Ian's Tortured Souls collection
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Post Posted: Wed Dec 21, 2011 7:35 pm 
 

mbassoc2003 wrote:Hypothetically....

Let's say you buy a DMG on eBay, and tucked inside is a short adventure someone wrote when they were a kid, or a little sketch of Kobold hiding behind a tree. You read it, think it's pretty cool, and mention it in a fun fids thread. Theoretically, would you say you were breaching an unknown entity's copyright if you scanned it and posted it on the forum?


In that case, if it's the only copy, it would seem that you'd bought the rights to it, even if it wasn't the primary item sold.  That seems logical... so that probably ISN'T how the law works.   :D


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Post Posted: Wed Dec 21, 2011 7:50 pm 
 

vault keeper wrote:
beautiful, beautiful words.
That's exactly what i have always thought.
Sadly, it seems to me there are a few "greybeards" on this site as well...

I do own very rare material which took me effort and a long time to obtain, but i will surely share all of my collection (scanning it or whatever) before dying. Giving the future generations the chance of reading -for instance- a very rare fantasy rpg from the past which otherwise would be almost impossible to obtain-(and which is going to become increasingly impossible to peruse and study in the future) is of paramount importance to me and has always been.

Think, for example, about "Vikings & Valkyrs", or the 1st edition of Melanda rpg, or even the very rare second volume of Bifrost i'm currently after. How many out there are enjoying these products whilst knowing there are others who crave for them?
I find it despicable that they (the possessors) just don't pay attention to them and aren't helping them in any way.

I was helped greatly by members in this forum during my searches, but as i said i witnessed others whose behaviour was very different- though in the position of being able to help fellow collectors (with a scanning which would never have ruined their prized copy), they just refused to do it, without even replying. That's why i call them "greybeards". I'm sure they even don't play games, they just want to see them getting older and older on a shelf (but of course feeling very proud of owning them :D .....)

Dead wrong, bud.
And throwing divisive insults around isn't exactly a constructive approach, either: demand that everything (that people may have "invested" thousands of hours and dollars into researching and hunting down) be made available to you freely, regardless of copyright legislation, etc., or else you're a "greybeard", nyah, nyah?

aside: Why did you encourage Bill Underwood to reprint BM&G?


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Post Posted: Thu Dec 22, 2011 1:08 am 
 

faro wrote:Dead wrong, bud.
And throwing divisive insults around isn't exactly a constructive approach, either: demand that everything (that people may have "invested" thousands of hours and dollars into researching and hunting down) be made available to you freely, regardless of copyright legislation, etc., or else you're a "greybeard", nyah, nyah?

aside: Why did you encourage Bill Underwood to reprint BM&G?


So because someone "invested" thousands of hours into hunting down an item, everyone should back off and make sure it's never available again?  I really tire of collectors of any type of item that insist it's our job to make sure stuff is unavailable so their belongings can increase in value.  If it was up to me, I'd get the NTRPG con to reprint ST1's, Fazzlewoods and Daystar Rahasias at ten bucks apiece just for kicks to destroy the value of their hoard. BTW, next year it looks like we'll be doing Misty Isles, so don't forget to sell your copies now collectors before the crash!

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Post Posted: Thu Dec 22, 2011 1:28 am 
 

I don't think the reprints are having an impact on value of the originals.
I may be wrong.
The question is not as much whether or not we should, and more one of whether we should do so without the IP owners' consent (or worse, against their decision).


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Post Posted: Thu Dec 22, 2011 3:07 am 
 

faro wrote:Dead wrong, bud.
And throwing divisive insults around isn't exactly a constructive approach, either: demand that everything (that people may have "invested" thousands of hours and dollars into researching and hunting down) be made available to you freely, regardless of copyright legislation, etc., or else you're a "greybeard", nyah, nyah?


irrelevant. Mine was not an insult, don't know why it sounded like that to your ears, sorry about that.
I myself invested years and dollars to get the most prized items in my collection, nevertheless- i want to honestly tell you that that is precisely what convinced me to release them in the near future to anyone.

To whom will your prized collection go when you leave this world?
We just can't bring our items with us in the tomb, though some are so greedy up to the point they might desire that.

  

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Post Posted: Fri Dec 23, 2011 12:37 am 
 

PDF Pirate King wrote:This is no different than the guys on Ebay selling burnt copies of TSR stuff on DVDs.


I don't have a dog in this fight, but I can think of several differences.


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Post Posted: Fri Dec 23, 2011 4:09 am 
 

FormCritic wrote:
I don't have a dog in this fight, but I can think of several differences.


I guess it is similar in principle, but ethically it certainly is different. IMO


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Post Posted: Mon Dec 26, 2011 3:36 pm 
 

Hi all,

I do have a dog in this fight, so to speak. I am a small game publisher that acquired the rights to reprint a variety of classic Runequest 2 supplements. Reprinting those items has not particularly hurt the prices of the originals, at least on Ebay. Some prices have gone down lately, but I think that's more from a shrinking rpg playing/collecting audience, not reprints.

As for what you can and can't do with what you own, I take a fairly narrow and simple approach. If I own a physical copy of something, I can make copies for myself, and only for myself unless the publisher has explicitly said otherwise. Same goes for electronic files. I can copy a pdf to another computer of mine for ease of use, just like I do for my music. I have scanned in paper items so I have a pdf copy for personal use. Making copies for other people isn't what I do. That's the spirit of the law.

I don't care if someone wants to label me or describe me as a greybeard. I don't care whether they mean it as a compliment, insult, or anything in between. I don't think up colorful adjectives to describe collectors when I can just refer to them as "collectors who make copies for other people" or "collectors who don't make copies for other people".

As a side note, I know several rpg authors who get disgusted by people who make photocopies of their published material. One was signing books at a con when a fan asked to have his photocopy signed...


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Post Posted: Mon Dec 26, 2011 4:30 pm 
 

I agree that that should be the spirit of the law, except that the spirit of the law now seems to allow a company to give away digital copies of products on the mere varification and word that the recipient owns a physical copy he was gifted or bought. iTunes seem to have set the precedent that if you can get ahold of a CD (read borrow from a mate)they'll give you the whole CD in digital form for free. I.e. they will distribute mp3 files with no requirement ever to pay for them to the IP owner. Google and Amazon have already set the precedent with PDFs of books, falling short only at the point of not giving an entire book away for free at the moment.

These companies set US Law, and as the law is some century behind the times, I can only assume that the US and it's companies are setting the standard for the country to abide by in this century. On the whole, what the US companies say, and the US peoples agree to accept, is then accepted as tollerable in the UK. So when the US drop the need to respect copyright law in favour of the needs of businesses to make money, it becomes acceptable in the UK by default. US companies comtrol the morals of the nation in both the US and the UK. That said, you only need to look at the amount of piracy online, and the statistics of where the downloaders and uploaders are, and you can see where the moral compass of nations is pointing. iTunes, Google, Amazon et al are in fact at least paying lip service to the need to resoect copyright and fighting against the majority of the online communities who want freedom to ignore copyright law and/or any form of censorship, restrictions, rules or ethics.

I suppose we have to accept that breaching copyright law in the spirit of the age (the Apple, Google way) is far better than lowering ourselves to the lowest common moral demnominator of the nation.


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Post Posted: Tue Dec 27, 2011 10:41 am 
 

In the end, I feel it's better for me if I just do what the spirit of the law was originally meant to be, especially in terms of rewarding the creators with revenue for what they have created, if that is what they wanted.

A long time ago one of my scoutmasters used to often say "a dumb thing done by a lot of people is still a dumb thing". While I'm not trying to label the actions of anyone as dumb, since I do not want to offend, I do feel that just because everyone or even the majority choose to do something I am not automatically going to see it as right for me.

As for what big corporations choose do, I'm generally going to avoid that. If I personally did what they do to consumers I'd be probably be in jail...


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Post Posted: Tue Dec 27, 2011 10:54 am 
 

rmeints wrote:In the end, I feel it's better for me if I just do what the spirit of the law was originally meant to be, especially in terms of rewarding the creators with revenue for what they have created, if that is what they wanted.

...


Except the creators aren't always being rewarded.  But you should do what you feel is best for you, just don't expect anyone else to be similarly motivated, and try not to judge others by your own admittedly individualistic standards.

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Post Posted: Tue Dec 27, 2011 11:12 am 
 

One thing is for sure; the laws need revisiting and bringing into the modern world. Britain is operating largely on laws drafted in the Victorian age, and now interpretted by US Corporations who do not recognise law if that law prevents the easy making of money. The law is an ass and the world as a whole ignores copyright law en mass. Just as everyone in the UK j-walks, we all ignore copyright. The law is a useless law and it needs rewriting or scrapping completely. Either would be a better alternative to an unenforcable mess the laws of the world are in ATM.


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Post Posted: Tue Dec 27, 2011 11:56 am 
 

Badmike wrote:
Except the creators aren't always being rewarded.  But you should do what you feel is best for you, just don't expect anyone else to be similarly motivated, and try not to judge others by your own admittedly individualistic standards.

Mike B.


Hi Mike,

I'm not sure what you mean by not being rewarded. I try not to buy illegal/pirated/etc. copies of things, although that doesn't guarantee I never have. As for other people's actions, which I have no real control over anyway, I have no expectation of their motivations or actions matching mine. I treat others as I hope to be treated. As for judging others, why on earth would I do that? I have gone out of my way in my posts to not be judgmental. Are you merely offering unsolicited advice?


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Post Posted: Tue Dec 27, 2011 1:56 pm 
 

I think what he was getting at is that the creator of a work does not always see the benefit of that work. Through corporations' use of contract law, a lot of creative minds get screwed out of the fruits of their labour. In some cases, even recognition is not given, but for the most part, I assume Mike is highlighting the lack of reward in our selected hobby for the creative minds involved.


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Post Posted: Tue Dec 27, 2011 2:11 pm 
 

I think:  Keep trying to get permission from the other partner, Ian.

Assuming that the individual writers had contractual rights to their material is a big assumption.  In the absence of some other information, I think it is unlikely that they did.  (With some further thought, make that very unlikely.)

I know, for instance, that TSR's publications were always considered work for hire without expectations of further payment, and were henceforth the property of TSR.  Likewise, I doubt that the writers of articles for the thousands of old magazines digitized in the last decade have any right to payment or other ownership over the work they sold long ago.

An electronic version of an old magazine, with the permission of the company that published the magazine and selling (perhaps) 50 copies, is hardly an unreasonable or dastardly thing to do.

The only exception could be the artwork.  Some of TSR's cover work was first print rights...although that doesn't seem to preclude electronic versions of the same publication.  If an artist objects, you could send them a few bucks, but that seems quite unlikely.

There is the possibility that an electronic version of the Tortured Souls collection could get pirated on the internet.  That does not make the electronic publisher automatically wrong.  That is a choice by others.

Is there another issue I'm not seeing here?   :?:


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Post Posted: Tue Dec 27, 2011 2:38 pm 
 

FormCritic wrote:There is the possibility that an electronic version of the Tortured Souls collection could get pirated on the internet.

At least four issues are already out there.  You just have to search for them.

While I dont condone using illegal pdf's for profiteering, I'm not about to complain about another person downloading those same illegal pdf's so they can use them to determine if they will want to purchase the item or not.  I just plunked down fifty bucks for a copy of Cthulhu by Gaslight (box set).  No way do I do that if I dont know what's in it and if I will like it or not.  If anything, having those pdf's out there help to keep interest in items such as Tortured Souls for people that dont know anything about them.


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Post Posted: Tue Dec 27, 2011 3:37 pm 
 

FormCritic wrote:There is the possibility that an electronic version of the Tortured Souls collection could get pirated on the internet.  That does not make the electronic publisher automatically wrong.  That is a choice by others.


You'll have to clarify what you mean by "pirated" here.  Suppose the old owners of Beast Entz give their permission to create and sell a DVD (where they may or may not get a cut of the profits).

It is clear that the company is defunct and the copyright of all stuff has reverted back to the original author/artist.  In which case, now, not only are those who create the DVD profiting from someone else's work (who they do not have permission from) but also the old owners of Beast Entz are profiting from those people's work who they no long have permission to use.  They are now the ones pirating others peoples work and profiting from it.  Why should they?

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Post Posted: Tue Dec 27, 2011 5:48 pm 
 

mbassoc2003 wrote:I think what he was getting at is that the creator of a work does not always see the benefit of that work. Through corporations' use of contract law, a lot of creative minds get screwed out of the fruits of their labour. In some cases, even recognition is not given, but for the most part, I assume Mike is highlighting the lack of reward in our selected hobby for the creative minds involved.


Bingo. Point out how much Jim Ward, Frank Mentzer, Rob Kuntz, Tim Kask, Erol Otus, Jeff Dee or really any other ex-TSR employee from the beginning of the company is making off their work (which has made millions for later owners of the company, WOTC and Hasbro) and I'll promise I'll get angry the next time someone makes a photocopy of a copy of a 1E module for home use.   If the work is not in print and the original creator is not seeing a dime from any re-publication that may not happen, I'm not too upset.


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Post Posted: Tue Dec 27, 2011 6:03 pm 
 

PDF Pirate King wrote:It is clear that the company is defunct and the copyright of all stuff has reverted back to the original author/artist.  In which case, now, not only are those who create the DVD profiting from someone else's work (who they do not have permission from) but also the old owners of Beast Entz are profiting from those people's work who they no long have permission to use.  They are now the ones pirating others peoples work and profiting from it.  Why should they?

Indeed. And to add to this mix, there is a rights relationship between the original writers and Games Workshops in regard to the CDM campaign quadrology, and additional materials that are GW specific. On the grounds that much of the founding lore can be found within the pages of TS!, that treads a potentially contentious line. I suspect Basil will not be going there. I did offer the entire set of PDFs to him to release through the likes of RPGNow, even supplied sameples, but he chose not to go there.

That said, according to UK law, unattributed works in a periodical are considered abandoned after the 25 year coppright period has elapsed, if copyright of those works are not claimed by the publisher. By removing the authors' names, Beast Entz have elected to assume full ownership or abandone rights of copyright on an article by article basis. The right are entirely theirs (Beast Entz Owners) in regard to written word. Only the artwork carrying a signiature falls outside of that, and US Law can be ignored.


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Post Posted: Tue Dec 27, 2011 7:06 pm 
 

Badmike wrote:Point out how much Jim Ward, Frank Mentzer, Rob Kuntz, Tim Kask, Erol Otus, Jeff Dee or really any other ex-TSR employee from the beginning of the company is making off their work


These guys are making millions off their work thanks to TSR.  With full disclosure on who would own the rights of their works, they all signed their contracts and even accepted payment for their work while employees at TSR.

Now, they are living off reputations (created while getting paid by TSR) that allow them to charge more for their work and get more work strictly because they worked for TSR.  My heart bleeds for them.

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