Ian's Tortured Souls collection
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Post Posted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 10:27 am 
 

I received an answer from TSR the next day when asking the same sorts of questions... Depends on who you ask, I guess?


I have no idea who you talked to about what, but if the insinuation is that we never were on contact with WOTC you are wrong. And Doug has not included the entire discussion in his earlier explanation, there are plenty of things we never divulge nor tell everyone all the details about, it does no good to show all the inner workings so they can be picked apart and commented on, no convention does that, frankly. Doug did not continue discussion of what we did because it availed us not to continue vainly explaining our position or our reasons. If you actually come to the con and ask Doug really nice he might be more forthcoming, but chances are he won't based on comments people have made in the past...the simple fact you still have possession of deleted comments shows me we are right to hold back a lot of what actually happened lest it be tossed out onto forums for dissecting.  For my money, Doug is too honest and forthcoming in a lot of situations, but that's just his personality.

       
 
Badmike wrote:
Once again, a specious argument.  Obviously any jackass would know I wasn't literally comparing food to D&D modules unless they were intent on a purely theoretical hyperbole filled bullshit argument.  It hurts to even form the arguments to make them understandable to cretins so I'm not even going to respond, except to say if a free pdf popped up of Tabletop Warriors (of which I have a stake in) I couldn't care less. As for where I "draw the line", that's for me to decide and I could personally give a shit what you think about it.  Seriously, I can't even measure how little your opinion matters to me.

Why make a "purely theoretical hyperbole filled bullshit" comparison in the first place, then?

Seriously, I was under the impression that we were discussing matters in a mature, constructive manner, but thank you for the correction.


No, because every conversation with you has turned into you lecturing everyone why you are right, and includes hyperbolic examples that turn the discussion away from the topic at hand and into defending those absurd examples instead of talking about the points.  I'm just tired of it.

         
Badmike wrote:
The aim has always been to get these items out to the collector that cannot afford the originals, at an affordable price, while making NTRPG con a place that collectors want to attend so they won't miss out on various con goodies available nowhere else.

It's a marketing ploy for the con, nothing more; not that that's a "bad thing" in its own right. The aim may originally have been "to get these items out to the collector that cannot afford the originals", but such good intentions went right out of the window last time.


Once again, you have no inner window into our discussions about what we reprint and why.  I can tell you we have discussed giveaways of printed material that no one but Doug or I know about that would have had to have been given away, free, with us losing money on printing costs, simply to get the items into people's hands, and avoid any intentions we did it just to make money.  I can tell you that Doug and I have discussed reprinting material that is not well known nor extremely valuable just to get the material out there, items not of the pedigree of a POTVQ or Dwarven Glory, that might or might now be a money loser.  A lot of these plans are independent of the con.....if Matt Finch, say, releases a copy of Knockspell, is it still indirectly promoting his line of S&W games?  Sure, but it's also a nice gaming magazine that anyone in the hobby can use regardless of what game they play.  If you want to be absolutely cynical and say it's all a marketing ploy I guess that's ok.  If it's a marketing ploy for the con, I can think of plenty of marketing "ploys" costing just as much or less (how about scantily clad female strippers serving beers to any con-goer over 21?) that would bring in more people for the sole purpose boosting attendance.  

Mike B.


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Post Posted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 10:29 am 
 

faro wrote:If "Frank, Rob, Tim, Jim, et al." wish to feel bitter and use that as justification, that's entirely their own, personal business.


I can choose to be outraged about whatever injustices I see perpetrated on others, for whatever reason, that is MY personal business.

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Post Posted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 10:36 am 
 

ashmire13 wrote:Just a little thought of my own, but I was very happy to buy a PDF of PotV from the NTRPG via Doug on his site.

Whether it was legal or not, I don't see that as bad, because it's not something I would sell on as an original and it allowed me to own something I never would otherwise. Maybe I misunderstand it, but I see items like that as ok, because no-ones making a profit, no-one loses out becausethe original authors have already made their money and it's not a new product inthe same way as music or video game piracy. I don't see that even the original copies lose value against a PDF either.

It's just my view and basic understanding of these PDFs


The releases of POTVQ and Dwarven Glory (as well as everything available online at RPG marketplace) are completely legal. This is what happens when discussions like this go on and on, people become confused about the issues and jump to conclusions (not to pick on you Ashmire, I understand the thread of your position there, but someone jumping in right now might not be following as closely.)

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Post Posted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 10:51 am 
 

And I never expected it to be anything but legal with you and Doug having spent so long bringing the PotVQ out, Mike.
Just wanted to support your stance, that even if there is a grey area on items, as may be possible at the moment with TS! And it gets released, then I'm ok with buying.

What I don't agree with is sellers producing and selling PDFs of current items, WotC, TSR or otherwise, that are readily available or have current (c). It strikes me that the main argent here is old ots out of (c) at least in the Uk with TS!

Maybe that sounds a bit dodgy on my part, but so be it.


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Post Posted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 12:19 pm 
 

One general point I would like to make: references to "the law" are of limited value, as there is not (I think) a unified international law regarding copyright with regards to what we're talking about.  As such, there will be differences in each country.  Since the main debaters in this thread are in the US, UK, and Canada, and we have readers all over the place, differences in laws should be considered.


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Post Posted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 1:10 pm 
 

Badmike wrote:For my money, Doug is too honest and forthcoming in a lot of situations, but that's just his personality.

I prefer "honest and forthcoming" because that makes it believable that Doug could've somehow made an honest mistake to misunderstand that it was AOK to reprint a TSR module without their explicit permission, despite his words /apparently/ stating the contrary. The only reason I'm referring those words, posted in public forum (what's said cannot be unsaid any more than those illegal copies of Ghost Tower of Inverness can be unpublished) is because you are now apparently contradicting him and potentially setting up other people in the "gaming community" for a fall if they take your "ethically and legally we did nothing wrong" stance as a green light/vote of support to do the same.

Badmike wrote:...that turn the discussion away from the topic at hand

Let's try again, then, since your post bumped mine off the page.

<clip>
Ian; just a quick sanity-check, please.

If it proves impossible to obtain permission to mirror "everything" in original format/content, what would be the feasibility of a compilation ("Confessions from Tortured Souls!"?) utilising the material that /can/ be reprinted, replacing artwork/cartography with new community-sourced versions as required? Not "ideal", I know, but still a very useful insight and potential inspiration for further quality material.
(Presuming POD delivery, relatively easy to expand should further permissions appear out of the woodwork at a later date, too).


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Post Posted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 8:43 pm 
 

faro wrote:illegal copies of


There is legal provision for historical preservation. This thread is filled with duplicitous statements, claims that-
a. one should not violate IP law.
b. some aspects of IP law, such as expiration of copyright & abandoned works, academic research & education,* backup copies, replacement copies of missing portions, works-for-hire, etc. are wrong & should be ignored.

Make up your minds. If you believe in respect for the law, then respect both sides of the issue - namely that some kinds of copying are forbidden, while others are allowed. If you have a moral position in excess of the law, that copying without express permission is always wrong, be honest about it.

*Keep in mind that we are players, not spectators.

  

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Post Posted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 9:30 pm 
 

sauromatian wrote:Make up your minds. If you believe in respect for the law, then respect both sides of the issue - namely that some kinds of copying are forbidden, while others are allowed. If you have a moral position in excess of the law, that copying without express permission is always wrong, be honest about it.


I am doubting that PDFing for "historical preservation" covers the resale of 100 copies of an item without the permission of the copyright holder.  I don't think anyone here has problems with backup copies or completing items with photocopied bits, etc.

The issue is about reproducing someone else's item for the purpose of resale - probably with a print run of 50 - 300 copies.  In some cases, of small press items mentioned already such as Minotaur's Lair, the number of reproductions would probably outnumber the sales from the original publisher.  That's a pretty bold thing to do: take an author's work without their permission and actually make more money off of it than they did.

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Post Posted: Fri Dec 30, 2011 12:10 am 
 

PDF Pirate King wrote:
The issue is about reproducing someone else's item for the purpose of resale - probably with a print run of 50 - 300 copies.  In some cases, of small press items mentioned already such as Minotaur's Lair, the number of reproductions would probably outnumber the sales from the original publisher.  That's a pretty bold thing to do: take an author's work without their permission and actually make more money off of it than they did.


But if the permission is given it's ok, right?  Then suddenly the number of reproductions outnumbering the original isn't an issue, except for the few who have monetarily speculated on such low-printed items for future financial benefit.

Mike B.


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Post Posted: Fri Dec 30, 2011 1:18 am 
 

PDF Pirate King wrote:I am doubting that PDFing for "historical preservation" covers the resale of 100 copies of an item without the permission of the copyright holder.


Preservation only works if the artifacts in question are distributed to the scholarly community. This requires funds for printing, rental of conference venues, refreshments.. historians gotta eat too.

  

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Post Posted: Fri Dec 30, 2011 8:23 am 
 

PDF Pirate King wrote:By not saying anything, you are encouraging Ian to go ahead and you know it wouldn't stop with TS!  Some see this as a problem, others don't.

Mark's point is that discussions like this serve to define the forum's moral compass as a whole. Do we respect a writer's copyright or do we not? If we do, where along the path of time and ownership do we chose to disregard it? Once it becomes accepted at a certain point or condition, all works falling outside of that become fair game. Mark is arguing to set our standards high and try to keep within the intent of the law regardless of the the decline in respect of that law over the decades.

I'm not really the sort of guy who can be encouraged by opinion to go against my own beliefs. I'll do my legal research, contact those I can find, seek their permissions, weigh up their responsibilities under the law, and decide where I believe I stand in regard to UK Copyright Law. Right now, without at least Basil saying he'd like to explore publishing his works, I won't go forward with anything personally, and I've already offered to provide my skills for free should he wish to progress a project himself. I'd just be happy being involved in something like that. But I won't be swayed by opinion to proceed regardless, and there is already enough info on this thread to demonstrate that if I did, I knew I would be breaking the law intentionally.

This thread serves as a discussion point on the moral and ethical issues, and the mechanics of copyright law, and as a community we should discuss these things openly. Everyone posting here has been on this forum far too long to be trying to take harmful postshots at eachother. If it becomes a mud slinging exersize, it'll end up getting locked.



@Badmike - In regard to providing PDF copies of products you already own, it is perfectly legal in the UK for you (residing utside of the UK) to contract me to carry out the works and supply you with a PDF copy of something that you already own and have paid for. And I am allowed to charge a fee for that service. The law in the UK permits you to make a backup copy of a book or magazine that you have purchased, and it permits someone to sub-contract out manufacturing that copying service to others provided the intended use of those copies comply with UK Copyright Law (ie personal use and backup). Example - You could take a magazine to Staples and ask them to photocopy it for you.

However, whilst I could provide this service perfectly legally with TS!, I could not provide you with a personal backup copy of your CZ:UW, unless it were permitted under US Law, as CZ:UW was published under US Law and the IP is owned in the US by a US Company. That is my understanding of how the 'personal copy' laws are applied in the UK.


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Post Posted: Fri Dec 30, 2011 11:05 am 
 

Badmike wrote:
If it's a marketing ploy for the con, I can think of plenty of marketing "ploys" costing just as much or less (how about scantily clad female strippers serving beers to any con-goer over 21?) that would bring in more people for the sole purpose boosting attendance.  

Mike B.


Instead of scantily clad female strippers serving beer, they could be Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders serving beer. Hell... I'll even start up a Kickstarter project to raise money for me to attend the con this year...

See... I am paying attention to this thread!!!    :shaking2:


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Post Posted: Fri Dec 30, 2011 11:41 am 
 

Ian,

A particularly well written post.

Further, my understanding is that U.S. law permits the same backup/copy process.  Fortunately, we are both still in quasi-capitalist companies.  People with money can pay others to do labor that they are otherwise legally able to do so on their own...    copy books..... bear a child (surrogate mothers), weed flowerbeds, or clean toilets!


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Post Posted: Fri Dec 30, 2011 12:05 pm 
 

Badmike wrote:But if the permission is given it's ok, right?  Then suddenly the number of reproductions outnumbering the original isn't an issue, except for the few who have monetarily speculated on such low-printed items for future financial benefit.


I have no problem if it is done with the proper permission.  I have personally devalued several small press items and will probably end up devaluing many more - some I make a bit of money on and others I don't.  I would rather see an author's stockpile of copies in the hands of collectors/players instead of in the wood burner.  

This, to me, doesn't sound like you care if there is proper permission or not:

BadMike wrote: I'd buy one under any circumstances should they ever become available.

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Post Posted: Fri Dec 30, 2011 1:47 pm 
 

BadMike wrote:I'd buy one under any circumstances should they ever become available.

You see, to me that reads, "I'd have no qualms about buying a copy should it become available, as someone else has already decided to address the copyright question, and as a buyer, if I am buying a product legitimately, I do not see it as my responsibility to question the publishers rights to offer their products for sale." I read this as, "If it becomes available it's just the same as the Dragon Magazine Archive. If it later becomes withdrawn or the publisher is sued, it is not the buyer's moral responsibility for having bought a copy."

I didn't see Mike's statement as tasit support, more a statement of intent.


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Post Posted: Fri Dec 30, 2011 2:41 pm 
 

mbassoc2003 wrote:The law in the UK permits you to make a backup copy of a book or magazine that you have purchased, and it permits someone to sub-contract out manufacturing that copying service to others provided the intended use of those copies comply with UK Copyright Law (ie personal use and backup).


This principle became much more restrictive in the US about 15 years ago. It was part of an era which saw many questionable new laws, the best known being the Mickey Mouse legislation which BadMike mentioned earlier.

  

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Post Posted: Fri Dec 30, 2011 3:23 pm 
 

mbassoc2003 wrote:You see, to me that reads, "I'd have no qualms about buying a copy should it become available, as someone else has already decided to address the copyright question, and as a buyer, if I am buying a product legitimately, I do not see it as my responsibility to question the publishers rights to offer their products for sale." I read this as, "If it becomes available it's just the same as the Dragon Magazine Archive. If it later becomes withdrawn or the publisher is sued, it is not the buyer's moral responsibility for having bought a copy."

I didn't see Mike's statement as tasit support, more a statement of intent.


Ian understands perfectly.  As he said, it was meant to show support for the project and the due diligence I believe Ian has gone through in determining legality.  Again as Ian said, I purchased the Dragon Magazine Archive (and enjoyed same) totally unaware it is very much an illegal product, not imagining that TSR would not exercise due diligence in compensating copyright holders. If a digital or pdf or CD copy of TS became available, I would purchase same with the hope that by offering it for sale the publisher has done their job.

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Post Posted: Fri Dec 30, 2011 3:34 pm 
 

sauromatian wrote:
This principle became much more restrictive in the US about 15 years ago. It was part of an era which saw many questionable new laws, the best known being the Mickey Mouse legislation which BadMike mentioned earlier.


The Copyright Extension act (aka the Mickey Mouse legislation) is one of the most disgusting pieces of legislation to ever pass as law.  The fact they actually wanted the Copyright Extension to extend FOREVER and only backed off at the end, and then the fact they passed it by voice vote (so no one will ever know who voted for or against it), shows you how the rich and powerful change the rules for their benefit only.  Which is one of the reasons why I'm not a huge worrier about what is illegal or not under current copyright law, as the law can be changed with the snap of the fingers by large corporations to protect their assets, and for no reason more than that.  Frankly I'm just not a huge supporter of big government when it comes to such intrusive and self-serving acts of law-by-lobby.

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Post Posted: Sat Dec 31, 2011 12:49 pm 
 

Badmike wrote:I purchased the Dragon Magazine Archive (and enjoyed same) totally unaware it is very much an illegal product, not imagining that TSR would not exercise due diligence in compensating copyright holders


You'd really have to check all the dates on these events.  I think the lawsuit happened before the product was released but TSR had spent enough to create the product and still wanted to release it so they paid for the rights in a settlement and then released it.  The Dragon Magazine Archive is not an illegal product.

On the Mickey Mouse legislation, I don't have any problem with this at least in the Disney case.  Why should a company who created the character, has used it for years, spent billions of dollars marketing it into one of the most recognizable characters in the world be forced to give it away for free so anyone can now use it to make money off it?  I'd like to hear your reasoning for it.

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Post Posted: Sat Dec 31, 2011 2:41 pm 
 

Mars wrote:On the Mickey Mouse legislation, I don't have any problem with this at least in the Disney case.  Why should a company who created the character, has used it for years, spent billions of dollars marketing it into one of the most recognizable characters in the world be forced to give it away for free so anyone can now use it to make money off it?  I'd like to hear your reasoning for it.

In the UK, a character created by an author, remains copyrighted by that author for 70 yeards after the author's death. Then it becomes public domain property, as it is deemed to be part of the national heritage of our country. There is only a single exception to that rule (Peter Pan) and that took a single special act of parliament to gift the rights to a Charity for the life of that charity's existence.

It seems ludicrous that US history and national heritage of it's culture can be controlled by lobby groups and money men long after the creators and his heirs are dead. But then it does respect the national culture of money and greed, and if any country is going to change the law to make greed more important than anything in the country, it was gonna be the US.

The problem with the US system is that the majority of people seem to neither agree nor support the laws of their country, but their parents and grandparents have already sold out the country they live in and removed their childrens rights to have a say in the way their country is run. I suspect Mike's opinion on the Copyright Extension Act is rep[resentative of the vast majority of US citizens.


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