounds more serious. It actually should be, but so far it hasn't been. :roll:


Actually I made several reports to this guy, but he never replied to me. I believe he doesn't care that much.

Maybe there's someone higher up who can take care of HIM?  :wink:

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Post Posted: Sat Mar 04, 2006 3:54 pm 
 

Then again, he might be sending your reports along to a legal office, or he might just be doing time versus money calculations and shrugging his shoulders.


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Post Posted: Sat Mar 04, 2006 6:52 pm 
 

Deadlord39 wrote:Time to send this off to eBay. I'm sure they'll be VERY interested in the attempt to dodge eBay fees.

Absolutely. If there is one factor out there that makes eBay sit up and take notice, it is sellers trying to dodge their fees. Send, Frank, send!

As far as Andrew Smith and Wizards ... ? Tits on a boar. Utterly useless. Sending anything to him is just like entering an event horizon from which your valuable time will never be seen again.

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Post Posted: Sat Mar 04, 2006 7:05 pm 
 

I did send it to eBay. What I am going to try and get is someone at that useless place eBay calls their central office whom I can contact with infringement information on a regular basis.
BTW, this is what I wrote earlier:

I'm being told that PDF auctions are illegal and considered copyright infringement. I was also told you were reported to eBay. Is this true? I don't want to get into any trouble for buying illegal items.

And the hammerhead's reply:

No they are not illegal, as long as you are the owner of the copyright, which I am as the items were purchased from RPG Now and I have an individual license number for each. You will not get in trouble for buying illegal items as they are not illegal -- all files have a copyright license number on them similar to buying a license for computer software. Who told you this, just out of curiosity?

Take care,
CGS



So I guess Microsoft has it all wrong. If you own a copy of Windows, you're licensed to sell it to whomever you want. I better ring up Billy and let him know.
So, should I point the fool to the Acaeum and let him see what's been going on?

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Post Posted: Sat Mar 04, 2006 7:18 pm 
 

Deadlord39 wrote:
So, should I point the fool to the Acaeum and let him see what's been going on?


I wouldn't direct him here at all. I would lie to him and tell him that you have actually already received an email from Andrew Smith of the Wizards of the Coast legal department instructing you specifically not to proceed with the sales, because the seller of those items is now under investigation for theft of thier copyright and they are currently looking at their all of thier legal options as we speak.   See how he repsonds to that. :wink:


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Post Posted: Sat Mar 04, 2006 8:36 pm 
 

Here's what I sent:

I received an e-mail from someone named Andrew Smith, who claims to be from the legal department of Wizards of the Coast. I was told not to proceed with the sales, because the seller of the items was under investigation for copyright infringement and that they are in the process of discussions with eBay on which legal actions to pursue against these and other infringements, and that participation as either a buyer or seller of PDF files of copyrighted material is illegal.
Did RPG Now say it was OK to resell the files?

I mean, how stupid can this guy be? You know whose copyright he is infringing on? RPG Now's. I'm going to forward this mail to them.

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Post Posted: Sat Mar 04, 2006 9:41 pm 
 

reply #1:

They make no mention of what to do or not to do. They are just an outlet for the PDFs. I believe once the files are owned, you can do with them as you wish. Please forward me the e-mail that you are referring to if possible. I am curious to see it. There are a couple of pranksters on eBay and this may be a ruse.

Thanks.


Reply #2:

If you can, I still would like to see the e-mail you say you received... However, I have deleted all auctions that you won -- I will not leave negative feedback or begin a non-payment dispute. I will not be offering the items as this is whole thing is stupid.

Sorry for the inconvenience. Take care.



I love the smell of PDF's in the morning. Smells like........ victory.

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Post Posted: Sat Mar 04, 2006 10:02 pm 
 

Deadlord39 wrote:I love the smell of PDF's in the morning. Smells like........ victory.

Nice one, Frank.

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Post Posted: Sat Mar 04, 2006 10:19 pm 
 

deimos3428 wrote:
Deadlord39 wrote:I love the smell of PDF's in the morning. Smells like........ victory.

Nice one, Frank.


well done my friend ! , seeing I'm piss drunk atm I will go drink another to you as we desend further into tharacia ( sic on anything actuaually ?>).

  

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Post Posted: Sun Mar 05, 2006 4:48 am 
 

Deadlord39 wrote:I did send it to eBay. What I am going to try and get is someone at that useless place eBay calls their central office whom I can contact with infringement information on a regular basis.
BTW, this is what I wrote earlier:

I'm being told that PDF auctions are illegal and considered copyright infringement. I was also told you were reported to eBay. Is this true? I don't want to get into any trouble for buying illegal items.

And the hammerhead's reply:

No they are not illegal, as long as you are the owner of the copyright, which I am as the items were purchased from RPG Now and I have an individual license number for each. You will not get in trouble for buying illegal items as they are not illegal -- all files have a copyright license number on them similar to buying a license for computer software. Who told you this, just out of curiosity?

Take care,
CGS



So I guess Microsoft has it all wrong. If you own a copy of Windows, you're licensed to sell it to whomever you want. I better ring up Billy and let him know.
So, should I point the fool to the Acaeum and let him see what's been going on?


I am not saying this guy is right, but it does raise an interesting question.  If you did buy a download from RPG now I am assuming they would give you a "single-use" license (I am making up that term) or something of that nature.  Wouldn't you be entitled to sell the item one time, provided you deleted it from your computer?  It would be the same as buying a hardcover book and selling it to someone else.  The difference, of course, is that it is much is easier to make copies of pdfs.

It would also be the same as buying Windows XP, installing it and then selling your computer and transfering the product code and license.  I think all software allows for licenses to be transferred.

Again, I am not saying that is what is going on in this particular case, just wondering about the legalities of the situation I just described.


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Post Posted: Sun Mar 05, 2006 8:38 am 
 

That's exactly right, Breach. You can sell it once.
Just about all software falls under the same guidelines. Certain licenses allow you to install on multiple machines, but almost never are you allowed to install on a computer that is not yours.

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Post Posted: Sun Mar 05, 2006 1:00 pm 
 

Deadlord39 wrote:So I guess Microsoft has it all wrong. If you own a copy of Windows, you're licensed to sell it to whomever you want.


Sell or, rather, give it freely to everyone. Isn't this the way it usually works with Microsoft software?

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Post Posted: Sun Mar 05, 2006 1:01 pm 
 

Lordan wrote:
deimos3428 wrote:Nice one, Frank.


well done my friend ! , seeing I'm piss drunk atm I will go drink another to you as we desend further into tharacia ( sic on anything actuaually ?>).


What was it we were saying a few days ago about not posting while drunk?

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Post Posted: Sun Mar 05, 2006 1:10 pm 
 

Beyondthebreach wrote:I am not saying this guy is right, but it does raise an interesting question.  If you did buy a download from RPG now I am assuming they would give you a "single-use" license (I am making up that term) or something of that nature.  Wouldn't you be entitled to sell the item one time, provided you deleted it from your computer?  It would be the same as buying a hardcover book and selling it to someone else.  The difference, of course, is that it is much is easier to make copies of pdfs.

It would also be the same as buying Windows XP, installing it and then selling your computer and transfering the product code and license.  I think all software allows for licenses to be transferred.

Again, I am not saying that is what is going on in this particular case, just wondering about the legalities of the situation I just described.


Ok, let's talk serious. Beyondthebreach, you are totally correct. Most software licenses come with a single use license. So if you sell the software to another entity you must delete it from your computer (theoretically, at least). Actually, there are some software licenses which bind the software to a specific hardware, and you cannot legally transfer it to another machine, but those are agreements with ths OEMs.

I don't know how legal PDF copies are covered by a license (maybe that's written somewhere?), but I would assume they must be treated as books are. You are the single owner and you can not distribute copies of it. The laws about private backup allow you to create a copy of the item, in any format you want them, but only for personal, backup use. This unless the creation of the copies forces you to circumvent any copy-protection system, because this is forbidden by the DMCA (which is crap because it contradicts the laws about private backup to the detriment of the user, so I never care about the DMCA but I rather follow the private backup law).

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Post Posted: Sun Mar 05, 2006 8:18 pm 
 

Interesting point here...

In certain cases the seller of .pdf's claims the onus for responisiblity of buying, and thus owning, the files is with the buyer and as long as the buyer owns the original items already then in effect all you're buying is the sellers work in translating books you already own on to a convenient readable pc-based format. In alot of cases I do indeed own all the books for the files I might buy from the seller but, crucially to me from a legal point of veiw, I would be unable prove that I owned the copied works (which would be clearly visible from the both Ebay transaction and the Windows creation date on the files themselves) subsequently to the acquisition of the original works.

In cases where the buyer claims to have sold you the license for the product (i.e the files) without having access to the buyers hard data you'd be facing a long uphill battle to match codes and to prove in any sense you were now the eventual end user of that product. Buying in goodfaith is an Ebay ideal not a legal one!

Caveat Emptor!

Presonally I love to own the real item but that's just me I guess :)

  


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Post Posted: Sun Mar 05, 2006 8:40 pm 
 

Lewisexi wrote:I would be unable prove that I owned the copied works (which would be clearly visible from the both Ebay transaction and the Windows creation date on the files themselves) subsequently to the acquisition of the original works.


The Windows file creation date is the proof of nothing, as it is very easily hackable. The eBay transaction date is quite pointless after eBay removes all tracks of a transaction except the feedback.

In any case, formally speaking, you are not allowed to own a copy of copyrighted material IF YOU DID NOT CREATE IT YOURSELF, or at least if it was not created from your copy. That is, for example, even if you own a certain CD, you are not allowed to download the music tracks from the Internet, although you can create the very same tracks using your own CD. The result is the same, but one way is illegal, the other one is not.

You think it's stupid? It is. Welcome to law.

That being said, one type of crime is illegally owning copyrighted material, another totally different one is obtaining backup copies in ways which would theoretically be illegal. As long as you have paid the right for something, you may have a backup copy, and that right in my eye supersedes any other rule (well, almost... you can't kill someone to get his backups).

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