Upper Works review?
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Post Posted: Tue Jun 16, 2009 7:02 pm 
 

. wrote:Furthermore, burning the recipient's PayPal ID into the PDF as metadata, and/or as a watermark would deter redistribution online.

My primary concern is wider distribution of pirate copies. Whilst I trust everyone here, and can control who I send files to, I have no control over who they trust and/or pass files to.


Great post!

picked out the 2 bits that I found most interesting - first is a great suggestion and second shows just how easily stuff profligates on the internet - a domino effect that means suddenly everone and his friend has one!

(btw - you trust EVERYONE here - really? 8O  :D )


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Post Posted: Tue Jun 16, 2009 7:33 pm 
 

. wrote:But I have a problem with the sheer volume of pirate goods online and would not wish to be the person who put CZ up there. That is my dilema.


It will probably happen eventually, whether you pass your copy around or not, as it is possible to find PDFs of virtually every RPG product ever made on torrent trackers or Usenet. The ideas you suggest are about the most that can be done to reduce the traffic.

The funny thing is, on this past Saturday I was considering scanning my reading copy for my own use. I still haven't decided if I have the gumption to scan the whole thing or not.

  

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Post Posted: Wed Jun 17, 2009 2:27 am 
 

gyg wrote:(btw - you trust EVERYONE here - really? 8O  :D )

Everyone that I have got to know over the passed five years or so then. :D
Nice Hantlers wrote:It will probably happen eventually, whether you pass your copy around or not.

That doesn't necessarily mean I want to contribute to that, and furthermore, I take pride in the quality of my work, and I wouldn't want to see an increase in the general quality of pirate scans on the internet, because that only encourages it further. If people download poor quality pirate copies, they end up buying what they like for real. People have a tendancy to value what they've worked and paid for, but not what they got for free.



As a sounding board, Acaeum is good, mainly because most of the people who are regulars here have similar concerns and motives as my own. We all collect and want the best we can find for our collections, and we want to protect our investments and prevent the value of that investment from being corroded.

I may take a slightly more pragmatic view of preserving products for the future (by digitizing them), because I do not trust that the rare and uncommon items (particularly those outwith most peoples buying power or scope of interest) will not wholely disappear from the planet in time (clearly CZ:UW is not in this catagory, but much of what I scan may be). I believe it is encumbent on some of us to preserve these items for the future, and digital copies seems more preferable over microfieche, and is the only real alternative.

Example - I used to work in the music scene for my sins, and one of the bands was called Love Decree, an Edinburgh group who had a number one hit with a ditty that was all over Scottish adverts for Tennants Lager, and became the youth/football icon song for one particularly hot summer in Scotland. Looking back some 10 years later, when Soul Seeker was the peer network of choice, I went looking for Love Decree and their song, Something So Real, and it was nowhere. Indeed, there was absolutely no information online at all, and no-one stocking back catalog. Now I knew they'd put out a 7" and a 12" on general release, and a CD Single in very small numbers. It took about 6 months and I tracked down copies on vinyl, had a DJ friend convert them to mp3 and offered it up to fileshare. Lo-and-behold, I do a Google search now and the mp3 file is everywhere. It seems the song is well known and whether Love Decree were instrumental in doing this themselves, or whether people just downloaded my mp3 and then continued to share it, this song is preserved forever (or as forever as you can get).

Now I'm not advocating distribution of pirate PDFs, but more a case of promoting the distribution of backup copies to people who already own products. If I get burgled and my collection goes, or have a fire and everything goes, it would be good to be able to go back online and download everything I bought from RPGNow. They provide a safety net for much valued Abysthor and Rappan Athuk for example.

Someone buys a manuscript for a dungeon for many thousands of dollars. A unique item of great provenence. Should disaster befall that someone's collection, you would like to hope that he could go back to source and say 'I don't suppose you kept a digital copy of that item, did you? Can I have it?'

Personally, I get much more value for money out of buying PDFs than making them, and I buy them whenever I can. The time and effort I put in can only be justified as a hobby or passion. I try to encourage companies to release PDFs, but it is a long hard fight against wild geese and brick walls.


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Post Posted: Wed Jun 17, 2009 8:47 am 
 

. wrote:That doesn't necessarily mean I want to contribute to that, and furthermore, I take pride in the quality of my work, and I wouldn't want to see an increase in the general quality of pirate scans on the internet, because that only encourages it further. If people download poor quality pirate copies, they end up buying what they like for real. People have a tendancy to value what they've worked and paid for, but not what they got for free.



As a sounding board, Acaeum is good, mainly because most of the people who are regulars here have similar concerns and motives as my own. We all collect and want the best we can find for our collections, and we want to protect our investments and prevent the value of that investment from being corroded.

I may take a slightly more pragmatic view of preserving products for the future (by digitizing them), because I do not trust that the rare and uncommon items (particularly those outwith most peoples buying power or scope of interest) will not wholely disappear from the planet in time (clearly CZ:UW is not in this catagory, but much of what I scan may be). I believe it is encumbent on some of us to preserve these items for the future, and digital copies seems more preferable over microfieche, and is the only real alternative.

Example - I used to work in the music scene for my sins, and one of the bands was called Love Decree, an Edinburgh group who had a number one hit with a ditty that was all over Scottish adverts for Tennants Lager, and became the youth/football icon song for one particularly hot summer in Scotland. Looking back some 10 years later, when Soul Seeker was the peer network of choice, I went looking for Love Decree and their song, Something So Real, and it was nowhere. Indeed, there was absolutely no information online at all, and no-one stocking back catalog. Now I knew they'd put out a 7" and a 12" on general release, and a CD Single in very small numbers. It took about 6 months and I tracked down copies on vinyl, had a DJ friend convert them to mp3 and offered it up to fileshare. Lo-and-behold, I do a Google search now and the mp3 file is everywhere. It seems the song is well known and whether Love Decree were instrumental in doing this themselves, or whether people just downloaded my mp3 and then continued to share it, this song is preserved forever (or as forever as you can get).

Now I'm not advocating distribution of pirate PDFs, but more a case of promoting the distribution of backup copies to people who already own products. If I get burgled and my collection goes, or have a fire and everything goes, it would be good to be able to go back online and download everything I bought from RPGNow. They provide a safety net for much valued Abysthor and Rappan Athuk for example.

Someone buys a manuscript for a dungeon for many thousands of dollars. A unique item of great provenence. Should disaster befall that someone's collection, you would like to hope that he could go back to source and say 'I don't suppose you kept a digital copy of that item, did you? Can I have it?'

Personally, I get much more value for money out of buying PDFs than making them, and I buy them whenever I can. The time and effort I put in can only be justified as a hobby or passion. I try to encourage companies to release PDFs, but it is a long hard fight against wild geese and brick walls.


Interesting Ian mentions music as this is one area where digital recordings are really helping, in making previously unknown music available 30 years later. Everything recorded on vinyl does NOT make it to CD and many recordings have the chance of disappearing entirely from the public eye. Digital recording of vinyl to mp3s has immensely helped the collector in this regard.  I think in the long run pdfs are going to similarly preserve the RPG games we love so much, especialy for low print run or oddball items out there.

Plus I have yet to see a reasonable argument that devalues collecitibles by having them in pdf form, so it can only help to get them recorded and saved.  This is especially for those who are historians of the game yet cannot afford the quite unreasonable expenditure for buying the actual items. A comparison would be if a historian doing work on the founding fathers had to go out and find an original copy of the Federalist papers to do any sort of research, unreasonable and would lead to many people not taking up the mantle of research.  

Anyway I think there are many rpg items out there that could benefit from collected pdf versions (Arduin, Midkemia, The Companions, British mags like Beholder, Tortured Souls, etc) and hope to see them someday, but in lieu of that I think privately held pdf versions are good for preserving the knowledge.

Considering the limited print run and fragile state of the CZ boxed set, it makes sense to copy these for either use or for reading purposes. I would love to have a pdf so as not to further damage my own copy while flipping through it.

Mike B.


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Post Posted: Wed Jun 17, 2009 9:13 am 
 

i do personally think that seeing fanzine runs in PDF form would be fantastic...even certain other things that i wouldnt really go out and get anyway....from a legel and NOT illegal aspect of course. if the coast was clear, then i would be happy to buy these, as i know most of them, i would have little chance of obtaining.

and i dont think they devalue these kind of products....most proper collectors like to get hold of the real deal anyways.

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Post Posted: Wed Jun 17, 2009 12:25 pm 
 

I assume if this is done that the copyright holder would be contacted for permission first.

  

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Post Posted: Wed Jun 17, 2009 12:51 pm 
 

jcp wrote:I assume if this is done that the copyright holder would be contacted for permission first.


The trouble with fanzines is that most state that the copyright holders are the article authors, etc so in order to "get permission" you really do need the permission of everyone who contributed which is not feasible.

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Post Posted: Wed Jun 17, 2009 12:56 pm 
 

jcp wrote:I assume if this is done that the copyright holder would be contacted for permission first.

As far as I am aware (correct me if I'm wrong) we are all permitted to obtain and keep one copy of what we buy for personal use and as a backup should out copy become damaged or destroyed. And as far as I'm aware, no permission is required from the copyright holder to do this. Am I wrong?

Now, if you go to Kinkos and photocopy your purchased copy of CZ:UW as your means of backup, is Kinkos breaking the law by fascilitating the buyer from exercising their rights under the law? Or if he asks his sister, who is not the lawful owner of said copy, to go to Kinkos to make a copy, is she breaking the law?

If not, then surely asking a friend if he can make a digital copy is also not against the law. Ergo, no permission required and perfectly legal.

It only becomes illegal if someone who has no right under the law to a copy is given a copy, but I would be most interested in your take on this, as it is a very intricate matter.


Aside, a digital copy with OCR in the hands of Trigee would fascilitate easier republication. So there is an upside, but I'm not gonna go there, as I have a vested interest in keeping the CZ:UW price as high as possible. I'm still sitting on a cases and a half of these babies.


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Post Posted: Wed Jun 17, 2009 5:56 pm 
 

. wrote:As far as I am aware (correct me if I'm wrong) we are all permitted to obtain and keep one copy of what we buy for personal use and as a backup should out copy become damaged or destroyed. And as far as I'm aware, no permission is required from the copyright holder to do this. Am I wrong?

I have only heard that argument applied to non-printed media (LPs, cassettes, CDs, DVDs).  I'm not sure if LPs and cassettes are truly legally covered.

I have never heard that argument applied to books, magazines, and other printed media.

  

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Post Posted: Wed Jun 17, 2009 7:52 pm 
 

. wrote:As far as I am aware (correct me if I'm wrong) we are all permitted to obtain and keep one copy of what we buy for personal use and as a backup should out copy become damaged or destroyed. And as far as I'm aware, no permission is required from the copyright holder to do this. Am I wrong?

Now, if you go to Kinkos and photocopy your purchased copy of CZ:UW as your means of backup, is Kinkos breaking the law by fascilitating the buyer from exercising their rights under the law? Or if he asks his sister, who is not the lawful owner of said copy, to go to Kinkos to make a copy, is she breaking the law?

If not, then surely asking a friend if he can make a digital copy is also not against the law. Ergo, no permission required and perfectly legal.

It only becomes illegal if someone who has no right under the law to a copy is given a copy, but I would be most interested in your take on this, as it is a very intricate matter.


Aside, a digital copy with OCR in the hands of Trigee would fascilitate easier republication. So there is an upside, but I'm not gonna go there, as I have a vested interest in keeping the CZ:UW price as high as possible. I'm still sitting on a cases and a half of these babies.


I used to photocopy Dragon magazine articles back in the 70s/80s to use instead of the mags.  I probably gave some away during the years.  I frankly couldn't give a rat's ass if it was legal or not, since I didn't care then and I don't care now....not a single article I photocopied prevented a single issue of Dragon from selling new off the shelf.

People who have no vested interest in copyright, etc are always the ones getting into snoots about whether it's "legal" or not to make a copy of something. Meanwhile my 30 year crime spree of photocopying stuff for my own personal enjoyment (whether I own it or not) continues unabated. When the copyright police finally catch up to me, I'm doomed..... :roll:

Ok a lot of that is tongue in cheek.  But I've seen such a waste of billions of electrons over the years with people going back and forth worrying about this crap that I have lost the capacity for caring. My stand as of several years ago, and still now, is that if the original copyright owners don't give a damn, I don't either. For example WOTC has shown many times over the years they don't give a damn about Ebay counterfeits/cd rom collections.  If they don't care, why should I?

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Post Posted: Thu Jun 18, 2009 4:56 am 
 

You're right. The only people who ever get on their high horse about it are people with no vested interest at all. Of course, that's the easiest postion to take the moral high ground from, because you don't actually have to demonstrate any intent or will to do anything.

Paper degrades over time.
I purchase the right to own the product forever. I do not license it for a specified period of time, and the product comes with no expiry date or warranty. My copy could degrade anytime in the next 100 years. I do not know, and the publisher did not provide me with that information at the timeof purchase. Therefor, as a safeguard, I made a copy of the material in the even that the original degrades and becomes unusable. I chose to make that copy electronically because it is cheaper, takes up less room to store, and is likely to last as long, if not longer that the product I am safeguarding.
All perfectly legal to me.

I would suggest everyone make arrangements to safequard their products, particularily if the product is on great personal value (ie, you really love the pice of work and are likely to use it more than once), or in the event that the product has great intrinsic value. At least if disaster happens you'll be able to use your backup if you can't find or afford to replace the original.

Some people don't own photocopiers, and need to go to a specialist to have a photocopy made. Some people don't have scanners and scanning software and have to go to a specialist to have a copy made. I have yet to see any case law showing that it is illegal to make or keep a personal copy of something you value.


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Post Posted: Fri Jun 19, 2009 2:30 am 
 

There is no provision to digitally copy printed copyrighted material without the permission of the copyright holder. If you do so, you do so of your own choice, but making those digital copies available to other people most certainly crosses the line and is illegal.

You're right. The only people who ever get on their high horse about it are people with no vested interest at all.


So someone can't base their concerns on matters of principle? One can't believe that living in a civil society of rules and laws is both important and valid? One can only be upset by others blatantly breaking the law if they are personally infringed upon? That logic makes no sense to me at all.  

In addition though one may not be "hurt" personally by someone infringing on anothers copyright, the act of doing so ultimately hurts everyone who holds a copyright. If you can use some form of justification to make and distribute digital copies of someone elses work, who is to say you won't eventually do the same to my work as well, or that someone else won't? Therefore I see it as entirely valid to be concerned about any illegal copyright infringement.

I purchase the right to own the product forever.


You aren't purchasing any rights when you purchase a book or game. You own the imprint of the book in the form you purchased it in, but you don't own the rights to the book or game itself. The copyright holder does and they alone generally control how it is copied, sold, and distributed.

  

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Post Posted: Fri Jun 19, 2009 2:55 am 
 

jcp wrote:There is no provision to digitally copy printed copyrighted material without the permission of the copyright holder. If you do so, you do so of your own choice, but making those digital copies available to other people most certainly crosses the line and is illegal.

I would really like to see if that could stand up in court. In fact the whole hypothesis. I very much doubt your perception has ever been tested and upheld because if someone owns and has paid for an original, there is no harm done to anyone if he has a copy of it. No one loses any revenue. And the whole, 'well if he'll make a copy of that book, then maybe he'll make a copy of mine' is rediculous. If someone buys a book, regardless of who wrote it, it is rediculous to say he can't own a copy of it for personal private use. Particularly if that book's value is very high. It makes perfect sence.

But when legal restraint run contrary to common sense, that helps explain why culture is handicapped and progress in society is slowed. There is a difference between backing up something for someone who has purchased it legitimately, and illegally pirating materials and sharing it on Torrents. When copyright law manages to drag itself out of the 19th century and into the modern age, maybe society as a whole will start to give it consideration. At present it is considered little more than and annoying dinosaur of the past century that keeps harping on about how things used to be in their day. The vast majority of society has moved on and put the dinosaur in its place and treat it with the disrespect that is due. If legal reform is required then that is a whole different discussion, but we live in a modern world now, and the rules of the olden days no longer apply, regardless of whether or not they are still on the statute. Hell, in the UK you can still be executed and we still maintain the gallows to do it, but it never gets enforced because the society has moved on. Copyright law concerning personal property is the same thing.


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Post Posted: Fri Jun 19, 2009 12:09 pm 
 

This has indeed been tested in court. Copyright law is well tested and well founded in fact. It may seem confusing and obscure or arcane but it is in fact well understood by professionals and well defended by copyright lawyers. What seems like a simple act can indeed lead to serious consequences. Case in point is the 2nd trial of the woman in MN who was found guilty yesterday of willfull copyright infringement for downloading 24 songs resulting in a fine of $1.92 million dollars.  

Here are some legal references for you to consider.

In 1980 a new section was amendend to the 1976 Copyright Act, section 117. This new section provided the basis for owners of computer programs to back up them up for their protection and use in certain specific circumstances. But this provision did not extended to any other media and books and printed matter were not then nor are they now covered by this provision. The US Copyright office specifically states in regards to this "this privilege extends only to computer programs and not to other types of works." Interestingly it has gotten more difficult to legally back up privately purchased software as the 1998 amendments under the Digital Millennum Copyright Act made it illegal to defeat technological copy prevention built into software.

In 1992 an amendement was added to the Copyright Act allowing consumers to make personal back up copies of legally purchased music and media stored on CD, but it was explicitly stated that these backup copies were for personal use only and never under any circumstances to be given to others or distributed, even if given away for free. These provisions have since been updated and challenged so they have evolved, but at no time did this extend to other media that a consumer may purchase or own so books and printed mater would not fall under this either.

Lastly there are provisions in the Copyright Act for libraries and cultural institutions to make very limited back up copies of certain items in their collections under very specific circumstances, but without going into the details of when and how this is possible suffice to say that it is rigorously controlled and wouldn't apply to private consumers.

As such there are no provisions in the Copyright Act to allow you to make personal back up copies of CZ: Upper Works and/or to distribute copies to others.

  

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Post Posted: Fri Jun 19, 2009 12:46 pm 
 

There is a world of difference between downloading pirate music off of Kazaa and making a personal copy of a document for your own use. Trying to compare the two is both erroneous and assinine.

If copyright law does not reflect either societies needs or actions or general moral compass, then it continues to lag behind and prevent society from evolving.

And in any event, the only person who has any legal claim, and it is only a civil one, is the copyright holder. No other party, and no other organization may bring a claim for copyright enfringement. What the law says, and what the courts say, and what the individuals involved actually do are more often than not, completely different. When the law defends an individual's legitimate interest, then it is doing it's job. When it runs contrary to the general feeling of society, the law is an ass, and only by ignoring it can you demonstrate how foolish it is.

We are not talking here about piracy or ripping off someone. We are talking about security for the 500 odd people who have the only copies of this piece of work known to exist, and their want or need to preserve that work for as long as they can. If the fans do nothing, nothing will ever get done. You certainly can't Trust Trigee to get off their arse and preserve EGG's works.


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Post Posted: Fri Jun 19, 2009 12:55 pm 
 

jcp wrote:......Case in point is the 2nd trial of the woman in MN who was found guilty yesterday of willfull copyright infringement for downloading 24 songs resulting in a fine of $1.92 million dollars.  ....


Umnnn how about some links to that story, otherwise (IMO) its nothing but a hard to believe story told by a stranger (Well, I don know who you are at any rate)......

......24 songs dowloaded and she got strangeled for 2 million in fines?
It was the SECOND TRAIL?
Why?
What was the frst trial?
Is she a Re-Seller?
Or just a constant abuser and pissed ev1 off by laughing at the first trial?
There has to be more to it than you eluded to.

Plus what Dot said. :lol:


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Post Posted: Fri Jun 19, 2009 1:03 pm 
 

There is a world of difference between downloading pirate music off of Kazaa and making a personal copy of a document for your own use. Trying to compare the two is both erroneous and assinine.


The world of difference is not so great. The fundamental connection is that both are illegal in the context you provided. You may not like that fact or agree with it, but that is the case under current copyright law.

Umnnn how about some links to that story


Sure thing, not a problem at all.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.c ... 455D68.DTL

And in any event, the only person who has any legal claim, and it is only a civil one, is the copyright holder. No other party, and no other organization may bring a claim for copyright enfringement.


And your point is what? I don't recall anyone here ever suggesting they were going to bring a case against you, only that what you have suggested doing so far infringes upon the copyrights of the legal owner of the rights to CZ: UW. That said it is entirely within the rights and obligations of law abidding citizens to take action when others make claims to wanting to infringe on others as you have suggested. I respect the legal rights and personal wishes of the copyright holder of CZ: UW. If you did as well you would very easily and very directly contact them and ask for permission to do what you are wanting to do. If they grant you permission you have no problem. So what is the hold up with you just asking for permission?

When it runs contrary to the general feeling of society, the law is an ass, and only by ignoring it can you demonstrate how foolish it is.


The "general feeling of society" as you suggest is reflected in our Constitution which provides the context for our elected officials to be elected and to represent the population. They in turn help enact the laws that in this case cover copyright issues, while the courts interpret those laws and either uphold them or strike them down. The only tangible measure of "the general feeling of society" are what laws we currently have in place. Sorry to say in this case the copyright law goes counter to what you suggest. If you disagree that is your right as a member of this society but breaking the law anyway doesn't make it any less illegal to do so, no matter how much you try to put a different framework around the issue.

  

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Post Posted: Fri Jun 19, 2009 1:27 pm 
 

The recording companies accused Thomas-Rasset of offering 1,700 songs on Kazaa as of February 2005, before the company became a legal music subscription service following a settlement with entertainment companies. For simplicity's sake the music industry tried to prove only 24 infringements.



As I suspected.
It was not just 24 songs..... but 1700.
However, that jury award is insane.
$80,000 per song.
Too bad they didnt go ahead and inlude all 1700 songs mentioned in the story....
That woulda ben 136 million instead of a measily 1.92......

Apparently They went light on her though, they COULD have fined her $150,000 PER SONG...
Then she could have been hit for 425 Million in fines and awards. :roll:

She is a single mom (Divorced) wih kids and she has no way in hell to pay even one hundredth of that 1.92 million in fines.

Insane.
And I still agree with Dot.
What does that story have to do with making a copy of UW for his personal use?


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