AH - the General:  CD archives?
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Post Posted: Tue Jun 09, 2009 3:47 pm 
 

The point is, if Hasbro do not enforce copyright of their material, who cares? Who is hurt by this? Who loses out? Why should anyone give a damn if the owner of the material doesn't give a damn if other people use it?

The only individuals involved are the copyright holder (Hasbro) and the copyright infringer. And if the copyright holder (Hasbro) have been advised that the infringer wishes to use it's materials, and does not respond, and the infinger then proceeds with copyright infringement and the copright holder decides to take no action, then it is wholely the choice of the copyright holder not to do so.

No-one else has any vested interest in the case, or any moral right to stand judgement. It would seem that Hasbro are happy with things the way they are.

I myself am having similar discussions with various copyright owners (Mayfair Games, Midkemia Press, and a few private individuals). It may reach a point where I declare an intent to use materials and ask for written concent or written refusal. If they have been so advised, and chose to take no action, rather than grant or deny, then it is up to me to decide whether to proceed at risk, and up to them to decide whether to proceed with a cease and desist notice and/or a breach of copyright lawsuit.

It seems to me that the copyright infringers involved weighed up the risks, took the correct business decision based on their research, and have been proven right to have taken that action. If they had lost their business and their houses then the made a wrong decision based on the data they had gathered. They are not commiting a criminal offence.


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Post Posted: Tue Jun 09, 2009 4:42 pm 
 

. wrote:The only individuals involved are the copyright holder (Hasbro) and the copyright infringer.


This is true but the copyright holder is more than Hasbro.  You have the same issues that arose with the Dragon Magazine Archive.   The Dragon Magazine archive had a number of different issues:

1) Is a PDF release consider a "reprint" or a seperate item?
2) Does this fall under the "archival purposes" clause so its okay?

Calling it a "reprint" solves most of the issues as this was included in the contracts most people signed - also covers the contributions by staff writers and artists.

However, freelancers is where most of the issues occurred.  A number of the fiction writers had contracts giving the exclusive electronic rights to their publisher.  Also, some only signed contracts for "first publishing rights only".  Some didn't even really have contracts.

By the sounds of it when the archive was released, basically, TSR/Wizards decided to just ignore that other people owned the copyright to the material and ended up settling in the aftermath that followed.

With "The General" there is a question on much Hasbro owns the copyright for and how much the individual authors own the rights to their articles and art.  In the scheme of things some guy who wrote an article or did a piece of art is not likely to sue because he doesn't want his work republished but that doesn't mean that they should republish his work without asking.

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Post Posted: Tue Jun 09, 2009 4:58 pm 
 

. wrote:I myself am having similar discussions with various copyright owners (Mayfair Games, Midkemia Press, and a few private individuals).


Republishing material that was the livelihood of a small press company is very different from republishing a magazine - IMHO.  A magazine has a large number of contributors that you would never get 100% consent for.  With a module or something else, you are only really dealing with a small number of people.  

I really don't know what you are thinking if you are contemplating republishing any of the Midkemia Press items.

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Post Posted: Tue Jun 09, 2009 6:07 pm 
 

The point is, if Hasbro do not enforce copyright of their material, who cares? Who is hurt by this? Who loses out? Why should anyone give a damn if the owner of the material doesn't give a damn if other people use it?


This was part of the argument I heard earlier when this issue came up. Frankly I think it's a pointless argument. So what if someone is not a party to the copyrights themselves, that doesn't mean others can't have an interest in seeing that the law is upheld and that copyright infringers don't get away with their crimes for free.

Who is hurt by this? Well anyone who ultimately holds a copyright on something is eventually hurt when people throw out the arguement that it's ok to infringe if the holder doesn't immediately respond, and that "it doesn't hurt anyone" so therefore it's ok. That sort of attitude encourages people to continue to infringe and does nothing to stop it from taking place.

You also state "the owner of the material doesn't give a damn if other people use it?" which is entirely false. There are many reasons why a copyright holder may not respond or be able to respond and the lack of a response is NOT the same as someone saying they don't give a damn about infringement or if they work is used freely. What part of the copyright law in the US includes the provision that if a copyright holder doesn't respond someone is free to scan and sell digital and hard copy examples of their work? Having studied it pretty closely I seem to have missed that part of the law.

  

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Post Posted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 12:26 pm 
 

Mars wrote:I really don't know what you are thinking if you are contemplating republishing any of the Midkemia Press items.

At the moment I am seeking permission to electronically release their products, or trying to see if they are interested in me providing them with a product for release. I am having similar discussions with a number of other companies also. Any particular reason not to chase Midkemia Press other than the fact that RF is dead and his estate has rights?


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Post Posted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 12:40 pm 
 

jcp wrote:What part of the copyright law in the US includes the provision that if a copyright holder doesn't respond someone is free to scan and sell digital and hard copy examples of their work? Having studied it pretty closely I seem to have missed that part of the law.

It doesn't. Publishing without express written consent is a breach of copyright law. Plain and simple. But it is a civil matter between two parties, and not a criminal offence under either UK or US law. So is driving in a bus lane, surfing on your neighbours' WiFi and playing your music too loud on a Saturdy night. They are all breaches of civil law, and not criminal offences. Morally people should not ever break civil law, but there are circumstances in which many people do feel the need or believe they should break those laws, and there is a system of courts for others to seek redress if they feel they have a need to.

I am absolutely sure that Hasbro, with all it's money and influence, would sue them silly and have their website shut down, if they wanted then to stop publishing. So I can only deduce that they either are completelt unaware of the situation (and I'm sure a couple of e-mails can change that) or they are happy to let their products continue being published. If the later is the case, then that is tacit consent whichever way you dress it up. The former is the case, I am sure the situation will change when Hasbro find out. But lets face it, they've publishing these CDs a while, and nothing has happened so far.

All we're talking about here. One person's moral outlook vs another person's moral outlook.


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Post Posted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 1:38 pm 
 

. wrote:Any particular reason not to chase Midkemia Press other than the fact that RF is dead and his estate has rights?


RF is dead?  I think he is still publishing novels.  I think that is really one of the big issues.  You have a best selling author of 25 novels and probably a nice contract with a large publishing copy who also probably own the rights to the world of Midkemia or at least have an interest in protecting their rights.   They were looking to publish a D20 book but I'm not sure what happened with that project.  It seems evident that authors of the original work are still around and doing what they want to with products.  To reprint or offer them without their permission seems reckless.

Its a big of a different dilemma if the authors aren't around or are not doing anything related to the products but that isn't the case here.

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Post Posted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 2:36 pm 
 

Mars wrote:They were looking to publish a D20 book but I'm not sure what happened with that project.  It seems evident that authors of the original work are still around and doing what they want to with products.  


Different Worlds was never able to come to terms, about what the publishing project should be:  both parties were interested (and there had been interest prior to DWP too), but it never got beyond "yeah, we're all interested" ;)


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Post Posted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 3:47 pm 
 

Mars wrote:
RF is dead? .


I wonder if this a confusion between Feist and Jordan.

  

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Post Posted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 4:02 pm 
 

JasonZavoda wrote:I wonder if this a confusion between Feist and Jordan.


Maybe.

I think the main point though is that it would be rather rude and reckless to publishing Midkemia items without permission while the copyright holders are actively using the brand - new comics being issues, online game coming out, new novels, etc.

It would probably be better if you simply republished copies of Castle Zagyg: Upper Works instead.

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Post Posted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 5:30 pm 
 

Mars wrote:
Maybe.

I think the main point though is that it would be rather rude and reckless to publishing Midkemia items without permission while the copyright holders are actively using the brand - new comics being issues, online game coming out, new novels, etc.

It would probably be better if you simply republished copies of Castle Zagyg: Upper Works instead.


You mean  "." not me, since I'm not going to be trying to republish anything by authors living or dead.

  

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Post Posted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 5:49 pm 
 

JasonZavoda wrote:You mean  "." not me,


Yes.  The

Mars wrote:Maybe.


was for you.

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Post Posted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 6:30 pm 
 

Mars wrote:
RF is dead?  I think he is still publishing novels.


Thats what I tought too.. I though I would have heard otherwise.. did you finish the books as well Mars?

Brette:)


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Post Posted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 6:44 pm 
 

Mars wrote:
RF is dead?  I think he is still publishing novels.  I think that is really one of the big issues.  You have a best selling author of 25 novels and probably a nice contract with a large publishing copy who also probably own the rights to the world of Midkemia or at least have an interest in protecting their rights.   They were looking to publish a D20 book but I'm not sure what happened with that project.  It seems evident that authors of the original work are still around and doing what they want to with products.  To reprint or offer them without their permission seems reckless.

Its a big of a different dilemma if the authors aren't around or are not doing anything related to the products but that isn't the case here.

And here was me thinking RF was dead.
It is the original authors I an in discussions with, or should I say, I e-mailed them and got a reply saying it had been forwarded to their legal team for consideration. These sorts of discussions, from experience, can take a year or more, and in the case of Midkemia, will more than likely result in either a 'no' or a 'no, but we'd really like copies of the PDFs'. I'll put money on the latter, but if it gets the PDFs published legitimatly, it's the next best thing to getting my name on something. At least people get to buy them.

So I wonder why I thought RF was dead?

Mars wrote:I think the main point though is that it would be rather rude and reckless to publishing Midkemia items without permission while the copyright holders are actively using the brand - new comics being issues, online game coming out, new novels, etc.

That's the point of spending all the time tracking people down and entering discussions about copyright licensing and/or offering services to companies. Most of these small press companies have products that will sell, and authors who can make money out of stuff we want to buy. If I can get some of them to publish, even if I'm just providing a free service, there will come a time when I will be able to charge for a service, and there will be a time when the PDF market has a high turnover for old RPG items.

Let's face it. The reason people don't buy old scanned PDFs online is because they are absolutely shite. The product is great. It's the assholes that scan them and the idiots that then try to sell them that are destroying the legitimate PDF market from older RPG items. Have you seen the crap that JG put out? Have you seen the scan of the most recent offering, Tarantis? Those sorts of things are ruining the market by killing peoples confidence in quality. People don't believe they can buy quality scanned PDFs, because they've never seen it done.


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Post Posted: Sat Jun 13, 2009 5:45 am 
 

Page now dead?
That was quick.
If jpc is right, it'll be back up and running somewhere else in a few months.


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Post Posted: Sat Jun 13, 2009 6:43 am 
 

Here is a similar sort of thing. This Seller is offering Titan variant boards from some of the issues of General:




** expired eBay auction **




Seller states: The extras from the General Magazine are copies of the articles and not the actual magazine pages.

  

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Post Posted: Sat Jun 13, 2009 8:16 am 
 

. wrote:Page now dead?


The page seems fine to me.

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Post Posted: Sat Jun 13, 2009 8:27 am 
 

Is your's cashed?
I keep getting a blue Appache server page with a 404 error and an e-mail link to the webmaster.


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Post Posted: Sat Jun 13, 2009 9:48 am 
 

. wrote:Is your's cashed?


I cleaned out the cache and have tried it in another browser and it comes up fine.  I've also loaded other pages on the site that I haven't been to before as well so as far as I can tell it is still fully operational.

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Post Posted: Sat Jun 13, 2009 9:54 am 
 

How odd.
Probably my PC.
Cheers.


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