H3 Bloodstone Wars: Worth the Price?
Post new topic Reply to topic Page 2 of 21, 2
Author


Long-Winded Collector
Acaeum Donor

Posts: 3066
Joined: Jul 09, 2004
Last Visit: Apr 30, 2015

Post Posted: Wed Apr 25, 2007 9:26 pm 
 

If only the law used terms like "no no", we'd all understand it.  :lol:

Here are my personal thoughts on the subject, arranged in some semblance of order.  (Keep in mind I used to make mix tapes off the radio, for which I've yet to do hard time...)

Selling an original module -- fine.
Selling a module with one page replaced with a photocopy -- fine, but this should be mentioned.
Selling 32 modules, each with 31 pages replaced with photocopies --  evil, and give yourself a smack upside the head for thinking of that.

Copying a page for personal reference -- fine.
Giving away copies, keeping original -- not great.
Selling copies, keeping original -- bad.
Giving away original, keeping copies -- not great.
Selling original, keeping copies -- bad.
Selling the copy after original is sold -- evil.

Making PDFs of your own material -- fine.
Giving away PDFs of your own material -- fine.
Selling PDFs of your own material -- not great.  (PDFs want to be free!)

Making PDFs of someone else's material -- fine.
Giving away PDFs of someone else's material -- bad (There are always exceptions.  If the buyer already own a hard copy, but not a scanner, for example.)
Selling PDFS of someone else's material -- evil.

Now, if you want to illegally copy and distribute a work, there's an easy loophole.  Throw in a few bad jokes.  It's now a parody, and copyrightable by you.  8)

Generally speaking:  Don't make money at this.  Don't make other people (including after-market collectors in the case of rares) lose money at this.  Otherwise, no harm done.

 YIM  

User avatar

Grandstanding Collector
Acaeum Donor

Posts: 7960
Joined: Jun 23, 2003
Last Visit: Jul 30, 2021
Location: DFW TX

Post Posted: Wed Apr 25, 2007 9:46 pm 
 

deimos3428 wrote:If only the law used terms like "no no", we'd all understand it.  :lol:

Here are my personal thoughts on the subject, arranged in some semblance of order.  (Keep in mind I used to make mix tapes off the radio, for which I've yet to do hard time...)

Selling an original module -- fine.
Selling a module with one page replaced with a photocopy -- fine, but this should be mentioned.
Selling 32 modules, each with 31 pages replaced with photocopies --  evil, and give yourself a smack upside the head for thinking of that.

Copying a page for personal reference -- fine.
Giving away copies, keeping original -- not great.
Selling copies, keeping original -- bad.
Giving away original, keeping copies -- not great.
Selling original, keeping copies -- bad.
Selling the copy after original is sold -- evil.

Making PDFs of your own material -- fine.
Giving away PDFs of your own material -- fine.
Selling PDFs of your own material -- not great.  (PDFs want to be free!)

Making PDFs of someone else's material -- fine.
Giving away PDFs of someone else's material -- bad (There are always exceptions.  If the buyer already own a hard copy, but not a scanner, for example.)
Selling PDFS of someone else's material -- evil.

Now, if you want to illegally copy and distribute a work, there's an easy loophole.  Throw in a few bad jokes.  It's now a parody, and copyrightable by you.  8)

Generally speaking:  Don't make money at this.  Don't make other people (including after-market collectors in the case of rares) lose money at this.  Otherwise, no harm done.


Pretty much covers everything Deimos....you said it better than I did.  

Mike B.


"THE MORE YOU THINK ABOUT WHY i DONE WHAT i DONE THE MORE i LAUGH" Cougar
"The Acaeum hates fun" Sir Allen
"I had a collecting emergency" Nogrod
Co-founder of the North Texas RPG Con
http://www.ntrpgcon.com

 WWW  


Grandstanding Collector
Acaeum Donor

Posts: 6463
Joined: Dec 13, 2004
Last Visit: Apr 04, 2021

Post Posted: Wed Apr 25, 2007 10:10 pm 
 

Sorry, but I don't view pdfs as being any different than photocopies.  The only difference between a pdf and a photocopy is about the 5 minutes time that it takes to create a hard copy from your printer and thats it.  

Do I have a problem with some backing up the material that thet already own?  Absolutely Not.

Do I have a problem with making a copy of a page or three to make a module complete?  Absolutely not.

However, whenever making copies of things starts to alleviate the purpose of needing the actual item is where the line gets drawn.  Whether that "copy" is in electronic copy or a hard copy, if you don't own a least a vast majority of the work in question, its not yours to copy and keep, nor is it your to distribute freely or for profit.   The law is in place and is actually a fair law, as it both allows for people to have access to the information contained within and usage of it thereof,  while it also firmly protects the person who created the work in the first place.  

Whether or not the person who created the material wants to do anything with it or not after they created it, its not yours to decide what should or should not be done with it.  Trampling someone's IP rights is attune to walking into to someone house without their permission and sleeping in their guest bedroom.   Then when the cops came, you trying justify it to the them by saying, "Well I know its not my house and I didn't have permission, but the owner of this home just wasn't using this room, so I figured what the hell?".   It wouldn't float there and it sure as hell shouldn't float here either.


"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

  


Prolific Collector
Acaeum Donor

Posts: 868
Joined: Apr 16, 2007
Last Visit: Jul 30, 2021
Location: Mobile, Alabama

Post Posted: Wed Apr 25, 2007 10:36 pm 
 

I like the summary by deimos and the issues bclarkie raises.  Since I raised the question in regards to a missing map and its replacement, here are my two copper pieces:

When I first posed the issue of copying an item from a module, I viewed the issue strictly from the viewpoint of a transaction between two collectors and not necessarily as exchange between players nor as a commercial endeavor. I'll try to explain what I mean by this.  When I first started gaming in the early 80's, there was no convenient way to rip a module other than photocopying it page by page in black and white.  If you wanted a module, you had two options:  you could buy it for $4-$6, or copy it at the library for about $.05/$.10 per page.  (Of course, there was always the third option of birthdays or a gifting holdiay  :D )  Copying was fine if you wanted to read a module or rulebook you didn't own, but if you wanted to have the color maps or module covers as well, you were out of luck.  I for one never wanted the photocopies since to me, this was somehow an incomplete, lesser copy (early signs of collector-type behavior).  I would certainly loan my stuff to friends if they wanted to read it, play it, or DM it, and the only time I ever remember making a copy was when I had so horribly mangled a map with my own notes and sketches that I borrowed a friend's to copy so we could start a new campaign.  At that age, I never considered the financial implications of my respect or lack of respect for others' IP.

With today's digital scanning, camera and printing technology, not to mention, the availability of the original modules in PDF format, one could easily make near perfect copies of either the originals or the current 3.5 paraphenalia. For those who are looking to play the originals, the PDF's are available for about $4 each and for many people this would be just fine.  Some people will obtain them from legitimate outlets authorized to sell and distribute the IP, others will find them on torrents or other unauthorized sites, and some will be shared amongst friends.  However, I would imagine that the collectors here on this site are for the most part not interested in owning the PDF's for collectings sake and will do their best to acquire a genuine 1st edition printing with all original items and supplements.  

As I understand it, the IP we are buying on Ebay and/or trading back and forth has now passed out of the commercial realm of TSR/WoTC for the most part.  The original authors and rights holders no longer receive royalties on these works when we sell them to each other on Ebay and we only begin to infringe on the copyright holders' rights when we make unauthorized copies for commercial gain or copies we just give away.  If we copy a single map or page for a fellow collector/friend, I do not think we have materially impacted the copyright holder especially if the work is no longer commercially available.  Should an individual be required to buy the $4 PDF simply to replace a missing map or page of counters from an original module they just bought for $40 or $50 on Ebay?  At some point in the past when the module was first purchased, the copyright holders were compensated.  To make a copy of the map at this point only serves to restore the module to at least an original content state.  Thus copying to fill the gap would be copying for personal use, i.e., the current owner has the right to make a copy but can't since the map is missing.  Hence I make a copy for the person since he or she can't make their own copy according to the rights acquired when they purchase the module on Ebay. :wink:

I tend to feel strongly about IP as I do not like to see the IP I create ripped off (actually woe be to the poor sod who has to use the software I develop :D )  As with many of today's issues, the legal/ethical/moral spectrum is broad and there is certainly room for interpretation of fair use and copying of IP.

Sorry for the long-winded post, but thanks for reading and the earlier responses.

  

User avatar

Grandstanding Collector

Posts: 6077
Joined: May 03, 2003
Last Visit: Jul 29, 2021
Location: Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Post Posted: Wed Apr 25, 2007 10:41 pm 
 

bombadil wrote:Mark, where did you come across them?  Just curious.


This is the link that came up when I did my search:

http://www.demonoid.com/files/details/1100078/6201776/

 WWW  


Grandstanding Collector
Acaeum Donor

Posts: 6463
Joined: Dec 13, 2004
Last Visit: Apr 04, 2021

Post Posted: Wed Apr 25, 2007 10:47 pm 
 

Mars wrote:
This is the link that came up when I did my search:

http://www.demonoid.com/files/details/1100078/6201776/


The guy who is responsible for that piece of trash is actually a DF poster:

http://www.dragonsfoot.org/forums/profi ... ile&u=1199

:x


"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

  


Long-Winded Collector
Acaeum Donor

Posts: 3066
Joined: Jul 09, 2004
Last Visit: Apr 30, 2015

Post Posted: Wed Apr 25, 2007 10:48 pm 
 

smarmy1 wrote:Should an individual be required to buy the $4 PDF simply to replace a missing map or page of counters from an original module they just bought for $40 or $50 on Ebay?

You could do a poll on this one, and you'd get a continuum of answers.

I believe that as you said, it falls under personal use.  Assuming you own a time machine, and have gone back and made the copy before you lost the original.  At least that's what I'd tell the authorities, should they inquire. ;)

NB:  It's still heinous to try to pass the modules with photocopied pages off as "complete" for collecting purposes.

 YIM  


Grandstanding Collector
Acaeum Donor

Posts: 6463
Joined: Dec 13, 2004
Last Visit: Apr 04, 2021

Post Posted: Wed Apr 25, 2007 11:09 pm 
 

smarmy1 wrote:  Should an individual be required to buy the $4 PDF simply to replace a missing map or page of counters from an original module they just bought for $40 or $50 on Ebay?

I do not believe that copying a map thats missing from the original as long as you use the original goes further than what "fair use" allows.  Legally you should be okay, allow I am not a copyght attorney so don't quote me on that.  It does however jive with the spirit of the law so I would guess that you'd be okay.

I mean realistically, WotC isn't going to come after someone who simply has a hard drive full of illegal pdfs, but to me thats not really the issue.  Its about the morality involved in the act and who is willing to police themselves.  Just because you can "get away" with something doesn't make it anymore right.

You do also however bring up an interesting point against those who want to say that the current edition is OOP so you are not causing the original rights holders to lose money.  Your point effectively proves that theory wrong.  WotC does in fact have at least 3 different licensing agreements(at least for now. who knows what license WotC is going to yank next) with vendors who are legally allowed to sell pdfs of these products to customers.   By proliferating pdfs illegally, you are in fact taking money away from both these vendors and WotC by doing it.  

Now to be honest, I really do not like WotC at all, nor do I care for what they have done since they took over, but even under those circumstances it doesn't justify to me illegally breaching their IP.  Its just not right.


"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

  


Prolific Collector
Acaeum Donor

Posts: 868
Joined: Apr 16, 2007
Last Visit: Jul 30, 2021
Location: Mobile, Alabama

Post Posted: Wed Apr 25, 2007 11:41 pm 
 

deimos3428 wrote:NB: It's still heinous to try to pass the modules with photocopied pages off as "complete" for collecting purposes.

I absolutely agree; the 'copying for completion' I mentioned was only for personal use and not to sell as 'complete and original' which would be misleading and patently untrue.

Although, it would be easy enough to download the H1 module from the torrent or pay $4 for it from one of the distributor's, the collector in me will keep me searching Ebay for a genuine, non-Coug-irand edition complete with all the cool pieces.  If I really find I need the H1 before moving on to H2, H3, etc. , then I'll buy the PDF and keep on looking for the real thing later.

As bclarkie said:
.. illegally breaching their IP. Its just not right.

  

User avatar

Grandstanding Collector
Acaeum Donor

Posts: 7960
Joined: Jun 23, 2003
Last Visit: Jul 30, 2021
Location: DFW TX

Post Posted: Thu Apr 26, 2007 1:00 am 
 

bclarkie wrote:Ugh.  :?  

What about the laws against illegal poliferation of copies and pdfs.  I mean there is a reason for those isn't there?  

Also, just because a particular item is currently OOP(D&D or not) doesn't mean that it will be OOP forever, which I imagine is one of the main reasons the reason for the laws in the first place.  On top of that, the law is explicit in saying you are allowed to make a copy for your own personal usage and making copies to give away is a "No No".  I for the life of me can't figure out how trampling over someone's IP can be considered a good thing, I mean shit why not just sell photocopies of everything right?  Who the hell needs originals when you can sell photocopies?  

Mike, I really don't need to lecture as you are an intelligent adult and you are certainly entitled to your own opinions, but if everyone else took the same exact stance as you just did, you personally would be putting yourself out of business. Why the hell should I pay Badmike4books $15 to get an original module, when I can get just as easily a "free one" from a download site or an "unofficial" reprinted one for $1.  I mean, I'd be willing to bet that someone could do pretty high quality reprints of all the modules out there and sell them for a little over cost of no more than a dollar or two.

I guess you learn something new everyday. :?




I understand completely where you are coming from BC...believe me I do.  I make a living off selling OOP materials....but likewise I don't see anyone doing a massive crackdown on illegal rpg pdfs.  If WOTC doesn't care, I fail to see why I should.



But with downladable and cheap pdfs, bit torrents, and PTP download services available for years now for OOP materials, why has my business gone UP the past few years instead of DOWN?  I mean, with freely distributed materials floating around, shouldn't I be getting skinnier (I wish) from lack of food money?  



Because people WANT the originals, despite the proliferation of cheap easy downloads.  They are primarily collectors.  They don't WANT photocopies! They get the downloads, find something they like, and then purchase a "hard copy".  I know a guy now that is trying to complete a collection of all the Traveller chapbooks, even though the collections are readily available  IN NICELY COLLECTED AND PRINTED FORM!!! Myself, I like to pick up a Goodman Games release even though the pdfs are available much cheaper.  I don't want a photocoopy of DCC#1...and wouldn't take one if someone tried to give it to me.



The kicker to me is the fact that the Orange B3, one of the holy grail of RPG items, is available FREE as a download at the WOTC site, and has been for many years, yet the item still continues to go for amazing amounts on ebay.  There seems to be quite a demand for the original even though the reprint is free!!!  The same for many more free items on WOTC's site including The North boxed set which still goes for quite a bit on ebay.  The fact is that the hobby is a pen and paper hobby, and collectors (and many gamers) prefer their items to be in that form.  Not a day goes by that I don't read the forums and see a gamer wanting a "paper" or printed version of a online only adventure (you see this all the time at Dragonsfoot).



Another consideration is that many of the most sought after items will NEVER, and I mean in our lifetimes NEVER, be reprinted. First, there is no money in it...the target audience/buyers are too small. Think stuff like Stones of the Selt, Ironhoof Highlands (ugh), Ogre Forest, etc. Never, never never never will be reprinted. Making a copy of these for personal use, or even to give someone to read, hurts no one on the planet Earth at this time or any time in the future.  Second, no one cares about a bunch of pen and paper stuff written 25 years ago for a system that hasn't been supported in 20 years.  Now I'm not talking as much about the TSR properties as I am about 3rd party stuff such as say The Companions, which will never see any type of reprinting UNLESS it's as a 3rd edition/D20 item (as all the Judge's Guild stuff coming out recently).   So if I run a copy of Brotherhood of the Bolt and give it to my brother to read, honestly, you are going to have to point out who is losing money on that transaction before I decide whether or not to care.



Speaking of Judge's Guild, how is the original Dark Tower doing even with a cheaper version available?  :wink:



I've said this for many years, the genie is out of the bottle. We WILL live to see the day a pdf of ST1 is out and about and readily available, legal or illegal.  It's inevitible.  Who is going to lose money when this happens?  TSR?  WOTC?  Were they planning to reprint this piece of crap or relase it as a D20 adventure?  Collectors who are hoarding copies?  Someone will always want a "genuine" original version.  Will casual buyers who just want to "see what it looks like" stop bidding?  No, because casual buyers do NOT plop down $1000+ to see what a module looks like that has been widely regarded as a suckfest.  When/if this bootleg pdf ever comes out, prices will continue to soar for ST1..



Have I mentioned the prices of Dragon #1 even though the cd rom has been available for years?



All the reprints in the world haven't hurt the value of a Amazing Spiderman #1...if anything, more awareness has caused the comic to go up in value.  Mark/FormCritic talks about the "Acaeum effect" where an item is mentioned then immediately begins selling across ebay at high prices.  I've seen it myself.  If anything, a cheap copy will only make value of the original soar in most cases, once people know about it. How many people here would be salivating to collect the entire runs of stuff like The Companions, Midkemia, Arduin, etc if they were readily available as pdfs. Speaking of which, Midkemia is so protective of their works they have two available as FREE downloads on their site and have had them available for nigh on a decade (and last I looked, the originals are STILL worth a pretty penny...)



The music industry, plodding along like the brainless dimwits they are, have seen their facistic policy of suing grandmothers and teenagers blow up in their face. Instead of helping their industry, it has made them lose money more than ever as more and more people move to the internet to get their music.  They have failed to recognizethe changing dynamics in the marketplace they control and will continue to suffer for it.  We as collectors, and as buyers and sellers, have to recognize the dynamics have changed in OUR hobby.



Technically (most of the time) burning a cd of an album out of print for 30 years for a friend is illegal.  Technically going 59 mph in a 55 mph zone is illegal.  Technically making a copy of Ironhoof Highlands and giving it to a friend is illegal.  I pretty much lump all three in the same bag and don't worry one bit how it's going to impact a multi million dollar companies bottom line. I really don't care to be honest....because in the end the effect of all three is somewhere way below my threshold of caring.  There are starving people, violent crimes, poisoned pet food, corrupt politicians, etc to take up my time and worries.  A bootleg cd just isn't on my radar. Apparantly it's not on anyone elses radar either, as the US has done little to stop the tide of illegal dvds and cds pouring into the country from asia...well, because they don't want to hurt the feelings of their new friends from the great democracy of China.   :roll:



Anyway, I understand where you are coming from, and I would flatly oppose running photocopies of the latest WOTC item and selling them for $10 each, or making illegal pdfs of the same and distributing them for money on the internet.  I just feel this issue is blown way, way out of proportion most of the time by people who don't have a dog in the fight.  If a multi million dollar corporation protests, let them (like the clueless music industry) supeona gamers home computers for damages when a bootleg copy of D1 is found therein. The fact this is not happening speaks volumes....I personally think WOTC knows what they are doing.



Mike B.


"THE MORE YOU THINK ABOUT WHY i DONE WHAT i DONE THE MORE i LAUGH" Cougar
"The Acaeum hates fun" Sir Allen
"I had a collecting emergency" Nogrod
Co-founder of the North Texas RPG Con
http://www.ntrpgcon.com

 WWW  

User avatar

Grandstanding Collector
Acaeum Donor

Posts: 7960
Joined: Jun 23, 2003
Last Visit: Jul 30, 2021
Location: DFW TX

Post Posted: Thu Apr 26, 2007 1:12 am 
 

bclarkie wrote:Sorry, but I don't view pdfs as being any different than photocopies.  The only difference between a pdf and a photocopy is about the 5 minutes time that it takes to create a hard copy from your printer and thats it.  

Do I have a problem with some backing up the material that thet already own?  Absolutely Not.

Do I have a problem with making a copy of a page or three to make a module complete?  Absolutely not.

However, whenever making copies of things starts to alleviate the purpose of needing the actual item is where the line gets drawn.  Whether that "copy" is in electronic copy or a hard copy, if you don't own a least a vast majority of the work in question, its not yours to copy and keep, nor is it your to distribute freely or for profit.   The law is in place and is actually a fair law, as it both allows for people to have access to the information contained within and usage of it thereof,  while it also firmly protects the person who created the work in the first place.  

Whether or not the person who created the material wants to do anything with it or not after they created it, its not yours to decide what should or should not be done with it.  Trampling someone's IP rights is attune to walking into to someone house without their permission and sleeping in their guest bedroom.   Then when the cops came, you trying justify it to the them by saying, "Well I know its not my house and I didn't have permission, but the owner of this home just wasn't using this room, so I figured what the hell?".   It wouldn't float there and it sure as hell shouldn't float here either.




I would approach your analogy more as you see an house that's been abandoned for 30 years, you decide to spend the night there to see if you would like it enough to buy it.  The police aren't coming to throw you out because they don't care, they have real crimes to worry about.  The owner has either forgotten about the house or isn't in a position to care....he's retired and living in France and doesn't care.  



Well, so much for wacky analogies  :D



BTW the law often doesnt' protect the WRITER and CREATOR of the material...ask EGG how much money he's earning from the "Return to...." series.  It protects the CORPORATIONS who own the rights of the material.



My point would be most of us that come across pdfs or copies of items then make efforts to buy the actual items.  I think the collector mentality is that we want an ACTUAL copy.  I think the reason a lot of companies release freebies is to build up the hype beause they know it will pump up their sales.  Likewise if I gave a photocopy of, say, Curse on Hareth to someone they are going to go "Wow!  I want to get all this Companions stuff, it's great!"  Unless they are making a LOT of money, it's going to be pretty hard. None of that money, BTW, goes to Wheeler or Rice when these items are sold on ebay....I would venture to guess they haven 't made a cent off Companions items in 20 years.  And, if they do decide one day to renew the license and reprint, it will be as a d20 product...any other decision would make no sense (and make them no money).  Whatever semantics may say, there ARE some items that will NEVER again be reprinted.

  I fail to see who I've hurt in the above scenario...as a matter of fact I've created a market that's never existed before.



I do see both sides in this argument. I've done a lot of thinking about it the last few decades. When TSR asks me for payment for the Dragon mags I ran photocopies of in the 80s, I'll change my evil ways.... :wink:



Mike B.


"THE MORE YOU THINK ABOUT WHY i DONE WHAT i DONE THE MORE i LAUGH" Cougar
"The Acaeum hates fun" Sir Allen
"I had a collecting emergency" Nogrod
Co-founder of the North Texas RPG Con
http://www.ntrpgcon.com

 WWW  

User avatar

Grandstanding Collector
Acaeum Donor

Posts: 6720
Joined: Jul 16, 2005
Last Visit: Feb 02, 2021

Post Posted: Thu Apr 26, 2007 3:33 am 
 

pdf files of the various monster manuals are very helpful for 3.5 game masters.

instead of transcribing huge amounts of info...or wrecking your book by holding it open at the table (but held in your lap to conceal the critter in question)...you can print out the page of the monster you need.

a pdf of a module you own is also very helpful...saves wrecking your copy.


"But I have watched the dragons come, fire-eyed, across the world."

  


Prolific Collector

Posts: 760
Joined: Dec 31, 2005
Last Visit: Jul 23, 2021
Location: Dallas, TX

Post Posted: Thu Apr 26, 2007 2:17 pm 
 

Badmike hit the nail on the head -- the prices on eBay have almost nothing to do with people wanting to play the game.. and has everything to do with collecting the stuff. Massive amounts of copies won't have any affect on prices.

I mean you can buy a lot of a hundred D&D books for about $30-40 if its for play. Collector copies, that same lot will run for hundreds of dollars. So the market is almost perfectly segmented between "collectors" and "players" (even though the same person may act as a collector in terms of his bidding one day, and act as a player the next).

On principle one should not be able to copy another's work for profit nor for personal use if royalties are due to the owner of those protected works. In practice, many people can get away with it on a small scale because enforcing those property rights is simply unfeasbile (i.e. it costs more to catch someone than what they are costing you). Of course, that doesn't make it right.

The problem is we have so many stupid laws that the important ones (like property rights) aren't properly enforced. The law is also far too complex (ie. when do IP rights expire, etc). So to many people, given the age of the works, a little bending of the law is warranted and so they make personal copies and either give them away.. and I don't necessarily blame them.

  
Previous
Post new topic Reply to topic Page 2 of 21, 2