Interesting Non-TSR Items Formerly on eBay
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Post Posted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 10:39 am 
 

sauromatian wrote:
Such is the problem when discussing IP law with amateurs. They have no idea what the laws actually do. Backup copies? Expiration or abandonment? Never heard of it, you must be a thief.


I for one would love to know (for sure) what is allowed and what isn't. Do the .pdfs of modules and rulebooks that I downloaded and printed out "illegally" as reading/"let the kids trash 'em" copies count as legitimate backups? (I own originals of everything, but the printouts are not copies I made myself of the items). If so, do the electronic .pdf and the printout of same count as one or two backups? Is two one too many, or is that okay?

In general, I want to be doing the "right thing". However, short of hiring an IP attorney or getting authoritative answers somewhere else (nothing I've ever read here qualifies, IMO), I'm left with the pragmatic, "What can I get away with?" option that I'm not terribly comfortable with. Is there even a definitive answer to these questions?


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Post Posted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 11:00 am 
 

MetamorphosisSigma wrote:
I for one would love to know (for sure) what is allowed and what isn't. Do the .pdfs of modules and rulebooks that I downloaded and printed out "illegally" as reading/"let the kids trash 'em" copies count as legitimate backups? (I own originals of everything, but the printouts are not copies I made myself of the items). If so, do the electronic .pdf and the printout of same count as one or two backups? Is two one too many, or is that okay?

In general, I want to be doing the "right thing". However, short of hiring an IP attorney or getting authoritative answers somewhere else (nothing I've ever read here qualifies, IMO), I'm left with the pragmatic, "What can I get away with?" option that I'm not terribly comfortable with. Is there even a definitive answer to these questions?


I'm not an expert, but the way I understand the law is that you are allowed to make a backup and even prinit it out for your kids to use.  The violation happens when someone who does not hold the copyright profits from the sale of "copied or PDFed" work.  Therefore denying the rightful holder of copyright the money.

I bought a copy of Tombs of Valla off ebay minus the maps.  One of the members here sent me a pdf of the maps.  I've printed the maps out and placed them with my copy of Tombs of Valls.  I've noterized the maps as "copies".  If the maps are part of the copyright held by Clegg than I do not think any violation occurred.  However, if the maps had a separate copyright then I think there could be problem.  Especially is the copyright holder had a website up where you could buy copies of the map.

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Post Posted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 11:00 am 
 

mbassoc2003 wrote:So if someone buys something and it's missing the maps or the back pages, or players handout, we shouldn't pass along copies to help them out, because in doing so we are stealing from the author/artist?

You raised a moral question. Whether it's efficient or legal, doesn't necessarily change that question.

IP rights have to be asserted - a court has to determine whether they've been violated or not. So a lot of it comes down to "what can I get away with?"

It seems the question is thus: is it moral for one to reproduce - for someone else - something of which my ownership could be reasonably contested?

  

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Post Posted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 11:06 am 
 

Prufrock wrote:I'm not an expert, but the way I understand the law is that you are allowed to make a backup and even prinit it out for your kids to use.  The violation happens when someone who does not hold the copyright profits from the sale of "copied or PDFed" work.  Therefore denying the rightful holder of copyright the money.


I don't think the "for profit" angle is correct. The FBI warning at the beginning of every DVD I own has that little clause, stating that copyright violations include, "distribution without profit." (or some such).


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Post Posted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 11:10 am 
 

Sea-to-sky-games wrote:You raised a moral question. Whether it's efficient or legal, doesn't necessarily change that question.

IP rights have to be asserted - a court has to determine whether they've been violated or not. So a lot of it comes down to "what can I get away with?"

It seems the question is thus: is it moral for one to reproduce - for someone else - something of which my ownership could be reasonably contested?


But IP is a lot broader than copyright (which is I think the crux of the issue we're discussing). No one is planning on publishing something that incorporates a bunch of WotC's (for instance) intellectual property. We're just talking about copying part of an item to make it complete, or making a photocopy/pdf backup.

Now *I'm* getting way into amateur territory, but IIRC there's a certain dollar amount threshold ($2,500?) where it becomes a felony even without a complaint by the copyright holder.


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Post Posted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 11:23 am 
 

MetamorphosisSigma wrote:
I for one would love to know (for sure) what is allowed and what isn't. Do the .pdfs of modules and rulebooks that I downloaded and printed out "illegally" as reading/"let the kids trash 'em" copies count as legitimate backups? (I own originals of everything, but the printouts are not copies I made myself of the items). If so, do the electronic .pdf and the printout of same count as one or two backups? Is two one too many, or is that okay?

In general, I want to be doing the "right thing". However, short of hiring an IP attorney or getting authoritative answers somewhere else (nothing I've ever read here qualifies, IMO), I'm left with the pragmatic, "What can I get away with?" option that I'm not terribly comfortable with. Is there even a definitive answer to these questions?


In short, if you did not purchase a product - PDF included - from a publisher (or retailer), it is not legal to obtain it. By publisher/retailer I mean someone who is authorized by the IP holder to distribute the item.

Simply owning a print version of a product does not entitle anyone to grab a PDF off the net. A person does not gain any right to a PDF unless the IP holder distributes the PDF with the original or subsequent purchase.

As to the question of a back up copy, there is no such right with printed material. You can't just reproduce items or PDFs in case your house burns down. Sounds a bit harsh, but that is the way it is. Can you make back up copies of a PDF you legally purchased? I think that is ok so long as you do not distribute it. But seriously, no one is coming after anyone for photocopying something you bought for personal use. It is the point where the item is distributed that is the real problem. You want to make back up copies of stuff you legally obtained, go ahead. No problem with that. But going online to get back ups is not legal. This may seem like splitting hairs, but there it is. The wonderful world of IP.

Personally, if I did not buy it, I don't feel I have any right to have it. That may make me a dinosaur in this Internet world, but here I am.


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Post Posted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 11:33 am 
 

MetamorphosisSigma wrote:
But IP is a lot broader than copyright (which is I think the crux of the issue we're discussing). No one is planning on publishing something that incorporates a bunch of WotC's (for instance) intellectual property. We're just talking about copying part of an item to make it complete, or making a photocopy/pdf backup.

Now *I'm* getting way into amateur territory, but IIRC there's a certain dollar amount threshold ($2,500?) where it becomes a felony even without a complaint by the copyright holder.

Yeah, I too would be interested in the legal details - I hadn't heard of the automatic penalties.

Copyrights don't expire until 70 years after one's death, and I don't think IP is property in the traditional sense in that it could be considered abandoned [i.e., it is efficient for abandoned physical property to be lawfully acquired by other so as to minimize waste of resources]. But ignoring or waiving one's rights [i.e., not asserting them] would seemingly amount to the same thing.

Fair use allows a certain amount of duplication for one's personal use, or to advertise (such as a book review), etc. I would think this would be the primary point of contention.

  

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Post Posted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 12:08 pm 
 

bbarsh wrote:In short, if you did not purchase a product - PDF included - from a publisher (or retailer), it is not legal to obtain it. By publisher/retailer I mean someone who is authorized by the IP holder to distribute the item.

Simply owning a print version of a product does not entitle anyone to grab a PDF off the net. A person does not gain any right to a PDF unless the IP holder distributes the PDF with the original or subsequent purchase.

As to the question of a back up copy, there is no such right with printed material. You can't just reproduce items or PDFs in case your house burns down. Sounds a bit harsh, but that is the way it is. Can you make back up copies of a PDF you legally purchased? I think that is ok so long as you do not distribute it.


Yeah, but how do you "know" this? I'm with sauromatian. Amateur speculation about the law is unproductive; I'm interested in hearing information from people who actually have some legal background, not bald assertions with little to no basis (like my own, admittedly). Certitude is not the test of certainty.

You want to make back up copies of stuff you legally obtained, go ahead. No problem with that. But going online to get back ups is not legal. This may seem like splitting hairs, but there it is. The wonderful world of IP.


It is splitting hairs (both are secondary copies of something I did, in fact, pay for). But what I still don't know is if even one backup is legal.

Personally, if I did not buy it, I don't feel I have any right to have it. That may make me a dinosaur in this Internet world, but here I am.


I don't feel entitled to free product either.


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Post Posted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 12:26 pm 
 

Here's the text of the law on fair use:
http://fairuse.stanford.edu/primary_mat ... 1.html#107

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Post Posted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 1:35 pm 
 

Gee, I remember when this thread was about eBay. And things for sale.

Why don't you go get a room somewhere?

  

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Post Posted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 1:37 pm 
 

I assert my amateur status.  :D

...and my longwindedness...


The huge issues today with IP and copyright law are:

1. The digital medium fundamentally changes the entire concept.  Anyone can make a perfect copy of something and easily mass-distribute it.  This applies more to audio/video/ebooks than antiquated print, but it's still  relevant.

2. It's international.  Or rather, the problem is, but the law isn't.  If an item has US copyright, but is downloaded from a server in Russia by someone in Brazil, what law applies?  And who enforces it?


In a sense, the moral issue is easier to address.  You either feel it's a problem and don't download anything you "shouldn't" or you lump it in the same category as other situations where you perceived that "no one is hurt by it" (speeding on an empty road, claiming a few extra deductions on your taxes, jaywalking, etc).

Morality is individual, so whatever you choose for yourself is right FOR YOU.  If you feel okay downloading a scan of an old book, then you will.  If you don't, you won't.  Either way, there probably isn't much more to it than that.

The law is the majority morality of a society.  Whatever the law is as written is what everyone should do... except that many laws are archaic but have never been repealed, aren't regularly enforced, aren't evenly enforced, or, most applicable here, are in a transitory state as the underlying problem evolves.

If you download that scan, what will happen?  Realistically, nothing.  If you buy a physical product missing a page or a map or some small piece, and ask someone else for a copy of it, what will happen?  Presuming you're asking someone who would likely give it to you, again probably nothing.  Are these letter of the law legal acts?  Almost certainly not.

In addition to morality vs. legality, there is also a problem of wanting blanket answers to situations which are more nuanced than that.  Consider several different scenarios through both the lenses of morality and legality (consider copy to be photocopy or download in any of these cases):

1. You buy a physical copy of an out of print book, but one page is missing.  You are given a copy of the missing page by someone who is not the copyright holder.

2. You buy a physical copy of an in print book, but one page is missing.  You are given a copy of the missing page by someone who is not the copyright holder.  (This one is a bit more theoretical, as you'd probably just return the defective book if you could)

3. You buy a physical copy of valuable out of print book, and make a copy for yourself, so you don't have to handle and risk damaging the original.

4. As 3, but you make the copy available to a small number of people at no cost.

5. As 4, but to a large number of people.

6. As 4 or 5, but for a cost.

7. As 3, but you're a museum or library.

8. As 3 or 4 or 5, but the book isn't that valuable and it's in print.

9. Reconsider all the above for a digital object instead of a printed object.


Regardless of where YOU draw the line for your own personal morality, it should be clear that other people will have a different opinion, and they may be located in a country half a world away, with different laws.


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Post Posted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 2:21 pm 
 

ExTSR wrote:Gee, I remember when this thread was about eBay. And things for sale.




Oh, very well:

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Post Posted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 2:21 pm 
 

Prufrock wrote:
I'm not an expert, but the way I understand the law is that you are allowed to make a backup and even prinit it out for your kids to use.  The violation happens when someone who does not hold the copyright profits from the sale of "copied or PDFed" work.  Therefore denying the rightful holder of copyright the money.

I bought a copy of Tombs of Valla off ebay minus the maps.  One of the members here sent me a pdf of the maps.  I've printed the maps out and placed them with my copy of Tombs of Valls.  I've noterized the maps as "copies".  If the maps are part of the copyright held by Clegg than I do not think any violation occurred.  However, if the maps had a separate copyright then I think there could be problem.  Especially is the copyright holder had a website up where you could buy copies of the map.

Martin

This is exactly the issue I'm wondering about. The recent copy of Carse on eBay has no mapsheet. It could just as easily be a copy of TS! with no centre spread, or the ubiquitous T1-4 with no map booklet.

Is it illegal for someone llike me to send a PDF discretely to the buyer at their request to fill the gap in their data? Make their product more usable and enjoyable to them? As it is intended to be. SIf it isn't, should it be? And ofcourse, if that T1-4 map booklet went wild on the internet, I would then presumably be contributing to the illegal distribution of PDFs.


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Post Posted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 2:42 pm 
 

bbarsh wrote:As to the question of a back up copy, there is no such right with printed material. You can't just reproduce items or PDFs in case your house burns down. Sounds a bit harsh, but that is the way it is.


That's the way it is if "libraries/archives/museums/educators" are strictly professional & public institutions. Which assumes a strong role for government involvement in public cultural life - usually a big-government, nanny-state approach. Is that what you wish to advocate?

It's also the argument for restricting the 2nd Amendment to government-controlled militias. Pretty liberal.

Robert Bork interpreted the 1st Amendment to apply only to professional, accredited journalists. The rest of us have no freedom of speech, while our freedom of religion is only what established churches tell us we can believe. Bork was a conservative, but do you find that reason enough to agree?

  

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Post Posted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 3:43 pm 
 

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vi ... 0778358491



There was a BIN at $50, I don't understand why the bidder didn't buy it...


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Post Posted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 4:19 pm 
 

rhynne wrote:
Hey Sardan,

Not sure what it is to the UK, but it was around US$48.00 to Hong Kong for the shipping... :P

Best regards,
Ronald


Yeah, strikes me as too much!

  


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Post Posted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 4:23 pm 
 

lokiwookie wrote:** eBay auction listing blocked.  Please enable cookies in your browser for this site and for eBay! **

There was a BIN at $50, I don't understand why the bidder didn't buy it...




Seriously, there was a $50 BIN on this?

  

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Post Posted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 4:32 pm 
 

sauromatian wrote:
That's the way it is if "libraries/archives/museums/educators" are strictly professional & public institutions. Which assumes a strong role for government involvement in public cultural life - usually a big-government, nanny-state approach. Is that what you wish to advocate?

It's also the argument for restricting the 2nd Amendment to government-controlled militias. Pretty liberal.

Robert Bork interpreted the 1st Amendment to apply only to professional, accredited journalists. The rest of us have no freedom of speech, while our freedom of religion is only what established churches tell us we can believe. Bork was a conservative, but do you find that reason enough to agree?


Without being reactionary, I don't know what the hell you are talking about. My point is that IP belongs to the owner of the IP. But if you read my entire note, I clearly stated nobody cares if you make a back up copy of something, so long as you do not distribute it. Libraries, schools, etc, don't distribute (they may loan, but not distribute). Archive all you want. I don't give a care. But I simply pointed out that distribution is the key with IP issues.


And I could've bought these damn modules off the 1$ rack!!!

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Post Posted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 4:41 pm 
 

MetamorphosisSigma wrote:
I don't feel entitled to free product either.
(rest of quote did not copy over)

It is not legal to obtain a pdf copy of a product that you did not purchase. It is that simple. No speculation involved. Also, it is not legal to distribute pdf copies of an item that you do not own, or have distribution rights. Again, no speculation involved.
Owning a copy of X1 does not give the owner the right to obtain a pdf copy of X1 from the internet unless it is purchased/obtained from the IP holder or distributor of X1. No speculation there either.

I am not an expert on "personal" use. I really could care less what you do with your copy of the legally obtained X1 in the confines of your home. Nobody does. Make a thousand copies and wall paper your house. But just don't supply your friend, or anyone else, with copies so they can wall paper their house. That is the line in the sand.

I know this does not anwer specifically the question about what can a person do to "back up" their purchased products. But I really don't care. Sort of like making a cassette tape of that old lp. Whatever.


And I could've bought these damn modules off the 1$ rack!!!

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Post Posted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 5:01 pm 
 

bbarsh wrote:Whatever.


Indeed.


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