Traveller PDFs on RPGNow & RPGDrivethru
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Post Posted: Sun Jun 21, 2009 3:36 pm 
 

Kingofpain89 wrote:
Doesnt really seem that odd to me.  Jordan Weisman started FASA.  Jordan along with the Keith Brothers (J. Andrew & William H.) wrote and/or developed the majority of the FASA Traveller supplements licensed by GDW (which Marc Miller co-founded).  It could be that Marc Miller had some rights to the intellectual property as part of the licensing deal with FASA (and Gamelords as well).

Miller did license Traveller to Mongoose although I dont really understand why.  He has been working on Traveller 5 for awhile now (was planned to release last August at Gen Con) and I would think that by allowing Mongoose to release material would make it difficult to sell his version of the Traveller rules.

That's the sort of info I was hoping someone would be able to contribute.
If GDW retained copyright, and used FASA and Gamelords etc as a 3rd party publisher, that would explain why he believed he retains the right to republish, and that might very well be so (use of a trademarked name aside). I presume MM retained copyright upon desolution of GDW? Because if GDW desolved without explicit written terms prior to an author writing something, then copyright reverts to the original authors. But then, maybe GDW was never a real company (just a bunch of guys and an assumed name), and I very much doubt the authors give a damn. Like most authors in the RPG community in those days, they abandone their work and move on with life.


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Post Posted: Sun Jun 21, 2009 3:45 pm 
 

Kingofpain89 wrote:It is entirely possible that Marc Miller has an agreement with whoever owns the licenses to redistribute the Gamelords and FASA Traveller books in electronic format.


This is possible but I am a bit suspect.  He also sells the Journal of the Traveller's Aid Society in electronic format.  As with other magazines/fanzines it seems unlikely that he tracked down all contributors and received their approval to republish in electronic format.  It seems to be that he is going with the same argument that TSR used - an electronic copy of the magazine is a valid "reprint".

Although by reading a bit through the Traveller "fair use", it suggests that making copies of the items (as long as it is for non-commercial purposes) is okay.

http://www.farfuture.net/FFEFairUsePolicy2008.pdf

This could have been part of everyones agreement to use the approved for Traveller.  Also, it would suggest that making PDFs of all such products to give away for free would be legit as well since you would have no commercial gain.

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Post Posted: Sun Jun 21, 2009 3:53 pm 
 

Actually reading the rest of the "fair use" agreement in 4a they say making PDFs of the whole book is going too far.  They also say that magazine articles are okay as long as the author gives permission but it is up to you to find those authors and get their permission.

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Post Posted: Sun Nov 01, 2009 5:44 pm 
 

In a related note, RPGnow/DriveThruRPG has free "Guide to . . ." PDFs for Traveller and related products.  The PDFs have product history, descriptions, etc.  The Twilight: 2000 PDF even has print runs listed.

I could not get the bundle to download (http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/product_i ... s_id=65112), so I downloaded them individually.

  

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Post Posted: Sun Nov 01, 2009 11:46 pm 
 

Based upon what I recall regarding the Digest Group Publications material for MegaTraveller, it's more likely that Marc Miller made agreements that transferred the copyright over to him, either before or after the dissolution of GDW. The time frame is unknown to me, but given that the DGP material for MegaTraveller is held for ransom (the owner wants six figures for it) and doesn't appear as far as I know in the MegaTraveller CD-ROM that Marc produces, the voluntary transferral of copyrights to Marc is a far more likely scenario than anything underhanded.

For the record, when Starter Traveller was released, Marc's name appeared in it as the author, with the other three members of GDW as contributors. Artwork was likely purchased under an agreement that transferred ownership and all republishing rights to Marc. As for the rest of the works, the rights may have been purchased for reasonable sums of money, or agreements made that transferred ownership. I wish I could say for sure I was right, but this is all speculative and I just don't know one way or another.



  
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